Riverdale Recap: “Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown”

Terror Takes over the Entire Town of Riverdale

On this week’s episode of Riverdale, “Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown,” everyone’s on edge as things surrounding the Black Hood intensify. Archie and his Red Circle’s message to the Black Hood only made matters worse. A package addressed to Betty from the Black Hood with a coded message and letter that sends her into a panic. Especially since the letter claims she’s who inspired him. She gives the coded message to police but decides to keep the letter a secret which leads to tension between her and Jughead. While Veronica’s parents attempt to keep her from seeing Archie, she opts to stand by her man. She becomes extremely worried about him when she learns the lengths he’s willing to go for revenge. Meanwhile, with the town in a panic, Riverdale Mayor McCoy calls an emergency town meeting to help try to calm the chaos. But what they don’t know is as the meeting is going on inside, the building tension between the North and Southside

Betty Gets a Personalized Letter from the Black Hood

While sorting through the mail at Riverdale High’s ‘Blue and Gold.’ Betty finds an envelope like the one left at her house but addressed to her. Inside, she finds a coded message for her to attempt to decipher and personal letter to her. After reading the letter, Betty is shook! It explains that the speech she gave at the Mayor’s Jubilee is what inspired the Black Hood’s terrorizing actions. Kevin immediately knows something is up with his bestie even after their recent drama about his extracurricular activities in the woods. She tells him about everything, even what the letter says. Betty is too ashamed that her words could inspire the Black Hood to tell even her mother about it. So Kevin agrees to keep the letter a secret and they give the coded message to the police. Of course, Alice insists the town must be informed and thinks they could help decode the message, so she published it in the newspaper. This just scares everyone in Riverdale even more and makes things even more tense.

Leader and Red Circle Founder, Archie Andrews, Faces Backlash from Their Terrorizing PSA

Archie and the Red Circle warning and calling out the Black Hood have some serious repercussions, especially for Archiekins. Mama and Papa Lodge advise their darling daughter against continuing dating Archie even though it was Hiram, who encouraged Archie to use the same fear and terror method as the Black Hood. Not only did his threats to the Black Hood raise eyebrows all over town, but because of Archie’s message, the principal disbands the football team and orders that he issues an apology for the video or he’ll face suspension.

Archie even lands on the police’s radar after he pulls a gun on the Serpents when they catch him spray painting a red circle in the Southside. On a tip, he has a gun, police search Archie’s locker, but find Reggie’s black Hood instead. Either way, Archie is barred from school property because he’s seen as a threat. Even Ronnie cannot believe the lengths her Archiekins is willing to go for revenge. She tries to reason with him, but it doesn’t change the anger Archie feels towards the Black Hood for attacking his dad and terrorizing his town. But Veronica isn’t the only one disappointed in him. Fred is not the least bit happy with what’s happening with his son.

Jughead and Toni Team up to Decipher the Black Hood’s Code

Of course, things have been different since Jughead began attending Southside High. But this week, things get a bit more stressful for Bughead especially since they attend different schools in rival parts of town. The Black Hood’s cryptic message hits the newspapers and it’s free game for anyone who wants to decipher it. Toni finds Jughead researching serial killers in the school paper office at Southside High. She asks if he’s seen the message from the Black Hood. Jug also ignores a call from Betty so he and Toni can chat. Rude! Toni shows him the newspaper and for this mystery, Jughead teams up with Toni to try to decipher the message, which is normally something Jughead and Betty would have teamed up for. Then the next day, Jughead acts almost embarrassed to tell Betty he and Toni worked on decoding the cryptic message. But always the good girlfriend, Betty acts unaffected and suggests Jug host a ‘code-breaking party’ with her, Kevin and Toni.

Not Everyone Plays Nice at Jug’s Decipher Session as Toni Is More Focused on Throwing Shade!

Jughead hosts a brainstorming session to decipher the Black Hood’s message with Betty, Kevin, and Toni. After learning Jug and Toni had their own decoding session, she suggested they all work on it together. Sadly, it seems Toni was less focused on cracking the code and more about throwing shade a Betty. Jaws hit the floor when Toni suggests Betty loosen her ponytail and then maybe she’d have better luck figuring out the code. Luckily, Kevin came to her defense letting Toni know Betty’s ponytail is iconic. Toni then goes off about the Northside of Riverdale thinking they’re better than the Southside. How the Southside may be drug-ridden and be the home of the Serpents, but that’s where the North gets drugs. Toni even goes as far as calling Archie and the Red Circle a group of Neo-Nazis. She accuses Betty of being like the rest of North Riverdale and makes sure to point out that’s why Jughead is afraid to tell her he sits with the Serpents at lunch.

Thank goodness, Betty was able to keep ‘Dark Betty’ at bay, but I must confess, at times I would’ve loved to see her come out to play. It’s bound to happen especially if Toni continues to keep her shitty attitude towards her and she keeps trying to drive a wedge between Bughead.

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble! It’s Bulldogs vs Serpents as Mayor McCoy Holds a Town Hall Meeting

As the town’s parent’s gather to discuss how to calm the uneasiness in Riverdale, Reggie and the rest of the Bulldogs drop by Archie’s to show him their support. They hear motorcycles pull up outside. It’s the Serpents. They’re pissed thinking the Southside is being blamed for the Black Hood. Ronnie sees a fight is brewing and threatens to call Sheriff Keller to referee unless both sides agree to no weapons. So Archie and the Bulldogs aka the Red Circle step outside in the pouring down rain to have a good old-fashioned brawl with the Southside Serpents. It’s chaos with the guys just beating the crap out of one another! But a Serpent is getting the best of Archie and has him down on the ground, unable to get up and he just keeps getting kicked in the ribs over and over again. Ronnie sees what’s happening to her Archiekins, so she shoots the gun she was supposed to have gotten rid of into the air. This breaks up the fight and everyone scatters.

What I don’t understand is how Dilton Dolley got stabbed during the melee. Yes, he’s seen pulling the knife out of his pocket, but it doesn’t show him being stabbed, so I have to wonder who really stabbed him or did he stab himself? He’s definitely been shady and when Reggie is driving him to the hospital he says just to tell them he was stabbed by a member of the Southside Serpents, which leads me to believe that could be a lie.

Nancy Drew Meets the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Cracks the Code

After spending the night working on deciphering the Black Hood’s coded message to Betty, she and Jughead fall asleep on the couch. She scrambles to leave and forgets some of her books so Jug brings them by but notices something fell out of Betty’s stuff, the letter from the Black Hood. He’s visibly hurt that she didn’t tell him and asks why and she says because he’s been busy running around with the Serpents at Southside High. He can’t believe she’s been sitting on this. They argue a bit and Betty confesses she embarrassed by what it says. She’s afraid Archie would blame her. Juggie points out how truly great she is saying she’s Betty Cooper, like ‘Nancy Drew meets the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ This gives her an ‘A-ha Moment! Betty knew she saw the code somewhere before and the pair rush to the library to find a ‘Nancy Drew’s Decoder’ book. Betty quickly translates the message and discovers the Black Hood is planning his next strike at the place where it all began.

Bughead rushes to Mayor McCoy’s town hall. They interrupt a disagreement between Alice and Fred over the divide between the North and the Southside. She blames the Southside while Fred wants the two to unite against the Black Hood. And for some strange reason, the Lodges whisper about Fred being a problem. WTH? For what? Anyway, Betty and Jughead urge everyone to leave immediately, but Betty has to resort to pulling the fire alarm to evacuate the building and ensure everyone’s safety from the Black Hood. Of course, Betty has some explaining to do and finally hands over everything from the Black Hood including her personalized letter and decoded message.

Nothing Good Comes from Answering “Unknown” Calls

After being questioned by her parents and the police about her letters from the Black Hood, Betty relaxes in her room. Her cell phone rings with ‘unknown’ on the caller ID. She debates on answering for a second but then does. It’s a disguised voice claiming to be the Black Hood and that’s it. The episode is over. Guess we’ll just have to wait to see what the Black Hood wants with Riverdale’s beloved Betty Cooper. The whole scary phone call from the anonymous Black Hood really reminded me of a scene from 90’s horror cult classic, Scream. All that being said, Riverdale is already filled with 90’s heartthrobs. Luke Perry and Skeet Ulrich, who was in Scream, and then they added Mark Consuelos this season. Maybe the man in the Black Hood is another 90’s hunk. Perhaps, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, James Van Der Beek or Joey Lawrence!

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

Steph Flasher

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