With the election action heating up, the town of Riverdale is getting ready for the Mayoral debate to see which candidate they want to pledge their ballot of loyalty to in Shadow of a Doubt. Hiram Lodge convinces Archie to reform the Dark Circle in an effort to find The Black Hood but what he really wants is to put more separation between Fred Andrews and his son.
We are introduced to the town's newest addition Sheriff Minetta who ironically Hiram brought in and is meant to be the answer to finding TBH. When word gets around Riverdale High that the recently murdered girl Midge Klump was secretly dating a Serpent, the Dark Circle immediately goes into a witch hunt to figure out who it is. Knowing he is on Jughead's documentary footage from the play, Fangs goes into a panic because he was, in fact, seeing Midge and he knows the footage will make him look guilty. Jughead tries to get the footage back from the sheriff but with no luck and instead, the footage gets leaked to the internet.
With the public now aware of Fangs' involvement with Midge he is arrested on suspicion of her murder. Continuing her efforts to find out TBH's identity, Betty and Cheryl start digging into Hal's life to try and find evidence to confirm their suspicions. And in the world of Veronica Lodge, a group of prospective sons from the New York crime families pay her a visit to try and win over her affections and make a plan for future business transactions.
Even with Fangs being detained TBH keeps finding ways to terrorize Riverdale as he sends Fred Andrews a threatening note saying he's next. The Dark Circle sans Archie decides to take their war to the Serpents by vandalizing the bar that serves as their HQ. Upset by this action, Archie tries to disband the group only to find out they are now under Reggie's reign and being funded by Hiram. Betty and Cheryl go to Hal's old BnB and they discover the Nancy Drew book that had been used by TBH during his early actions which convinces Betty even more.
The night of the debate comes and before the two candidates can barely even get started TBH makes an appearance by shooting a rifle into the crowd. Betty huddles with her dad for cover and this has to put a dent in her theory. Veronica didn't find the business partner she was looking for in the NY sons but when she tries to put her own business plan into action, her father stops her efforts before they can happen. Deeply upset by this, Veronica goes to Fred Andrews and pledges her allegiance to his campaign for mayor.
With TBH showing himself in public, the sheriff is forced to release Fangs but the town creates an angry mob outside the station to protest. The Serpents show up to protect one of their own but Reggie acting on Hiram's encouraging words to take Fangs out brings a gun to kill him. Archie notices Reggie with a gun in the crowd and tackles him to the ground but during the scuffle, a shot still goes off and lands in Fang's stomach. And finally, in the show's last moments, we see Cheryl answering the door at her house in the middle of the night only to see TBH standing on her doorstep! That drives us directly into the next episode.
We left off with The Black Hood showing up on Cheryl's (Madelaine Petsch) doorstep at ThistleHouse and that turns into a recreation of a Friday the 13th flick. Just like Jason Voorhees, TBH chases her with an ax in hand, through the house and up the stairs. But she gets away through a window and manages to get to her archery set and shoot an arrow right into TBH's shoulder. Let's also not forget she finds the extra time to put on her red hunting cape because it is Cheryl and she has to do it in proper style. She phones her cousin Betty (Lili Reinhart) and fills her in on the surprising incident also mentioning she only wounded TBH. As she plans to continue tracking him, (okay Katniss) Cheryl warns Betty that "now he is a maimed animal, he's operating on instinct" which means maybe even Betty isn't safe.
As Judgment Night continues back in town, the fallout from Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner) getting shot outside the sheriff's station has started full-blown chaos as it has people rioting in the streets and setting cars on fire. The Serpents are hot on the trail of Reggie (Charles Melton) who they believe is the person responsible for shooting Fangs and putting him in the hospital. At the same time, Archie (KJ Apa) has got the Bulldogs and they are trying to find Reggie to help protect him because Archie knows for a fact that someone else fired the gun. Good luck convincing the Serpents of that.
Veronica (Camila Mendes) gets picked up by her driver/bodyguard Andre (Stephan Miers) because daddy Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) wants her brought back home. On their way back Veronica spots Midge Klump's mother (Robyn Ross) wandering aimlessly among the confusion and gets out to help her. Turns out SHE is the one who shot Fangs and Veronica takes her to the police station so she can confess to her crime of passion. While she is there, Veronica runs into her mother, Hermione (Marisol Nichols) who is acting on the opportunity of the town drama and trying to help her candidacy for mayor by offering a $1 million bounty to whoever can bring TBH in "alive or preferably dead." Veronica makes the comment that her parents are trying to turn the town into Gotham which isn't a far stretch from a show on the CW Network.
Over at the high school Archie, Kevin (Casey Cott), and Moose (Cody Kearsley) are about to try to take on the Serpents that are trashing the hallways in their style of retaliation. Archie had just received a phone call from Veronica about Mrs. Klump being the shooter tells them about her confession but they still see it as a Northsider hurting one of their own. Just as the words are about to turn into fists, Principal Weatherbee (Peter Bryant) comes through the doors carrying a baseball bat and doing his best impersonation of Morgan Freeman from "Lean on Me." Looks like they pissed off the wrong principal.
After they return home, Veronica asks her mother where they are going to get the million dollars and she says that Hiram "has secret funds." Sensing that they intend on using her money she got from the St. Clair's, Veronica locks herself inside Hiram's office (I swear he never locks the door) but his safe is empty. She goes through all his desk drawers and instead finds a folder marked "October Surprise" that has pictures of Hermione with Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) kissing and looking very romantic. Along with the photos is a story that Hiram has typed out "Family Man Fred Andrews Not So Innocent" which obviously suggests he plans to use this to shame Mr. Family Values and make him look bad. When she shows this folder to her mother she isn't surprised because she was already aware of the plan.
Hiram had convinced her that it was worth using because while she would be tainted it would totally destroy Fred's platform for candidacy. Veronica is dumbfounded by her mother's words that she is willing to be used by Hiram in such a disrespectful way and be okay with it. Like we didn't already know that he was a complete jackass I thought he at least had more respect for his wife. My mistake indeed.
Back to the SAVE REGGIE campaign, Pop Tate (Alvin Sanders) contacts Archie and lets him know that his friend is hiding out in his diner. When they get there, Reggie explains that he had already tried to ask Hiram for help but he left him out to dry. That's what you get for being a pawn to that scumbag. Before they can even think of leaving they get some more trouble but it's not the Serpents again-it's the return of the Ghoulies! Looking like a group that was extras on a Mad Max themed music video but from the 1980's with circus-like makeup on their faces and weapons that came from a junkyard. Archie tries to hold them off with throwing a Molotov cocktail from the roof but the cavalry would arrive to save the day in the form of the League of Extraordinary Fathers aka Fred, FP (Skeet Ulrich), and the former sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins) who roll up in his old police cruiser. At least one crisis has been temporarily averted. But it wouldn't last for long as a large hulk of a man comes into the diner and after hearing Pop talking to Hiram on the phone, he wants to know where he lives. Something tells me that there's nothing good that can come from this because mobsters don't have old friends that stop by to say hello.
Over at the Whyte Wyrm, the Serpents are coming down hard on Jughead (Cole Sprouse) because not only is Fangs still in the hospital but now with the Ghoulies back they are going to want to make trouble over the drag race with Jughead that got them thrown in jail. But because that isn't quite enough stress for his night Jughead would get a call from his old nemesis Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan) who is holding Toni (Vanessa Morgan) captive and wants him to come down to the docks to meet up. Now you have gone too far Penny Peabody by taking the loveliest of the Serpents!
Earlier Betty got a call from FP saying that he saw her dad come into the hospital wounded so she heads over to follow up on those suspicions that she still has about him being TBH. When she gets to the hospital and locates his room he is not there. Instead, there is just the dead body of a doctor and right on cue, Betty gets a phone call from TBH. He orders her to come home right away and when she tries to sound brave and say she's not afraid of him he threatens her by saying if she calls the police he will slit her mother's throat. "Mom's there?" she asks. Damn Betty, you have to learn to take serial killers seriously!
When she arrives home her mother Alice (Madchen Amick) is just sitting on the couch about to have a lovely cup of coffee and glad to see her daughter home. But before Betty can fill her mother in, Hal (Lochlyn Munro) makes his entrance and he has brought out some old movies for them to watch together. "I think you're really going to enjoy this," he tells Betty. C'mon Hal, no children like to watch their parent's old movies on film. We're in a digital age now! The movies show Hal as a small boy sitting in a room being spoken to by his mother offscreen. We learn that after Hal's father killed the Conway family, Hal was the one who convinced the Conway boy (the future Mr. Svenson) to point his finger at the wrong man so that Hal's father could be protected. In the video, his mother calls the Conways "sinners" and explains that "sinners have to die." So with Hal's father being the Riverdale Reaper, this means there's a whole lot of mental nuttiness in this bloodline.
When the movie ends, Hal demands that Alice take her tape recorder out because he wants to "tell my story" and he begins to explain how Great-Grandpappy Cooper wasn't murdered by his brother. He was the murderer. He killed Great-Grandpappy Blossom and then took on the Cooper name to create a new identity for himself. The Conways knew their secret and were blackmailing Hal's father, which is why Betty's grandpa killed them. Mr. Svenson was the only survivor, and Hal had been making sure to keep him quiet over the years because "he was easy to manipulate." This just gives me more sympathy for poor Mr. Svenson, a janitor, and a patsy.
Hal makes sure to point out that the same darkness his father had and that he has, is also in Betty. Nothing like being told by your dad that you are seriously messed up in the head. Sorry, Betty. Now Hal is ready for his big reveal as he makes Betty say that he's the Black Hood, and go through his laundry list of dead bodies. He confirms shooting Fred, killing Ms. Grundy, killing the Sugar Man, and even the doctor at the hospital. But NOT shooting up the debate. He won't take credit for that. Don't go all modest on us now, Daddy Cooper.
We get a small break from Confessions of a Serial Killer to peep back in on Fred and Archie as they return home. Unfortunately for them, they aren't as safe as they thought because as Fred goes upstairs, Archie gets attacked by TBH 2.0! They scuffle around like a WWE match for a moment until Fred clocks TBH from behind knocking him down. But Fred doesn't know his horror films as TBH 2.0 gets right back up and shoots him in the chest. For a split-second its déjà vu for Archie all over again but this time it's different because Fred is wearing a vest that Keller had suggested he put on earlier. In the shock of the moment, TBH 2.0 gets away but at least this time Fred isn't headed for the hospital.
Back to those kooky Coopers, Hal tells Betty that her speech at the Jubilee about "Riverdale needs to do better" is what reminded him of what his mother used to tell him and why he took on TBH identity. When asked why he wants this all recorded he says that, "I want everyone to understand when they find us" which sends an immediate alert to Alice and she takes it upon herself to start distracting Hal by calling him a "mama's boy" and saying that "your father can't do anything right." With his back turned to Betty, Alice hits him the best one of telling him how she slept with FP who is "a real man." This ignites Hal's rage and he begins choking Alice which gives Betty the opportunity to whack him over the head with the fireplace spade. And unlike Fred, Alice hits him again to make sure. Score one for the mother/daughter team! When the police come to arrest Hal, Archie and Fred make their way next door and Betty informs them that her dad was TBH. Archie tells her it makes no sense because there was already a TBH that attacked them at their house an hour ago.
Meanwhile, Jughead makes his way down to meet Penny but he gets more than he bargained for because she brings the Ghoulies as backup. Well, Jughead almost seems screwed at this point but he brought the Red Archer aka Cheryl Blossom. You shouldn't have kidnapped her girlfriend! With an arrow aimed at her, Penny lets Toni go but still has a message for Jughead to take back. Tell the Serpents to be out by tonight or there will be a war with them and the Ghoulies in the morning for the territory. Penny and the Ghoulies want to expand their drug empire and the Serpents are in the way. Do this many people really do drugs in these parts? Back at the Whyte Wyrm, Jughead delivers the message and it seems he is the only one who doesn't want to go to war with the Ghoulies. When FP gets back, he has the bad news that Fangs is now dead but he announces they will honor him by fighting for their land. When he puts it to a vote, everyone is in (even Cheryl, whose archery would be very useful) except Jughead. Sounding like a scene from the show Vikings is on the horizon.
At the Pembrooke, we find our large stranger from Pop's has made his way over to find Hiram's residence and after taking out Andre makes his way up to the penthouse and breaks down the door. Veronica and Hermione freak at the massive man invading their home and he introduces himself as Small Fry (Andre Tricoteux), the son of the murdered Papa Poutine and he's looking for some payback. The ladies run into the study and lock the door but he already busted one down so will that even hold him? It does not, but as he busts in like the Kool-Aid man, Hermione finds Hiram's hidden gun and fills Small Fry's chest full of bullets. Now we see why she is properly a mobster's wife! When Hiram would return later that night, he finds Andre (another dead character!) in a pool of blood and his two women very upset that he's preoccupied with everything BUT their safety. Veronica mentions to him how she found his "October Surprise" file and says if her mother still wants to be a part to his collateral damage that's up to her, but she will not be. Is no one going to speak about poor Andre?! I'm not sure what's going to happen after this but Hiram shouldn't be expecting any #1 Dad mugs for Father's Day.
Jughead being the big-hearted guy he is and thinking of everyone before himself, realizes that everything that has happened leading up to this has been Hiram Lodge's doing. He phones Hiram and offers to make him a "counteroffer" but before we actually find out what it is, Jughead makes a call to Betty telling her that he will never stop loving her. Betty has just seen her dad get hauled off in a squad car so the last thing she needs is cryptic messages from her boyfriend. But Jughead offers no explanation and heads over to meet Penny Peabody back at the docks. We find out that he made a deal with Hiram that if he hands himself over there will be no war the next day. Only thing is Penny doesn't care about honoring this deal and while her minions, the Ghoulies are properly beating the crap out of Jughead on the ground she says to him, "Let your dying thought be that your sacrifice was for nothing, and that come morning, Riverdale as you know it will cease to exist." Well, that is just not playing fair Miss Peabody, not fair at all. And to show how bitter she still is, she tells them to hold off on killing him because she wants her "pound of flesh first."
Betty calls FP and tells him about Jughead's puzzling phone call and this sends the Serpents in a hurry over to the docks with FP the first to arrive. He comes out of the woods carrying the limp and lifeless body of Jughead with his son's arm all cut up from Penny getting what she felt she was owed. Jughead looks dead but there's no way he can be, right?!
It's hard to imagine that we still have the finale to get through next. How can this show possibly push the dramatic and emotional elements more?! Guess we'll find out soon.