Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 217, "The Noose Tightens"

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

Riverdale The Noose Tightens

The melodrama of RIVERDALE continues, as some of our story threads draw together -- fitting, as the episode is titled "The Noose Tightens."

The plans of Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSUELOS) are threatened when two of his mobster associates show up in town. They're concerned about Hermione (MARISOL NICHOLS) running for mayor, as it puts too much of a public profile on the business. But like all good businessmen, they'll overlook it -- for a 25% take of the private prison Lodge is funding to be built in Riverdale. Archie (KJ APA) has to summon his inner capo to stand up for Mr. Lodge when it is determined that all his allies have left him to work for other men, including "Agent Adams" who appears wearing a very triggering black hood.

The mayoral race between Hermione and Fred Andrews (LUKE PERRY) is mirrored in triplicate at Riverdale High School, where Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) and Archie are running against Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) and Betty (LILI REINHART) -- who are also running against Reggie Mantle (CHARLES MELTON) and Josie McCoy (ASHLEIGH MURRAY), with all parties vying for poitical capital to win the student race and a seat on the school board -- the prize Jughead is after to give the South Side Serpents a voice.

The two most powerful threads of the episode, however, involve the Coopers and the Blossoms.

Over at the Cooper household, the murder of Chic's drug dealer comes back to haunt Betty and her mother (MADCHEN AMICK) when the car Betty and Jughead pushed into the swamp is recovered--the car that belonged to the drug dealer murdered in the Cooper house. Claiming to be trying to help, Chic (HARTON DENT) finds the owner of the car and brings her back to the Cooper house. The woman , Darla (AZURA SKYE) says she doesn't care about the missing boyfriend, and could be persuaded to forget all about him -- as long as she gets the ten thousand dollars he owes her. Alice and Betty stay up waiting for the bank to open, and when Betty goes out to get the money (this being Riverdale, banks allow $10,000 withdrawals to teenagers, and no IRS flags are even triggered). But while she's gone, Alice sneaks a call to Betty urging her not to come hoem -- because Darla has a friend there now, the same guy Betty saw attacking Chic when she first met him. Betty does come home, with the cash. And when the blackmail scheme looks to become a regular thing, Betty surprises them with her own plan she put into motion.

And then there is Cheryl Blossom.

Cheryl Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH) undergoes gay conversion therapy at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy in RIVERDALE.

Cheryl, who is used to being on top of things, finds herself a pawn in the power play being enacted by her mother (NATHALIE BOLTT) and her father's twin brother, Claudius (BARLAY HOPE), a plan that involves keeping family matriarch Nana Rose (BARBARA WALLACE) quietly tucked away while Cheryl is sent off to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy for gay conversion therapy.

Cheryl's girlfriend, Toni Topaz (VANESSA MORGAN) has been told that Cheryl has been sent to a Swiss Boarding School, but that story is quickly found to be a lie. Veronica, Toni, and Josie go to confront Penelope Blossom for the truth, and Penelope tells them Cheryl has been sent away to therapy lest she do something dangerous. As evidence, she shows Josie the portraiture Cheryl had drawn of the two of them together when she was crushing on Josie. With the aid of subtle hints from Penelope, Josie comes to the realization that Cheryl is the one who sent her the pig's heart earlier to scare her, so in a way Penelope isn't wrong about Cheryl's mental condition. Josie's officially out of the search for Cheryl at this point.

But Nana Rose isn't entirely without resources, and manages to get a quick call in to Toni, giving her the information of Cheryl's true whereabouts. With an assist from Kevin Keller (CASEY COTT), Veronica and Toni infiltrate the Sisters' and mount a rescue for Cheryl. But who will Cheryl seek revenge upon when she's free, and what form will it take? It's a foreboding ending to this episode, and it looks like Cheryl's going to be out for blood.

4.5 / 5.0