Last week on Riverdale, we saw the Black Hood emotionally torture Betty Cooper, and Nick St. Clair, an old friend of Veronica’s, came to town and caused some trouble that ended with Betty giving Nick’s name to the Black Hood as the one he should punish.
The episode opens with Jughead stating that everyone in Riverdale wears a mask and when those slip, you can see someone’s true self. As Jughead is writing this, Toni wakes up at his place—which is somewhat okay as we find out later what happened.
Betty’s mask is so far gone that she doesn’t even bother with her iconic ponytail anymore and runs to Nick’s hotel to find out if the Black Hood killed him, which he did not. However, Sheriff Keller shows up to take Nick to the station for his actions, when Betty gets a call from the Black Hood. He claims that the point of her giving up Nick’s name was so he could see the “real Betty” and now the real work can begin—I’m really scared at this point for her.
Archie and Betty then head to Pop’s and tells Archie she’s figured out it’s all a psychological game to the Hood and she’s not going to play anymore. After their first few calls, Betty told Polly to disappear for a little while, but things with Jughead aren’t going so well as she’s currently looking at him sharing a booth with Toni.
According to their booth conversation, Jughead and Toni engaged in a “PG-13 grope session” last night, which seems to be the end of that as Toni isn’t into being the rebound. In fact, she’s more interested in girls.
With Nick at the police station, Penelope Blossom heads to the Lodge’s to get Cheryl and tells Hiram and Hermione that she wants things handled discreetly. According to Penelope, Cheryl won’t be pressing charges because “nothing really happened to her”. Cheryl hears this and snaps back into typical Cheryl mode and tells Veronica she’s fine before storming out.
A meeting is called at the Cooper residence with the parents and children that were at Nick’s party doing drugs. Alice rubs it in that Betty wasn’t because she was too busy cutting V out of her life while Sheriff Keller explains that there’s no case against Nick because they were high. Mayor McCoy is horrified because even her daughter, Josie, was caught and makes it her number one priority to get the South Side under control, which starts with a raid of South Side high.
Archie races to the high school and pulls Jughead out before the raid begins and soon after, Jughead is called into a meeting with Tall Boy at the house of some Ghoulie named Malachi. According to Tall Boy, the gangs need to unite because so many of them have been arrested. Jughead isn’t onboard with the plan, so Archie and him visit FP for advice. He says to take advantage of the Ghoulies weakness—their love of cars and challenge them to a street race and the winner gets control of South Side High. What is this, Grease?
Meanwhile, Betty gives up on her plan and answers the Hood’s next call. The Hood claims that by sparing Nick’s life, he saved her from having Nick’s blood on her hands. He wants to find the person making the drugs in Riverdale who is known as the Sugar Man. Clifford Blossom used to be his supplier, which is why the Hood wants Betty to talk to Cheryl. She can either give the Hood the name of the Sugar Man, or someone else will die.
Iconic ponytail back in place. Betty visits Cheryl who recognises the name as a story her mother made up to scare her and Jason when they were little. Cheryl confronts her mother about it, but Penelope plays dumb. At Pop’s, Sheriff Keller tells Betty that Clifford Blossom WAS the Sugar Man, and Jingle Jangle didn’t hit the streets until after Clifford died. Betty then comes clean about everything to Veronica, and by the end of the conversation, they decide to team up to identify the Sugar Man.
The next day, everyone from the party is doing community service as their punishment and Veronica asks Reggie for his Jingle Jangle dealer. She meets up with the dealer and scares him by mentioning the Sugar Man, so the pair follow him and wind up in Ghoulie headquarters. Thankfully, Jughead and Archie are already there negotiating the terms of the race. If Jughead wins, the Serpents remain autonomous and the Ghoulies quit dealing. But if Jughead loses, the Serpents fold and the Ghoulies get the White worm and the trailer park.
Betty begins work on Reggie’s car and promises Jughead she ended it to protect him and will explain everything after the race. Meanwhile, Cheryl has a run-in with Nick at Pop’s, and when the jerk shows no remorse, she threatens to press charges. However, Nick reveals that Mrs Blossom accepted hush money from his family. Cheryl finds the cheque and confronts her about how she has never protected her. She says she’ll hand it over if she gets the truth about the Sugar Man.
Cheryl tells Veronica that her family is also accepting money from the St. Clair family, so she tells them that Nick tried to attack her too causing Hiram to lose it and say Nick is dead to him because he hurt his precious daughter. Hermione vows to stop taking money from them and by the end of the episode, the St. Clair’s are involved in a terrible accident and their recovery will take some time (karma).
At the race, Betty tells Jughead she never stopped loving him just before Cheryl starts the race because she was “born for this moment”. Unfortunately, Archie and Jughead lose as Archie pulls the brake to save their lives, but we find out that he did it because he called Sheriff Keller and the police are waiting at the finish line. Now, the Ghoulies are arrested and aren’t a problem for now. Of course, Tall Boy gets really angry because the Serpents don’t like having the police involved so Jughead takes his anger out on Archiie.
Afterwards, Mrs Blossom tells Cheryl that Sugar Man was a story she made up “to turn an all-too-real monster into a child’s boogeyman.” There have been many over the years and when Clifford started grooming Jason to take over the business, he wanted him to meet the Sugar Man, which she tried to stop. Unfortunately, it began the terrible series of events that led to Jason’s death. Keeping her word, Cheryl gives over the cheque, but Mrs Blossom throws it in the fire and tells her who the current Sugar Man is.
Cheryl gives Betty the name, but Betty tells the police instead. When the Hood calls, she tells him it’s her game now—she was able to find out who killed Jason, she found out the identity of the Sugar Man, and now the Black Hood is next. “I’m breathing down your neck. Can you feel it? Can you feel me?” Betty tells him in such a badass way right before he hangs up.
By the end of the episode, Bughead seems to be back together with Jughead and Betty sitting together on a couch: Jughead writing and Betty reading. The Sugar Man turns out to be Mr. Phillips (you know, the nice English teacher who helped Jughead), which was a shock! The police do arrest him, but he isn’t safe as the Black Hood somehow finds him in jail and shoots the Sugar Man himself. Game on, Betty Cooper.
In my humble opinion, last week’s episode was better, but I still liked this and I loved seeing more of Cheryl this week. I also enjoyed the Grease connections.
What did you think of ‘Death Proof’? Did you like the Grease connections and seeing more of Cheryl? Sound off in the comments below!