TV Reviews

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 19: Prisoners Review

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

Synopsis: An incident at Riverdale High leaves the town on edge; The reveal of a devastating secret leads to a violent showdown between Chic, Jughead, Betty and Alice. (IMDB)

Writer: Cristine Chambers

Director: Jennifer Phang

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45 mins

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

“Prisoners” starts off with the entire town coming to Midge’s funeral as Cheryl sings for her former classmate. Sheriff Keller sits down with various students to discuss what they knew and where they were the night of the murder: Jughead’s documentary, Ethel’s want to be the lead, Moose’s relationship with her. Archie sits down with Keller and questions if they got the real Black Hood, but the Sheriff reassures him that they got the right guy. Prepare to be wrong Sheriff. First up, let’s look at the Sheriff’s grim situation.

After the funeral, Sheriff Keller extends his condolences to Midge’s mother, who slaps him in protest and questions his ability to protect the town. Cheryl makes sure to threaten Sheriff Keller for good measure. The Lodges decide that part of their mayoral campaign should be focused on removing Sheriff Keller from office and decide that their best ally in this venture is Cheryl Blossom. Kevin confronts Cheryl about posting an article about his father, but Cheryl will not back down. She wants blood. At the Keller’s, the Sheriff tells Kevin that he is doubting his evidence in the Black Hood case and feels responsible for Midge’s death. They hear a crash outside as someone has vandalized his car, painting killer on the side of it. Kevin comes home to find his father drinking in his office. He’s decided to step down as Sheriff to allow someone else to finish what he couldn’t. He knows if Fred wins the election he will be reinstated, but the Lodges will never hire him back. Furthers the divide of this town heading into the final episodes.

Now onto Archie and his antics. At Pop’s, Archie tells the gang that he thinks Svenson wasn’t the real Black Hood, but used as a scapegoat. Jughead suggests that this is perhaps just a copycat killer. On his way home, Archie is walking down the street and finds himself being stalked by a hooded figure. At the Andrews residence, Archie talks to his dad about the Black Hood’s message and suggests that his father leave town for a while to protect him. Archie goes to Svenson’s boarded up house to investigate himself, but he’s jumped by a group of black hoods and kidnapped.

Veronica answers the phone expecting it to be Archie, but discovers its Nick St. Clair who has Archie and will hurt him unless she can get him “a cool million.” She asks her family for her, but the Lodges won’t pay for Archie’s release because he isn’t family. Archie tries to reason with Nick, talking about his father being in danger and The Black Hood’s re-emergence, but Nick doesn’t care. He has something to prove to his father and Archie is his ticket. Veronica, desperate to save Archie, breaks into her family’s safe and, despite not having enough money tells Nick that she has the ransom.

Veronica meets with Nick at Pop’s to give him the money and while Nick notices that she’s short, he suggests that she pay the rest by finishing what he tried to start. Nick visits Archie to discuss what he got Veronica to agree to do. However, instead of sleeping with her, he plans to kill Veronica to make his “bones.” Archie sees Veronica arrive at the hotel room causing him to become enraged and break free to go save his girlfriend. As he runs off he is unaware that Veronica roofied Nick’s drink giving her the upperhand. Archie arrives to find Nick passed out and Veronica perfectly fine deciding to call the St. Clairs asking for “a cool million” for his return.

And finally there’s trouble at the Cooper home. The Sheriff goes to the Coopers house asking to speak to Chic, but Hal quickly tells him that Chic is no longer there and they’ll bring him down to the station. Alice and Betty become a bit nervous as to what Chic could say and suggest that he leave town. Betty and Jughead decide to dig into Chic’s past and find that he and Svenson both spent time at The Sisters of Quiet Mercy potentially connecting them for the Riverdale’s murders. However, what they do find is that Chic Cooper is not the original Charles Smith that Alice gave up for adoption at the convent.

Betty and Jughead return home with the information to find Alice and Chic in the kitchen. They confront the imposter who picks up a knife and cuts Alice. Luckily, Betty and Jughead are able to subdue him and bring him to the basement to interrogate. In their questioning, Chic reveals that he knew Alice’s real son and that after Alice rejected him, he ended up overdosing on Jingle Jangle. So the long lost Cooper brother is dead? Alice retreats upstairs and breaks down feeling as if she caused her estranged son’s death, but she needs to leave for a bit.

Alice barges into FP’s trailer and tells him everything. When they were in high school she had his baby and now he’s dead because she turned him away. She feels responsible for everything, but FP holds her close. Back at the Coopers, Betty receives a call with that eerie Lollipop ringtone. Guess who? It’s the Black Hood! He talks about killing Midge, setting up Svenson and now wants Betty to give up Chic as he comes from a “den of sinners.” Jughead interrupts the call and asks who it was. “Was that your mom?” “No, it’s my dad.” FORESHADOWING?

Betty and Jughead visit Chic’s old apartment complex to learn that Chic and Charles used to be roommates and the neighbours reveal that Charles didn’t have a drug problem, but that they used to fight all the time and one day Charles was gone and bloody evidence in the trash. They return home to confront Chic, but he blackmails them with everything he knows. Luckily FP arrives and stops Jughead from beating Chic to death, he wants to stop his son from making the same mistake.

Alice decides to let all the walls down and tell Hal about the murder in their house. She lets Betty off the hook and takes all the blame and as a family they try to figure out whether or not to send Chic away or give him to the police. Betty decides to sneak away and untie Chic at gunpoint. She takes him to a nearby park where he reveals he did kill Charles and as if by clockwork the Black Hood appears ready to take this murdering con man. It should be noted that Betty had a gun in hand and did not shoot at the Black Hood believing he was the lesser of two evils.

The episode ends as the Lodges arrive home to find Veronica standing over a pile of money. Hiram explains he was trying to reason with the St. Clairs, Veronica says they hadn’t heard from him at all. Hiram retreats to his study where Archie is waiting, asking to earn his bones with the family. He asks if by killing the Black Hood would he be accepted and Hiram agrees. Meanwhile, Betty returns home to find Alice alone. As she plans to tell her she handed him to the Black Hood,  she asks where Hal is and Alice explains he left to look for her sending a shocking revelation down Betty’s spine.

Questions

  • Will McCoy endorse Fred Andrew’s campaign?
  • Will Archie and the gang band together to defeat a common foe?
  • Will Hiram helping Archie defeat the Black Hood be his way of destroying Fred’s mayoral campaign?
  • Did the Black Hood catch Chic?
  • Will Penelope and Claudius strike back against Cheryl?
  • When will Kevin’s mom return? It’s bound to happen.
  • Who will become mayor of Riverdale?
  • Who is the REAL Black Hood? The show is pushing the idea of Hal Cooper on us with some blatant foreshadowing. It could also be Sheriff Keller given his position and affair with the previous mayor, but the motivation to start murdering again seems unrealistic.

Overall, this was a good episode. While Archie continues to be the weakest link on this show with his unwavering loyalty to such a corrupt pair of parents, his girlfriend is thankfully able to see past their ridiculousness and take matters into her own hands. With the re-emergence of the Black Hood and the city’s leadership in shambles, of course the police department had to take a hit as well. The clear divide of the town’s opinions on the jail and now Sheriff Keller is creating an increasingly intense feud that appears to be headed to a bloody conclusion. Hopefully the gang is able to stop that from happening as Archie’s vendetta could jeopardize Fred’s mayoral run. Who wants the town run by the father of a murdering vigilante? In only a few more episode it will finally be revealed who the Black Hood really is and let’s hope that reveal is the biggest one yet.

Score: 8/10

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