As is the nature of promotion in 2018; actors and writers on Riverdale were posting about Wednesday’s episode all week. They promised that the latest instalment would be ‘crazy’, the trailers certainly concurred. I watched the episode today as I am in the UK and we get the episodes the next morning via Netflix. It is safe to say, it did not disappoint. The events of ‘Judgement Night’ have gotten everybody talking.
I love the references in Riverdale and there were a ton in this week’s episode. The moment that The Black Hood put his axe through the door at Thistle House is an example. This is clearly a reference to the ‘Here’s Johnny’ moment in The Shining.
The conflict between gangs for control of the town was very reminiscent of The Warriors. There is a lot of David Lynch and Stephen King in this. Specifically, it is the theme of the corruption of the innocent in the Black Hood story line. The idea of psychopathic tendencies being passed down could also be influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s psycho.
Also, when Cheryl shot her assailant with an arrow, she was wearing a red hooded cloak. After a pithy quip, the music rose up in a similar way to the Arrow soundtrack. Interesting as Arrow is another CW show.
Some major plot events took place in this episode, we saw an escalation in the battle for Riverdale; a killer unmasked, and a sacrifice. Hiram Lodge appears to have gone full villain, apologetically self serving. Meanwhile, the townspeople look to Fred Andrews in their time of need. Even Hermoine and Veronica have turned on Hiram after his actions put them directly in harm’s way.
Sheryl’s vigilante moment was a powerful moment for her character. Her father was a murderer too, she has had enough of villainous adults. Sheryl is striking back at the corrosive evil in the adults of Riverdale here, the same malevolence that killed her brother, the same hatred that locked her in an asylum. She decided to take matters into her own hands and become a spirit of vengeance. The red cowl creates the image of Red Riding Hood fighting back against the wolf. She is no longer a victim to predators.
Archie had another heroic when he defended Pop’s from the Ghoulies. This was a really well written scene for the character. We have previously heard him say that Pop’s is his home and he feels at peace in there with his friends. It felt like he was taking a moral stand by defending it.
Fans finally got a payoff from The Black Hood storyline in a very tense scene. The moment at the Cooper house in which Hal reveals his identity and unhinged mind was mesmerising. You could not take your eyes off the screen, a big part of that was Lochlyn Munro’s performance. Munro seemed like he could lash out at any moment.
The key to a good mystery is to never give away all of the answers. That was certainly at play here, Hal tells us that the shooting at the debate was not him. This means that there is another Black Hood killer at large. The attacker who broke into the Lodge house had green eyes too, was it him? The Black Hood was never that huge though and he appeared to be elsewhere when Fred and Archie were attacked. Could there be multiple, related Black Hoods?
FP Jones has been trying to keep Jughead’s reactive tendencies in check all season. However, his absence during the Penny Peabody situation made him powerless to save Jug from himself. Jughead was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to satisfy Penny’s desire for blood. The shot of FP running into the woods to try and save his son was haunting. The fact that Jughead was left for dead in the woods makes it even more heartbreaking.
We do not actually get confirmation that Jughead is dead. I believe they will go back on it and he will have just been hospitalised. I also predict that the season finale will see the downfall of Hiram Lodge. He will be publicly embarrassed and exposed as a criminal.
I will be sad when the second season ends. It will be difficult waiting for the release of season 3 but I cannot wait to watch that season finale.