Archie...Archie...Archie. Look at the trouble you've gotten yourself into.
The hunt for The Black Hood on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 4 has caused more problems than expected. His obsession is tearing up the town. And we can't ignore that gun!
"Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown" was the moment we finally saw Archie lose his grip on reality.
If there was ever a time Riverdale felt like an after-school special, it would be Riverdale Season 2 Episode 4.
We saw firsthand Archie's spiral into paranoia, vandalism, and violence due to his PTSD. Everything he did continually got worse as the hour progressed. Though, it took hitting rock bottom and the support of his loved ones to make him see clearly.
Don't get me wrong, I like Lifetime movies and episodes of Degrassi, but this was heavy-handed at times.
The character of Archie has been so inconsistent to the point that his unpredictability seems like it's his character structure. I have no idea what he'll do or how he'll react. It keeps us as viewers on our toes, but it makes it hard to root for him when he shifts rapidly from idle threats to gun-waving.
Let's talk about Archie's gun habits for a moment. Is he crazy?! I'm surprised he only ended up in a rainstorm fight.
Venturing into the Southside to tag buildings was a bad idea. Refusing to sign Principal Weatherbe's letter was a bad idea. Pointing a gun at a Southside Serpent, or anyone for that matter, was one of the worst decisions he has ever done!
Archie needed to handle the stress of his trauma better. He could've killed someone, and then his life would've been ruined.
Archie, just like Hermione, is a character I've been critical of for a long time now. For a while, I thought he could be turning over a new leaf with his relationship with Veronica. And for the most part, it was going that way.
That is until he did the stupidest thing imaginable.
Veronica: I wish you were smart enough to not keep it in your locker, but a gun, Archie?! Why? For what?
Archie: To protect myself.
Veronica: Against The Black Hood? Archie...that video, that gun...if I’m following you, I need to know where, I need to know the truth.
Archie: I want him dead, Veronica! I want The Black Hood dead, and I want to be the one who does it. I want to be the last thing that he sees.
Veronica: Spoken like a true vigilante.
Why do you think Archie brought the gun to school? And did he care at all about the consequences?
His need for defense and revenge is a troubling sign. He's willing to do whatever it takes to stop the gunman. However, no amount of reasoning can change this new character development for him: Archie is a character who brought a loaded gun to school. (Let that sink in.)
While I do want to stop The Black Hood and get justice for the affected characters, I don't want the others to have their lives ruined in the process.
This could've ruined Archie's life if Principal Weatherbe or Sheriff Keller found the gun, or if he got caught buying the other guns. He's lucky that he stopped in time.
Veronica's need to help Archie seemed to be fueled by her need to get back at her father. It's a strange realization that hit me after their chat in his office. Her post-chat actions increased rapidly after Hiram denied everything.
I'm not saying Veronica helped Archie solely because she wanted to get back at her father. I believe she loves Archie. Veronica is a very supportive and caring girlfriend.
Her handing out The Red Circle t-shirts, on the other hand, was all about Hiram. And, to a lesser extent, Hermione.
She knew her father pushed Archie into doing something reckless with The Red Circle. Hermione told Veronica to stop seeing Archie. Both of them basically gave her the fuel to support her boyfriend.
They need to learn reverse psychology. None of their efforts have stopped Veronica from doing anything.
Hermione: Nice t-shirt. Will you still be wearing it when Archie is arrested for reckless endangerment or something worse?
Veronica: Archie would never, Mom. He’s being railroaded.
Hermione: And you can say that with absolute certainty after watching that video? Maybe you can, or maybe you’re just being loyal. But let me tell you something about loyalty. There’s nothing more honorable about it, noble even, but blind loyalty...that is a stupid and dangerous thing. I pray that is not the case for you and Archie.
I felt sad for Betty when she received the package from The Black Hood.
Betty, even though she's a tad judgmental, has a caring soul. She cares about all people and causes; she is essentially pure goodness. For the gunman to reveal he did this because of her most likely broke her heart.
Betty is an emotionally-driven character. Sure, she has her logical "Nancy Drew" moments, but when push comes to shove, she's driven by her heart. The speech she made on Riverdale Season 1 Episode 13 was meant to bring the town together through love.
The Black Hood distorted her words and hurt many people with it. Betty won't ever forget this. I think we could be seeing the beginning spark of a character development change.
Betty: Because of what it says, Jughead! Because of what he wrote...that I inspired him. I inspired all of this.
Jughead: You think people are going to blame you for all of this?
Betty: Not people, just one person.
Jughead: Archie? For what? For writing a speech that this lunatic has twisted around and really messed with you, and messed with the town. Yeah, Archie is definitely shook but he knows who the bad guys are and you’re not one of the bad guys. You’re Betty Cooper, like “Nancy Drew” meets “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
I love how Betty manipulated her mom.
She knew exactly how to tug at Alice's heartstrings and get her to do what she wanted with the coded letter. Alice may be the master of words for the newspaper, but we sometimes forget that Betty can hold her own.
Betty really is her mother's daughter.
Jughead screening Betty's call, and their argument was not a good sign. These two are at a rocky place with the distance forced on them. Throwing in suspicion and secrets could be something that might be Bughead's undoing.
Firstly, I don't believe Toni is the cause of Bughead's issues.
All she did was try to help crack the code and speak her mind. Toni was a good friend to Jughead. And while she may have also been too sarcastic to Betty, it was the truth our favorite "Nancy Drew" needed to hear.
Betty: These symbols look so familiar to me. It’s like I’ve seen them before and it’s driving me crazy I can’t figure out where.
Toni: Maybe if you loosened your ponytail?
[They all stare at her dumbfounded]
Toni: What? That was a joke, guys.
Kevin: Betty’s ponytail is iconic and beyond reproach.
Betty: Kev, it’s fine. At this point, I’m willing to try anything.
[She lets down her hair]
Bughead's real issue is secrecy.
Betty should've gone to Jughead when she got the letter. Jughead should've gone to Betty when he started sitting with the Southside Serpents. They're both to blame for the drama.
Also, we might need to prepare ourselves for the potential chat of trust. Based on their scenes together, I'm not sure if they fully trust each other yet. For a couple in love, they kept some big secrets.
The fight in the rain may be one of my favorite scenes on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 4.
Strangely, it had all the elements of an action sequence you might see in a superhero show, like Arrow or The Flash. We had close-up shots, slow-motion movements, dark lighting, dramatic music, and a crisp focus on the falling rain. I love every minute of it.
Greg Berlanti's style (the executive producer) is all over this.
This scene could've come straight out of the Arrowverse. Archie had his flawed "superhero moment" with his team to fight the enemies, the Southside Serpents. We were only missing costumes.
Still, I welcome having more visual styles like this. It was beautifully shot and edited together; it made the fight scene more interesting than a typical rumble in the rain.
Hiram and Hermione are definitely hiding something.
They know more than they're letting on about the events happening in town, especially Hiram. He made a point of how Fred could help their plan with the Riverdale townsfolk. That line wasn't merely thrown out at town hall without a purpose.
While Hiram kept to his coy nature, I liked Hermione's dialogue with Veronica. Even though she was still manipulative, she was almost motherly to her. I feel like a few her inner thoughts, and what she experienced with Hiram, came through in her warning to Veronica.
This is possibly the most relatable Hermione has been in a while. I hope we see more of it.
Who do you think The Black Hood was going to target?
Someone in the town hall had been marked, and if we're led to believe with the code, they were going to be attacked next. It's not surprising that it's one of the parents. As Riverdale Season 1 proved, the parents made LOTS of poor decisions. The Black Hood has a long list to work with.
Karma kept receipts, and she came to collect.
Betty should try to record the phone call with The Black Hood while she can. It may be the only clue she'll have to find the next victim or the town's serial killer.
What did you think of "Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown"? Are you happy Kevin and Betty became friends again? How did Veronica design, print, create and ship t-shirts in under a day?
If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and let us know what you think.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.