TV ReviewsRiverdale Season 2 Episode 4: That Town That Dreaded Sundown Review

Dylan PhillipsNovember 2, 2017

If you would like to read my review of last week’s episode, click here.

Synopsis: Betty finds herself at the center of a deepening mystery; Tensions between the North and Southside comes to a head and leads to an unexpected showdown. (IMDB)

Writers: Amanda Lasher

Director: Allison Anders

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43 mins

“That Town That Dreaded Sundown” starts off the fallout from the Red Circle video. Jughead is researching serial killers, Alice Cooper is stirring the pot, and the citizens of Riverdale are scared. The Mayor decides to hold an emergency town meeting to help ease people’s minds.

This episode’s storylines are more or less divided into the two relationships on the show so let’s start off with Archie and Veronica.

With the town in disarray over Archie’s video, Hiram and Hermione forbid Veronica from dating Archie, but V wants to hear his side of the story before jumping to conclusions. Hiram is loving all the chaos and confusion this is causing. Meanwhile, Fred confronts Archie about the video which has gone viral and he is not amused. Veronica asks Archie about what he’s doing what her father told him to do. Fight terror with terror.

Archie is called to Principal Weatherbee’s office who is disturbed by the Red Circle video. He kicks Archie off the football team and suspends the team until the Rec Circle is disbanded. Well that pisses Reggie and the rest of the team off so they quit the Red Circle leaving Archie and Dilton to fight the Black Hood alone. Using a fake ID, Archie goes to a gun store and buys a holster, ammo and Kevlar vest. ARCHIE. NO. STOP.

Veronica confronts her father about his manipulation of Archie, but he says he doesn’t recall what they talked about. Veronica isn’t convince and struts out. You do you V. She decides to help Archie, however, she can and she makes some fancy looking Red Circle shirts to distribute at the school. It’s not longer a revolution, it’s a movement. Hermione warns Veronica about her blind loyalty to Archie and fears for her daughter’s safety, but V couldn’t care less about her mother’s opinion. Veronica is quite the rebel.

With newfound determination, Archie goes around spray-painting red circles all over Serpent territory. Sweet Pea and a few Serpents confront Archie, drawing a knife on him, but Archie brought his gun, and scares off the Serpents like a psycho. The next day Principal Weatherbee and Sheriff Keller summon Archie to the hall. They got reports about a young redhead waving a gun around on the Southside and they want to look in his locker. After rummaging around, they find a black hood in his locker and Archie is expelled.

Archie calls Veronica with a favour. She needs to retrieve his gun from the school. She confronts him about what he’s doing and Archie has one goal: he wants to be the one that kills the Black Hood. She says he’s blinded by rage that he doesn’t care about the people who would be hurt if he was killed. She also mentions that she threw his gun into Sweetwater River. At this point Reggie and the football team show up at Archie’s door to apologize and want to help him again.

Well good thing they showed up because Sweet Pea and a bunch of Serpents show up. As things get heated, Veronica decides to lay some ground rules for their fight. No weapons, neutral turf. In the rain, the group goes to the road and after a suspenseful showdown Archie throws the first punch. As the fight intensifies, Sweet Pea pulls a knife and stabs Dilton before coming over to Archie. But that becomes too much for Veronica and she fires the gun into the air. VERONICA YOU LIAR.

Now let’s check in on our favourite detective couple. At Southside High, Jughead notices Sweet Pea and the Serpents watching Archie’s video and plan to get rid of him. Jughead suggests they go after the Black Hood, but the Serpents see him as a hero.

Betty receives a mysterious letter from the Black Hood killer and apparently he’s doing all of this for Betty. UM WHAT. He was at the Jubilee and says her words inspired him and inside the letter he’s given her a cipher to decode his plan. She decides to bring it to her mom who brings it to Sheriff Keller. He wants to send it off to a professional, but Alice already published it so the town can work together to decipher it.

While researching serial killers, Jughead is asked by Toni to help crack the Black Hood’s cipher and after ignoring a call from Betty he agrees. JUGHEAD WHY. Betty goes to Jughead’s trailer and asks him to help crack the cipher, but Jughead says Toni and him already started on it. Betty swallows her jealousy and suggest they have a cipher cracking party with Toni and Kevin. Of course it becomes a fight over the north vs south side sparking tension between Betty and Jughead. Thanks Toni.

Jughead brings some books to Betty’s, along with the letter the Black Hood sent her. She tells him that the Black Hood was inspired by her and she doesn’t want Archie to find out his father was shot because of her. Jughead calls her Nancy Drew meets Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and that gives Betty an idea. Perhaps the cipher was created specifically for her. They head to the library and crack the code using her favourite Nancy Drew book. The Black Hood plans to strike where it all began, the town hall.

At the town hall meeting, Alice decides to stir the pot and suggest closing Southside High and using the money for a better police department for the north. Fred stands up and talks about unity in the town. Apparently that looks like a problem to Hiram and Hermione.

Suddenly Betty and Jughead arrive to warn everyone of the Black Hood’s attack, but no one believes them. Well that doesn’t stop Betty from pulling the fire alarm and causing pandemonium. The mayor, Sheriff Keller and Alice confront Betty about her having this information and she gives them the letter from the Black Hood. Betty is in trouble.

The episode ends with Reggie rushing Dilton to the hospital with his wound and Veronica apologizing to Archie for lying about the gun and not supporting him. They make up and together throw the gun into Sweetwater River. Meanwhile Betty is finally relaxing at home feeling good about cracking the code when she receives a call from the Black Hood.


  • Will Archie/Veronica and Betty/Jughead come together to discover who the Black Hood is?
  • What is Hiram’s agenda?
  • Will Dilton and Reggie seek revenge?
  • Will Jughead’s connection to Archie be revealed to the Serpents at Southside High?
  • Who will be the Black Hood’s next victim?

Overall, this was a good episode. The suspenseful story of Archie’s spiral into madness was complimented nicely by Betty’s detective subplot. The story continued at a slower pace allowing for some meaningful character moments while giving enough development in the case of the Black Hood.

Score: 8/10

What did you think of “That Town That Dreaded Sundown”? Is the mystery becoming clearer? Let me know in the comments below!

If you liked this, check out my other reviews here as well as my channel and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.


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