Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 221, "Judgment Night"

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Riverdale Judgment Night

When we last left RIVERDALE (and if we're honest, when we say 'left' we mean 'ran away screaming'), Cheryl Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH) had just opened the door of Thistle House to none other than the Black Hood.

It could have been the end for Cheryl, but she kept her wits about her. And when the Black Hood follows her outside, he comes face to face with another CW character -- Speedy from ARROW! Oh wait, that's not Thea Queen. It's still Cheryl Blossom, but with a bad-ass bow and her blood-red hunting cape! She fires a warning shot at him to get his attention, then puts one in his right shoulder, sending him fleeing into the woods -- with her in hot pursuit!

As all this transpires, Riverdale is under seige. A riot has broken out between the north and south sides, following the release of Fangs Fogarty (DREW RAY TANNER), who was shot outside the sheriff's station. Witnesses saw Reggie Mantle (CHARLES MELTON) at the scene with a gun, but he had been tackled by Archie (KJ APA) before he could get off a shot. But that doesn't matter to the South Side Serpents, who want Riverdale to pay for this latest indignity heaped upon them.

With Reggie on the run, Archie, Kevin Keller (CASEY COTT) and Moose Mason (CODY KEARSLEY) go looking for him at Riverdale High, only to encounter more Serpents. But if you think good old RHS is going down in flames, then you haven't seen Mr. Weatherbee (PETER BRYANT) angry. The boys eventually find Reggie hiding out at Pop Tate's, just after Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) hands over the real shooter to the Sheriff. The Serpents are with Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) across town -- but then if they're there, who is it that just surrounded Pop's?

It's the Goolies. And there's nothing groovy about them! Led by the returned Penny Peabody (BRIT MORGAN), they've come back to take the South Side as their own territory. And they've got someone secretly pulling their strings: Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSUELOS).

Betty (LILI REINHART) gets a warning call from Cheryl that she's wounded the Black Hood and is trailing him back to town. Betty calls her mother to find out the whereabouts of her dad, whom she suspects to be the Black Hood, and is told he is at the riots. She later finds out he's being treated at the hospital. Is it for an arrow wound? We don't know--yet. Because when Betty pulls back the curtain on her father's hospital bed, she finds a dead doctor there instead, just as her phone rings. The Black Hood is telling her to go home so they can finish what they've started.

Upon returning home, Betty finds her mother, Alice (MADCHEN AMICK), blissfully unaware of Betty's turmoil. Her father, Hal (LOCHLYN MUNRO) is setting up the movie projector for old family movies, since they're locked down. But the movie he plays is horrifying -- it's him as a child, being coached by his mother to cover a crime commited by his father -- the murder of the sinners, the Conway family! Hal then has Alice turn on her recorder so he can tell them their family history -- beginning with the real cause of the murderous split between the Coopers and the Blossoms!

Family Ties. Alice (MADCHEN AMICK) and Betty (LILI REINHART) Cooper are about to have their family tree uprooted on RIVERDALE.

At the Lodge home, Veronica has it out with her mother, Hermione (MARISOL NICHOLS) over the bounty she has publicly placed on the Black Hood during the riots, prompting Veronica to ask if there's nothing their family won't do to turn Riverdale into Gotham City. She runs from her mother and locks herself in her father's office, looking for the million dollars he took from her that is being offered as the bounty -- and she finds his mayoral October surprise for Fred Andrews (LUKE PERRY). This is the last straw for her, and she's aghast that her mother is actually okay with the plan, which would hurt her as well as Fred.

But their argument is interrupted when Small Fry Boucher (ANDRE TRICOTEUX) busts in. He's the son of Papa Poutin, and he wants revenge on Lodge for his father's murder. This particular scene is rather anticlimactic, because we've seen him looking around Riverdale for the Lodges, and yet despie his imposing presence and the damage left in his wake, he's fairly easily taken care of.

So far we have three dead bodies in this episode: Fangs Fogarty, Andre the doorman/chauffeur, and Small Fry Boucher. Shall we try for a fourth? Oh, let's do!

Jughead, who realizes the upcoming war between the Serpents and the Goolies is just what Hiram wants, calls Hiram with a counter offer. He's willing to give himself to the Goolies instead, knowing that Lodge wants him out of the way. He takes the deal, and Jug goes alone to the Goolies. But Penny Peabody has no intentions of honoring the deal, and Jughead has just walked into a trap -- alone against Penny and thirty Goolies.

When F.P. (SKEET ULRICH) learns where Jughead went, he races to the scene, followed by the rest of the Serpents, as well as Betty.

The body F.P. carries out of the woods tells you all you need to know about Jughead's sacrifice.

Season two is going to end with an all-out war.

4.5 / 5.0