An all-out war breaks out in Riverdale
In The CW’s Riverdale 2×21, the town deals with the aftermath of Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner) being released from prison. A riot breaks out between the Northside and Southside. To make matters worse, the Ghoulies return to town! While the town is in chaos, Hiram (Mark Consuelos) uses that to his advantage. All is going according to his plan as he paid the Bulldogs to start a fight with the Southside Serpents, and we find out that he’s also behind bringing the Ghoulies to town! To make matters worse, Hermione (Marisol Nichols) adds fuel to the fire by offering a bounty for the Black Hood’s head.
The Black Hood continues to terrorize the town. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) follow the clues and discover the identity of the Black Hood– or one of them at least! The Black Hood wants to explain that his motives were instilled in him in childhood. However, a second Black Hood attacks Archie (KJ Apa) and Fred (Luke Perry) in their home. Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Hermione have a brush with death as one of Hiram’s mobster rivals is out for revenge! Veronica uncovers her father’s secret plan to ensure Hermione’s win in the mayoral campaign and she’s finally seeing her father for who he really is, and who he’s willing to risk. In a last-ditch effort to keep the peace, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) makes a deal with the devil–Hiram.
Here to discuss the Lodges adding fuel to the fire in Riverdale’s civil war, Jughead’s selfless and risky plan, and more is our Riverdale roundtable:
Linda (@linda_toven) – Student, coffee addict, binge watcher and workout super fan!
Łukasz (@CiesielL) – Student, geek, popculture enthusiast, #BugheadIsEndgame.
Kelsey (@MsKelsey_H) – Writer, editor, and lipstick connoisseur.
Bre (@NancyRiverDrew) — Almost graduate, journo, Team Bughead, likes to say she’s a Betty, but she’s probably more of an Ethel.
Jeanette (@Twirl4meK) – Sales associate, Howard alum, Disney fanatic, television aficionado.
1. Fangs was shot by Midge’s mother! Did you suspect her as the shooter? Why or why not?
Linda (@linda_toven): I am not surprised Midge’s mother shot Fangs. She mourns and she wants the murderer to be punished. And in this situation, she cannot think clearly, so this explains her overreaction.
Łukasz (@CiesielL): I did not. I knew that Reggie couldn’t possibly shoot Fangs, because of the scuffle to get the gun while he was on the ground with Archie. I wouldn’t suspect Midge’s mother, though.
Kelsey (@MsKelsey_H): No, and it wasn’t that great of a twist. It’s not like we had any clue to think that Mrs. Klump might have been a suspect. It was just kinda like, “Okay well I’m glad Reggie isn’t a murderer, I guess.”
Bre (@NancyRiverDrew): I didn’t. I did not see her in the crowd. I didn’t think the bullet came from Reggie’s gun, but I didn’t know who shot him.
Jeanette (@Twirl4meK): Umm, no! For one thing, the way the previous episode ended didn’t hint towards any options other than Reggie. So good on the show for keeping the real shooter a genuinely surprising twist. Her taking it upon herself to enact “justice” on the alleged killer is somewhat out of the blue. But I guess that just goes to show how far gone into mania this town has gotten.
2. Hermione spun the riots to potentially benefit her in the mayoral race. What was your reaction to her fueling the fire by offering a $1 million reward for the Black Hood?
Linda: I thought that it wasn’t very smart to offering a $1 million reward for the Black Hood because she had no proof that Black Hood shot Fangs. Also, there was already so much chaos because of the Bulldogs, the Serpents, and other angry people.
Łukasz: My reaction was similar to Betty. I mean, can she even do this? I mean it’s the 21st century, not the Wild West! And there is also the fact that they wanted to use Veronica’s money to pay the price… That’s just bad.
Kelsey: Does Riverdale even have campaign finance laws?!
Bre: It was a smart, conniving offer on her part for the election.
Jeanette: That it was a move straight out of Cersei Lannister’s book of malevolence. That it was exactly as you described, adding fuel to an already blazing fire. The town was already in a lynch mob-like frenzy, and then you want to offer them MONEY to bring in the killer. “Alive, but preferably dead”? That wasn’t about to solve any problems.
3. Hal finally revealed his grand plan to rid the town of sinners as the Black Hood. Did you imagine he could threaten and plan to harm his own family?
Linda: No. I never thought Hal could harm his own family this way.
Łukasz: It was really scary. I really can imagine him making some weird mass suicide with his family. I imagine them being found by the police in some disturbing home scene.
Kelsey: No. I’m really disappointed in this twist. Hal’s never been my favorite character because he’s so milquetoast, but he’s been a character on the show for an entire season prior to this. You can’t invent a backstory like that completely out of thin air like that with no clues for the audience to suss out. The people who did guess it was Hal seemed to do it more through a process of elimination of “what character could be revealed to be the Black Hood for maximum drama?”
Bre: It’s hard to believe that any father could do what Hal did to Betty. But he also was willing to walk out on them when Chic came into the picture, so he had shown a willingness to hurt them already.
Jeanette: Before this episode, no. I believed that even if the Hood turned out to be Hal, Alice and the girls would be safe from him. But in this recent episode, he was clearly preparing to end his crusade with a murder-suicide, taking out Alice, Betty, and himself!
4. We finally see Hiram’s plan to discredit Fred, even at the expense of exposing his wife’s affair. Do you think Hermione will follow along with Hiram’s plans after discovering his October Surprise?
Linda: I hope she will try to get along on her own without Hiram. But Hiram will not easily give up on her and Veronica. My guess is that Veronica and Hermione will have to work together and stick together.
Łukasz: Hermione knew his plan, but now after Veronica told her to stand up to Hiram, maybe Hermione will finally see him for what he truly is.
Kelsey: I don’t know, I can’t get a read on Hermione this season. Is she an equal partner? Is she being manipulated by Hiram? What does she truly care about? Only the writers know.
Bre: No. I’m expecting her to drop out of the race next episode. I think the home invasion incident pushed her too far. She loves Veronica and will do everything she can to protect her.
Jeanette: Well apparently, she was already in on the October Surprise, and was still in even after Veronica’s angry lectures. Now though, after almost getting killed by one of Hiram’s enemies, and having to kill a man herself because of him, she looks like she may be having serious second thoughts. She may be jumping to Team Veronica instead.
5. Jughead turned himself over to Penny and the Ghoulies to keep the peace. What did you think of his noble, yet naïve, intentions?
Linda: This was very naïve and he did not think through this problem thoroughly. He just wanted to protect Betty, his dad, and the whole town. I think Jughead felt helpless because the Serpents didn’t listen to his warnings and about the fact that Hiram pulled the strings this whole time.
Łukasz: It was very naïve, but I love that he tried and that he called Betty to say “goodbye” to her.
Kelsey: It makes for great drama, but logically I feel it could have been planned better. At least tell Betty what you’re doing and have her call the police/emergency services so you don’t die!
Bre: It was heartbreaking, from his phone call to Betty to being beaten by the Ghoulies to his dad carrying his bloody body. Jughead was a hero for sacrificing himself. But he is a Serpent. Of course, the Ghoulies would still go after the gang.
Jeanette: This episode really solidified for me how far he’s come as the “Serpent prince” since first putting on that jacket at the end of last season. While I’m still fuzzy on the details of the deal he made with Hiram, I’m assuming he was the lynchpin of it because Hiram sees his worth and influence as one of the Serpents’ leaders. It’s Jughead, after all, who’d been coming directly for Hiram in protest of the SoDale project and its connected shady dealings, and in defense of the Serpents and the entire Southside. When it comes to his attempted takeover of Riverdale, Jughead Jones III is the main thorn in Hiram Lodge’s side, which I think is quite impressive in itself.
6. We found the identity of one Black Hood– Hal! What do you think the motivations are for second Black Hood?
Linda: Hal could not be the only Black Hood. His eyes still do not match with the eyes under the hood. The second Black Hood could be a kind of copycat. Or maybe Hal founded a secret organization of Black Hoods that clean up the town from his so-called sinners.
Łukasz: I think he is Hiram’s man and he tries to scare the hell out of Archie and Fred.
Kelsey: My guess is that Hiram’s to blame. Like Alice said, Hal isn’t a very effective serial killer. I think it’s more likely that Hiram hired somebody with an ax to grind with the town to also kill people. I think that’s the guy who shot Fred since Hal didn’t really have a grudge against him.
Bre: I was wondering if the one at the town hall was the mobster shooting at Hermione. Then he was actually going after Archie, Hiram’s capo. But I’m not sure about that timeline, with Hermione shooting him from the home invasion. Or maybe the second Black Hood was hired by Hiram to get rid of Fred once and for all!
Jeanette: Honestly, no clue.
7. This episode was full of surprises and resourcefulness– like Jughead bringing backup (the first time) and Cheryl’s badass archery skills. Who impressed you the most in the episode?
Linda: In my opinion, Cheryl was the most impressive person in this episode. She could save herself from the Black Hood and warned Betty. Cheryl is a magnificent archer! After that, she helped Jughead save Toni. I think she is the real hero. I was also impressed by Hermione and how fast she shot the stranger who wanted revenge for Poppa Poutine. And not to forget Betty who knocked her father down. I am impressed by all the strong women.
Łukasz: Cheryl with her archery skill is fantastic. She is badass. Also this short but cute scene with Riverdale dads teaming up– I loved it.
Kelsey: I’m impressed by Cheryl most of all. She has mastered the most extra of all weapons, and still found time to change into an appropriately dramatic outfit while an ax-wielding maniac was chasing her! Plus the little Choni moment we got when Cheryl rescued Toni was great, but come on! Not even a kiss?!
Bre: Cheryl was awesome! I was also impressed by Jughead’s heroism.
Jeanette: Jughead. He was willing to lay himself down in place of a potential wipe-out of the Serpents altogether, which is not only brave as hell but shows how dedicated he is to the Serpent family and how far he’s willing to go to protect and preserve them.
Final Verdict: No one is safe in Riverdale!
The death toll rises in Riverdale as the Black Hood claims another victim in the hospital, and Fangs dies from the injuries he sustained. Hal (Lochlyn Munro) reveals that he is the Black Hood, although his motives are a bit skewed considering he is a sinner too. The Lodges defend themselves against an intruder and Hermione kills him in self-defense, but only after he killed Andre. Penny (Brit Morgan) is hellbent on exacting her revenge on the Serpents. The fate of Jughead is unknown, but it’s not looking promising after being outnumbered thirty to one!
While the town was in chaos, the episode kept a very fast pace too. Admittedly, it was difficult to keep up with at times due to the multitude of storylines. Riverdale promised a much darker season, and if you didn’t believe it before, it certainly went very dark this episode. Hal’s motives were hypocritical because he is also a sinner. But no one said that a serial killer’s motive had to make sense! Riverdale only has one episode left to tie up loose ends and that’s quite a tall order. For all the unanswered questions, we’ll just have to stick around until season three!
In the season finale of Riverdale, Betty, Veronica, and Archie are seen at an unknown grave, and we’re hoping it’s not Jughead! The death toll increased this week, so maybe not even Jughead is safe. The town is still recovering from one Black Hood while the second is still at large. The Coopers deal with the publicity of Hal being outed as the Black Hood. And Veronica vows to expose all of her father’s deep, dark secrets.