This most recent installment of Riverdale borrows a page from the past few issues of Archie Comics’ Archie Event “Over the Edge”, written by Mark Waid. In issues #20-#24, Archie and Reggie’s rivalry comes to a head resulting in a drag race competition that leaves the life of Betty Cooper hanging in the balance and Riverdale’s residents dealing with the aftermath. With all the recent darkness befalling Riverdale, it would be easy to assume tonight’s story leans towards the way of the comic, but it merely borrows the concept, our Betty is alive and well at the end.
Riverdale Recap: Chapter 19 – Death Proof
Air date: November 15, 2017
After a meeting at Alice’s involving all the kids and their parents from the party the week before, Mayor McCoy declares war on the Southside and vows to make it her number 1 priority to bring them under control. Reggie tells them his dealer is a kid that goes to Southside High and with Sheriff Keller, Mayor McCoy raids Southside High, arresting all the Serpent kids. Archie arrives shortly before to pull Jughead out. Jughead visits with Tallboy who presents the idea of partnering with the Ghoulies and getting involved with the Jingle Jangle distribution. He wants Jughead to endorse the partnership because being FP’s son means something. Jughead seeks out Archie’s advice who suggests they visit FP and see what he thinks.
FP wants them to avoid bloodshed at all costs; outthink the Ghoulies. They’re all about territory and supped up cars. FP suggests Jughead challenge them to a drag race, winner controls Southside, loser rolls over. Jughead and Archie pay The Ghoulie’s leader a visit… I didn’t bother to learn his name so he’ll be Ghoulie guy moving forward. They determine that whoever wins the race will maintain control of not only Southside High, but The White Worm and Sunnyside Trailer Park as well.
While the boys are parlaying with the Ghoulie’s, Betty and Veronica get dragged in by one of them. The Black Hood has tasked Betty with finding the identity of The Sugarman, the Jingle Jangle supplier. After filling Veronica in on last week’s events and apologizing for her behavior, B&V team up to bring down the Sugarman. Reggie gives Veronica the name of his dealer and they follow him to the Ghoulie’s hangout. Betty has decided to take the reins on this Black Hood situation and tells Archie she’s not playing the game anymore. The people at the farm have Polly in hiding (what the hell is this place???) and once she’s able to turn the tables on this, she’ll confess all to Jughead.
The race begins and as they are about to cross over a bridge not big enough for both cars, Archie pulls the emergency brake causing him and Jughead to spin out and the Ghoulie guys’s car to cross the bridge. Jughead flips out until he hears sirens. Archie called the cops and they were waiting to arrest Ghoulie guy. Archie thinks this is a brilliant idea because it takes them off the board; Jughead worries it may only make things worse as now they’ll be gunning for Archie.
All of our stories tonight are intermingled and cross reference one another as the Nick St Claire saga is still raging on. Oh yeah, the Black Hood didn’t kill him after Betty named him because he “isn’t one of Riverdale’s sons”. Cheryl is all set to press charges, but Penelope wants The Lodges to make quiet arrangements with the St Claire’s since she knows “nothing really happened to Cheryl any way”. Cheryl compartmentalizes and when Betty asks her if she knows the identity of the Sugarman, Cheryl uses it to have a serious conversation with her mother. She takes her mother to task for defending her murderous father left and right, yet she won’t stick up for Cheryl and she’s accepting hush money from the St Claire’s. She demands Penelope “care about me more”. The matriarchal Blossom will come through later on in the episode and tell Cheryl the truth about the identity of the Sugarman, which Cheryl in turn shares with Betty.
As for Nick St. Clair, the Black Hood may not have killed him, but when Veronica finds out her parents are still taking money from them, she confesses that Nick tried to assault her as well. Hiram’s head basically explodes and Hermione assures her daughter they will not be accepting any money from them. A phone call towards the end of the episode finds Hermione relaying to Hiram and Veronica that the St Claire’s have been in a terrible accident and while Nick will live, he has a long road to recovery. Ouch. Hiram really is The Godfather!
By episodes end, Betty has explained the situation to Jughead and they are comfortably on the couch together again. Hashtag Bughead reunited. Oh and no need to worry about Toni, she’s more into chicks anyway. Hello Toni and… Cheryl? Val? Melody? Someone! Do it! Vanessa Morgan is great as Toni and I’d love to see her mix it up with some of the kids besides Jughead.
Josie and Reggie got some face time this episode, though I seriously need more Josie STAT. The flirtation between the two picked up a bit during their community service and we learned a little more about Josie’s family. Her father struggles with addiction, Mayor McCoy is not pleased to hear her daughter ingested Jingle Jangle considering her father’s issues. Speaking of addictions, was it me or did they linger on Fred popping his pain killers a little too long? Are we headed to an addict Fred story? I hope not.
Oh, and who turned out to be the Sugarman, you ask? Well none other than that super nice English Teacher from Southside High that was helping Jug with the paper! I didn’t bother to learn his name either and it seems not to matter much since the Black Hood was holding a gun to him in his jail cell at the end. Wait a minute… how did the Black Hood get to the teacher in jail? Could the Sheriff Killer theory hold some weight after all?
I have to give major props to Archie and Betty this episode for using their brains and outsmarting the bad guys. While Archie’s choice may not have been the smartest in the long run, he avoids catastrophe by way of car accident and manages to keep Jughead out of trouble. Also, it’s his idea to seek out FP’s help. Betty finds the identity of the Sugarman, but she doesn’t give it to the Black Hood. She tells Sheriff Keller and warns the Black Hood she’s done with his games, it’s her game now and she will find out who he is; after all she found Jason’s killer and the Sugarman, what makes him think she can’t figure him out.
- “A PG13 grope session… besides I’m more into girls anyways” – Toni Topaz to Jughead
- “Hashtag bughead is no more?” – Kevin Keller
- “Like the Sandman or Krampus.” — Cheryl
- “I get you’re pretty much Beyonce.” – Reggie to Josie
- “Not the kind of drag race I imagined myself going to, but at least the guys are hot” – Kevin Keller
- “Before you get in the car, I need you to know, I never stopped loving you Jug. I’m not sure I can. Also don’t ride the clutch and don’t let it slip between gear shifts.” – Betty to Jughead
- “You’re an enigma cooper” – Jughead to Betty
- “Not today Cha Cha, I was born for this moment” – Cheryl to Toni
- “Omg, cherry bombshell for the win.” – Veronica