Riverdale Recap: ‘Chapter Thirty: The Noose Tightens’

In the Riverdale recap, Toni teams up with Veronica to find Chery, Archie helps Hiram with some business problems and Betty’s family faces more drama with Chic…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

If there’s one thing you can always say about an episode of Riverdale is that this show jumps around — a lot.

After Archie stood with Hiram Lodge rather than his father and Betty confronted her creepy older brother a week ago, both of those stories took another step forward in the latest episode. Archie continues to not only show Hiram blind loyalty but now he’s even willing to get his hands dirty to protect his future father in law’s business interests in town.

As for Betty, her distrust of Chic proves to be true when some clues about the murder her family helped cover up start to bubble to the surface and it’s rather evident that her brother probably doesn’t have their best interests at heart.

Elsewhere this week, Toni is on a mission to track down Cheryl after they started to get close last week and now suddenly the red-headed firecracker is missing in action and her mother can only offer up a flimsy explanation that she’s been shipped off to a private school in Switzerland. Of course, Toni doesn’t buy that for a second so she pulls in Veronica to help her track down Cheryl to find out what her mother is really up to.

On top of all that, Fred begins to plot his campaign to run for mayor against Hermoine Lodge with far less financial support and he can’t even get his son to stand by his side when announcing his candidacy.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of Riverdale titled ‘Chapter Twenty-Nine: The Noose Tightens’…

High School Muscle

While Hermoine and Fred are preparing to square off in the Riverdal mayoral race, the politics in high school are heating up as well with Archie and Veronica taking on Jughead and Betty with the third running mates being Reggie and Josie. Everyone has their own platform but it’s definitely creating some awkward situations amongst the most popular teens at Riverdale High.

Jughead and Betty are losing support from the Southside Serpents at the school thanks to Alice Cooper abandoning her roots on the southside years ago and constantly bashing the biker gang in her newspaper. Reggie is concerned about splitting the vote amongst the jocks in the school when it comes to his election against Archie so they decide to relive Over The Top and have an arm wrestling contest to decide who votes for who. Archie wins but by the end of the episode he’s handing those votes over to Reggie for a favor.

As for the mayoral election, Mary Andrews is really getting pissed off at her son not only ignoring his father’s wishes but flat out siding with Hiram and Hermoine Lodge. Mary does ask Archie to stand by his father’s side when he announces his candidacy, but of course son of the year fails to follow through.

Meanwhile, Hermoine running for mayor is causing problems for Hiram when two of his business associates — Lenny and Carl — return to town complaining that her getting elected could bring unnecessary eyeballs to the less than legal operations they are running. Hiram tries to settle their fears over a dinner conversation but in reality he knows he has no backup after his old crew in Montreal abandoned him after he got out of prison.

That means, Hiram is operating on his own against two gangsters who are now demanding 25-percent of the profits from the new prison he’s planning to build in town as payment to keep them happy while Hermoine is running for mayor. Of course, Hiram declines because 25-percent all but eliminates him making any money from this new prison.

With no one to back up his future father-in-law, Archie steps up to the plate — first by threatening Lenny and Carl at dinner and then by offering to play bodyguard and family protector after he returns Veronica home one night to find their driver Andre being beaten by a hooded man with a hammer. Of course the hood triggers Archie and he goes after the assailant only to find out it’s Adams — the fake FBI agent that Hiram and Hermoine sent after him to test his loyaly.

Well it turns out Adams has abandoned the Lodge family because he sees them as a sinking ship with no army to back them up anymore.

That only forces Archie to try even harder to impress Hiram with his ability to protect Veronica and the rest of their family. With options running low and Hiram considering caving to Lenny and Carl, Archie offers to hand over the jock vote to Reggie if he agrees to reform the Red Circle (remember the vigilante group that was going after the Black Hood) except this time they were going to send a message to Lenny and Carl instead.

The group — now called the Dark Circle for some unknown reason — blows up a car and threatens to do the same to Lenny and Carl if they don’t get out of town. They leave peacefully but Hiram knows this is still a short term solution because they could come back.

Still, Archie did right by the Lodge family so Hiram rewards him with a brand new convertible that he can use to drive Veronica too and from school. Archie reluctantly accepts while across town his father is being announced as a mayoral candidate without any sign of his son standing by his side.

Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

As Jughead tries to get the Serpents to move on from their grudge against Alice Cooper so he can get elected, problems get much deeper when a news report reveals that the car dumped in the local lake that belonged to the murdered drug deal has been found. Betty and Jughead are pretty sure they used gloves to dump the car so that’s pretty awesome but FP insists that everybody lay low and just act normal to avoid raising any kind of suspicion.

That is pretty much the automatic sign that not everybody is going to lay low.

Jughead and Betty decide to take it upon themselves to find out more about the card from Kevin Keller under the ruse that they are doing research on environmental protection (seeing as a car just got dumped in a lake). Kevin ends up telling the sleuthing couple that the car had already been retrieved by its owner so that’s who they’d need to deal with.

Of course, Jughead and Betty thought the car belonged to the drug dealer but it turns out that Dwayne (the dead guy) routinely stole his girlfriend’s vehicle to conduct his business. Chic comes clean that the car probably belongs to Dwayne’s girl Darla, which sends everybody into an even bigger panic that eventually that dead body is going to surface and it’s going to be real bad for them.

Chic takes it upon himself to track down Darla, which only leads to her returning to the Cooper home and demanding $10,000 in hush money or maybe she’ll start asking questions about how her car ended up in the lake and what happened to her boyfriend Dwayne. This just reeks of Chic setting this up to extort his own ‘family’ but that’s the story.

Darla ends up staying the night with the Cooper family until the banks open the next day. Betty goes to get the payoff money (cause no bank would question a teenager taking $10,000 out of her parent’s joint account) but she gets a frantic call from Alice to stay away from home. It seems that hotel manager that was cutting up Chic when Betty found him weeks ago has now teamed up with Darla to help with this extortion. Alice is scared out of her mind but thankfully Betty has a plan.

Betty returns home, hands over the $10,000 and tells Darla and her cro-magnon sidekick to take the money and leave or they’ll regret it. When they decline, the door kicks in and it’s Jughead and the teenage Serpents to save the day.

They kick Darla and her fellow extortionist to the curb but this entire experience has left Alice rattled. She thanks the Serpents for having her back and she promises to stop writing derogatory stories about them from now on. As for Chic, Alice finally agrees with her daughter that it’s time for him to go. She gives Chic until the end of the day to find a place to stay because his welcome has been worn out.

Finally, Alice shows up to FP’s trailer without saying a word — he just opens the door, they lock eyes, and she walks inside. He then places a sign on the door that says “if this trailer is a rocking, don’t come a knocking”. OK, he really doesn’t do that but FP and Alice are totally getting it on.

Conversion Therapy

Despite Penelope Blossom’s declaration that her daughter is currently in school in Switzerland, Toni Topaz isn’t buying it — especially considering Cheryl hasn’t posted anything on social media in days since suddenly disappearing. Toni convinces Veronica and Josie to help her track down Cheryl after she told them during their sleepover that she was convinced her mother and uncle were planning something nefarious to get their hands on her inheritance.

They decide to confront Penelope at home but that’s when Hooker Blossom decides to share with Josie all the pictures that Cheryl had drawn of her when they were still gal palling around. Penelope more or less admits that she knows Cheryl is a lesbian and she sent her off to get reconditioned so she could be straight. Unfortunately, Josie finding out about Chery’s unhealthy obsession — and don’t forget that cow’s heart she had sent to her in a box — is enough for her to bow out of this hunt for Red October.

Toni finally gets a clue where Cheryl has been stashed when Nana Rose stumbles out of her wheelchair and calls her at school to mutter the word ‘sisters’ before Claudius busts her and cuts off the phone. The clue is enough for Toni and Veronica to feed that to gay historian Kevin Keller, who recognizes that as the Sisters of the Quiet Mercy — a convent that fronts as an orphanage but also quietly still does conversion therapy in an attempt to turn gay people straight.

Kevin offers to help Toni and Veronica by showing them a secret tunnel system to get in and out of the convent so they can hopefully free Cheryl.

It turns out the teens get there in the nick of time because Cheryl has been put through manual labor (probably for the first time in her life) and she’s been bombarded with videos and messages about how being gay is bad. With tears streaming down her face, Cheryl is shocked and rejoiced to see Toni burst into the film room looking for her. The two finally embrace and share a kiss before making a run for it to escape with Veronica through those underground tunnels.

The next day, Cheryl is back at her sassy best — red lipstick and all — and she’s thirsting for vengeance against all those who wronged her. First things first, however, Cheryl decides to take on the lead role in Kevin’s new musical that he’s arranging for Riverdale.

Cheryl will play Carrie White in Carrie: The Musical and much like the famous character from the Stephen King novel, she promises this school is going to burn.

Riverdale returns on Wednesday night, April 18 for the special musical episode and you can check out the trailer below:

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