Riverdale Recap: Top Moments of “The Watcher in the Woods”

Things Get Even More Complicated as the Man in the Black Hood Makes His Motives Known.

On this week’s episode of Riverdale, “Chapter Sixteen: The Watcher in the Woods,” Veronica wants Papa Lodge to meet her friends as well as Archie in an attempt to start over. Meanwhile, Kevin flirts with danger in the woods after dark having a little fun. Afraid for his safety, Betty doesn’t approve and makes her opinion known, but it causes a rift in their friendship. Elsewhere, Jughead starts at Southside High. He makes a new friend and Southside Serpent member, Toni Topaz, who shows him the ropes. While Archie’s dinner at the Lodges, he’s inspired by Hiram to take a very different approach and sends his father’s shooter a message of his own. And unexpected package arrives at the Coopers explaining his targets and leading the town to realize the worst may not even be close to over. So much happened again this week! Here are the top moments from “Chapter Sixteen: Watcher in the Woods.”

RELATED | Riverdale “Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown” Extended Trailer

Jughead Starts School at Southside High and Meets Toni Topaz

This week Juggie starts school at Southside High. Right as he walks through the metal detectors, where he’s made to take off his beanie (the nerve), he is greeted by a pink haired beauty named Toni Topaz. She knows exactly who he is and even knows his full name. Toni, a Southside Serpent member, volunteered to show Jughead around. Warning him of the Ghoulies and that ‘Jingle Jangle’ is everywhere, she advises him to stick with the Serpents to make it through so he’s not targeted. Ever the reckless type, Jughead decides to keep to himself. Even in class, he’s the only one to answer the teacher’s question and he’s told ‘Welcome to Hell.”

Kevin’s Extracurricular Activities Scare Betty and Cause a Rift Between the Besties

Luckily, Kevin was in the woods and able to come to Moose and Midge’s rescue after the Black Hood strikes. But it’s what he was doing in the woods late at night that frightens his bestie, Betty since there’s a masked murderer on the loose. She asks him about it and just doesn’t understand why he can’t use a dating app like everyone else. Kevin shakes it off, but Betty notices his absence officially meeting Hiram with everyone. Later, Cheryl overhears Betty ask Kevin about his absence, she explains to Betty why Kevin gets satisfaction from randomly hooking up in the woods. She believes because in his head Kevin is still overweight and unattractive.

Hanging out at Pop’s, Cheryl sees Kevin head for a run and calls Betty. The pair confront Kevin in the woods and he’s pissed. He lets Betty have it! He explains how he doesn’t have the same options as she does with her pink bubble gum relationship issues. Kevin even brings up her ‘dark Betty’ side and BDSM exploration and if he can accept that why can’t she accept his choices. Kevin even went as far to say that if she cannot accept what he does in the woods then they cannot be friends anymore. So sad. Hopefully, the former besties can find some common ground and makeup sometime soon.

The Coopers get a Special Delivery from the Black Hood and Polly Feels Threatened.

Betty comes home and finds a package on their doorstep addressed to her mom. It’s from the Black Hood or someone claiming to be him. Inside, Alice finds letters from the Black Hood that he wants to be printed in the local paper. They are explaining why each of his victims were targeted. Fred Andrews for committing adultery. Miss Grundy, a child predator who preys on her music students and most recently Moose and Midge for drug use and sex. Along with the letters were mementos including Fred Andrew’s wallet. So this definitely had to have come from the Black Hood.

Alice and Hal take the new information to Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy but they’re reluctant to take this public. Alice, never one to back down from a good story, already made copies and sent them to the printer for tomorrow’s paper. But the brazen approach backfires as Polly decides, since her mom is baiting a killer who is targeting sinners, she needs to get out of town. Polly thinks she’s practically the poster child for sin. She’s pregnant, not married and carrying her cousin’s babies. Poor Polly. It’s sad to see her go, but she certainly does have point. Thank goodness her parents put up a fight about her going back to the farm. Hopefully, she’s not gone for too long.

Jughead is Back at the School Paper, but at Southside High and Faces Serious Backlash.

Jughead finds one constant at his new school and that’s writing for the school paper. It takes a little convincing to revive the ‘Red and Black,’ but Jughead is given the reins and his new pal, Toni, is to serve as his photographer. The Serpents stop by the paper and ask Jug and Toni to hang but he’s not into it, so he stays at the paper. Betty even stops by with coffee and warns Juggie about being too reckless writing about stuff that could get him in trouble. He assures her he’ll be fine and a makeout session ensues, but Toni interrupts who also thought Jughead could use some coffee. She and Betty meet and all goes well.

Later as Jughead is leaving Southside High, which appears to be empty, he has an eerie feeling something isn’t quite right. The Ghoulies are waiting for him and send him a very clear warning by beating him up. Betty and Toni are both with him after it happens. As Betty attends to his wounds, Juggie lies saying he just hit a pothole and fell off the motorcycle while Toni knows the truth. Naturally, Betty insists he be more careful and as she leaves she asks Toni to “Keep an eye on him for me.” Words she might later come to regret. This is already not looking too great for Bughead. 🙁 Jug’s keeping secrets from Betty about what happened with the Ghoulies. And with Jughead now being forced to sit with the Serpents, he and Toni are only going to get closer.

Kevin has a Close Encounter in the Woods.

Despite Betty’s warnings and concerns, Kevin still continues cruising the woods for random hookups. The entire audience almost lost it when Kevin’s approached by a man in the same car that had been after Ethel Muggs earlier. The man asks Kevin to get in and continuing his reckless behavior, he does. But as soon as he’s inside, Kevin holds his stomach, which is oozing blood and it appeared he had been stabbed. Just as we’re about to drown in feels, thinking Kevin’s become the next victim of the Black Hood, we realize it was all in Kevin’s mind. He declines the man’s offer to get in and runs home. There, his dad asks where he’s been and Kevin says with Betty. He knows Kevin’s lying because she stopped by earlier worried about him. Then in a touching father/son moment, Kevin’s dad pleads with him that he needs to know Kevin is safe. He wants Kevin to know that he’s okay talking with him about the certain things they avoid talking about. He wants Kev to know he’s here for him.

Archie’s Dinner at the Lodges with a Man to Man Chat with Hiram.

When Veronica has the gang over to meet her dearest dad, Hiram suggests Archie take matters into his own hands and invites him over for dinner to hear his plan to save Riverdale. Archie’s inspired to start a watch group he dubs the ‘Red Circle,’ where if they see something suspicious they’ll notify Sheriff Keller not act as vigilantes. Even Riverdale High’s principal approves referring to the group as a student group, which he will allow. It’s time for Archiekins to have dinner with her parents and she couldn’t be more excited despite the ongoing hostility between her and her mom. Hermione even goes as far to call her thirsty and insists Veronica is playing with fire having Archie get closer to her dad.

After dinner, Hiram invites Archie into the study for some rum and a man to man talk. Hermione’s jabs keep coming as she hastily points out “Poor princess, the King will always keep her at arm’s length.” Meanwhile, in the den, Hiram tells Archie that they must respect each other and that means no more sneaking into Veronica’s room at night and he must never ever hurt her. Hiram inquires how things are going with the Red Circle. Archie reveals how he and Reggie came close to him as they came to Ethel’s rescue. Hiram says that’s great but suggests perhaps the Red Circle resort to using the same weapons as the Black Hood, terror, and fear. This inspires Archie to send a very loud and clear message to the Black Hood; “…see there’s only one of you, but we are a legion called the Red Circle and we’re coming for you. We will find you. We will hunt you down and we will end you.”  

Dayum Archiekins is not playing. I’m sorry the old Archie can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because he’s dead. Or rather being manipulated by the one and only Hiram Lodge, but what on Earth could be his endgame? Guess sooner or later we’re bound to find out.

RIVERDALE airs WEDNESDAYS at 8|7c. on The CW

Steph Flasher


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