Riverdale 2×10 – The Blackboard Jungle | Review


Published on Jan 20, 2018


Riverdale had gone into the break on a high note-not exactly positive – our review of the ninth episode here – then this midseason premiere titled The Blackboard Jungle was certainly accompanied by a certain curiosity. It was necessary to in fact understand the direction the showrunner and the writers would have wanted to take now that the thread of the first part of the season that the mysterious killer in a Black Hood had been killed in a dramatic flurry of events which, however, had not fully satisfied because of a revelation that is almost certain about its identity.

The first part of The Blackboard Jungle is oddly placed, especially for a series that we are accustomed to the rhythms often serratissimi and a rising tension, whereas here the feeling is that already seen in the last two episodes that the writers have committed more to have the pawns to advance plots involving the different characters.

Pin the first half of the episode was definitely Veronica: now in tune with her parents, the girl is ready to support the business and the maneuvers of the father. Meanwhile, Fred Andrews discovers that his hospital bills were paid while Betty discovers that her sister has finally given birth to twins but does not intend to return home or contact the parents.

Jughead is the watershed between the first and the second part of the episode. After the facts related to Black Hood, and, above all, those related to the drug – the dreaded Jingle Jangle – the high school of the South Side, which is surprisingly closed by the mayor forcing the Serpents to move into the high school of the north of the school, and as expected, there will be plenty of contrasts.

Archie is approached by an FBI agent who asks him to investigate Hiram Lodge, father of Veronica, explaining how the business conducted by man are not exactly transparent. Archie begins to suspect that the closure of the high school of the south has been “recommended” by the same Hiram as being too close to his yard. Betty, meanwhile, were shaken by the drastic change of the attitude of the sister decides to get on the trail of the brother given for adoption years before.

The writers begin to recover some of the items left pending, or just mentioned to make the episode engaging, but as I said a bit slow in the development of the new status quo: in the first part, they ignore almost completely the consequences of the last episodes that then explode in the discrete final.

Veronica is the promoter of the integration of Serpents, thus supporting the plan of the parents, while Archie finds himself in spite of himself recruited into the FBI, but not without having made a first visit to Nick Saint Clair, the victim of a mysterious accident, and guilty of having tried to sexually assault is that Cheryl, the same Veronica. It will be just Cheryl to riverlarlo to Archie, who was in the dark as to who will take the ball looking for revenge and to buy the silence of Cheryl a witness of the kiss between him and Betty.

Betty, meanwhile, has tracked down and saved the brother who is brought back to Riverdale, but the eerie final scene leaves assume nothing good...

While Jughead accepts the need to “hide” the Serpents as a simple club of the high school, Archie confesses to Veronica kiss Betty. The girl seems upset, but after a moment of hesitation and forgive the guy... sincerity, or a manoeuvre to accommodate the plans of the parents?

Archie finally asks the FBI agent if, in his experience, the threat of the Black Hood is really the past that is, if you really caught the right man, in fact the boy has doubts about.

The Blackboard Jungle is a decent shot to Riverdale, an episode dense with ideas but that fails to mix the first part too “preparatory” with a second that deserved perhaps a more thorough study of some of the situations just sketched. Fortunately, the director manages to keep high the attention, leaving the characters to the right space but above all by weaving their stories in a dynamic way and consistent.

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