‘Riverdale’ Recap: Archie Fights Back, The Black Hood Explains His Motive

Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones on Riverdale
Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones on Riverdale Bettina Strauss/The CW

Things were much calmer in the Wednesday, October 25, episode of Riverdale, but there were still some big revelations. Read our recap to find out what Archie and his friends were up to in “Chapter Sixteen: The Watcher in the Woods.”

The Red Circle

This episode picked up at the exact moment last week’s ended. Kevin (Casey Cott), who was in the woods for reasons we’ll get into later, heard gunshots and ran to see what was going on. Moose and Midge both survived the attack by the masked gunman. Moose was in worse shape than Midge because he shielded her, but the limited amount of time the episode spent on these two probably means they’ll be just fine.

When Archie (KJ Apa) heard about the killer’s latest assault, he decided it was time to take action. After all, the police hadn’t solved Jason Blossom’s murder; he and his friends had. So, once again, Archiekins took the law into his own hands by forming a watch group made up of young men at Riverdale High who would protect the school’s students, families and friends. Archie called the group “The Red Circle,” inspired by a comic book of the same name.

Archie insisted that The Red Circle abstain from using violence or weapons, but he changed his mind when he and Reggie were out on patrol. They received a call from Ethel, who said a mysterious van had circled back to follow her on her (dark) walk home (alone). After Veronica’s dad (Mark Consuelos) encouraged him to strike back at the masked man with the same fear tactics he’d been employing, Archie and The Red Circle made a video threatening to find and end the killer. (Side note: Hiram seemed much too happy that Archie took his advice, didn’t he?)

The Black Hood’s Manifesto

We didn’t know much about the masked man terrorizing Riverdale before this episode, but that all changed when he sent a letter to Alice (Mädchen Amick) to publish in the newspaper, along with Fred’s (Luke Perry) wallet and Ms. Grundy’s infamous heart-shaped sunglasses to prove the letter was legit. He listed his victims as “the adulterer at Pop’s, the child predator in Greendale and the drug- and sex-addicted teenagers at Lover’s Lane.” Essentially, The Black Hood, as he called himself, wanted Riverdale to know that his actions were the result of their bad deeds. “My wrath is the price of your lies, your secrets, your sins,” he wrote. He also asserted that he could not be stopped.

Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy ordered Alice not to print the letter in the paper, for fear of a citywide panic, but Alice published it anyway in an effort to warn the town. This also resulted in Polly leaving Riverdale because she felt she would be targeted. As she put it, she is an “unwed mother carrying her cousin’s babies.”

Camila Mendes as Veronica and KJ Apa as Archie Andrews on Riverdale
Camila Mendes as Veronica and KJ Apa as Archie Andrews on Riverdale Bettina Strauss/The CW

Jughead Gets Jumped

Jughead (Cole Sprouse) got a not-so-proper introduction to his new school, Southside High. Serpent Toni Topaz was waiting at the door to give him a tour, which mostly consisted of pointing out gangs and drug use in the hallways. Toni urged Jughead to align with the Serpents, but Jughead decided to stick with his loner bit. He spoke up in class to answer a question about Fahrenheit 451 and asked his teacher if he could reboot the school’s newspaper, very obviously named The Red and Black.

Jughead was content writing for the newspaper and keeping to himself. He even told the Serpents he was done with them. But after rival gang The Ghoulies jumped him in the school at night (Jughead lied and told Betty he got in a motorcycle accident), Jughead buddied back up to the Serpents.

Don’t Go Into the Woods

Kevin spent most of this episode in the woods hooking up with random guys. That’s why he was nearby when Moose and Midge were attacked. Betty (Lili Reinhart) begged Kevin not to go to Fox Forest anymore, but he couldn’t resist. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) tried to reason with Betty and tell her it was just Kevin’s sex drive that kept him returning to the woods each night.

Eventually, Kevin had heard enough, so he told Betty the real reason why he was going to Fox Forest: He felt it was his only option in Riverdale. He took the risk because he didn’t get to experience the typical first kisses and love triangles that Betty did.

Kevin continued to look for men in the woods until he came upon a creepy stranger and pictured getting stabbed by him. When he returned home, Kevin discovered Betty had told his dad what was going on. Kev and his dad had a sweet talk, but Kevin seemed pretty frosty toward Betty at school the next day.

Veronica Wants to Be a Full-Fledged Lodge

Veronica (Camila Mendes) was determined to integrate her father into her Riverdale life. She first introduced him to her friends when they came over to watch The Matchelorette. (Are we the only ones who want to watch an episode of that show?) Hiram invited Archie over for dinner, and although Hermione (Marisol Nichols) warned Veronica about making Hiram a part of her life, Veronica insisted Archie come over.

Dinner went as well as any “boyfriend meets the parents” dinner could go, but Hiram continued to keep Veronica at arm’s length when he invited Archie to drink rum with him in his study and left Veronica desperately sitting at the table longing for her chance to enter the study. This led Veronica to ask her father if she could take on a more active role at Lodge Industries. Oh, V — do you know what you’re getting yourself into?

Riverdale airs on The CW Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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