‘Riverdale’ 2×20 Review: ‘Mob Mentality’

We’re nearly at the end of Riverdale’s sophomore season, and we’re not much closer to finding out the true identity of the Black Hood. This season has circled around some thrilling storylines (Cheryl and Toni’s developing romance, Veronica taking down a mafioso’s son) and some less than interesting ones (Archie’s Red Circle, Archie and Hiram teaming up). Sadly, this week has brought back more class warfare, more of the Black Hood and more misery for Cheryl Blossom.

Let’s dive in!


Is Hal the Black Hood?

Look, last week’s end note of Betty asking, “Where’s Dad?” is so obviously a red herring, it pains me. Is Hal in good enough shape to chase after a young man in his 20s? Would he really go after his daughter and ask her to face the deepest, darkest parts of herself and be his accomplice in murder? Sure, we had Clifford Blossom who killed his own son, but that’s the Blossoms, and Clifford was one bad dude.

This week, we pick up where we left off last week, with Betty suspecting her dad is the Black Hood. At home she plays it cool with her parents, pretending everything is A-OK, but behind closed doors, she’s snooping and panicking. Working with Cheryl, in my new favorite BFF/cousin team, they break into Hal’s Airbnb and find the Nancy Drew cipher book the Black Hood used way back at the beginning of the season. Appropriately, Betty freaks out, and Cheryl warns her to tread carefully, reminding her of her father’s secret evilness. Over family dinner, Betty not-so-casually brings up that she’s in cahoots with the Black Hood and sent him after Chic, thus making her an accomplice. Her parents are pretty chill about it, and Hal even goes so far to say he has a darkness like Betty in him and it was very hard to control when he wasn’t in their lives. Later at the mayoral debate, the Black Hood strikes, and who’s in attendance and definitely not the Black Hood? Hal. It’s not enough evidence for Betty, though, because she confronts her dad to tell her she broke into his place and found the cipher book. Apparently, it was a birthday present, but Betty isn’t convinced. Later she arranges a meet-up with her dad at the very place she gave her “Riverdale needs to be Better” speech, but he’s a no-show.


Princess of the Mob

Ever since Veronica gouged the St. Clair’s for cash last episode, the Mob people have spoken. She’s their new princess. They’re impressed with the Lodges’ daughter and thus want to set up a meeting with their respective sons to try and get into cahoots. Veronica welcomes the boys’ proposals, unimpressed with everyone until one mentions the word “casino.” Somehow she thinks a casino is something Riverdale needs and worthy of her nest egg. Her parents are unconvinced and put her money into a trust, knowing full well casinos are dens of illegal activity and mob people are not to be messed with. Betrayed by her parents, Veronica gives her vote to Fred Andrews and offers her help to beat her mother. To drive the message home that she doesn’t care what her parents think, she seduces Archie with some A+ lingerie. Naturally.


Riverdale Sinks Their Teeth into Fangs

Remember before Riverdale High’s production of Carrie started, Jughead found Fangs and Midge “going over lines?” Well, it comes to full circle this week, with Fangs coming clean: He and Midge were an item. Archie’s Red Circle, now renamed “The Dark Circle” either for namesake or because the writers’ forgot the group’s name, goes after Fangs in “us versus them” mentality. The Serpents defend Fangs as best they can, before the new sheriff and the principal arrest Fangs for the murder of Midge. Just because they hooked up doesn’t mean he killed her super gruesomely. What happened to evidence? It doesn’t help that Fangs has a switchblade on him when he’s arrested.

In a twist I didn’t see coming, Jughead calls ex-Mayor McCoy to defend Fangs, and she basically tells him to shut the hell up. Everyone knows Fangs didn’t murder Midge, but Reggie, who is now the new leader of the Dark Circle, doesn’t care. He’s blind with rage at the Serpents, rage that seems super intense and beyond class warfare? After the debacle at the mayoral debate Fangs is let go, but Riverdale wants justice. Fangs whimpers he doesn’t want to die, and Jughead, Sweet Pea and Toni crowd around him to protect him from the growing mob outside. Its not enough though, when Reggie comes through with a gun in hand. Fangs is shot, and we’re left wondering: Will he survive?

Elsewhere, the Black Hood goes after Cheryl in a truly diabolic move. Can’t this girl catch a break?



Around Riverdale/Musings

  • There’s a severe lack of Toni/Cheryl in this episode and I am not happy.
  • Chic’s not dead, but somebody else is. Another victim of the Black Hood perhaps?
  • What’s the gauge for sinning in Riverdale? Miss Grundy was a pedo, Fred not so much? What’s the Black Hood’s end game?
  • Papa Poutine is mentioned and his son’s name? SMALL FRY. Why??
  • Welcome back, Joaquin!!! Missed you.

Agree? Disagree? What did you think of the episode?

Riverdale airs Wednesday nights at 9/8 Central on the CW.


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