TV Reviews

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 17: The Noose Tightens Review

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

Synopsis: Just as the town’s mayoral race gets underway, Riverdale High’s own student council election heats up. Archie steps up to help after learning that Hiram’s mobster associates have come to Riverdale to stir up some trouble. Meanwhile, things take a dangerous turn for Alice, Betty and Chic when an unexpected guest shows up at the Cooper residence. Finally, Toni, Veronica and Josie team up to solve a strange mystery involving Cheryl. (TVGuide)

Writers: Britta Lundin & Brian E. Paterson

Director: Alexis Ostrander

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45 mins

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

“The Noose Tightens” starts off with Cheryl trapped by the Sisters of Quiet Mercy as she is forced to undergo physical therapy by watching a film about deviance starring Moose and Kevin as two men who put off hanging out with women to spend time together. At school, the first debate for class president has commenced with Veronica and Archie against Jughead and Betty. Oh and Reggie and Josie are running too. There’s some obvious tension between the four, but things get heated when a question reminds Veronica and Archie that their parents are being pitted against each other.

Again this show divides into the couples and their families so let’s start off with the Coopers! In the halls, Alice confronts FP about him letting her daughter live in sin, but he reveals that he and Jughead are sleeping on the pull-out couch to give Betty the bedroom. Alice is of course shocked by FP’s decency, although she shouldn’t be considering their history. Chic is definitely his son. Alice comes home to find Chic freaking out, staring at the TV. Turns out the car they dumped in the swamp has been found. The four culprits have a meeting at Pop’s to discuss what to do and decide that they have to keep their mouths shut.

The Serpents at school tell Jughead that Betty is an enemy of the Serpent state and that as long as she’s his running mate they won’t support him. Betty asks Jughead how she can win over the Serpents, but they have bigger fish to fry. They want to find information about the car and decide to interrogate Kevin about it. Turns out the car was stolen. They bring the information to FP, Alice and Chic, and Alice demands that Betty comes home immediately. FP takes Alice’s side as he doesn’t want to cross her, but Chic says he’ll move out to let Betty have her home back. Well isn’t that nice of you. Betty asks Alice to give her consent to get a Serpent tattoo, but her mom won’t agree. Chic barges in Darla, the owner of the stolen car who threatens to out the Coopers unless they give her the ten grand her dead drug dealing boyfriend owed her. Alice agrees to pay the money.

After Betty retrieves the money from the bank, she gets a call from Alice. Apparently Chic’s assailant from the hostel arrives too and things are not looking good. She urges Betty to not come home, but she has other plans. She brings the money home, but the two extortionists seem to want even more and threaten to gouge out Betty’s eyes with a knife. Suddenly, the door is busted down and in rushes Jughead, Sweet Pea and the rest of the Serpents to back up the Coopers. After a stare down, the extortionists are convinced to leave and Alice lets out a sigh of relief.

Alice thanks Jughead for his help then turns to Chic and sees that violent behaviour has followed him there and put them all in danger. She asks him to leave. She later goes to the Serpents at school and informs them that she will no longer be an enemy of theirs to help win over their votes for Jughead and Betty. She later arrives at FP’s in her full Serpent attire and enters with FP throwing away his gum. They are definitely going to get it. Now onto the Andrews and Lodges!

The Lodges confront the Andrews and discuss the upcoming mayoral race which pulls the two families apart. As the Lodges return home, they find some unexpected guests: some of Hiram’s old mobster buddies who have come to discuss business. Mary Andrews asks Archie to stand alongside his dad when he announces his candidacy and Archie agrees to be there. Hiram lets Archie know that his associates are displeased with Hermione and Veronica’s ventures into politics, but he hopes to change their minds. Archie offers to help, but Hiram wants him protecting Veronica. At school, Reggie confronts Archie about an arm-wrestling wager to win over the vote of the football team. In a very quick match, Archie beats Reggie and threatens him to not talk about his family every again.

Later that evening, Hiram’s associates ask for a cut of the profits from the private prison plan, but he respectfully declines. As they threaten Hiram, Archie walks forward and begins to threaten his associates who burst out into laughter at the absurd remarks. Archie and Veronica return home to the Lodges where they find Andre being attacked by a man in a black hood. Archie chases after him and unmasks him to find its Adams who is double-crossing the family to help the other mobsters get a cut of the prison profits. The Lodges sit down to discuss their options and decide the family is on lockdown for the time being, but there is no long-term plan. Hiram informs Archie that he plans to let his buddies in on the prison to protect his family, but Archie has a better idea. Archie goes to Reggie and asks him to join in protecting the plan for the prison. At dinner, Hiram’s associates are informed that he will not be attending and that they should go outside. They walk out to find their car blown up and the Dark Circle threatening them to leave their city.

Meanwhile, Fred launches his campaign with only Mary by his side, devastating both of Archie’s parents. Mary confronts Archie about his recent choices: his lack of loyalty to his family and friends, his sudden disinterest in music. “Who are you Archie?” Outside Pop’s, Hiram and the Lodges give Archie a vintage car as a gift for his loyalty to the family. Hiram pulls him aside to discuss their plans going forward and Archie assures them that they will be ready. And finally the biggest storyline of the episode: the rescue of Cheryl Blossom!

With the news about Cheryl, Toni goes to Veronica and Josie for help. She tells them about what Penelope said and that Cheryl’s social media presence has vanished. Sister Livingston discusses Cheryl’s sinful thoughts and her traumatic past. She orders Cheryl will receive physical therapy until she’s ready to listen. Toni, Veronica and Josie ask Penelope about where Cheryl is and after threatening to get the police involved she reveals Cheryl’s deviant behaviour and shows one of her drawings of Cheryl and Josie. Josie thinks maybe Cheryl needs the help and is done with this crusade, but that doesn’t stop Toni and Veronica.

Penelope screams at Nana Blossom, showing her disdain for her, before leaving her alone. Nana crawls herself to the phone and calls Toni to warn her that Cheryl is trapped with the Sisters, but Claudius hangs up the phone. Toni brings this information to Veronica and she knows who to talk to. Kevin explains how the Sisters use conversion therapy “off the books,” but he knows of a tunnel in the woods that leads out of the building. Toni and Veronica sneak into the tunnel under the building to search for Cheryl. They split up to cover more ground and Toni is able to find her in one of the conversion movie nights. Cheryl is surprised to see Toni, but even more surprised when she kisses her! Veronica interrupts them as a group of nuns are coming their way. Luckily they manage to escape through the tunnel and out to freedom!

The episode ends with Cheryl and Toni sitting and chatting about how Penelope and Claudius’ worlds are going to be turned upside down. She goes to Kevin and discusses his plans for the musical and says stop all auditions for your lead because she’s Riverdale’s Carrie White and this school is going to burn. Musical episode is next in case that was not clear.

Questions

  • Will McCoy endorse Fred Andrew’s campaign?
  • What is the long term solution for Hiram’s problem and how will Archie become involved?
  • When will FP be revealed as Chic’s father?
  • Who will inherit the second half of the Blossom fortune?
  • When will Kevin’s mom return? It’s bound to happen.
  • What’s in store for Penelope and Claudius? Is Cheryl staying with Toni?
  • Was Chic part of the extortion of his own family? Darla did not seem bright enough to pull that off on her own.
  • Is the Black Hood really gone?
  • Where will everyone’s alliances fall for the mayoral election? I see the Lodges getting support from anyone privy to protecting the Northside way. So that would be the Lodges, Hal Cooper, the Blossoms and most parents of Riverdale High students. Fred would get support from the McCoys, the Coopers, the Jones, the Serpents and most likely Cheryl (although she doesn’t get much of a vote). It’ll be curious to see where someone like Sheriff Keller would end up because for someone like him there is reason to support either side.

Overall, this was a decent episode. Finally some plot pushing drama happens as Alice returns to her roots, Chic is kicked to the curb, Hiram upsets his old associates and that kiss! The dynamic between the Coopers and Jones is the best part of the back half of season two so far as both sets of couples have a unique chemistry to them. Good on the writers to not drag out Cheryl’s incarceration as it would remove one of the greatest assets to the show and seriously hurt the story. Let’s just hope that this storyline with the Lodges and Archie becomes something more than a repetitive b-rate Sopranos soap opera.

Score: 7.5/10

What did you think of “The Noose Tightens”?  Let me know in the comments below!

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