Riverdale: S2, EP6 – Death Proof
If last week’s Riverdale felt a bit disheveled, this week attempted to iron out those wrinkles. While it didn’t ace the test, it feels like we’re coloring back within the lines. Betty’s tug-o-war with the Hood ricochets real consequences again. And a new threat in town boils the North vs South tensions to an explosive head.
We ended episode five with Betty naming Nick Sinclair as the Black Hood’s next target. His attempted rape of Cheryl Blossom made him the perfect sinner to cleanse. But on a technicality Betty should have been aware of, the Hood spares Nick for he isn’t a son of Riverdale. Needing a name to satisfy the Black Hood, Betty offers to find the culprit behind the resurgence of “jingle jangle.” Appearing after the death of Clifford Blossom, the dealer remains at large. Betty is on the hunt for the Sugar Man.
As Betty’s search for answers takes her all over town, Riverdale bubbles in turmoil. When our merry host of holier than thou parents learn their children were dabbling in the recreational drug, they turn their reprimand to the Southside. It’s the ammunition Hiram Lodge needs to keep the anti-Southside campaign alive. The mayor and authorities storm Southside High, arresting Sweet Pea and other Serpents, falsely accusing them of supplying the narcotics.
Jughead knows the Serpents are innocent. It’s the Ghoulies responsible for the infiltration, and he has to put an end to it. But with the mayor on an all-gang rampage, he has to handle this his way. He and Archie pay FP a visit in prison. He advises them to visit a leader of the Ghoulies responsible for the drugs. In some retro callback to the comics, Jughead must face the Ghoulie to an old-fashion game of chicken.
While Jughead and Archie race for a cure, Betty enlists Cheryl for intel. The Blossoms’ deceased patriarch worked with the Sugar Man. Cheryl seeks answers from her mother, but Penelope is tight-lipped. In addition to not telling Cheryl the truth, she’s betrayed her daughter’s trust, accepting hush money from the Sinclairs – leaving Nick a free man. Enraged Cheryl holds the check as ransom, forcing her mother to come clean with the Sugar Man’s identity.
In a truly touching moment, Penelope finally tells Cheryl the truth. We see a rare vulnerability from Penelope – who underneath her cold snobbery, is a wallowing widow grieving her husband and son. She even extends an olive branch to Cheryl, burning the check.
In a similar fashion, Veronica grows closer to her parents when she reveals she too was a victim of Nick’s predatory behavior. The Sinclairs gave the Lodges money for their endeavor, but Hiram ends this partnership. The rage exuded when he learns Veronica was potentially harmed is totally gratifying. A glimpse of the monster behind the man – an evil forewarned since last season.
Our episode ends with three swift moves of justice. Archie’s risky quick thinking lands the Ghoulie henchman in jail; the Lodge’s learn the Sinclairs suffer a mysterious car accident as they left town; and, Betty informs police of the Sugar Man’s identity. The urban legend is none other than Jughead’s English teacher. Another school faculty member moonlighting in felonies.
Arrested and booked, he awaits his hearing in a cell. But he never sees the next morning as the Black Hood appears to evict his form of justice. Riverdale ended with a bang as it departs on a two-week hiatus, returning November 29.
Be sure to read up on all our previous Riverdale recaps right here on FanBros.com!