Riverdale Round Table: On Shaky Ground

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Kevin went cruising in the woods, Ethel was almost the next victim of the gunman, and Archie started a protection group on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3.

Below, TV Fanatics Jack Ori, Paul Dailly, and Justin Carreiro debate The Black Hood's newspaper introduction, Polly leaving Riverdale, and Veronica joining the Lodge family business.

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1. The gunman officially made their presence known as "The Black Hood" in the newspaper. React!

Jack: It looks like Paul and I were right about the gunman thinking he's some kind of moral purist who is killing the immoral among the community. Clearly the gunman wants to send a message or he wouldn't be publicizing himself in the newspaper this way. He also likely is taunting the police who he is sure will not catch him.

Paul: Yeah, I thought this was going to be dragged out for dear life, but it looks like the powers that be wanted to surprise us. I like it, but like my theory is changing every week. My new suspect is Cheryl for setting things up, and she wants to be known as the person who ridded the mean streets of Riverdale.

Wouldn't that be the perfect opportunity to prove the Blossom name is not all bad? Seems like a Cheryl move to me.

Justin: The Black Hood making a proclamation in the newspaper seems very suspicious. He wanted people to know what he did. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a distraction for something much larger or a bigger twist coming in the future.

What's In The Box? - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3

2. Betty and Kevin's friendship is on the rocks after their blow-up in the woods. Why do you think this issue was the one to ruin their solid friendship?

Jack: Kevin seemed to perceive Betty as controlling. She was trying to protect him but he saw it as a reminder of how he's perceived as less than in the community because he is gay and can't openly date whoever he wants.

I think her warning his dad about his dangerous behavior was the last straw for him; he felt she was overstepping his bounds and judging him, not trying to keep him safe from a serial killer.

Paul: There were pros and cons to both sides, but in Kevin's defense, everything has been easier for Betty. I can understand why he thought she was looking down on him and implying there were other options for him.

Justin: Kevin hasn't had the easiest love life. While things were looking up with Joaquin, it went downhill fast. It seems like he didn't want someone like Betty, who has had the options with Jughead, Archie and more, to make decisions about his life when he doesn't get the opportunity in a small town like Riverdale.

Fighting Back - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3

3. Archie created a vigilante group called "The Red Circle" to find the gunman. Share your first thoughts of this ragtag group of fighters.

Jack: My first thought was that the video at the end was a VERY BAD IDEA, even worse than Archie running around with a gun. I don't think the vigilante has any idea what they're up against or really how to defend themselves and their community, and this is going to end badly.

Paul: I hated everything to do with "The Red Circle." The video was atrocious, and the fact they were all shirtless in it proved they cared more about their physique than cleaning up Riverdale.

Justin: Firstly, this group is going to cause a lot of problems for the town. I wouldn't be surprised if trouble happens in the name of protecting people. And secondly, I can't even with that video! Really, Archie, a threatening video with shirtless guys?!

4. Polly left Riverdale because she thought she would be the next target of the gunman. Did she make a smart move?

Jack: Yes and no. It's good that Polly is actually trying to protect herself, and her concerns shouldn't have been so easily dismissed. But the gunman doesn't limit himself to Riverdale. Ms. Grundy was killed elsewhere, wasn't she? So, what's to stop Polly from becoming a target anyway even if she moves?

Paul: Yeah, Ms. Grundy was from the town on the other side of the river, so the killer has no qualms about hitting up Uber to kill in another location. Maybe it put her mind at ease, but she's not safe. Then there's this other theory that she could be helping Cheryl, but I won't get into that this week.

Justin: Polly shouldn't have left to be on her own. As Jack and Paul have mentioned, the killer is willing to travel to find people. Polly is safer being around friends and family than by herself on a farm.

New Friend, Same Gang - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3

5. Jughead wants to relaunch the school newspaper at Southside High. Do you think it will cause trouble for him and Toni?

Jack: I think Jughead actually participating in class and relaunching the paper marks him as a nerd as far as the other kids at Southside High go, which makes him a target for bullies. And his lack of interest in the Serpent leader at school isn't helping.

As far as the paper itself goes, I'm concerned that the teacher told him he'd be watching to make sure there was no gang activity or drug trafficking associated with the paper. That's going to cause a problem for him and maybe for Toni somewhere along the line.

Paul: This shows that Betty had a positive impact on him. He could have easily slipped into his old ways, but I do think there will be trouble. If the paper is there to dish on what's going on in and out of the school, it could cause problems between Jughead and the Serpents.

Justin: The second Jughead writes an expose about Southside High, or when Toni captures a photo of something shocking, it will cause major drama. Southside High has many secrets that people want to keep hidden at all costs. The gangs don't want any trouble.

Veronica's Rage - Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3

6. Veronica wants to get involved in the Lodge family business. Do you think this is for an ulterior motive?

Jack: Oh, it definitely is. She wants to know what her father is really up to and she wants to make it clear that SHE is in charge of her life no matter what he says or does.

Paul: This was so random, but I loved the look on Hermione's face because she has never been in the office. The ulterior motive is that Veronica wants to ensure her father is keeping on the straight and narrow.

Justin: Veronica wants to know all her father's little secrets. She is going to use this opportunity to dig deep as far as she can to figure out the truth of Hiram Lodge.

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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 3 Quotes

Kevin: Betty, what do you want from me?
Betty: I want you to have more respect for yourself than this.
Kevin: Respect for myself?
Betty: Yes.
Kevin: Look, we’ve been friends for a long time, but you still have no idea.
Betty: Well, then tell me, Kev, please!
Kevin: You act like we’ve got the same set of options. You live in this pale pink world of milkshakes and first kisses, and “Am I going to date Archie or Jughead?”
Cheryl: Except, for when she’s Dark Betty...
Kevin: Right! Right! Right! Except for when you’re exploring your BDSM sexuality, which again you’re allowed to do. But I’m not, because why? This is what I’ve got, Betty. Me, these woods, so please don’t come here and tell me it’s disgusting. If you can’t accept what I do, whatever I do then we’re just not really friends.
[Kevin leaves]

Archie: Can we at least agree now there’s a killer on the loose?
Jughead: A terrible way...
Archie: Jughead, he murdered Ms. Grundy.
Betty: Arch, we don’t know that these three crimes are related.
Veronica: Guys, can we focus on what happens here? Midge and Moose are alive, Archie’s dad survived...the new season of ‘The Bachelorette’ starts tonight. You’re all coming over to watch.
Jughead: There’s a shooter terrorizing the town. Do you really want us to watch a gross reality dating show?!