On this episode of Riverdale, titled “Chapter Thirty-Two: Prisoners,” Nick St. Clair returns to Riverdale looking for revenge, Hermione and Cheryl join forces in an effort to get Sheriff Keller fired, Betty and Jughead find out Chic isn’t who he claims to be and the Black Hood resumes his interest in the youngest Cooper.

In the aftermath of Midge Klump’s murder, Sheriff Keller begins to investigate. All of the events surrounding the school musical are of particular interest. Ethel admits she sent the letters but swears that’s as far as her involvement goes. She just wanted to steal the lead role from Cheryl.

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A New Suspect

The most recent death with that cryptic message reinforces Archie’s concern that he and Betty didn’t capture the Black Hood after all. He asks the Sheriff if he ever found any evidence linking Svenson to the Black Hood murders. The Sheriff figures Svenson forcing Betty to bury Archie alive while he wore a black hood was damning enough, but Archie reveals something has never felt right to him about that night. Archie fails to convince Sheriff Keller this latest death is Black Hood-related. 

Jughead has a theory (shocker). He thinks this is the work of a copycat killer, namely, Chic. He showed up in the wake of the murders and has been giving off a creepy vibe. Betty may not be a fan of her brother, but she’s the one who brought him to town, and Chic didn’t even know Midge. She dismisses Chic as a viable suspect. Archie shares his theory that, yes, Svenson wore a black hood, but that doesn’t mean he was the same person who shot his dad. There have been a lot of black hoodies around Riverdale lately, particularly Archie’s gang of hooligans who blew up a car to intimidate some mobsters as well as the faux federal Agent and former Hiram capo, Adams. Archie looked into the Black Hood’s eyes, and they weren’t Svenson’s. 

Ronnie’s worried that Archie is about to go all vigilante. She has good reason. Whoever the killer is, they vowed to go after anyone who escaped the first time around and this means Fred. It could also mean any of Archie’s gang. Veronica makes Archie promise to not put himself in harm’s way because she can’t stand the idea of anything happening to him. Little do Ronnie and Archie know that an ominous figure wearing black is already stalking Archie.

Jughead isn’t the only one with an interest in Chic. Sheriff Keller arrives at the Cooper home looking for Alice’s wayward son. The Sheriff knows Chic was backstage and wants to have a chat. Hal makes it clear that Chic no longer lives with them, but he’ll deliver the boy to the station. Alice isn’t thrilled Hal is so quick to throw Chic under the bus. Obviously, she’s worried what the police might uncover about the Shady Man if they start poking around.

Betty thinks it might be a good idea for Chic to leave town, but when she brings this idea up to her mother, Alice dismisses it. She believes that if Chic bails, it will look suspicious, and the police will hunt him down like a mad dog. Alice knows that Chic talking to the police is a risk, but she plans to coach him on what to say herself. 

Betty has a change of heart and tells Jughead that it might not be a bad idea to investigate Chic after all. He does have a connection to Svenson. Both of them spent time at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, meaning there could be multiple Black Hoods. There’s a big age difference between Chic and Svenson, but the latter worked as a groundkeeper at the nunnery for years. 

Who is the Real Charles Smith?

Jughead and Betty meet with the HNIC (Head Nun In Charge), asking to see Chic’s records, aka “Charles Smith.” Betty manages to do this without a court order by threatening to out the institution as a gay re-education center. Jughead and Betty discover Svenson and Chic overlapped at the home for wayward psychopaths by two years. More shockingly, Betty sees a picture in Charles’ file, and it isn’t of Chic. Good job, Betty. You tracked down the wrong guy and brought him home.

Betty and Jughead arrive at the Cooper’s and find Chic with Alice. Betty wastes no time outing Chic as an imposter and a con artist. Chic tries to talk his way out, claiming Betty’s jealous, but she’s got a picture as proof. Chic grabs a knife and starts slashing, managing to catch Alice before Betty knocks him out. 

Chic wakes up tied up in the Cooper basement. He’s got no choice but to start talking. Chic knew Charles. The two lived at the hostel together. During their time together, Charles told Chic all about his “perfect” family who gave him away and never looked for him. One day Charles came to the door, and Alice slammed it in his face. Afterwards, Charles went on a bender and overdosed on jingle-jangle. (That would sound way worse if the drug name wasn’t so stupid.)

Alice is devastated because Chic is finally telling the truth. Alice admits to Betty that the boy in the picture did come to the house, and she turned him away. Now she feels responsible for the death of her own son. Betty points out the only guilty one is Chic. Alice instructs Betty to keep an eye on Chic and leaves, ominously promising that she’ll be back. 

A Witch Hunt

As usual, the Lodges see a way to use Midge’s murder to their advantage. Hermione goes to see Cheryl who made it clear at Midge’s funeral that she was tired of Sheriff Keller’s ineptitude. Hermione plans to write an editorial calling for Keller’s head, and she recruits Cheryl to write an op-ed of her own. 

Bad Pennies Always Turn Up

Archie decides to check out the Svenson house when he encounters someone dressed entirely in black and their face covered. He finds himself surrounded by similar figures who attack.

This isn’t the work of the Black Hood. It’s Nick St. Clair who’s back to exact some revenge. He calls Veronica to let her know he’s got her boyfriend, and she’s going to have to pay to get him back — a cool million. Nick’s a bit salty that he’s going to be walking with a limp for the rest of his life and thinks blackmailing the daughter of a known gangster is a good idea. 

Hiram refuses to pay Archie’s ransom, so Veronica threatens to call the police. That’s when Hiram and Hermione reveal that Nick St. Clair’s family are a “family.” This comes as news to Ronnie who thought Mr. St. Clair was a music producer. It turns out you can be in the music biz and still find time to be a mobster. If Veronica calls the police, she risks exposing the Lodges. 

Kevin confronts Cheryl after the letter she wrote smearing his father appears in The Register. Cheryl is unapologetic, citing the Sheriff’s incompetence. Now that more bodies are dropping, he needs to step down. The Vixens have made it their business to make sure that justice is served, and there’s nothing scarier than angry cheerleaders on a mission.

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Archie pleads with Nick to let him go. There’s a killer on the loose, and Fred could be his next shortage. Nick figures this is an Archie problem. Nick’s looking for payback for everything that was done to him by Archie, Veronica the Pussycats, etc. Nick’s father is on the verge of disowning him because he thinks he’s an embarrassment who will never have the guts to be in the family business. This is Nick’s way to prove daddy wrong. 

Ronnie raids her parent’s safe, but Hiram doesn’t keep a million dollars on hand. She grabs what she can and agrees to meet Nick at Pop’s. She demands proof of life which turns out to be a pic on Nick’s phone of a very beat up Archie. When Nick learns that Veronica failed to come up with all of the money, he decides to strike a deal — she can sleep with him to make up the difference. 

It’s a Boy!

Alice goes to see F.P. and drops the bombshell that she had his baby and gave him up for adoption. She fills him in on the rest, admitting that she turned Charles away when he came to see her, and now he’s dead. F.P. is pretty calm given the circumstances and does his best to comfort Alice.

As if Betty isn’t having a bad enough day, she gets a call from her old pal the Black Hood. He admits to killing Midge and setting up Svenson. The Black Hood’s been keeping an eye on Betty. He knows all about Chic and chastises Betty for letting him in her home. He knows about the hostel and refers to it as a “den of sinners.” He also tells Betty that Chic is a killer.

She doesn’t tell Jughead about the call, but she wants to go back to the hostel where she found Chic. She doesn’t think Chic is telling the truth about what happened to her brother.

Nancy Drew and her sidekick go knocking on doors and speak to a woman who lived next door to Chic and Charles. She recognizes Charles’ picture and claims he was a nice boy. She recalls that Charles and Chic used to fight all the time, and then one day, Charles was gone. Later, when taking her trash out, she found bloody sheets and pillows in the dumpster. 

Betty and Jughead confront Chic, accusing him of murdering Charles. Chic taunts them. He knows they don’t have the guts to kill him, and they can’t let him go because of what he knows about the Shady Man. 

Two Birds, One Stone

The Black Hood calls again, and he wants Betty to hand over Chic. Initially, she refuses. But the Black Hood knows about the Shady Man and is willing to keep it a secret if Betty complies. She doesn’t get a chance to respond because F.P. bursts in with Alice. F.P. drags his son outside. After what happened with Jason Blossom, F.P. refuses to have his son anywhere near this whole Chic mess. F.P. thinks it’s up to Alice and Betty to figure out how to handle things, and then they’ll help. 

Alice decides it’s time to let Hal in on things, inclluding how Chic killed the Shady Man, and she helped him cover it up. She doesn’t reveal Betty’s role in any of it though. Alice sends Betty to her room, but Betty heads to the basement instead. She still has Miss Grundy’s gun. She informs Chic they’re leaving out the back door. 

They wind up in a cemetary, and Chic suspects something is up. The fear of death is enough to get Chic to admit that he did kill Charles. He claims they got in a fight, and things got out of control. Betty gets her answer just in time because the Black Hood arrives to collect his prize. Chic wants to know who it is, and Betty proclaims it’s Chic’s very own “Angel of Death.” Betty gives Chic a head start, knowing that Chic doesn’t stand a chance. 

Turning the Tables

Nick plans to live video stream his rendevous with Veronica and force Archie to watch. Nick also has no intention of setting Archie free. In order to earn his spot in the family business, he needs to kill someone, and that someone is Archiekins.

Veronica makes good on her deal and arrives at Nick’s hotel room. She’s overly friendly, which likely means she’s got a plan, and it doesn’t involve screwing Nick. Meanwhile, Archie is able to escape so easily, it’s questionable why Nick chose to leave him guarded by only one, entirely inept guard. 

Archie runs to the hotel and finds Nick passed out. Ronnie gave Nick a taste of his own medicine by slipping a little something into his drink. She calls Nick’s dad to inform him she’s got his son and wants to know what it’s worth to the elder St. Clair to get him back.

Them Bones

Hermione and Cheryl get their way. The deputy mayor demanded Sheriff Keller to step down. If Fred becomes mayor, Keller lives to fight another day. If Hermione wins, he’s out on his ass. 

Ronnie gets a million dollars for Nick St. Clair. Hermione and Hiram come home to see the cash strew across their dining room table. Hiram told Veronica he was going to handle the St. Clairs, but Veronica knows her father never uttered a peep to Nick’s dad, something Hiram can explain to Archie. 

Archie isn’t holding a grudge. What Archie wants is to earn his “bones.” This means Archie will take action to earn Hiram’s respect once and for all (Archie heard this turn of phrase from Nick who failed horribly in his attempts to do the same.) Archie plans to kill the Black Hood to get his, and Hiram vows to help in whatever way he can.

Betty comes home to find Alice drowning her sorrows in wine. Betty says she took Chic to the bus station, and she’s pretty confident he’s gone for good. Betty notices her father is MIA, and Alice reveals Hal went looking for Betty. OMG! Is Hal the Black Hood, or is this another red herring? 

Do you think Betty’s dad is the Black Hood? Would this explain her dark side? Should Betty have turned Chic over to the serial killer? Who will the Black Hood target next? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Check out our Riverdale page on Facebook.

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.