‘Riverdale’ 2×04 Review: Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown


Forget all my excitement from last week, The Town That Dreaded Sundown killed it. Literally. Not in a good way. Watching it I just felt like everything was too messy,  like it was all going nowhere. And I don’t want to be mean, I really don’t, but that’s what I felt. At the same time, it seems (and I really hope so) that this episode was, like Jughead said at the end, an inflection point in Riverdale. So let’s take a closer look:

The messiness

I’ve been feeling it all season, but definitely never as much as in this episode. It is like the writers didn’t know the direction they wanted for the episode, or the season, so they just tried to mix it all together. I am not saying that is what actually happened, but it is the perception I had. Everyone was rushing from one place to another, continuously changing their minds.

Veronica changed scenarios (from home to high school, from high school to Archie’s, from Archie’s to home…) and her mind (first she supported Archie, then not, then yes, then not again…) every two seconds, and I am talking about her because it was the most obvious case, but pretty much everybody else did the same. I just need the show to get focus and do it  all the well I know it can do it.

The forced love triangle

Since we met Toni Topaz Bughead is so tense you could play them like a guitar. Jughead and Toni can’t stop finding common interests, and every time Misss-crime-junkie and Mr crime-is-my-crack fangirl about their singular tastes is a reminder of how he never could do that with Betty. Jughead lying, Betty being too jealous and Toni and Betty tearing each other apart every time they are in the same room (such a pity, because I really think they could be good friends) just helps add fuel to the fire. And I don’t like it. Not because I ship Bughead (being honest, I pretty much hate them, errr Jugheads asexuality erasure?) but because I see this as totally unnecessary and completely forced drama.

Archie seems to have come to his senses (or I hope so)

At the beginning it looked like Archie was still falling through that madness hole. He refused to sign a letter apologizing for the video (I still don’t know what that was going to fix), was left alone by the other members of the Red Circle because they thought he was going insane (when the drug dealer of your school thinks you are going too far, then it’s time to worry), thought going into the South Side to incite the Black Hood was a great idea (when the Serpents are afraid of you, it’s time to worry too) and even got in a fight with the band. But at the end he thanks Veronica for not giving him the gun and both finally throw it to Sweetwater River. Let’s hope this Archie that thinks having a gun is dangerous stays with us.

Veronica seems to have realized her father is not clean (or I hope so)

Despite spending the episode changing her mind about Archie and the Red Circle, V got some time too to learn how much her parents love lying. After being asked to leave Archie she asked him about the video, and the truth came out. He told her Hiram was the one who put the idea in his mind, and after that Ronnie got a confrontation with her daddy that I hope made her realize that if her father would lie to her about something like the video, he could have lied to her other times.

The Black Hood (I still think The Angel of Dead is a fancier name) is a Betty worshiper

It seems that our killer grew to like writing letters, so this episode he sent one to Betty. Which is an argument against and in favor for Hal being the Black Hood. On one hand sending her a letter pretending to be a serial killer (why do we call him serial killer if he just killed one person?) and telling her know how much her words inspired you to start murdering doesn’t sound like something a father would do to a daughter, but once again this is Riverdale and no one gets the fundamentals of parenting.

On the other, the fact that she had to use Nancy Drew’s secret code means that the Black Hood is someone that knows Betty since she was a little kid and how much she loves Nancy Drew and that book, so who better than her father? And it would be the same for the sheriff, he could have sent the letter but maybe he couldn’t have known she used to read that book. While we try to figure that out we should keep in mind that the Black Hood has sent two letters in the past two episodes and that on these episodes he hasn’t killed anyone, what could actually mean something (I think this is not coincidence) or nothing at all.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.

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