TV Reviews

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 14: The Hills Have Eyes Review

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

Synopsis: Determined to uncover Hiram’s plans, Jughead presses Veronica about what she may know; Cheryl makes a surprising connection with an unlikely friend. (IMDB)

Writer: Ross Maxwell

Director: David Katzenberg

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45 mins

“The Hills Have Eyes” starts off with Betty living her own version of purgatory as she deals with creepy Chic Cooper, Cheryl confronts her mother about her escorting again, but her mother chastises her for never knowing what love is and Hiram suggests Archie and the gang go on a romantic getaway to Hiram’s lodge to help keep Veronica away from a major meeting Hiram and Hermione are having. It’s a Cabin in the Woods type of episodes, so let’s get started.

The more boring of the two stories going on in this episode is the main one revolving around Archie and the gang. As the gang are planning their weekend trip, Cheryl comes in and asks where they will all be going, but Veronica explains it’s a romantic getaway causing Cheryl to walk off a bit disappointed. Jughead pulls Betty aside to talk about how he might be able to get information out of Veronica for his expose on Hiram, but Betty urges him to just enjoy the weekend because she needs an escape from Chic.  As Betty packs, Chic startles Jughead and rather than make small talk he threatens Jughead. If he tells anyone of what happened, he will make it bad for Betty and Alice. UM WHAT.

The crew arrive at the cottage and take their stuff in, but not before Archie is reminded by Andre the bodyguard that he is around if they need and Archie notices he’s packing heat. As they get settled in, Jughead receives a call from Cheryl who is obviously very upset she did not get an invite because she tells Jughead that Archie and Betty shared a kiss in front of her house. Archie and Veronica discuss the kiss and proclaim they are stronger than ever before making out. Meanwhile Jughead and Betty have a tough heart-to-heart where Jughead reveals before he may have been jealous, but a Black Hood-prompted kiss is nothing. At this point they are interrupted by the sound of bed springs and Bughead feels the need to comment on Varchie’s solution to everything.

The gang sits down with a batch of jalapeno margaritas when Jughead feels the need asks Veronica a ton of questions about her family’s projects and the cottage. When Betty starts whispering in his ear to stop, Veronica thinks it is the result of some unresolved tension. The first step to remedying this: taking those margaritas out to the Jacuzzi. Veronica explains how she felt when she first heard of the kiss and that she understands how Jughead must feel and she feels that the perfect solution is that Jughead and her must kiss. Archie starts questioning this, but Jughead stands up and plays along. He even uses the ship names Vughead and Bughead in the same sentence, what. Veronica stands up, grabs Jughead’s face and kisses him. It’s long, passionate and Archie and Betty do not seem pleased. Even though Veronica slaps Jug’s face after and they both smirk, not in passion, but jokingly.

Betty makes the comment that the only two to not kiss are now Jughead and Archie, but he pays no mind to it until it sinks in. You and Veronica? Betty smirks and shuts the door leaving Jughead smirking to himself. Really. She asks if Jughead enjoyed kissing Veronica and after he avoids answering that is until Dark Betty enters the room in lingerie saying if he did enjoy it he will have to be punished. Biggest eye roll at this pointIn the other room, Archie is doing push-ups to get his daily workout in, but when Veronica suggests they workout some other way, he says he is too tired. And of course now they have to hear Bughead through the walls to ‘level the playing field.’

The next morning, Veronica watches Archie chopping wood out in the field before he receives a text and walks off. Veronica follows and finds Archie talking with Andre. She confronts them and after Archie reveals the truth she dismisses Andre and lectures Archie. The guys sit down and have a heart-to-heart, first about B and V’s kiss then about Archie feeling sorry about the kiss. Jughead accepts the apology and explains how tightly knit the group is that anything affecting one of them affects them all. 

The girls discuss their sex lives while they rummage around a store in town. Veronica flirts with the cashier who asks an awful lot about where they are staying and if her folks are there. As they exit the store, a group of men leer at them in the background. Not good newsBack at the cabin, Veronica tells Archie that from now on it’s the two of them not Archie and her dad. He agrees. Suddenly, Jughead receives a call from his dad who explains that Hiram Lodge bought Sunnyside Trailer Park and let the Serpents stay, but Jughead knows what that means. He confronts Veronica about this and discusses her father’s plans to buy up the Southside, but everyone is against him calling him a crackpot conspiracy theorist. 

The gang is in a heated game of Monopoly when Betty receives a call from her mom. Varchie ask Jughead what he thinks of Chic and he agrees that the dude is a little creepy. Before he can say anymore, Betty comes back and explains that Hiram bought The Riverdale Register. Just another part of the plan to make Riverdale Lodgeville. Everyone turns to Veronica who looks a bit confused. Betty and Jughead confront Veronica about her family’s actions, but Veronica and Archie lash back at the crazy ideas going through their “friends” heads. Honestly this is such a twisted, toxic group. When Veronica can’t name one good thing her father has done and tension has hit a boiling point, they hear a window break and suddenly masked men enter the cabin.

They want to some of the rich folk’s spoils including Veronica’s purse. She agrees to grab it from the bedroom, but in doing so trips a panic alarm. She hands her wallet to the masked man and they return to the main room. While the robbers want to get out of there, the leader wants the gang to get on their knees. This isn’t just a typical robbery. Just as he’s about to paint the walls red like Negan, the phone starts ringing. The alarm alerted the security company and they are on their way. The robber takes Veronica’s necklace as they flee from the cabin, but not before Archie chases after him. He catches up and removes his mask; it’s the cashier from the store. He looks up to find Andre who he tells everything, but Archie assures him that he will take it from here. The gang sits at Pop’s talking about what just happened and the group magically make up.

And now onto the better of the stories revolving around the release of Love, Simon (It’s a coming of age gay teen dramedy coming out soon). At school, Kevin asks Moose if he would like to see the new movie Love, Simon, but Moose is already going with Midge. He invites Kevin to tag along, but he sees three as a crowd and declines. After Cheryl’s call to Jughead, Toni confronts her about what she overheard and asks what her deal is. She suspects Cheryl is going through some stuff, and she’d be right, but Cheryl wants nothing to do with that Serpent. I CALL BULL.

Josie walks in on her mother and Sheriff Keller flirting which prompts Keller to take his leave and McCoy reveals that she is getting a divorce, just like Keller, so that they can be together. Josie is obviously upset by this and decides to talk with Kevin. Kevin sits down at Pop’s with Josie as he starts discussing a musical he wants her to star in, but Josie interrupts him by explaining she has something to talk about. This causes Kevin to confront his father at the police station and share his disappointment with him.

After hearing what Josie did, McCoy asks why she told Kevin something she had no right to bring up. Josie wanted Kevin to know unlike her so he could have a fighting chance to save his family, but McCoy explains that their lives were ruined by the Lodges because they forced it out much like Josie played the role of the Lodges in ruining it for the Kellers. DamnA saddened Kevin sits at Pop’s eating alone when he is approached by Moose and Midge. They offer to sit with him and ask about his date to the movie. Moose comments on the attractiveness of a new Serpent in school causing Kevin to laugh. Midge asks how they know each other and Kevin covers for a speechless Moose realizing she doesn’t know about them.

Cheryl watches her mother bring home another client and decides to get out of the house. At the movies, she stumbles upon Toni who gets her to open up a bit. She asks if Cheryl wants some company for the movie. A budding romance perhaps? Meanwhile, Josie finds Kevin and apologizes to him for sharing something that wasn’t hers to share. She suggests they see the movie together. After the movie, Josie and Kevin sit down with their parents at Pop’s to talk about their situation and Cheryl opens up to Toni about her situation. She’s been forced into this loveless monster persona because her mother destroyed her first ever love with a woman named Heather. Toni reassures her that her mother is wrong and holds Cheryl’s hand. Cheryl came out AND a budding romance? I’m sold.

The episode ends Archie meeting Hiram in his study to discuss what happened at the cabin. He commends Archie for his actions and asks if Andre’s actions upset Archie. Archie uses his experience with the Black Hood to explain that when it comes to family you can never hesitate to protect them. Meanwhile, Jughead uses the experience at the cabin and the home invasion to explain that perhaps Chic is a slower, more sinister version of that.

Questions

  • How will McCoy’s return to law play into the town’s dynamic?
  • What else does Hiram plan to buy now that we know the Northside isn’t off limits?
  • How long until they find the car in Sweetwater River?
  • Will Archie feel comfortable being part of the family?
  • Who is Chic’s real father?
  • What is Chic’s plan?
  • Will Dark Betty take over?
  • How will Penny continue to be a thorn in Jughead’s side?
  • Will Tallboy return with a vengeance?
  • Is the Black Hood really gone?

Overall, this was an episode that is more disappointing than not, but makes up for it in the subplots. The highlights are definitely the increased storylines for Josie, Kevin and Cheryl, with the latter revealing a huge part of her character’s internal struggles to a potential romantic interest. It was great that these stories dealing with sexuality revolved around a timely current film. However, no amount of screen time for these underused characters could save us from the dreadful main story going on.

For starters, the episode is titled The Hills Have Eyes rather than Cabin in the Woods. The Hills Have Eyes have little to do with a cottage or forests, it’s set in a desert so that’s already one strike. But man this episode is the BIGGEST fan fic story ever shown in Riverdale. This show is campy, and it’s part of it being aware of its campiness that this show is so successful in being a teen soap opera, but this episode was just too much. From the out of character actions to drive the narrative forward, like Jughead’s use of ship names or Archie’s apparent altruistic nature thrown to the curb to join this mobster family, to the constant make-up, break-up toxic relationship of this foursome of friends this episode seemed to have a fan service checklist. The Veronica/Jughead kiss? The ability to make up with each other after realizing Hiram basically owns all of their parents and could destroy their lives? The random smirks between Jughead and Betty over the B and V kiss adding some weird fetishization of them? All completely unnecessary.

Score: 6/10

What did you think of “The Hills Have Eyes”? Did you think Cheryl’s story was downplayed? Let me know in the comments below!

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