Last week on Riverdale, we saw Betty and her friends save Pop’s, but we also saw teenagers doing drugs (jingle jangle), Hiram Lodge up to his old tricks, and the masked man claimed two more victims.
Episode 3 begins with Jughead saying that every fairytale comes with a warning, “that good children should never go into the woods alone” (I second that Jug). So, we see Kevin running in the woods looking for a hookup and during the hookup, he hears gunshots. The shots he hears were from the Black Hood shooting the two teenagers. Midge runs out of the car and bumps into Kevin who helps save Moose’s life, so neither dies.
Archie is at football practice with the rest of the team when Reggie, their captain, cancels practice due to Moose being in the hospital. Kevin fills everyone in on “what happened” by saying he was jogging, which everyone but Betty believes. Veronica then invites the gang over to her place to watch the season premiere of The Matchlorette because she wants them to meet her father. Jughead and Archie are a little wary, but Betty agrees so they all go.
Betty speaks to Kevin and asks him what he was really doing, to which he replies that he was cruising Fox Forest. Betty suggests he goes on Grindr, but Kevin doesn’t want to so Betty makes him promise not to do it again until the killer is caught.
Meanwhile, Jughead is at Southside High where there’s no Wifi, no doors on the bathroom stalls, no school paper and lots of jingle jangle being passed around—please Jug, get out of there. We discover there’s a rival gang called the Ghoulies and we are also introduced to a fellow Serpent by the name of Toni Topaz. She gives Jughead the run down and warns him to side with the Serpents for protection, but Jughead milks the whole “loner” thing. At Southside, you don’t ask questions, which Jughead learns when he asks to reopen the school’s paper that was shut down when “drugs and gangs came to Southside High”.
Later, everyone is at the Lodge’s and Hiram who is most interested in Archie. Hiram understands the frustration with Sheriff Keller and tells Archie that “sometimes we need to take matters into our own hands.” He then invites Archie back over for dinner.
Archie decides to the Red Circle, which is just a group of jocks from school who become a watch group to be an extra set of eyes and ears for police. It turns out they are playing right into Hiram’s hand as this is exactly what he wanted.
Mrs. Cooper receives a letter from the Black Hood asking her to publish an article along with Fred’s wallet and Grundy’s glasses as proof. In the letter, which they take to the sheriff, he takes credit for shooting the “adulterer”, killing the “child predator” and shooting the “drug and sex-addicted teenagers”. He claims Riverdale isn’t innocent, which implies that he’s going after anyone he deems as not innocent, which could be every person in the show. Sheriff Keller and the mayor say that the paper shouldn’t print it, but Mrs. Cooper has already sent it in for the front page.
Polly (who is actually in an episode) makes a decision to move to the farm where she and Jason were originally going to live. She says she’s a sinner, which means she could be targeted because she’s “an unwed mother carrying my cousin’s babies.” She leaves by the end of the episode, only saying goodbye to Betty.
At the hospital, Moose thanks Kevin for saving his life and Moose says that “they” don’t have a lot of options in Riverdale and invites him to come back and talk anytime. Kevin heads back to the woods, but Cheryl sees him and calls Betty. The two catch up to him and Betty tells him that he should have “more respect” for himself and he tells her the truth. He only has these woods and if she can’t accept what he does, they are not really friends.
Archie and Reggie patrol the town when a creepy van starts following Ethel. Meanwhile, Jughead works on a story about the Ghoulies selling hard drugs and he is greeted by Betty for a short makeout session until Toni Topaz interrupts causing a whole lot of awkward. Later, Jughead is alone, but doesn’t leave for a while because he ends up getting beat up. He lies to Betty the next day and says it was a motorcycle crash and after she cleans his wounds and leaves, Jughead makes Toni promise not to tell Betty the truth.
Archie has dinner with the Lodge family, and Hiram invites him to have some rum in his forbidden study (which Veronica has never been allowed into). He lays down some rules: No more sneaking into his daughter’s bedroom, and to never ever hurt Veronica—he’s sure to break at least one of those, right? Hiram then continues to manipulate Archie and tells him that sometimes defending yourself isn’t enough. He wants the Red Circle to strike back as the Black Hood is using fear as a weapon, so they should as well. Archie follows this and makes a video message for the Black Hood surrounding by shirtless dudes in ski masks (um…what?). Meanwhile, Hiram leans back and smirks as he watches the video.
Kevin has a scary encounter in the woods with a guy in a car, which drives him back home where his father has been talking to Betty and decides to be more involved as he is worried about his son’s whereabouts and activities.
Overall, this hour was very well done with the whole thriller vibe, and I loved seeing Kevin take mostly center-stage as we don’t get to explore his character much. I also enjoyed seeing the new characters from Southside High, but I don’t think a love-triangle between Betty, Jughead and Toni is necessary at all.
What did you think of ‘The Watcher in the Woods’? Did you like seeing more of Kevin? Sound off in the comments below!