Riverdale season 2, episode 11 recap: Do Betty and Chic share a dark side?

Photo Credit: Riverdale/The CW, Shane Harvey Image Acquired from CWTVPR
Photo Credit: Riverdale/The CW, Shane Harvey Image Acquired from CWTVPR /

As continued darkness and turmoil overwhelm Riverdale, the same toxic brew exists inside Betty. Will Chic corrupt and exploit Dark Betty?

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It’s difficult to pin down which of Riverdale’s storyline rings the most compelling since they’re each equally pressing and inherently intertwined. This week, it’s probably not the questionable wrestling matching between Archie and Hiram or the regressive mini-feud between Veronica and Mayor McCoy. Instead, it’s the ever-unraveling mystery of Chic Cooper.

While Riverdale drops startling new information about the history of the town (and we’ll definitely crack into that multi-layered mind-bender in a moment), its most electric scenes in the latest episode revel in the question marks and fireworks erupting within the Cooper home. Who is Chic? Where did he come from? What does he do? Luckily, we have received a few reliable answers, but many of the macro details about Chic remain tightly shrouded in secrecy. But now that he’s connected with Dark Betty and tipped his eyebrow up with a sly grin, we’ve got his number. Is Chic manipulating Betty with a convenient story about shared darkness? Let’s dig into the five most shocking developments from the latest jaw-dropping episode of Riverdale(Warning: It’s about to get real spoilery in here.)

1. Jughead vs. history.

For an oral history assignment, Jughead interviews Toni’s grandfather, who happens to be the oldest living Serpent. Ever the ace journalist, Jughead unearths the real story behind Riverdale’s celebration of Pickens Day. See, Pickens wasn’t a hero. Rather, he led the massacre of the Uktena tribe under the orders of a Blossom. The remaining Uktena formed the Serpents as a means of survival. Jughead decides to publish the truth about the town’s whitewashing, othering, and just general corruption of power, but it gets ugly.

2. A wresting feud, but make it over-sexualization.

Fans of Riverdale probably haven’t been able to scrub the images of Archie and Hiram wrestling from their minds since they were released ahead of the midseason premiere. The pair wrestle in perfect lighting that complements their physique. It’s requisite teen drama fare and nothing we haven’t seen before. But even as the thirst rises for both a sight of the fight and the reasoning behind it, there’s a conversation to be had about Riverdale’s over-sexualization issue.

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Surely, many viewers were ogling the idealized male bodies strapped in barely-there singlets without realizing Archie’s shirt shrunk until it finally disappeared. In many ways, Riverdale knows its audience, but it might want to pull back a bit. Just the opposite, Archie doesn’t pull back when it comes to getting in Hiram’s good graces. Hiram’s already made up his mind about Archie, leading to a fabricated display of camaraderie for Ronnie and a dangerous closed-doors deal. Don’t become your enemy, Archiekins.

Photo Credit: Riverdale/The CW, Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CWTVPR
Photo Credit: Riverdale/The CW, Dean Buscher Image Acquired from CWTVPR /

3. Those are strings, Veronica.

What’s up with Ronnie? Riverdale seemed to know what to do with Queen V in Season 2, but her latest petty feuds and painful loyalty to her parents have been a struggle to watch. She and Josie were supposed to perform together at the Pickens Day fair, but Mayor McCoy takes her beef with the Lodges out on Ronnie, turning Josie against her in the process. Aside from expressing discontent with the hostility between Archie and Hiram, she’s busy creating her own. Looks like she’s found the strings attached to her parents’ approval.

4. Betty and Chic bond, and it’s bad news.

Let’s not bury the lede: Chic performs his “fantasy fulfillment” via webcam. As Kevin refers to him, he’s a “cyber trick.” Who saw that one coming? Somehow, Chic manages to accept Hal’s negativity, but he loses his mind when he learns his old pal Marcel sold his laptop and webcam. And it’s all Betty’s fault for bringing him “home.” Following some push and pull, the two finally get to the nitty gritty. Betty wanted to explore her darkness, figuring it plagued her brother, too. What’s he to do other than agree and make Betty think his intro to webcam course was her idea?

Photo Credit: Riverdale/The CW, Shane Harvey Image Acquired from CWTVPR
Photo Credit: Riverdale/The CW, Shane Harvey Image Acquired from CWTVPR /

5. The Riverdale civil war begins.

Pickens Day ends up a nightmare, as the Serpents clean up the mess left behind Jughead’s hasty article by picketing the festival. (If you’re wondering, Cheryl ditches family loyalty and joins the revolution. Are you watching, Veronica?) Of course, Hiram speeds into damage control mode by placating the worries of the Serpents and gaslighting the North Side residents who probably don’t want to reckon with their privilege and the intense whitewashing that built their town. Overnight, the Pickens statue is decapitated, further fueling Hiram’s war on the South Side. The devil works hard, but Hiram Lodge works harder.

Next: 5 sketchy things that happened in Riverdale season 2, episode 10 (Hint: Chic Cooper!)

Odds & Ends:

  • “Because I was playing basketball,” Archie barks at an FBI agent as to why he hadn’t infiltrated Hiram Lodge’s latest meeting. Sometimes we need these humorous reminders that these are just kids caught up in a brutal mess.
  • To whom it may concern, Kevin needs a storyline one of these days, don’t you think? And no, using his character for utility to move the plot forward doesn’t count.
  • Cheryl has been all over the place this season, and it’s high time we allow her to unpack everything she’s experienced. I believe I’ve proposed this in a past recap, but can we give Cheryl her very own hour?
  • I don’t trust Archie to wade through these waters on his own. He needs someone to tie a rope around his waist so they can pull him out before Hiram sinks his teeth in.

What did you think about the latest episode? Let us know in the comments!

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.