Riverdale Season 2, Episode 3 – I’m Sorry, the Old Archie Can’t Come to the Phone Right Now

Posted October 30, 2017 by Panda Emily Jarrell in Nerdy Bits

Good children should never go into the woods alone. Lucky for Riverdale, none of these children are particularly “good”, so it’s Fox Forest shenanigans for all.

We begin at the ending of last week’s episode, with Moose and Midge Klump being shot by the masked hooded gunman. Shortly before those shots were fired, Kevin is having an illicit rendez-vous in the woods near Lovers’ Lane. How does Kevin always end up trying to get laid in such close proximity to murder? Thankfully, against all odds, Moose and Midge managed to make it out alive.

The next morning, Betty finds out what Kevin has been doing in Fox Forest, and she’s not happy about it. She tells Kevin she hates him “cruising,” which seems antithetical to last season’s episode about slut-shaming, but I guess it’s only slut-shaming when someone does it to a straight girl.

Archie and Reggie have taken off to go see Moose at the hospital, and I’m really starting to like the new Reggie. This season has actually given Reggie some personality outside of being a jock/bully. He may be crass and a little dumb, but he’s also the school’s one-stop-shop for illicit substances and, as we’ll soon find out, vigilante justice. Moose and Midge confirm for Archie that the man who attacked them was definitely the same hooded gunman from Pop’s, and according to Midge, he had “the Devil’s eyes.”

Down at Southside High, Jughead meets his “peer mentor,” Toni Topaz. I’ve known about Toni Topaz since long before this season started, and while I’m excited that a show might admit that bisexuals exist, I can’t help but be cautious towards the introduction of this character. Toni is not only a Southside Serpent, but purportedly, she’s intended to come between Jughead and Betty at some point this season. I’ve never been happy with Bughead, but do we really need another “evil bisexual” in anything ever? That she’s one of the precious few non-white members of the cast doesn’t really help. Hopefully she’ll be able to break this stereotype, but I’m not holding my breath.

After a totally-not-calculated conversation with Veronica’s dad about the efficacy of the police in catching criminals, Archie has gotten together a gaggle of meatheads to form something of a neighborhood watch. Hiram has gotten it into Archie’s impressionable little ginger head that he needs to take this matter into his own hands, and the likes of Reggie and Dilton Doiley are more than happy to join his group of “watch dogs.”

Meanwhile, Betty’s mom has received a package from the hooded gunman, who finally gets a name, of sorts: The Black Hood. The package contains a letter detailing his motives, as well as Fred’s missing wallet and the late Ms. Grundy’s red sunglasses. The Black Hood is apparently a classic horror movie villain, targeting those he sees as sinners—adulterers, child predators, and drug- and sex-addicted teens. The Mayor reasonably requests that this letter not be made public, but Alice Cooper lives for drama, so you know it’s going to be on the front page of The Register first thing the next morning.

Speaking of newspapers, Toni and Jughead have determined they’re going to revive the Southside High newspaper, The Red and Black. The scene where Toni drops the terms “safe space” and “snowflake” in the same sentence would be cringe-inducing enough if she had just used the words at all, but it’s even worse that she doesn’t remotely use them correctly. But I guess that’s what I should expect from a guy who wrote one of the dumbest episodes of Glee.

Although the fake-out stabbing of Kevin by a man in the woods made me extremely upset, my favorite part of this episode is the moment afterwards that he and his dad share after Kevin gets home. Riverdale’s Token Gay didn’t get much to do last season outside of his subplot with Joaquin, so it’s good to see more of him, and even better to see the father of a gay son in a small town being so accepting of who his son is. Unfortunately, it does suck that Betty ratted out the true nature of Kevin’s “midnight runs” to his dad, and I don’t really know how their friendship can recover from this.

We end on two equally dismal notes, with Jughead accepting the protection of the Serpents at Southside High after having been jumped by a rival gang, and Archie’s Red Circle making a “threatening” video directed at the Black Hood. I don’t know what made Archie think that being surrounded by mostly shirtless dudes in red ski masks would be threatening, because it mostly looks like he’s making a weird rip-off of Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” music video. Either way, Kaleo’s “Way Down We Go” underscoring these scenes can only be the world’s least subtle indicator that darker things are yet to come. First Dark Betty, now Dark Jughead and Dark Archie? What’s next, Dark Veronica?

Actually, that sounds amazing. Sign me the heck up.

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Panda Emily Jarrell