“Previously On” might as well be called “Hey, remember this? This is going to be important! Pay attention!!” And this week’s Riverdale previously on is no different. Jingle Jangle is mentioned twice and we are reminded of when Mr. Phillips told Jughead he would reopen Southside High’s school paper under two conditions:
The title of this episode is “Death Proof,” making it another episode named after a movie. Death Proof is a 2007 Quentin Tarantino thriller where Kurt Russell plays a stuntman who takes women on deadly drives.
Which alludes to the climax of this episode: a drag race between the Serpents and the Ghoulies.
The episode opens on Jughead’s narration, which was missing last episode. Again, his writing isn’t that great as Katharine Trendacosta from io9 pointed out. In short, Jug hits in a longwinded flowery speech that in Riverdale, “everyone wears a mask.” And there is a lot of mask wearing this episode, and it’s not just the Black Hood. Let’s break it down:
The Masks of Riverdale
Alice Cooper wears the best mask. After hosting an emergency PTA meeting before school, she’s dressed like a Stepford Wife.
Or even like Betty in Jughead’s Thankgiving dream from season 1:
Regardless, this is a huge change from the last time we saw Alice:
But that doesn’t stop Hiram from taking Alice off her high horse.
Acid-Queen Alice, so is that what she did on the South Side? Acid? Also Hal isn’t in the episode. Maybe because Alice told him to “shove it” last episode?
The other mask – is the mask of the Red & Black Newspaper advisor, Robert Phillips. A bulk of this episode is finding the identity of Jingle Jangle supplier who goes by the name of “Sugarman.” Turns out he’s right under our noses. It’s Mr. Phillips! Teacher by day, Sugarman by night. Remember that “previously on”? Could the Sugarman be anymore obvious?
Betty also wears a mask in this episode, but it’s half on. While she reveals being blackmailed by the Black Hood to Archie and Veronica. She’s still keeping Jughead in the dark. Which brings us to… what’s going on with Bughead?
If you ask Kevin that’s what’s up.
We should probably workshop this hashtag, Kev. But honestly we don’t know the relationship status of #BugHead. We do know that last episode Jughead and Toni kissed (which we couldn’t mention in our last recap cause we’re team Bughead, and honestly that kiss crushed us). But we can all take a deep breath. “TonHead” won’t be a thing because while she did sleep over at Jugs all that happened was a “PG13 grope session” AKA nothing to write home about. Oh, and also:
Bummer, Jug. We kind of saw this coming, after all in the comics she did win a cupcake eating contest…Not sure if that’s an euphemism or we just need to get out minds out the gutter.
Betty and Jughead don’t officially get back together and it seems like Jug is still hurting because Betty dumped him via Archie which according to Jughead is:
Actually the worst way to dump someone is to ghost them, but we’ll take it. Speaking of Archie, something that became apparent this episode is:
Archie Ruins Everything
This season Archie has sucked at a few things: cooking breakfast, making flyers and starting gangs. Here’s another thing you can add to that list: texting.
Before school Archie sends Betty this gem:
Is this a booty call? Hey, at least it’s grammatically correct…
Later while Jug is in a meeting with Mr. Phillips about the Red & Black, and getting reprimanded for joining a gang – (breaking rule two of the paper). Archie sends him this:
Is this a text from our moms? Unclear. And Archie doesn’t meet Jughead outside South Side High like he said he would. Archie somehow made it through the metal detectors, the same detectors that wouldn’t let a pin in Jughead’s hat in, but somehow let a student from another school in. Also how awkward is this: Archie, standing seeing Jughead:
And then suddenly:
He realizes he should be running? Did KJ miss his cue or…?
And then to top it off at the big drag race, where if Jughead won the Ghoulies would be off the Serpants backs and Jingle Jangle would be no more. But instead Archie calls the cops, arresting the Ghoulies, which sucks because it would only put them away for:
Again, Archie ruins everything.
Now here are some small things we noticed…
Books are Back
Everyone was reading in this episode. From Cheryl who was sunbathing, while Betty wore a sweater (honestly, how does time or seasons work in this world).
We can’t make out the title on this one (slide into our DMs if younknow) – but we think it says lies or is in a foreign language. Or maybe it’s a spell book. Shouldn’t we be meeting Sabrina soon?!
But maybe what the town of Riverdale is reading isn’t significant, as later when Betty picks up a call from the Black Hood and this is under her phone:
The Fundamentals of History. Not a real book, unless it’s a textbook. But these other two books Betty and Veronica are seen reading in the episode definitely have a significance. First at Pop’s, before Betty comes clean to Veronica, V is spotted wearing glasses and reading this:
The Secret History which is a novel about a murder that happens within a group of six close friends. Hmm sound familiar? Then later at the end of the episode Betty is seen reading this:
Silence of the Lambs. Which you may recall is about a reporter who interviews a killer, similar to Betty’s relationship with the Black Hood. Also do you think it’s a coincidence that it’s just the female characters reading books?
Prisoner Number 24601
Another tiny detail in this episode is FP’s prisoner number.
Yep, that’s prisoner number 24601. Which Musical theater buffs will recognize as is the same number that Jean Valjean is given in Les Miserables:
Some Les Mis fans have gone so far to get that number tattooed on their chest:
Hey, at least he seems proud of that decision. This number marks another Riverdale musical theater moment, there is also a similarity between FP and Jean Valjean. Both are somewhat unjustly imprisoned for defending their family.
According to the St. Clair’s this is how much Cheryl is worth, in hush money:
$25,000. We think she’s worth so much more. I mean look at her flag girl work at the drag race:
According to Cheryl or “Cherry Bombshell” as V calls her. She was “born for this moment.” And we have to agree.
Fred’s Pill Problem?
We’re thinking this has to be a thing because of how long the camera held on to this shot:
Which was followed by this statement:
Yeah, he’s feeling better each day because he’s HIGH ON DRUGS!
So…Who’s The Black Hood?
We’re still thinking it’s more than one person, but Sheriff Keller now seems to have some involvement. Remember the last episode when the Black Hood told Betty this?
And then in this episode when Betty approaches Sheriff Keller at Pop’s he tells her this:
Coincidence? Sheriff Keller does fit the Black Hood profile. He is someone who knows Betty well. After all, she’s longtime besties with his son. And this would explain how the Black Hood got inside jail to point a gun at the Sugarman, you know who has easy access to jails? Uh, Sheriffs.
Well that’s all the Hot Takes on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 6 for now. Be sure to listen to our podcast on iTunes for more. And please subscribe, rate and tell your friends!
Also published on Medium.