Thursday’s episode marked the mid-season finale of Season 2. Wow, time has certainly flown by! Last week on Riverdale, we saw FP being released from prison as well as the breakups of our two favourite couples: Bughead (Betty and Jughead) and Varchie (Veronica and Archie).
The episode starts at Pop’s, where Archie and Fred are selling Christmas trees and Jughead and Archie discuss their relationship issues. For Betty, she’s having nightmares about the Black Hood dressed up as Santa and killing her family. Both Cheryl and Archie are dealing with money problems as Fred received his hospital bill for $86,000 while Cheryl’s family will be having a “hard candy Christmas”.
The Riverdale secret santa gift exchange has been organised by Kevin. Archie gives the perfect present to Betty: The Swiss Family Robinson, which is a read-along record they used to listen to and Jughead and Veronica aren’t thrilled by their friendliness. Betty and Archie then notice that there’s a new janitor and Mr Svenson has been gone for a few days.
Before they dig any further, they exchange gifts with their exes. When Jughead and Betty exchange presents, he apologises again as he doesn’t want Betty getting hurt because of him and she reminds him that it’s not his decision to make. Veronica then gives a watch inscribed with “Mad About My Archikins”.
Betty and Archie jump back on the case and visit Mr Svenson, although he’s not there—another dead end. But when Betty gets home, she finds a secret santa present, which turns out to be from the Black Hood and it’s Svenson’s finger. Archie comes over and they receive a call from the Black Hood where he tells her that they have to find out where the town’s primal sin was committed in order to save Mr. Svenson’s life. The pair then decide to visit the Sisters of Quiet Mercy because Joseph Conway lived there before he was adopted.
Meanwhile, Jughead is trying to hide what he believes are drugs from FP’s parole officer; Veronica is wondering about the Lodge’s money; and Cheryl defies her mother and splurges on Christmas to which Nana Rose tells Mrs Blossom—“You should’ve drowned them at birth like a basket of kittens”.
Veronica breaks into Hiram’s study and discovers he bought Pop’s. She then calls the hospital and pretends to be Hermione so she can pay Fred’s bill. But when Hiram and Hermione get home, she convinces them to tell her everything as her names are on all the documents.
Those “drugs” Jughead hid? The duffel bags were actually filled with Christmas presents, but it doesn’t mean things are square as FP is currently trying to fix the situation with Penny and that means he has to be her “dancing monkey”. Jughead then rallies the younger Serpents to take Penny out.
Jughead and the masked Serpents then kidnap Penny and take her to Greendale. He tells her to never return to Riverdale, and Jughead then proves how serious they are by pulling out his pocketknife to remove the Serpent tattoo from her arm. He lets FP know she’s gone, but he isn’t pleased. However, Jughead is proud to be a Serpent and says FP must accept that.
Betty and Archie visit the Sisters of Quiet Mercy and Betty threatens to reveal the terrible things they do there if they don’t tell them about Joseph. They’re then told about how a group of Riverdale citizens killed the man Joseph claimed to have murdered his family. Except, he was wrong and he later realised this. They also learn that a woman with white hair “save for a cherry red stripe” was part of that group—and that so happens to be Nana Rose Blossom.
They head to the Blossom’s and Nana Rose tells them they buried him alive as well as Betty’s grandfather being involved. Betty remembers they have photos and they plan to head to Betty’s house to look at them. Before they do, Archie gives her a pep talk about how he needs her if he has any hope of ending this with the Black Hood. Betty gets swept up in the moment and she leans in and kisses him, but then they immediately head back to work.
At Betty’s, they find the photo with the men standing around a fresh grave and they recognise the location. They call Sheriff Keller on the way and discover a new grave marked for Mr Svenson. They dig it up only to find an empty coffin and that’s when the Black Hood arrives.
He holds a gun to Betty’s head and demands Archie gets in the coffin or he’ll shoot. Betty’s forced to start burying him alive, but then the sirens startle him and Betty hits him with the shovel. Freeing Archie, they chase after the Black Hood with Archie now carrying his gun.
They get to the bridge and the Black Hood prepares to jump, but Archie threatens to shoot him. Luckily, Sheriff Keller shows up and shoots him before Archie does. They pull off the mask and the big reveal is: Mr Svenson.
Before Veronica meets up with the others at Pop’s, she lets her parents know she’s in, but not for anything illegal and Fred’s medical bills stay paid. At Pop’s they discuss his motives, which Betty seems to think were about balancing the scale. He killed an innocent man, so maybe targeting sinners was supposed to make things even (I’m not buying it).
The next morning is Christmas and Veronica gets a present from Archie, which is a locket with both of their pictures inside. Jughead’s present from Betty is a vintage typewriter, while Betty receives a signed original edition of one of her favourite books. Veronica goes to visit Archie at his house and says that she loves Archie, but someone is taking pictures of them.
At the end of the episode, Betty is burning everything related to her Black Hood search…except for the Hood she got in Sheriff Keller’s office because something tells her that this isn’t over.
This episode was a pretty good mid-season finale, but the Black Hood “reveal” was lame. I was hoping for it to be someone we really know and care about so it would be a shock, but it seems as though it was definitely a red herring and someone else is pulling the strings. Mr. Svenson was weird and kind of creepy, but it doesn’t make any sense. Also, is there going to be a real love triangle this time?
Riverdale returns January 17th 2018!
What did you think of ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’? What did you think of the ‘big reveal’? Sound off in the comments below!