No matter what they do, the teens of Riverdale can’t stop themselves from having sex or committing murders. SPOILERS follow.

First, in case we aren’t on the same page, you can read the last episode’s recap here before we move onto this week’s.

The mayoral race between Hermione Lodge and Fred Andrews was heating up, as the Black Hood lingered in the shadows all the while. Archie and Betty were both on his trail, but in different ways. As always, Archie’s vendetta against the Black Hood has been about protecting his father, and Betty’s has been for finding the truth.

Betty was now convinced her father was in the fact the Black Hood himself. She came to Cheryl to talk because she had experience with her father being a killer. Together they did some sleuthing that corroborated Betty’s theory, but didn’t confirm it. They even took a trip to the morgue to view a corpse that they thought might’ve been Chick’s. When the body wasn’t Chick after all, Betty couldn’t let her guilt about potentially aiding in his murder slide. She told her parents, who were rather supportive, actually. But her father’s mention that he too felt the darkness Betty struggled with kept her investigation going. She and Cheryl broke into the room her father stayed in when he didn’t live at home to find evidence. While they didn’t find any hoods or murder weapons, they did find a book: the Nancy Drew cypher that the Black Hood had used to send coded messages to Betty. She confronted her father about it, but he claimed it was only a gift he had bought her because she loved the book so much as a kid. Betty was so unconvinced by this it was almost funny, actually.

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Meanwhile, Archie was going door-to-door, using his father’s campaign as cover to search for the Black Hood. Hiram Lodge suggested that he could introduce Archie to the new sheriff to help him out. He also suggested Archie use his Black Circle gang to help on the hunt. But Archie’s pack of ripped high school athletes couldn’t be controlled. Moose admitted that he knew Midge had been seeing a Serpent behind his back before her death. This got to the Circle, especially Reggie (who, if you’re familiar with the comics, always had a thing for Midge). Archie and Jughead tried to keep their two gangs from clashing, but the identity of the Serpent was revealed when the behind-the-scenes footage Jughead shot for the musical leaked and revealed Fangs as the Serpent in question. Reggie and the Black Circle arrived to beat him down just as the police apprehended Fangs, who dropped an incriminating switchblade while being arrested.

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People were quick to assume Fangs was the Black Hood copycat who had killed Midge, especially Reggie and the Black Circle. They went out to the Serpent’s territory and started causing trouble, setting fires and slashing tires (and, just for future reference, if you don’t want to be identified for a crime, you should take off your school jacket first). Archie tried to disband the Black Circle, only to learn that they were under direct orders from Hiram Lodge. Hiram’s plan was to stir up radicalism in the group, then blame Fred Andrews during the mayoral debate for letting his son start a street terrorist group.

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Speaking of the debate: before the whole town gathered together to watch and vote, Fred received a letter on his front door from the Black Hood, warning him that he would be the next victim. Fred, strong as ever, decided to continue with the debate anyway. That was a bad idea, because who should show up in the middle of the debate but the Black Hood. And he brought an assault rifle with him. Archie tackled his father, keeping him safe as the Black Hood began firing on the candidates and the crowd. As the crowd fled in panic (we didn’t actually see any casualties and can therefore assume there were none), there was one notable person not doing the shooting: Betty’s father.

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After it became clear that Fangs wasn’t the new Black Hood and therefore didn’t kill Midge, he was set free. But a massive angry mob had gathered outside the sheriff’s office, including the Black Circle. Hiram Lodge told Reggie that the law had failed and a guilty man would walk free, unless he took the law into his own hands. Jughead and the Serpents formed a protective barrier around Fangs as they fled the police station into the mob, with Archie tried to find and stop Reggie. But Reggie was too ready to take Hiram’s advice: he had brought a gun. Archie saw the weapon and tackled Reggie, but in the scuffle it was accidentally fired, hitting Fangs square in the gut. We’ll have to wait and see if he survives, but I hope that Hiram ends up taking more of the blame for it than Reggie.

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After the shooting at the debate, where Betty saw her father and the Black Hood in the same room, clearly separate entities, she still wasn’t convinced. The book she and Cheryl had found was too much to ignore, and she was sure she knew truth. She called her father and told him to meet her at city hall. She laid out all the evidence, prepared to confront her father as the monster she knew he was. But he failed to show. Instead, Cheryl got a ring at her door. And when she answered, there stood the Black Hood.

I seriously don’t expect the show would ever kill off a major character like Cheryl. I’m pretty sure the next episode will begin with her being held captive, as Betty and the gang are tasked with finding her. Or maybe it could do the unexpected and brutally murder a main character, who knows. I think that, much like Archie’s own Black Circle, the Black Hood is more of a gang than one man. Mr. Svenson, Betty’s father, and at least one other person were all the Black Hood, working together this whole time. With only two episodes left this season, things could very well be coming to head next episode. Oh, and there was also this C plot this episode where Veronica wanted to open a casino, but her dad wouldn’t let her, so she got mad and gave her support Fred Andrews for mayor. And I guess Archie found political support really hot because then they had sex. I failed to mention this earlier because it was boring.

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This was a very good episode. It’s nothing new, but the acting was strong and the cinematography in many scenes was outstanding. The whole prison mob sequence at the end was just incredible. Although a rating I’ve given many times before, I rate “Shadow of a Doubt9 easily impressionable teen athletes out of 10.

What did you think of this episode? Agree with my rating? What do you think happens next? Let us know in the comments below or @SuperBroMovies.

Riverdale airs Wednesday nights at 8 on The CW.

Weston Sheffield

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