TV ReviewsRiverdale Season 2 Episode 16: Primary Colors Review

Dylan PhillipsMarch 22, 2018

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

Synopsis: In the aftermath of Hiram’s plans, Jughead resorts to drastic measures to voice his opposition; Tensions between Fred and Archie reach a breaking point. (IMDB)

Writer: James DeWille

Director: Sherwin Shilati

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

Airs: Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW (United States)

“Primary Colors” starts off with Betty berating Chic for his DNA test. Turns out he doesn’t have any Blossom/Cooper blood in him, but Alice comes to his defense explaining that he is her son. All but confirmed who the father is. As Alice embraces her son, Chic creepily smiles at Betty. Hal interviews Hermione for the Register about her plans to build a prison in place of a school and in a weird turn during the interview Andy Cohen appears playing himself to endorse his “great friend” Hermione Lodge.

Again it’s best to divide the episode into its stories. First up, the Andrews. Fred confronts Archie about his stance on the prison. While Archie tries to reason with his father, Fred has his mind made up and will fight tooth and nail to get back what’s rightfully his. He wants out of his dealings with the Lodges. Fred approaches Hermione about severing ties with them and she agrees, they just need to terminate his contract. To Archie’s amazement his mom is back in town. She’s back to help Fred with his contract, but as she learns more about Archie’s relationship with the Lodges she decides to stay. At the Andrews household tensions rise as Archie continues to talk down to his father and side with Hiram. His mom will have none of that and puts Archie in his place telling him he can have a difference of opinion than the family, but he should never disrespect his father. Onto the Coopers!

Betty comes home to find Kevin and Chic hanging out. Turns out Kevin told him all about the catfishing. She tells him to leave and berates her brother for his actions. Is he really a bad guy or just misunderstood? During the night Dark Betty visits Chic’s room. She threatens to take him down and that everyone she has gone after is dead. But the next day, Betty is confronted by her mother and Chic. He found her Dark Betty wig and Chic tells Alice about Betty and Jughead’s sexual relationship and Alice is horrified. Alice comes to Betty’s room and asks about her relationship. She reveals that her and FP used to be a thing, but adamantly states that Chic is not FP’s son. She pleads with Betty to help make Chic a part of the family. Betty tries to bury the hatchet with Chic, but he threatens to tell the police about her past and her covering up Chic’s mess. Next the Blossoms!

During the night, Cheryl hears someone trying to open her door during the night. She brings it up at breakfast, but her mother tells her not to worry. As Claudius pours Nana Blossom some tea, Cheryl’s paranoia continues to rise. Toni auditions for the Vixens and is instantly brought into the inner circle. Cheryl invites Veronica, Betty, Josie and Toni to a mandatory sleepover at her house. I’m sure half for flirting and half for safety

At the slumber party, Cheryl opens up about being terrified living in her own home. She fears she could be killed at any moment. As some of the girls try to reason with her Betty opens up about feeling terrified in her own home and they all vow to keep each other safe. As everyone else sleeps on the floor, Toni and Cheryl share her bed. She only wanted to invite Toni over, but she knew her mother would be against it. As they are about to kiss they hear a loud bang from outside.

The girls rush out of the room to find Nana Blossom at the bottom of the stars and unconscious. As she’s taken to the hospital, Penelope and Claudius watch with looks of disappointment.

At the hospital, the doctor tells Cheryl that they found poison in Nana Blossom’s blood, but her uncle and mother lied to the police and told them that Nana Blossom was chewing on poisonous plants from the greenhouse and that could have caused her confused state. As Cheryl tries to tell the doctor the truth her mother arrives. Cheryl tells her mom that she knows about what they did to Nana Blossom, but Penelope says she’s delusion and that they will fix that soon enough. What does that mean. And finally what is going on at Riverdale High?

At school, Jughead proclaims that he will be doing a hunger strike to make his point against Hiram Lodge and his plans for Riverdale. The human vacuum is going to stop eating? This won’t last. As they group talks at lunch, Ethel comes over to their table and blames Veronica for her family’s troubles and the destruction of the town before throwing a milkshake in her face. I didn’t know this was Glee? Veronica composes herself while talking to Betty in the washroom. There are bigger fish to fry. Reggie confronts Veronica in the hallway and taunts her with sexual comments then turns his focus on saying Veronica’s building the prison to house her criminal family. She can’t take anymore and lands a swift punch to Reggie’s face, knocking him to the ground.

Hiram and Hermione chastise Veronica for her outburst at school and tell her to keep her head in the sand, but she apparently doesn’t hear them and decides to run for Student Body President. She asks Betty to be her running mate to win over all the votes in their group. Archie meets Jughead at Pop’s to discuss Hiram’s plan. Apparently he’s moved up the demolition of Southside High to the end of the week. They spar and Jughead questions Archie’s allegiance to his friends and family. 

As Veronica starts her campaign she confronts Ethel in the halls and reassures her that they will make things right for her family going forward. Meanwhile, Jughead rallies the Serpents to discuss the demolition of Southside High and urges them that it is now their time to fight back.

Veronica bribes Josie to endorse Veronica’s campaign in exchange for a spot on Andy Cohen’s show. Josie loves him so to her it’s a no-brainer. Hiram calls Archie with some news and he rushes off on his bike. Turns out the Serpents chained themselves to Southside High to let their voices be heard and they are. At Veronica’s campaign event, Ethel hands out flyers about Veronica and her family’s secrets. Betty storms off as Ethel thanks Josie for helping her. Double cross? Love it! Veronica finds Betty in the bathroom, but she cannot trust her best friend anymore and tells her she can no longer be her running mate. 

Hermione confronts Veronica about going behind their backs and running for the school election and she breaks down. She hopes by doing this her friends and the world can see her in a different light. With Jughead the last Serpent standing, FP comes to talk to her during the night. He brings him some burgers and promises not to tell that he broke his hunger strike. As they chow down on Pop’s burgers, FP reveals that Hiram called him offering their family a penthouse, but they joke about how it will still be staring at a prison. Jughead is worried FP would be enticed by the offer, but turns out he hung up and grabbed the burgers instead. Now where the stories come together.

Hiram knows that the Serpents won’t let up and getting the police involved will look bad. He offers Archie a deal: if he stops the protest, he will relieve his father of his contract. As people surround the protesters, Archie and the football team walk up and cut them out of their chains ending the protest and the friendship between Archie and Jughead. Jughead and Betty discuss what has been going on in the town and he cannot stand it. He needs to have a voice. He wants to run for Student Body President and he wants Betty to be his running mate. She instantly agrees as the couples further divide themselves. She talks about her uneasiness living with Chic and they decide it’s best if she moves in with him.

Meanwhile, Fred and Archie’s mom tell him that Hiram determined Fred’s contract making him a free man, but she reveals that she will be sticking around a little while longer to help Fred with some unfinished business. Turns out he will in fact be running for Mayor against the Lodges and she will be helping with the campaign.

The episode ends with Toni going to visit Cheryl, but Penelope explains they sent her off to boarding school in Switzerland and urges Toni not to come back. She does not believe that. Cut to Cheryl who is in a locked room in a hospital with Sister Woodhouse as she promises to cure Cheryl of her awful, unnatural thoughts. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL.


  • How will McCoy’s return to law play into the town’s dynamic?
  • Is a prison really Hiram’s end game? Will the prison be owned by Lodge industries to allow him access to certain criminals?
  • Can Archie and Jughead come back from this?
  • When will FP be revealed as Chic’s father?
  • Who will inherit the second half of the Blossom fortune?
  • How will Archie’s mom play into the dynamic of the town?
  • Will Kevin and Chic become a thing?
  • Is the Black Hood really gone?
  • Who will free Cheryl?

I hope that the Cheryl storyline is not lost for a couple episodes because a topic as serious and relevant as that needs to be dealt with the moment it has been brought up, especially with the recent release of Love, Simon. And what is Chic’s deal? It’s all but confirmed that he is FP and Alice’s kid, but is he really a screwed up person or just a misunderstood kid that never had a real home? Only time will tell.

Overall, this was a good episode. With how far down the rabbit hole Archie has gone it’s great to see his world start to crumble around him from his parents and their disappointment to his friends leaving his side. In a show like this it is assumed that he will eventually see the light and be redeemed, but for now this is a great direction for the show. With how moody Archie has been and his lack of judgment it puts Jughead’s actions into perspective and makes him  really seem like the hero of this story. It’s hard to see how Veronica and Archie could get out of this redeemed, without selling out her father and making him the first resident of his own prison, but last episode saw these characters break up and make up in the course of a day so in this world anything is possible.

Score: 8/10

What did you think of “Primary Colors”?  Let me know in the comments below!

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


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