Hiram refused Veronica's business deal to create a casino, The Black Hood ambushed the town debate and shot into the crowd, and Fangs was accused of Midge's death on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 20.
Below, TV Fanatics Jack Ori, Paul Dailly, and Justin Carreiro debate Hiram's manipulation of Reggie, Hal Cooper potentially being The Black Hood, and Cheryl's odds of survival against the serial killer.
1. Hermione and Hiram used Veronica to get close to the sons of crime families, but Hiram dismissed any deals Veronica sealed. Why was he quick to shut it all down?
Jack: I think Hiram was using Veronica to try to distract his enemies and see if hes could be used as bait to lure them into some sort of trap to sabotage their business. He never planned to do anything beyond pimp Veronica out, and definitely didn't expect her to rebel.
Paul: I agree with Jack. Veronica has proven time and time again that she's a force to be reckoned with, so it was bizarre that Hiram never thought she would find a way to get the upper hand.
Justin: This entire plot was so confusing to watch because they were so keen on rebuilding their alliances, but the crime families would be even angrier if they felt used. Hiram only wanted to wait Veronica's time and keep her busy to check out his prospects with the other families.
2. The Black Hood opened fire into the crowd during the debate. Do you think it was warning shots or was he truly planning to kill Fred?
Jack: I don't think he planned to kill Fred. I think this attack might have been a copycat hired by Hiram to drive home the point that people need to vote for Hermione to protect their safety.
Paul: It seemed to me that it was warning shots. The killer wanted to be taken seriously more than anything.
Justin: Since we were told no one got hurt, it had to be warning shots. Though, I agree with Jack that this attack could've been a stunt set up by Hiram and Hermione to push the town over the edge.
3. Reggie was planning to shoot Fangs before Archie tackled him due to Hiram's manipulation. Share your thoughts on this new alliance.
Jack: Hiram once again has proven he has no loyalty to Archie whatsoever. He had no qualms about manipulating Archie into reforming the Dark Circle and then paying them off to do his bidding in order to make Fred look bad while sticking it to the Southsiders.
I hope Archie is really done with Hiram and isn't going to continue working for him while Veronica takes Fred's side.
Paul: After Reggie appeared, it was obvious what he was going to do. The alliance made sense. Hiram has been trying to get his own way all along and with Archie not being the perfect little protege, it was only a matter of time before he turned to someone else.
Justin: Hiram is the type of manipulator who goes after the easiest course of action. Reggie was ripe for control and he could push him to do whatever he needed as compared to Archie who started turning against him. It's frustrating that the characters continue to fall to Hiram's will.
4. Cheryl and Betty's investigation into Hal dug up a lot of clues that connected him to The Black Hood. Do you think he's involved in the crimes?
Jack: I'm not sure. It's too obvious and he was present when The Black Hood (if that's who that really was) shot up the town hall. But, this is the same show that ruled out FP as Charles' father and then made him the father the next week, so anything is possible.
Paul: I've questioned Hal for a while now, but it all seems a little too easy. There's also the fact that the person opening fire in the town hall was definitely not Hal.
Justin: I think he could be an accomplice and helping The Black Hood, but I don't think he's the main killer. It would be too obvious for Hal to be the killer.
5. Fangs got shot after the town assumed he killed Midge. React!
Jack: I was so saddened and shocked. I was expecting someone closer to Archie to have got shot by mistake, like Jughead maybe. I also felt like this whole thing showed that even though people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, Fangs was convicted in the court of public opinion and lost his life because of it.
Paul: I thought he was getting away, so this shocked me to the core. Poor Fangs. This town is never going to be the same again.
Justin: I'm devastated that Fangs got murdered! Even though his death was caused by a town mob, I think it could have the reverse effect and pull people back from the brink. Once they realize he was an innocent teen, the mass hysteria will subside and turn against Hiram/Hermione.
6. The Black Hood appeared at Cheryl's doorway. Could she potentially be the next victim?
Jack: I'm sure that's the intention, but I think Cheryl will fight him off. She's the toughest one out of the entire group of main characters!
Paul: Cheryl is strong, and she will find a way to overpower the villain. What was most surprising about it was that he knocked the door instead of finding a way in.
Justin: Firstly, I think Cheryl will survive. And secondly, I don't think that's The Black Hood! I bet that Penelope and Claudius concocted some plan to use The Black Hood as a red-herring to try and kill Cheryl to get her fortune. The Black Hood didn't want to kill her before, so I think this has to be someone else.
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.