Riverdale “Chapter Nineteen: Death Proof” Review
This town is just descending into madness with each passing week. Last week was as chilling as it gets when Betty is practically tortured by the black Hood killer to prove that she is willing to go the distance to bring justice to those around her. And that was just one of numerous developments which keeping you at the edge of your seat. Everyone is making moves that will either make or break them, but the question is when that time will come for each of them.
Betty’s continued interaction with the Black Hood never shakes the cold suspense of what he will make her do next. Its one thing for him to see her as inspiration for his actions, but another thing right now when he is forcing her to act against her own will to harm others. That is some conflicting perspective when it comes to justice. It was a tough pill to swallow to see how far the damage was done between her and everyone else. Of course what you looked forward to here is Betty somehow still finding the strength to turn to Veronica for help. That was going to happen inevitably. That aside, one of the best things to come of this episode for Betty was seeing something familiar for her from the comics. *Spoilers* Betty working with cars was a step back to being that girl next door in contrast to the girl who fights for the side of justice.
This new development with Veronica is once again chilling because you are still seeing how far she will go to defy. She’s made some good progress to try to get closer to her dad for answers, but what is the cost for fully engaging in the same activities as her family? That is the real question since Veronica made so much progress up to this point not to be like them, and do the right thing when she can.
It goes without saying that I loved this air of uncertainty surrounding Cheryl as well, and her mental state at the hands of Sinclair. She is strong, but even then you can only take so much before reaching a breaking point. We’ve seen before what that looks like for Cheryl, so it worried you guessing how long she could keep leveled. Her tough exterior is everything to be admired, but seeing her stand on her two feet and claw back is everything more.
In terms of world-building I do like this story growing from behind the scenes. It seemed like such a small thing when you finally understood Hiram’s plans for the Southside, but now when you see the domino effect since that reveal, the situation has steadily escalated with each passing episode. The town meeting, the fight between the gang and the football team, and now this incident with the kids taking drugs at a party. Mayor McCoy threatening to further escalate tensions between the North and Southside seemed like a natural reaction when you know that she takes money from the Lodges and will do whatever it takes to make herself seem like she is making the right calls for the best interest of Riverdale. Her move against the Serpents in particular shook things up in a big way and couldn’t have come at a better time.
Now Jughead and Archie trying to stop a dangerous alliance between the Serpents and a long-time rival from forming was the next best transition from current events. Every action asks for a reaction from another force. With a North versus South war growing by the day, it only made sense that enemies would eventually stand together to fight being run out. New characters were also introduced here that reminded you of how much worse things could be if you lived in wrong areas. The Serpents were questionable at best, but you always wondered what life is like on the other side.
Riverdale “Chapter Nineteen: Death Proof” was chalk full of powerplays here and there, changing the game in a big way. Everyone is a winner, and everyone is a loser when nothing is done without sacrificing just a bit of who you are or what you mean to someone else. Characters like Betty learned this the hard way and so far continues to be the most well-written for having such range to her during trying times. Taking control of her situation the way she did leaves you begging to know what happens next week. As for everyone else? You simply brace for the worst, and hope for the best.