Riverdale Roundtable 20: “Shadow of a Doubt”

Welcome back to Riverdale Roundtable: a recap series where we chat about all the drama and sexy intrigue from last week’s Riverdale — just in time to get you up-to-speed for tonight’s episode. Today we’re talking about Season 2 Episode 20: Shadow of a Doubt. How many (speculative) vigilante squads can one town handle? How many more times can Hiram betray Archie in a single season? And how many godforsaken Black Hood subplots will our editorial crones endure for our queen Cheryl? The answer to all of these questions: a whole lot.

Rachel: what an episode

Image source: Saturday Night Live, “Disney Housewives

CC: ^ riverdale season 2

Jenny: hiram’s out here just, like, visibly and obviously manipulating archie, and archie’s just taking it?? like, even at the end when veronica is like — i can’t support my parents’ political ambitions any longer — archie’s still just out here like, yes mr lodge


Jenny: SO MUCH

this is all fodder for my “archie is actually rooting for a Problematic Archie/Hiram Endgame” theory

Jenny: lol after the musical episode i thought they were finally FINALLY going to actually nail down any solid characteristics for archie’s personality, but it’s just like — nope! — tricked you again!
oh yikes

CC: i can’t see any other reason for archie’s extreme loyalty to hiram at this point
like, even fred kinda lowkey calls him out
like, archie, do u think this is, like, beneficial to anybody in any way??? or do you just feel powerless?
archie: yes???
i mean idk

Rachel: I mean it seemed like at the end he finally Realized??
like, ok, Hiram “gave” the dark circle to Reggie
Archie turned Hiram down to go home with his down
that seems… good???

Jenny: honestly i just cannot figure out why hiram would single out reggie for anything??
oh — you’re a boy my daughter punched for being sexist? let me pay you money to do my bidding

CC: reggie “pranks his actual friends by dressing up like the dude that tried to kill their dad” whatever-his-last-name-is

Jenny: let me have a poorly-lit tete-a-tete with YOU

CC: maybe it’s just because reggie is Extremely Dumb
and somehow even easier to manipulate than archie??

Jenny: like, hiram has a stupid loyal trash boy already full committed to him, though
why sully the waters
why dilute his influence
with yet another stupid trash boy?
i guess maybe you can never have too many stupid trash boys

CC: all i am saying is
if archie comes back a Hiram stan in the next episode against all logic
i will never forgive this dumb show!
i’ll keep watching it tho
i just won’t forgive it

Jenny: i mean same

Rachel: I’m honestly not surprised by how that storyline is going
what I am a bit surprised / confused about is Betty
does she think that Hal has an accomplice??

Jenny: i mean, WE thought that Hal had an accomplice

CC: maybe bc he was at the town hall when the “black hood” shot at hermione?? right??
everything happened so much in this last episode I could hardly keep up tho so please lmk if I missed something important!

Rachel: it was definitely a lot

Jenny: i mean
i am definitely still on board the Hal w/ help murder train

Jenny: betty’s evidence and stuff — the dates lining up between hal’s planner and all the attacks, the book, etc. — like, this shooting happens definitely after she’s talked to him about inner darkness (maybe even after she’s out and out accused him? i don’t super remember exactly), and maybe he called in his accomplice to give himself an alibi
it all lines up
is what i’m saying
but also last week
i did say that they would try to point us to hal and then they would TAKE IT ALL AWAY
so idk

Rachel: you called it!!

Jenny: if nothing else i have correctly predicted that these writers are assholes

CC: I am with you!!
on one hand, i just want hal to conveniently be the black hood so he can be escorted out of this plot like cliff blossom
via death
on the other hand, I guess if there’s one secret society of vigilante boys there can be another one of vigilante middle aged men
the black hood could be a bunch of shifty dads

Jenny: the bad dads of riverdale

CC: what i am saying here is, he totally could have an accomplice
i realize the point got away from me there lol
or it could be hal’s evil twin
or tall boy
my four theories

Jenny: i could see that

Rachel: I mean if Cliff Blossom has an evil twin
anybody could have an evil twin

Jenny: oh shit yeah!
hal could have an evil twin
bc of the blossom blood being on his side
and blossoms coming in twins

CC: or just a twin
and both of them are evil

Rachel: OH SHIT
I was making a flippant joke but you made it legit

CC: GOD i couldn’t handle 2 cliff blossoms
2 hal coopers

Jenny: i mean both

CC: yeah boooooooo
like, I did think that hal having that book betty used to love wasn’t necessarily a big Tell tho
the datebook was way better

Jenny: agreed

CC: i can imagine that if hal really for some reason, somehow wasn’t a murder dad, he’d be super baffled by that particular confrontation

Jenny: i mean, i think hal would be baffled by almost all confrontation
i don’t think he’s emotionally equipped for human interaction

Rachel: the only downside to him being the BH and getting offed this season is
how devastated Alice will be :disappointed:
especially if he killed Chick

Jenny: but fp will be there to comfort her

CC: hopefully he’ll get his shit together before then!


Jenny: he doesn’t need his shit together when he’s out here looking cute in that sodajerk uniform

CC: true that outfit looks So Good on him

Rachel: it really flatters his waistline

CC: and his arms

Jenny: i do kind of want touch on this point though
(get it?)
(touch on)

CC: hohohohoho

Jenny: but jokes aside
the midge-fangs thing
i think it #confirms that all of the side characters are messy bi teens
i’m sticking w that
but mostly

Jenny: this fucking shit right here
fuck reggie

CC: how dare u reggie

Jenny: like midge wasn’t capable of making decisions for herself??
what the fuck??

Rachel: reggie continues to be completely irredeemable

CC: who gave reggie a say in who or who was not doing midge???
get out of here with that shit reggie

Jenny: yeah!
reggie is garbage
he’s a bad leader and he’s got shitty judgement
if i were hiram, i certainly would not have selected him for my havoc team
bc he comes up w THIS SHIT

Jenny: War Dogs???
how dare you
sullying the good name of dogs

i mean how dare the red circle or w/e do anything
the only plot point I’m more sick of than the black hood tbh

Rachel: so fucking dumb
one thing though, I’m proud of Moose
he doesn’t seem to be falling into the stereotype of jealous jilted bf
he is still a soft sweet boy

Jenny: JOAQUIN!!!

so happy to see him ;-;
I’ll be so bummed if he doesn’t show up again

CC: me too
tbh………..re: moose and midge…….this show has never really resolved whether or not moose is bi or if midge was his beard……..but either way I’d have been super pissed if he got possessive and jealous given how hypocritical it’d be!!

Rachel: definitely
I mean he seemed upset that she was seeing Fangs on the side but he mostly just seemed sad

Jenny: which feels v understandable/relatable
bc i stand by that moose really cared about midge
was probably v sad that he couldn’t be everything she wanted him to be

Rachel: yes!! poor moose

Jenny: probably also feels really guilty now!
poor moose!
my big slab of beef!
i think that’s what he called himself after he got shot?
idk but it was v charming
but also sucks about this whole “listening to reggie” thing

CC: i can’t believe anybody would!
what a world

Jenny: there’s another p large aspect of this episode that i did actually enjoy though
i think y’all can probs guess what it was
but still

was so good
so supportive
wants to talk to the police
wants to help her cousin find a murderer, but in a SAFE way

Rachel: I’m proud of her!!
she’s come so far
if she gets shot by the Black Hood
I will lose my mind

Jenny: i watched the preview for next week and they had a “here’s johnny” kind of scene

CC: i don’t think this show could ever even pretend like it’d exist without cheryl

Jenny: agree
i think there’ll be a chase in the house, but she’ll get away
but in this ep
her dynamic w betty was really nice!
going w her to the morgue! going w her to her dad’s nasty “share”-b&b
so supportive!
and, like, hal was the only one who really knew about their working together — when he calls before the debate and betty says she’s w cheryl
who else would know to go after her?

CC: man the morgue scene was Wild btw
lol @ that coroner just walking these teens through this murder and showing them a corpse

Rachel: oh good point!!!
lol that coroner
I thought Betty breaking down was a really good scene tho
and Cheryl being there for her

Jenny: SO GOOD

CC: i feel bad saying this but
i kinda felt like
well betty
you’re…..not wrong…….

Rachel: YEAH

Jenny: i mean yes

Rachel: it was nice for her to finally realize what was happening!! and to react!!
in a way that MADE SENSE

Jenny: i mean, yes. but tbh this whole ep i was kind of frustrated w betty — like, “luckily pretending everything’s normal is my specialty” and then she goes out and acts SUPER suspicious!!
it’s a real callback to the musical ep
when she was like, interrogating ethel, but trying to be smooth
but she was not smooth!
not even a little!
remember when archie had to break up w jug for betty?
and he turned that switch on! and he was v convincing!
i feel like betty is not as good at that as she thinks she is!

Rachel: oh defffff

CC: you know who i felt was suspicious as heck this ep tho
since when has V been hell-bent on opening a casino???
how is this the major turning point in her lodge family evil loyalty?
private prisons? fine. selling her bf out bc they don’t want the bad publicity or hit on their mob reputations? no sweat.
but not going along with her plan to invest her ransom money in a casino is the turning point???
i mean I’m happy she got there at all but still

Rachel: that’s a good point
I am really into the idea of V becoming financially independent though
I’m here for her becoming a savvy business lady

CC: like one of those teens in an anime who lives alone in a fancy apartment in 10th grade

Jenny: oh agree — and idk if it’s really the casino itself as it is the idea of being taken seriously by her father
but also, at some point — yes — you need to emancipate yourself and live alone in a fancy apartment in 10th grade
speaking of which!
penelope and fake cliff still live in thistlehouse
def bc cheryl called up asking if the doorbell was going to be one of pen’s gentlemen callers
so — that whole emancipation plot really went nowhere

CC: what a wild ride
I guess somebody has to watch nana rose’s back

Rachel: oh dang!! that’s a bummer!!!
although honestly I think it’s just a misstep by the writers lol

CC: yeah i agree, that might be giving them too much credit ha ha ha

Rachel: I think they just want to remind everybody
“heyyyyy Penelope sleeps with lots of duddeeessss”

CC: also they spent too much money on the thistlehouse set to abandon it now
too much $$$ in evil williams sonoma

Jenny: i mean if there’s a thistlehouse liquidation sale just lmk

CC: @ us riverdale

Jenny: speaking of cheryl
and how good cheryl was w betty this ep
another good and supportive relationship i was happy to see return
was between archie and jug “the other one” jones

CC: lol @ hiram

Jenny: going to the sheriff’s station together
investigating things
friendly heads of rival gangs

Rachel: yeah! and Jug calls him when he’s in trouble and Archie shows up

Jenny: real star-crossed

Rachel: sometimes that’s all you have to do
just show up (@archie!!!)
don’t be a dick

Jenny: yeah!
just be there for people!
esp when those people are your dad!

CC: fred was so good in this episode
oh man
we didn’t talk about the debate yet!

Jenny: oh yeah this garbage!

CC: I both can and can’t believe hermione brought up the red circle garbage during the debate

Jenny: agree

CC: mostly bc it feels incredibly easy to trace them back to the lodge’s payroll


CC: even though all hiram did was the ol’ “oh no, please do not do this incredibly beneficial thing! don’t do that! that thing you should do! but don’t!”

Rachel: Hiram is garbage
I want Hermione to get financially independent too
I don’t understand her loyalty at all

CC: omg hermione
when v called her out this episode
all I could think about was how much I missed her bond with veronica from season 1

Jenny: i would love a flashback to when/how hermione and hiram met
also yes
she was great w v in s1

CC: maybe hiram will go back to jail, and fred / hermione / molly ringwald can reunite as the thrupple riverdale needs

Rachel: god I hope so

CC: all i am saying is that fred would never expect you to run a crooked mayoral campaign to cover his ass
lol also
“i’m not one for speechifyin'”
this show hyping up how much fred’ll crush hermione in the debate
“i’m not one for good words talkin’,” [has been working on city planning for riverdale for fun since high school]
my point here is not clear, but it is: he is so humble!! too humble?? i don’t care i love it

Rachel: is too good for this dang town
what do we think of the new temp sheriff?

CC: [fart noise]

Jenny: seconded

CC: i hope riverdale kept their receipt
so they can take him back to the bad sheriff store

Jenny: lol
link to the dick thunder romance roundtable
we know all about the sheriff/husband stores

Rachel: lol

Jenny: but it was nice to see so much fred this ep
he’s a good dad
a nice man

CC: literally the number one dad in riverdale

Rachel: I need him to be under constant surveillance / protection
one deputy is not enough!!

Jenny: OK
when veronica came over to tell fred how much she supports him
but really it was a ploy to shove another sexy sex scene into this plot

Rachel: LOL i forgot about that

Jenny: i was like PRETTY CONVINCED that he was going to get shot while archie was upstairs boning

CC: what a time for steamy hookups

Rachel: I wish that boning wasn’t V’s answer to stressful situations
like, as soon as Fred got shot, she hopped into the shower with Archie

CC: it’s weirdly tied to fred!!!

Rachel: it’s not healthy!!!

Jenny: i mean

Rachel: sigh
y’all ready for final thoughts?

CC: yeah for sure
my final thought is that there’s a lot I haven’t liked about season 2 so far, but the number one thing is that it’s been a really long time since we saw hotdog or vegas :”'(
i can forgive a lot when there are cute dogs involved

Jenny: YES
bring back the good boyes

CC: jug needs to get a sidecar just for hotdog if things keep going at this pace

Jenny: yes
@cw hire cc

Rachel: my final thought is that, in what way at all is anything that Hiram does legal??
I mean, like, that’s his whole deal right?
he’s “above board now”


Rachel: but he literally is controlling the sheriff and trying to get his wife into the mayor’s office
and buying up stuff
I don’t know!!!
I’m not a law expert but it seems pretty sketch to me

Jenny: hiram is garbage

CC: he killed papa poutine!
i mean, hiram, my dude

Rachel: oh def

Jenny: i mean, i think the fake fbi guy killed him

Rachel: and Adrian killed that kid who broke into the house

Jenny: *andre

Rachel: whoops

Jenny: that’s the trick — hiring young people to do the killing for you
up next: reggie mantle
as long as the person getting killed isn’t cheryl
which is my final thought

Jenny: just like, that’s going to be it for me
i know we’ve said it before, but there is no show w/o cheryl

Rachel: agreed

CC: protect her at all costs

Rachel: I am only watching this dumb show for two things: to see Cheryl and Toni kiss and to see Hal get his comeuppance

CC: same!!!

Jenny: and maybe that alice/fp squad car reunion

Rachel: oh yes!!
good point
oh and also for Kevin to find love
ok, maybe I’m here for a couple of things

CC: and dogs
return of the dogs

Jenny: this show had its hooks in me, something awful

CC: ^ tl;dr, this whole roundtable series

All images within this article are sourced from the CW’s Riverdale unless otherwise noted.

CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.
A collage featuring the top 10 crones of the year for 2023.

Crones of the Year 2023

As we spiral ever further towards certain catastrophe on this interminable mortal coil, there are some lights of hope that pass fleetingly by. Most often: the crones or otherwise eternal baddies found in all of our favorite escapist media. And so we present our top ten 2023 Crones of the Year.

read more »
POMEgranate Magazine