Riverdale “Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown” Review
Oh Archiekins, you have gone off the reserve haven’t you? How many episodes in and you have a killer on the loose, you have kids deciding they want to take the fight to a killer, you even have the problem that is gangs at odds with each other. This is a town that will know no rest and dreading the sundown seems like the least of their worries.
I think we all knew that Archie’s actions would have some sort of consequence, though not like this. A situation spiraling out of control felt like an understatement when this kid is running right into the fire. This version of Archie completely catches you off guard when most forms of common sense go out the window when his emotions take over. Seeing how far his actions would take him in the context of the school and town was a shocker. Well maybe not too shocking, though you do hate to see the guy suffer for doing something stupid. With that said, the trouble that Veronica found herself asking for by trying to support Archie was an interesting change in direction. There has been this rebellious streak which she just keeps pushing and pushing. With that said, the suspense generated from this works when you want to see how far she will go before realizing this whole situation is out of hand.
Exploring what fear does to everyone in this town was the best way to move forward. In some way someone is affected by not only a serial killer being on the loose, but the way that people respond to that fear. Mayor McCoy calling an emergency town hall meeting to deal with the growing chaos in Riverdale was as well a step in the right direction. World-building is the kind of engagement we need to see from this town and a meeting was necessary to address where everyone stands on the Black Hood situation. Some people are fueling the fire, some people are giving in to the fear, and you have others who are trying to take advantage of the chaos. There are all these different motivations clashing and you want to see who will get the worst of the position they stand for during these times.
What made this Black Hood killer such a big draw-in for this season was the fact that he was such a familiar character by name. Though the twist that he is doing this for Betty? That flips everything you thought you knew about this situation right on its head. Truthfully this was probably the best way to give the guy a true connection to the town and someone from the main cast without making the reasoning too predictable or personal. It would have been too easy for someone like the Black Hood to be looking for Archie as he initially assumed, using Betty as a source at the very least connects events to the season before. To some extent it is too early for the previous season not to continue bleeding over. At a times like this I do have to say I appreciate how the guy doesn’t have to be present to be a problem. All you needed was those few actions to set the wheels in motion and let human nature do its part. That will change eventually, though for now we are getting exactly what we need out of the Black Hood’s influence alone.
On Jughead’s end of things, it did shake things up that the Serpents see Archie and those from the North as a problem to correct. Tensions between the North and Southside coming to a head and leading to a showdown was a point of interest when the problem really is how people are tearing each other apart over someone who cares little about petty squabbles. The showdown itself was brutal as you would have thought it to be. It could have gone a lot of ways, but I’m glad it did not since this would have become too much of a distraction down the road.
Riverdale “Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown” lived up to the name when at the end of this episode you can’t see this town being the same. They are doing more harm to each other than the Black Hood could have from just shooting two people and killing another. He could do so much more, and yet that his few messages are strong enough shake this town and its people to the very core. You definitely want to see how much worse things can get before they get any better.