Riverdale Recap (S2E03): Into the Make-Out Woods

This Riverdale Recap for Season 2 Episode 3 “The Watcher in the Woods” contains spoilers.

So, Gaby. Where are my Riverdale recaps?

I’m late, I know. The thing is I moved to a new apartment last week and have been waiting for my wifi to be set up. I’m still wifi-less, but I’m using this kind coffee shop’s Internet to bring you my sass in the shape of another Riverdale recap.

Let’s start off with the Angel of Death and his “victims”

I want to start off by saying that I was 100% convinced Moose was dead. Somehow, the Angel of Death is the worst gunman in history and fails to kill everyone he shoots. Which is all well and good, I suppose. You don’t want to start the season with people dropping like flies. After all, too many deaths in a row can only wind up in two scenarios: Lost or Game of Thrones. I don’t have enough emotional strength to go through that right now.

But who cares about my own stability? Clearly, these two run-ins with the Gunman TM have left some characters heavily shaken up. Kevin and Archie should really consider signing up for yoga lessons and meeting with their school counselor every other day.

After we find out Moose and Madge have made it out almost unscathed from the events of last episode, Kevin visits Moose in search of some clarity. As we know, Kevin and Moose share a clandestine history. Thanks to it, Kevin feels Moose can advise him on what to do about certain life-threating urges he’s experiencing lately. These urges involve running through the woods to hook up with dudes he’s meeting through the Riverdale equivalent of Grindr. More on that later.

Archie, on the other hand, should stop spending time with Hiram Lodge. I get that he wants to be an all-star boyfriend, but when you’re so easily influenced, you gotta look after yourself. Make sure the influences around you are solid and not creepy. Point being, Hiram suggests Archie fights violence with violence, resulting in a video straight out of Mr. Robot where Archie and his newfound gang, The Red Circle, attempt to taunt the green-eyed gunman.

Jughead’s first week of class is a little rough

Okay, it’s super rough. To enter Southside High, you need to go through a metal detector. Once past the first hurdle, Juggie is received by his tour guide, Toni Topaz, a Serpent with a knack for photography. She shows a reluctant Jughead around, pointing out the different gangs and cliques of Southside High a la Janice in Mean Girls. Janice did it better, obviously.

At first, Jughead wants to remain an outsider. He doesn’t feel inclined to either become a Serpent or join the Ghoulies (the rival gang). It does seem like this plan can work out for him as he sits alone during lunch time and doesn’t endure any of the expected rebuttals. He even manages to convince his new English teacher to let him reopen the school’s newspaper. Riverdale goes as far as showing us a happy Jughead sitting in the dusty offices of the Red and Black, recalling his Drive-In days.

By the end of the Jughead segment, though, he’s beaten up at night by the Ghoulies. This forces him to soft-join the Serpents and positions him closer to Toni Topaz. For Bughead lovers like myself, this is troublesome ground. For one, both Toni and Betty bring a kettle as an office-warming gift for Jughead. And Toni knows Jughead was beaten up, while he tells Betty he had a bike accident.


Veronica and Hermione are still at war

Hermione welcomed Hiram back into their lives, and Veronica believes she’s just playing the game Hermione herself has put in motion. However, the only person calling the shots in this house is Hiram. Sure, Veronica has some sort of pull with Hiram (who has a creepy life-sized portrait of his daughter hanging in his study). It does seem Hiram is highly interested in retaining his daughter’s approval. That being said, he also doesn’t care what he does as long as she doesn’t find out or only gets the watered-down version.

Veronica wants her family life to go back to what it was, but she’s not naive enough to think her parents are good people. Yet, I wish Veronica was half as woke about her father as she is about Hermione. If she were, she wouldn’t have insisted on having Archie over for “family dinner,” and Hiram would’ve never gotten his alone-time with Archie.

Archie now has a gun and runs a watchmen service with the “Red Circle.” On the one hand, he did save Barb Ethel from a creepy van, but this can’t possibly end well.

Let’s go back to Kevin, Cheryl, and the Coopers

At the beginning of the episode, The Coopers receive a letter from the gunman. They run to Mayor McCoy to inform her. She, of course, wants to bury it. Alice Cooper, being the savage mofo that she is, informs Mayor McCoy that the letter is already being printed in the morning paper.

Betty’s own mission in this episode involves 1) helping her boyfriend settle into his new school, and 2) making sure Kevin doesn’t get killed running into the woods for hot makeout sessions. Kevin doesn’t like that Betty is meddling in his business and later even accuses her of homophobia.

To be honest, I do feel Betty is concerned for his life and doesn’t have a judgemental attitude towards Kevin’s life and choices. That being said, Betty does get a little too intense following Kevin into the woods with Cheryl’s help, and even more so when she shows up at Kevin’s house and alerts Sherrif Keller of his son’s midnight sneak-outs.

Can’t blame Kevin for giving her the cold shoulder. Will all of these stressors finally trigger Dark Betty?



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