‘Riverdale’ Recap ‘Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle’

In the ‘Riverdale’ recap, Southside High closes down and the Serpents officially invade Riverdale while Betty goes on a search for her long lost brother…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

“Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead”

Secrets seem to be at the heart of every major storyline in ‘Riverdale’ and that’s no different as the second half of season 2 picked up on Wednesday night in the aftermath of the Black Hood killer being unmasked.

Of course tonight’s episode all but revealed that we’re far from finished when it comes to the Black Hood.

That being said, ‘Riverdale’ this week mostly swirled around three major stories including Southside High being shut down for good and their students being dispersed to other high schools in the area including Riverdale High.

Meanwhile, Archie finds out who has been following him around and snapping pictures and finally Betty goes on an excursion to search for her long lost brother but that’s one sibling who may have been better off unfound.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Riverdale’ titled ‘Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle’…

School’s Out

Southside High gets shut down for good this week thanks to Mayor McCoy, which means all of those students have to find a new educational home. Jughead and the rest of the Southside Serpents get shipped off to Riverdale High, much to the chagrin of Cheryl and her prep mafia led by ultra douche Reggie. They want the Southside trash gone for good — so they paint a serpent logo over the Riverdale school mascot in an attempt to get them tossed.

The Serpents do have someone on their side, however, as Veronica is suddenly the welcoming committee to the new students joining the high school. Of course she has ulterior motives as her father Hiram Lodge reached a deal with Mayor McCoy to shut down Southside High so that he could buy the land for his development deal and in exchange he would offer her a very large contribution to her re-election fund. Apparently being the mayor of a small town like Riverdale requires a lot of funding and it must pay pretty well.

Of course, Veronica doesn’t tell Archie about her new role as a member of Lodge Industries so she goes about trying to make the Serpents feel as welcome as possible despite everybody else in the school doing otherwise.

Eventually, Principal Weatherbee decides the Serpents can no longer wear their jackets on school property and while Tony and Sweet Pea don’t seem to care much, Jughead goes off the rails in anger at being asked to “shed his skin”. Even Jughead’s father thinks he’s being rather stupid about the whole thing.

As it turns out, Jughead just wanted his friends to be able to keep their identity in a sea of polo shirts and khakis so he ultimately forms a club — ‘Swords and Serpents’ — that’s disguised as a gaming club but in reality it’s a place for all the Southside Serpents to gather on school property without getting into trouble. Jughead even conforms to the new school dress code as he puts on the Riverdale polo along with all of the other Serpents.

Somebody’s Watching Me

On his way to school, Archie gets stopped by an FBI Agent named Adams shows up and reveals that he’s the one who has been snapping clandestine photos of the red-headed wonder all over town. It seems Agent Adams is deep into building a case against Hiram Lodge for connections to organized crime and he wants Archie’s help to bring him down. Archie objects but then Agent Adams reminds him that his father Fred has been doing business with the Lodge’s and he could get caught in the fallout from bringing down this criminal empire.

So Archie agrees to help so long as his father will be free and clear from any potential charges.

It doesn’t help matters much that Fred discovers that the Lodge family paid his medical bills for the shooting and as a way to pay them back, he gives them 20-percent ownership in his company that he can buy back later.

To help the case, the FBI agent puts Archie on the track of what actually happened to Nick St. Clair after he left Riverdale and suddenly got into an accident after his parents decided not to invest in Lodge Industries latest real estate venture. Adams believes it’s retaliation that he can tie back into the case he’s building against Hiram.

Archie also deals with a blackmail attempt from Cheryl, who saw him kissing Betty just before catching the Black Hood killer, but he soon offers her a better deal after she reveals that not only did Nick St. Clair attempt to rape her but he also attacked Veronica as well. As angry as Archie is to find out that news, he also now knows that gives Hiram all the motive he needs to go after Nick St. Clair.

Archie decides to pay Nick a visit but under the guise that he’s going there to retrieve a new check from him to give to Cheryl and her family as hush money after she forced her mother to throw the other one in the fire. Sadly, Penelope Blossom has turned to prostitution as new profession and obviously she’s in desperate need of money.

Archie shows up to Nick’s place and gets the check but the over privileged scumbag figures out that Riverdale’s finest football playing musician is there with an ulterior motive to look into his accident thanks to what he did to Veronica. Archie finally snaps and beats the crap out of him, which leads to a confrontation from Veronica.

They sit down to talk and Archie comes clean about knowing that Nick attacked her. He also decides to tell her the truth about the kiss with Betty and she forgives him thanks to the fact that they were broken up and it was a life or death moment in their lives. That means Archie still isn’t telling Veronica about the FBI investigation into her father but simultaneously Veronica isn’t letting Archie in on the secret that she’s not helping Hiram secure his shady land deal on the Southside.

These secrets keep mounting and it’s going to come back to bite both of them!

Welcome Home

And finally Betty comes home to find her sister Polly packing up her things and officially moving to ‘The Farm’ full time after she gave birth to her twins just recently. Polly reveals they were born but she didn’t want to tell her family — and with names like Dagwood and Juniper, can you blame her?

Polly leaves to go back to ‘The Farm’, which is apparently some sort of religious cult where they brainwash their members but that’s where she wants to live full time now away from her family.

Of course this news breaks Alice’s heart after learning that Polly not only had the babies but didn’t even want her family to know. To try and help her mother heal, Betty talks to a social worker to find out information on whatever happened to her long lost brother that Alice gave up for adoption when she was a teenager.

While Hal wants no part of this past — probably because he’s not the kid’s father — Alice wants to know her son so she goes with Betty to track down “Charles Smith” as he’s known now.

When the find him, Charles — who prefers to be called Chic — is living in a flophouse motel called ‘The Last Resort’ and he’s in a business with ‘fantasy fulfillment’. He doesn’t have time for a mom who tossed him away or a sister who his family decided to keep when she was born. He forces them to leave because he has a client coming up soon. This episode topped out the prostitution references for ‘Riverdale’.

After seeing how much it hurt Alice to get rejected by her son, Betty decides to go back and give it one more try with Chic when she finds him being attacked by the motel manager in the hallway. She pepper sprays him and rescues her brother before brining him back to the Cooper home where they patch him up and offer him a place to stay in Polly’s old room.

But Chic Cooper isn’t there for a hot meal and a warm bed because he soon finds himself lurking in Betty’s room and staring over her while she sleeps. Add to that when Archie finally tells the FBI agent what he learned about Nick St. Clair, he also asks him about the Black Hood killer case and whether or not he believes they got the right man?

Archie isn’t convinced the janitor from Riverdale High was actually the killer…and something tells me Chic Cooper’s ‘fantasy’ might just end with a Black Hood being pulled back over his face before this season is over.

‘Riverdale’ returns with a brand new episode next Wednesday night at 8pm ET on the CW.


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