Riverdale Season 2 Episode 9: Chapter Twenty-Two- Silent Night, Deadly Night Recap

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Welcome to Riverdale’s nightmare before Christmas! Santa brought us what I suspect is a fake Black Hood, two kisses with two different girls for Archie, leadership of the Junior Serpents for Jughead, vanquishing to Greendale for Penny, either a new career for Penelope or a new stepdad for Cheryl, and a partridge in a pear tree and an actual Christmas nightmare for Betty.

No, I don’t mean her kiss with Archie.

Plus, Santa brought us the brief return of Nana Rose Blossom and a flat-stomached Polly Cooper. Stay safe, ladies!!

It’s very early Christmas morning when Polly, who’s not pregnant, wakes Betty up to come downstairs to see Santa. Betty follows her, only to find that Santa is the Black Hood in a Santa Hood. He’s coming for her, but she backs away from him, and wakes up from her nightmare.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 8: Chapter Twenty-One- House of the Devil Recap

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On the roller coaster ride that is Riverdale, this episode is the lowest the show has ever taken us. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is echoing his old boss Ryan Murphy, and his old show Glee, with epic levels of character and plot inconsistencies, misogyny, sheer contrivances, and using audience manipulation in place of actual storytelling.

The Berlantiverse is known for many of those things as well. Just take a look at any character that the writers decide is mainly a love interest, whether it’s Mon El on Supergirl, Caitlin or Iris on The Flash, or Felicity on Arrow. Betty and Cheryl seem to be meeting the same fate on Riverdale, as their characters erode from the complex women that they were in season one into inconsistent caricatures.

This episode, Veronica and Archie continued their sexathon relationship the way it had always been, complete with sex montage. After a particularly romantic tryst in front of her parents’ fireplace, Archie, overcome with endorphins, told Veronica that he loved her. She conspicuously didn’t reply, so they did the discomfort dance and decided that Archie should leave.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 7: Chapter Twenty- Tales from the Darkside Recap

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This week, Riverdale takes its episode title seriously, as it becomes an anthology show. The 3 subplots are split into separate stories, rather than intercut throughout the episode. We also have some fun with crime show references and the usual season 2 fright fest. Every episode is a Halloween episode this season.

We open with a 50-60s style true crime monologue and scrolling text, in black and white, complete with faux aging effects. Detective Joe Friday and his badge would be proud.

The Black Hood has left a note attached to the door of Pop’s with his latest set of disappointments and demands. Aren’t these things usually attached to churches or government buildings? Why is the Black Hood so obsessed with Pop’s? Plus, he’s seriously starting to remind me of the Church Lady. He makes so many more threats and insults than he actually goes through with, and he’s so worried about everyone else’s good behavior while he’s breaking commandments. He’s a slow burn serial killer.

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Riverdale Analysis: Betty Cooper- Hitchcock Blonde and Object of Obsession

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Who is the Black Hood and What Does He Want with Betty?

At the beginning of the season and the Black Hood storyline, Archie and Veronica each wondered if the Hood was targeting people close to them, because Archie was connected to the victims and Veronica tends to assume her father is connected to most crimes in Riverdale, unless she’s given proof that he’s not.

Those assumptions turned out to be red herrings, and we soon discovered that the Black Hood is obsessed with Betty Cooper, who is a Hitchcock blonde, as Jughead told us last season. Polly and Alice are also Hitchcock blondes, and the Hood has some interest in them as well, but Betty’s virgin status, overall goodness and sleuthing abilities specifically seem to make her the object of the Black Hood’s desire.

The shooting of the Sugarman (assuming he was actually shot) takes away most of the suspicion that Betty’s stalker is an imposter. There’s a “romantic” side to the Hood’s obsession. He’s giving her gifts, being extremely possessive, and is inspired by her sexual purity. That sounds like someone who wants to own her. He’s attempting to use his favors and crimes as rewards and punishments to train her into submission to him.

A Hitchcock blonde is the kind of tall, icy blonde that Alfred Hitchcock favored for his leading ladies. The characters were independent, mysterious, duplicitous, and unexpectedly passionate. They were often objects of obsession in his films, and of Hitchcock’s personal obsessions in real life.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 6: Chapter Nineteen- Death Proof Recap

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After two lackluster episodes, Riverdale brings us a glorious entry with Chapter Nineteen: Death Proof. In this episode, Riverdale: The Show remembers what it’s about, and lets the girls get on with saving the town, with help from Jughead and Archie. Even FP gets a chance to pitch in, proving once again that he’s the most practical parent in Riverdale.

The episode begins the morning after Jughead’s initiation into the Serpents. He sits on his couch and types while we hear his voice over about how everyone wears a mask in Riverdale, but occasionally the mask slips. When that happens, people scramble to replace it. Toni appears to ask Jughead if he wants breakfast, having spent the night in the trailer.

Betty runs to the Fives Seasons Hotel to check on Nick St Claire, since she gave his name to the Black Hood. She finds him alive and well, if bitter about the inconvenience of having his rape attempt interrupted. Sheriff Keller arrives in Nick’s hotel room moments after Betty. Cheryl has filed a complaint. The sheriff needs to bring Nick and his parents in for questioning.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 5: Chapter Eighteen- When a Stranger Calls Recap

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Riverdale is all about the tests this week. Tests of loyalty, friendship, love, and strength. Some on purpose, some accidental. Some of the characters pass, some don’t. Betty and Jughead’s loyalties are tested on purpose. Their results are complex, because nothing in Riverdale is ever simple and straight forward.

Except for Alice’s response to slut shaming. Don’t even bother trying to make Alice feel guilty about anything. She’s way ahead of you and You Will Fail. Even the Black Hood can’t hurt Alice.

But we have other things to do before we get to the fun of Alice and her grand entrance.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 4: Chapter Seventeen- The Town That Dreaded Sundown Recap

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This week on Riverdale, everyone tries to come to terms with the reality of the Black Hood, in their own ways. Some stir up trouble for their own purposes, some research serial killers, some go on the hunt, some try to hide, and for some, it’s business as usual. However you look at it, the town is not pulling together to face this crisis. Sides are being formed, lines are being drawn, fingers are being pointed, and clichés are being printed in the town and school papers. 😉 No one will reach the end of the season without having been accused of something, at least once.

During his voice over, Jughead name checks the Zodiac Killer from San Francisco, the Axeman from New Orleans, and the Phantom Killer from Texas. We see him at the library, checking out books on serial killers who fit the same profile as the Black Hood. The librarian brings up Archie’s serial killer faux porn video, starring the football team, shirtless and in red hoods, as another example of the terrible, frightening things happening in Riverdale.

The mayor has called a meeting in the town hall. Everyone in town is taking extra precautions, like putting extra locks on doors and walking in groups. They wonder when they’ll hear from the serial killer next (we see a package labelled “Betty” get put in a mail basket at school) and if Archie will go too far (we see Archie using his gun for target practice).

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3: Chapter Sixteen- The Watcher in the Woods Recap

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In this week’s exciting Riverdale news, Moose and Midge are not dead! Despite appearances at the end of episode 2, Midge wasn’t even shot, and Moose seems barely injured. This shooter has to have the worst aim ever, or he’s mostly just trying to scare people. Except for Grundy. He freakin’ hated her.

The other interesting news is that Riverdale is big enough to have a park for Kevin to go cruising for gay midnight anonymous sex in, but not big enough for him to have any other viable options. Grind’em, Riverdale’s Grindr knock off, is too uncertain for Kevin’s tastes. He wants the what-you-see-is-what-you-get visceral certainty that a hook up in the park gives him. I think he’s still working out some issues from Joaquin’s deception.

Jughead reminds us in his opening voiceover that the Big Bad Wolf is real and lurking closer than you could ever imagine. There’s talk of fairy tales, children wandering into the woods, and monsters worse than devils and wolves.

The visuals start with Kevin out jogging in the forest. He runs straight into the lips of a cute guy, who, I can’t help but notice, is the same physical type as his missing boyfriend, Joaquin. They lean against a tree, lips still locked and holding onto each other, to recover.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 2: Chapter Fifteen- Nighthawks Recap

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The Jingle Jangle comes to Riverdale this week, the serial killer’s pattern becomes more baffling, the Scooby gang keeps themselves busy, and so do their parents.

Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe has been renamed Death Diner by Riverdale residents with a sense of humor. With or without a sense of humor, no one is visiting the Shoppe since the shooting.

Betty decides to spearhead a campaign to save Pop’s. She’s enlists V and Kevin at school. Juggie is there for some reason, even though he attends school across town. Probably can’t stay away from his girl. 😂

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Score Card: Riverdale and Diversity

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Some not so subtle racism in those costumes. Too bad they couldn’t be updated the way virtually everything else in the ‘verse was.

Last season, Riverdale was criticized about the lack of diversity in its main characters. Even though there were many people of color and a couple of LGBTQ characters on the roster, they weren’t given much screen time, and barely spoke when they appeared.

So, this season, Riverdale brought in and/or increased the screen time of the people of color and the other diversity characters. Two episodes in, let’s take a look at how that’s working out.

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