Welcome back to ComicVerse’s RIVERDALE pocast: The Sticky Maple. Our second episode, Archie, Lies, and Video Tape, covers episode two of RIVERDALE, “Nighthawks”.

In “Nighthawks”, we meet the new Reggie Mantle played by Charles Melton, we discover the town drug Jingle-Jangle, and Archie gets a gun! We also learn a lot more about the Lodge family, specifically the relationship between Hiram and Hermione. This episode is fantastic, Andrew and Mara give it 4.5/5 Archie heads. Speaking of Archie, the KJ Apa shirtless shot-count continues, will that boy ever find a shirt? Probably not!

We hope you enjoy episode two of The Sticky Maple: A RIVERDALE podcast and please check out episode one below.

Andrew Rivera: Hello! Welcome to ComicsVerse’s RIVERDALE podcast, the Sticky Maple. This is our second episode: Archie, Lies, and Video Tape. My name is Andrew Rivera. I am a writer for ComicsVerse. I’m also the host of Intellectual Property with Andrew Rivera your favorite comedy show about comics film and television. I am here with the brilliant Mara Danoff. Mara, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Mara Danoff: Hi, I’m Mara Danoff and I am also a writer for ComicsVerse.com and a film student at Barnard College.

Andrew Rivera: Boom! Nailed it! We normally would like to have a third rotating guest however we — our people weren’t available and Brandon Guerrero is sick, unfortunately.

Mara Danoff: None of our friends wanted to hang out with us?

Andrew Rivera: That’s not true Brandon Guerrero wanted to; he has the black lung.

Mara Danoff: Oh, okay.

Andrew Rivera: He’s slowly passing. But, alright, so we’re on the second episode which is called — the second episode of RIVERDALE– which is called “Nighthawks”. Previously, leading up to this episode, Jughead Jones realized he was in pretty deep shit with the Southside Serpents. He quickly learned how much they don’t fuck around. Cheryl made sure that her mother was going to play ball and listen to her. We briefly saw Josie & the Pussycats and met the new Reggie. Fred Andrews made it through surgery just fine. Ms. Grundy was killed after making out with the kid who worked at the movie drive-in. [He was] the guy who denied Kevin his hot dog, which proves that he’s disappointing and hurting people all over the place (hopefully not with his hot dog). And Hiram Lodge returns to Riverdale.

This week on RIVERDALE, Mara, would you just like to go through that list?

Mara Danoff: Of course! My personal favorite, Cheryl, takes back the Riverdale vixens and Josie joins them. Cheryl also becomes a pussycat because, you know what? She’s just double trouble. She’s got her hand in so many pots.

Archie buys a gun from Dilton. Reggie Mantle is a drug dealer who sells a bunch of things but most notably Jingle-Jangle which I assume is like a street Viagra/ecstasy. Seriously, that comment where they were saying, “It’ll keep you up in more ways than one,” was very indicative of what this drug can do. Reggie’s also kind of awesome and doesn’t really know how to pull a prank. Betty leads the charge to save pops and black mails Cheryl. Jughead Jones talks to a shady lawyer to save his father from prison. Hiram conducts shady business and the Lodges prove to be very conniving and deceitful. Smithers goes to “help his mother” and the killer’s latest victims are Moose and & Midge.

Andrew Rivera: That is a lot, Mara. Thank you so much for reading that, I wrote that for you. It was pretty bad but thank you anyway.

So I guess we should just jump right in to what’s going on in “Nighthawks”, what’s going on in RIVERDALE and right off the top, the streak, no pun intended, continues. KJ Apa [Archie] hasn’t disappointed us. He’s got his shirtless scene.

Mara Danoff: We’re two for two.

Andrew Rivera: We’re two for two. For some reason he just opens the door ready to just like show off his eight-pack.

Mara Danoff: As one does.

Andrew Rivera: If I was Archie’s father, I’d be like, “Put a shirt on. You’re making me feel bad about myself.”

Mara Danoff: Before coming here I actually Googled to see if this was in his contract ’cause now I’m convinced that he has to do this, like, every episode. I’m going to start a counter so for you listeners out there, back at home, just keep track with us to see how many Archie Andrews is seen shirtless on RIVERDALE.

Andrew Rivera: Right now we’re two for two. I’m very happy about that but if that scene did nothing else what I think it did really well was it kind of brought us back the old Veronica. You know, Betty calls her and she’s like Archie’s not sleeping in his bedroom I’ve noticed — which is a little weird. But she tells Veronica and old Veronica, season one Veronica, just shows up at Archie’s place like, “What the hell is going on with you? Do you need to see a therapist?”

So what do you think about that moment for Veronica as somebody with concerns about what they were going to do with Veronica’s character this season?

Mara Danoff: You know what? Veronica’s back and I’m very excited to see now what they’ll be incorporating her into. And yeah, mainly I was worried, especially this episode with how she treated her parents and the way that she and Betty have sort of teamed up — which also filled my heart with love and joy, seeing the two work together.

Andrew Rivera: And Jughead comments on that. He’s like, “Another B&V team up. They’ve got to make a video game — ”

Mara Danoff: Yeah, Jughead, I don’t need you pointing that out. I’m already thinking it in my head. You voicing it is just — also, while I’m still on my high horse about Jughead real quick, as a film major, I don’t appreciate him dropping movies quotes every two seconds.

Andrew Rivera: We’re going to talk about that but yeah, for sure.

Mara Danoff: Like come on, Jughead, you’re giving us a rep.

Andrew Rivera: I mean all he had was movies! That’s all he had. He didn’t have anything else. He didn’t have a family, only the drive-in. Yeah, no, I thought that that — I love the idea of B&V teaming up again. That’s an unbeatable duo, I think. I’m really pleased with that.

Mara Danoff: Oh, for sure.

Andrew Rivera: They’re very powerful together and it really speaks to the idea that Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes were talking about; about changing the dynamic of Betty and Veronica on TV. Not making it about fighting over a guy [Archie] but like about girl-power.

Mara Danoff: Which honestly is so great to see because one of my biggest concerns when actually starting RIVERDALE over all would that they would just be fighting [over Archie] the whole time and like who wants to watch that? ‘Cause I really don’t, I don’t care.

Andrew Rivera: Especially over season one Archie who was a red head bimbo.

Mara Danoff: The worst! Like again, Archie Andrews season one: the actual worst boy in, just, existence.

Andrew Rivera: The most real-life-to-film boy.

Mara Danoff: Real life fuckboy! Just oh my god, I just — the sheer, like, need for this boy to be with so many different girls, I was like, “Why?”

Andrew Rivera: He works out a lot. That’s his only use.

Mara Danoff: Yeah, I guess they all saw that contract and were like, “Dang.”

Andrew Rivera: “We need this!”

So speaking of super-jacked people on this show, this is our first real taste of Reggie Mantle, the new Reggie. Ross Butler, [who] of course was on last season, had to leave for 13 REASONS WHY. He is a great actor, I wish him all the best, and I was very concerned about this new Reggie. ‘Cause I was like, “He’s all chiseled and nothing else,” this guy, I think, is awesome. He has a very, like, 1950’s New York greaser kind of thing going on. He kind of talks like “this a little bit” [terrible impression] and he sells drugs which is weird.

Mara Danoff: Well what I really liked about this episode in particular was how they just kept doing these random throw backs to, like just, the 60’s. Just in terms of directorial style, costuming, stuff like that. And I feel like Reggie kind of epitomized that concept. He was just — he was not — he was even a bully. Reggie was just sort of like a random, like, literal greaser kid and not to just steal what you just said but that’s what he was. He was literally freakin’ — God, what’s that actors name? In the movie GREASE?

Andrew Rivera: Oh, John Travolta?

Mara Danoff: John — he’s John Travolta!

Andrew Rivera: Danny Zucko? How dare you not remember that.

Mara Danoff: Hey, I know John Travolta best from the movie HAIRSPRAY, as when he plays the mom.

Andrew Rivera: First of all, that is a violation on John Travolta —

Mara Danoff: Are you saying I can’t love my home city of Baltimore?

Andrew Rivera: You can. You can love it and please pronounce it again so that people know. It’s not Baltimore. When you’re from there it’s…

Mara Danoff: Balimore

Andrew Rivera: Balimore, right? Alright I just want to make that clear. If we talk about John Travolta, I can be here all night. He’s a personal hero when he’s not being super weird in real life but back to the idea of Reggie. I like that he’s this backdoor character that is a little sneaky, kind of knows what’s going on. You know, he’s not really mean to Archie, I think, because his dad is like, you know — I think they’re going to pull off a rival-thing but I think right now he’s just kind of this, like we said, this greasy back door guy who is like, “Hey do you need something? I got that.” You know?

Mara Danoff: Yeah.

Andrew Rivera: And midge coming up to him like, “Reg’ what do you know about Jingle-Jangle?” Which is probably the most Merry drug name of all time.

Mara Danoff: It’s so – I heard that and I was like, “This can’t be what they’re going for, RIVERDALE please tell me your writers thought of something better!” And they didn’t and I was like, “Oh my God! We’re stuck with this word for all of this season.”

Andrew Rivera: I disagree with you. I think two things should come from this: You should take a shot every time they say Jingle-Jangle. The second thing is, I love it cause it’s so RIVERDALE. It’s so, like, this town that won’t evolve and [it sounds like] is it that you smoke a candy cane? Or do you put a candy cane in your arm? I know it’s pixie sticks but Jingle-Jangle is a weird drug name.

Mara Danoff: I feel like – okay, this is how you do it. First – and I don’t mean to encourage the reproduction of jingle jangle.

Andrew Rivera: No!

Mara Danoff: What you do is, you melt down a candy cane.

Andrew Rvera: Okay.

Mara Danoff: Like, with a spoon. You have to sprinkle a little bit of pixie stix on to it for that extra zest and then you would have to shoot it up.

Andrew Rivera: I see, I see. Well thank you for the clarification.

Mara Danoff: Yeah, you’re welcome.

Andrew Rivera: But we’re both in agreement then that we love the new Reggie Mantle.

Mara Danoff: Oh, of course!

Andrew Rivera: I don’t know the actor’s name which is a big thing. I will look it up and mention it at some point but new Reggie you are fantastic [and] we adore you.

One of the things that is Betty going back into Betty season one. Trying to get to the bottom of things, trying to help people, just trying to do all that stuff. One of my favorite lines of the episode, and I don’t know if you noticed this but it certainly stands out – as a person of color, it stood out to me. She calls this killer a terrorist.

She says, “We can’t let the terrorist win.” He’s clearly a white guy, killing people. He’s using guns, he’s using other things. Given that RIVERDALE is set in America based on them saying that Jughead’s dad could run for the border [of Canada], things like that. Given the climate of everything and everything about gun violence and domestic terrorism, I thought it was really important that somebody mentions that, that this is an act of terrorism. I think it kind of plays into more what we were talking about last episode, which is that RIVERDALE sometimes takes a stance on things.

It’s very small and subtly but like with a line or two. Like Cheryl mentioning how her bimbo friends didn’t – she called them bitches actually – how they didn’t express their right to vote and things like that when they were deciding who would be the next head vixen. What do you think about that kind of line, if you noticed it, and if you didn’t what do you think about it now, anyway?

Mara Danoff: I didn’t notice it but I was more worried that it would be seen, like, depending on what the actor – like, I didn’t know he was supposed to be white, necessarily, cause I was worried that he was going to be a person of color. That was my biggest fear.

Andrew Rivera: He still could be, I’m just – I see the eyes and –

Mara Danoff: No, and you’re totally right. If they are doing it as a – if this is a white person, I’m like 100 percent on board for that, just because there is a huge problem of white men causing serious acts of terror in the United States and it just gets brushed under the rug and it needs to be called out for what it is but that is again with the contingency that the actor under the mask is a white person.

Andrew Rivera: Yes, we don’t know if he’s white, but I have a strong feeling he’s white.

Mara Danoff: Me too.

Andrew Rivera: Just based off the cut out of the eyes, what you can see of his face, and the green eyes. So –

Mara Danoff: Oh, he had green eyes that’s a good point.

Andrew Rivera: If I’m wrong then I’m wrong. That actor’s name, by the way, who plays Reggie, new Reggie, is Charles Melton. Charles Melton, we love you. Please come on sometime.

So, moving on but speaking of Cheryl and speaking of Betty, what do you think of Betty’s like Alice Cooper-mode. Her using this blackmail she has against Cheryl. Her kind of threatening a little bit. Basically, her doing what she has to do for the “good of her family”, which right now is Jughead.

Mara Danoff: So, just right off the bat, one of my favorite scenes of this episode, and I know a big reason why is because Cheryl’s in it but –

Andrew Rivera: You don’t say.

Mara Danoff: It was still a good scene, that being said, I actually saw her a bit more as going Dark Betty there. She was just sort of embracing this side of her that she knows is within her but, as we sort of established last season, Jughead is just encouraging her to be who she is and just kind of roll with it and that she’s not a bad person. I feel like was her just sort of taking Jughead’s advice and being like, “I’m doing what’s right here and I need to use some maybe not so great tactics to get the right results.”

Andrew Rivera: Do you think that is reflective of her mother’s behavior? Because I think a lot of these characters, you can see the connection between their parents and them and I think Alice is very similar in that, “I’m going to get to the bottom of what I need to find out for whatever I need it for and I don’t give a shit,” you know?

Mara Danoff: No, you’re completely right and I feel like that is going to be a bigger point for drama later in the season is how similar these two actually are. I actually think it’s funny right now how they’re so antagonistic to each other, and obviously I get why, but it’s really funny especially this season in how they’re being, they’re actually very similar people. So, I hope at some point they will kind of be able to come together and be this unstoppable force of journalistic integrity that [will be there] when Riverdale needs them the most.

Andrew: Yeah, I completely agree, and I like what you said about Betty having that side to her and it’s not like Dark Phoenix. It’s not like this side is going to take full control. It looked like it was going to last season, but I do think now Betty kind of knows, a little bit, how to play that line. She’s a little more seasoned now, she can be mean when she has to and then just kind of lighten up. Cause she does with Cheryl towards the end of the episode.

Mara Danoff: She’s also a lot more comfortable in her own skin and I do have to admit, as much as I rag on the relationship between her and Jughead –

Andrew Rivera: Shame.

Mara Danaoff: Just for kicks, cause I’m a contrarian. I have to admit, the two of them have been a very positive influence on each other. Especially with personal development in that regard. You know, Betty’s become a lot more confident, a lot more sure of herself and now Jughead has a stable loving relationship that he didn’t have before. So, I mean, good character development, you guys.

Andrew Rivera: Bughead. 2 cute, 2 be, 4 gotten.

Mara Danaoff: That’s nice.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, I’m a big Bughead [fan] but let’s go back to the idea of Cheryl. How do you feel about your girl being threatened but more than that, the end result is that Cheryl does get the footage of her father killing her brother and she sits down with her mother and she shows her this [footage]. Where last episode it seemed that she would be more threatening towards her. I think this is a very – she offers her this as sort of a – an opportunity to heal. What do you think about that and what do you think about Cheryl’s character overall, in terms of good and bad? Because, like I told you, I don’t think she’s that bad. I think that she’s very troubled. I think we’re going to see more of her being able to play both sides but I think, overall, she’ll be good this season.

Mara Danaoff: I really hope she is, not that I need a redemption arc for her because, again, she has me sold hook, line, and sinker. Again, I don’t need to be sold on this character but I thought it was a genuinely sweet moment. I could definitely see it be a pseudo threatening like, “Watch what your husband did to my brother who I loved so very much dearly.”

And just for a whole caveat, I’m also a twin and I have a twin brother so I definitely get, especially in the first season, why she was so adamant about like, “Me and my brother, we’re this tight.” I was like, “Oh, yeah I get that!” Cause especially when I was, like, what Cheryl’s age would’ve been, I was, like, I can imagine what she’s been through and how that would’ve affected her. So, I feel like that was very brave of her to just be like, “Yeah we should watch this together and we should move on from that point,”

I hope that the writers do let her heal and move on. Saying that with that caveat being that she’s not always the most consistently written because she can go from being a border line good character to a full-blown bitch of this high school. Sure, I get that’s just Cheryl, but I do – I’m excited to see what they’re going to do with her moving forward.

Andrew Rivera: Going back to the fact of you having a twin. Give me a little preview, the psychic connection…is that real?

Mara Danoff: Oh, obviously. I mean, you didn’t know that? What we also like to do is we like to hold hands in long creepy hallways and ask boys specifically named Johnny to come play with us. We also wear only white and go on row boat rides just so that way one of us can pretend to drown.

Andrew Rivera: But have you ever had a freaky twin moment where you think something bad happened to him or you guys had the same thought or something? Something like that.

Mara Danoff: Yeah, I mean, well part of it is that we both can have a very similar sense of humor and this is where both of us were at the same school and together all the time. There would be times where we were driving to school and he would – we would both be having similar thoughts and streams of consciousness about the same thing. Though I don’t why people think that if you pinch my brother that I will feel pain or vice versa. I mean I think it’s really funny when people pinch him because I don’t feel it and it’s like, “Yeah, do it!” It’ll drive him crazy.

Andrew Rivera: People have done that to you?

Mara Danoff: I mean, yeah when we were younger mostly, I’d say. Obviously not now when people are older.

Andrew Rivera: Alright, I just wanted to make sure –

Mara Danoff: Twin life is real, you guys.

Andrew Rivera: That’s what I’m saying, I just want to find out how real the twin life is.

Mara Danoff: Shout out to all those twin listeners. I’m sure there’s at least one or two of you.

Andrew Rivera: Shout out to Dylan Sprouse who I’m sure is listening to this as his brother Cole Sprouse is on a show. Dylan Sprouse also returning to acting. I forget in what.

So, I’d like to kind of check out what you think about Cheryl adding Josie to the Vixens and Josie adding Cheryl, for an episode, because it seemed like Valerie came down with swine flu of some sort but I wanted to know what you think about that. I wanted to know what you think about that, I personally saw the full performance of the “Milkshake” thing. Did not care for it at all. I thought it was a weird —  mean it’s over sexualized which is the CW, fine, but it was just a weird cover for me. My preference is the Kelis original “Milkshake” –

Mara Danoff: Oh, the cover was not great. Normally, I’m for what Josie and the Pussycats, on the show, do –

Andrew Rivera: That Donna Summers “I Feel Love” was great!

Mara Danoff: Yes! It was so good but no, no, not this time. I was like, “Um, sorry, nice try!” But that being said, and this is where I transition into my unfiltered adoration for Cheryl and now Josie too because I was really so into the two of them because – okay, this might need a little bit of explanation but I do think that the two of them are some of the strongest women in the show. Like Josie being the leader of this women of color band and Cheryl just being Cheryl Fucking Blossom and the idea of the two of them like teaming up for shenanigans further in the season fills me with so much joy.

Andrew Rivera: For sure.

Mara Danoff: I seriously — I hope they do more with their dynamic because they now have me and my heart set on the two of them, seeing them more together and if they don’t, I will be very sad.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, and Melody getting lines this episode.

Mara Danoff: Good for her! I didn’t even know her name until now!

Andrew Rivera: She normally doesn’t [have lines]. We need to see more Melody. In the comics, Archie and Valerie have a daughter named Melody.

Mara Danoff: The more you know.

Andrew Rivera: The more you know. That was in my wiki research, so if that’s wrong, I’m sorry Rachel Davis, who is our resident ARCHIE fan.

Mara Danoff: She’s definitely listening. Hi, Rachel!

Andrew Rivera: Hi, Rachel!

Andrew Rivera:

I like what you’re saying because Cheryl and Josie were like the head mamas until Veronica Lodge came into town. You know, they were kind of like the Regina Georges. They didn’t have anybody to outshine on them and Betty – you know Cheryl could step all over her, not Josie, but it’s interesting now that you get to see what their friendship is like.

Mara Danoff: Again, I am so down for this like I don’t know. I know I’m going to be pushing my Cheryl agenda a lot on this podcast but I’m going to be pushing my Cheryl and Josie agenda now on this podcast.

Andrew Rivera: And I will say, I love Cheryl – I don’t need Cheryl on the Pussycats.

Mara Danoff: No, I don’t need Cheryl to be with them. I feel like [Cheryl] and Josie and the Pussycats should be two separate entities. I do want to see them team up up.

Andrew Rivera: Cause I’m thinking, like, they let Veronica on there, they’re letting on. Is Betty going to do a run?

Mara Danoff: I hope not.

Andrew Rivera: But if you haven’t heard Lili Reinhart sing Chris Issacs – um, I forget what it’s called – oh “Wicked Ways” on Youtube, you should. She’s an excellent singer or I could just be in love with her.

Moving on, what do we think about Alice Cooper? She brings up her ghoulish friend. She has a weird relationship with the town coroner. I mean she is a journalist but what is she – I mean he asked her if she knew the victim, she did – she lied, she said she didn’t which I don’t know why, but what do you think about that?

Mara Danoff: So I actually – I didn’t realize that the two knew each other super well. Have they met?

Andrew Rivera: He’s the one that she gave money to to leak the autopsy in season one and she calls him her ghoulish friend.

Mara Danoff: Yeah, which honestly, for those of you who listening who play Fallout, all I could think of were ghouls from the Fallout: Bethezda series and it had me confused the whole time he was on screen.

Andrew Rivera: I don’t play new video games because I’m old and they scare me, continue.

Mara Danoff: This is specifically for the younger listeners.

Andrew Rivera: But before we move on, I don’t know what to think about this creepy guy.

Mara Danoff: He’s so creepy!

Andrew Rivera: But I wonder if she’s saying she doesn’t know the victim – which is weird because she does know Grundy. She busted her! The idea of this – and we’ll get to the killer later – but the idea of the killer wanting to cleanse the town, Alice being obsessed with keeping this town as pristine as possible –

Mara Danoff: Oh, are you – did you already figure out who the killer is?

Andrew Rivera: I’m not saying I know who the killer is, I’m just saying, you know, it’s possible. We don’t  have to talk about that right now. We can talk about that in our theories.

So moving on, there’s a moment between Jughead and Veronica and you were talking about how they don’t get a lot of time together. I think Abed said it on COMMUNITY, you know, “I never thought you and I were friends like that I thought we were like the Phoebe and Chandler of this whole thing.” They’re two characters that don’t really get to be alone at all really and we have this moment where Veronica is really stressing out about her dad, Jughead obviously has daddy issues as well.

He comes to her and says, “I know I’m not a red head or I don’t have blonde pony tail,”

Mara Danoff: The two loves of her life.

Andrew Rivera: The two loves of her life. What do you think about Jughead and Veronica’s friendship? Do you think we’ll see more of that? Do you want to see more of that? And how do you think it’ll play overall?

Mara Danoff: I actually do want to see more of their friendship, if only because they – once they pointed it out that the two of them have some serious daddy issues going on, it made me think like yeah it would make sense that the two would talk and hang out more. If only to talk and complain about their dads and nothing else. Though I do think Jughead’s relationship with his dad has come a long way and, again, I’m very proud of that character development.

But yeah I’m glad that they had this moment to really cool down and have a real heart to heart with one another because this is one of the less touched about relationships, in even like the Archie comics, I’d say. Where they sort of acknowledge each other’s existence and are friends but aren’t necessarily having these deep moments. I’m glad that the show thought to expand upon that more.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, and to your point when Betty tries to through Jughead a birthday party last season, he was like, “I thought it was just going to be core people, like, Veronica, Kevin, these are just people I see at school.” I think he just meant Betty, Archie and himself for his birthday. So, I don’t know. I think that relationship is evolving like you said but up until this point, I would say that it is exactly what you’re saying. It’s kind of like, “Oh hey, Jughead,” “Oh hi, Veronica, you’re my girlfriend’s best friend.”

I like the idea of V and Juggy getting along because they’re both kind of royalty. Veronica, now that Cheryl’s family is kind of out of the loop, has taken over the as the Queen Bey of this whole thing, even though it’s Queen Bey, and Jughead is the king of the Southside Serpents, as it were, or the prince.

Mara Danoff: Yeah, definitely the prince.

Andrew Rivera: That’s what the crown is for and I’d like to see if they go into his whole Forsythe Pendleton.

Mara Danoff: For context, in the comics, he’s literal royalty. He came from a lot of money.

Andrew Rivera: That’s what the crown was there for.

Mara Danoff: Exactly. He unfortunately lost it all at some point and that’s why he’s the Jughead we all know and love today.

Andrew Rivera: Exactly but I would be interested to see how those two characters evolve later on in the season.

And speaking of Veronica, let’s talk about her father. We’re seeing a lot more of Hiram. What do you think about him? Because when he came to visit her at the school he was incredibly charming and again Mark Consuelos number one beautiful latin man on the planet, maybe the universe. He was very charming when he goes to see his daughter at school and then he has this very shady side. So, what do you make of Hiram so far? Do you like him? You like what he’s doing? Do you like what the actor is doing?

Mara Danoff: So, I guess what – so okay, this is going to need some explanation. I thought he was too nice, especially in the beginning. No for reals! Because I hate to be like, “Oh I was tricked and therefore I am mad at him,” but he was genuinely trying or at least he seemed to want to patch things up with his daughter. I would’ve been like, “Yeah, okay but then we don’t really have a villain for this season,” and of course like the ending confirms all of Veronica’s suspicions, as they were.

Andrew Rivera: Well…well okay, I’ll let you go.

Mara Danoff: No, it definitely – are you kidding me? Like he’s like, “Oh, thank you for taking credit for writing the letter, she would’ve never forgiven me.” “Thank you for buying this restaurant.” There was definitely some shady stuff going down with him and I was like, “I can’t believe you would do this to Veronica!”

Andrew Rivera: I could believe it. He is devious. To your point about prison. I’ve had some uncles do some time, that shit is humbling. Any rapper who has gone to prison has never come out the same. Maybe – no Wayne wasn’t the same – maybe Gucci Mane but nobody else, quality wise, was the same. Guys come back nice. My mom always said you either come back really, really buff or really, really religious.

Mara Danoff: Well I guess, since we didn’t really have much of a context for how he was before, this is best point of reference that we have and the way that they’ve been setting him up makes him seem like this Don Corleone character except without the care of the family! Like Jesus, did you forget that one part of THE GODFATHER?

Andrew Rivera: I think he does! I think he cares about his family because I think if Veronica was in his way and he didn’t care about his family or if Hermione was in his way and he didn’t –

Mara Danoff: Except that letter to Veronica!

Andrew Rivera: I know. Damn. You got me on that but I will say that he still hasn’t crossed the line where I think –

Mara Danoff: The letter to me and the fact that him and his wife are just very much conniving together. Which, okay, I’m not for Hermione all of a sudden being pretty evil.

Andrew Rivera: But let’s go into that real quick. Let’s talk about that because he has that line where he mentions her loyalty. He’s like, “You’re loyal as always. Thank you for saying that you wrote that letter,” and he’s all like, “I bought Pops, I did that.”

The two things I want to pick your brain about are: do you think that she’s loyal to him? How deep do you think that this loyalty is going? Do you think that she was playing Fred the whole time? Or do you think that she’s playing him in the long run? And the way last season ended she said, “If he’s not with us then we’ll cut him out!” So I think that she might still be playing him.

And with the way that this episode ends, we all the deceit and all that, are the Lodges the new Blossoms?

Mara Danoff: I don’t even think that they were ever not the Blossom. No, seriously like you’re laughing but they’ve been –

Andrew Rivera: Of Riverdale though, are they taking over? Because they’re buying everything.

Mara Danoff: I guess they are, I  mean, this is a hard one to say. I definitely think that they have some shady shit going on there and they’re definitely setting Hiram up to be the villain of this season. As to whether or not Hermione is playing the long game and is playing all sides and is, like, a triple-agent or whatever, I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know cause I don’t know how many twists and turns they want to take it because to be completely transparent and upfront with y’all, I called Mr. Blossom or whatever the frick his name was the killer.

Andrew Rivera: Clifford.

Mara Danoff: Clifford Blossom. I called him being the killer in season one in the first episode. It was so obvious to me. So I don’t know if they’re going to actually do a really good twist this season or if it’s going to be predictable again.

Andrew Rivera: What do you think about what this means for Veronica in terms of your concerns about her. I personally think she’s going to struggle with the idea of who are these people? And let’s say that Hiram is this bad and her mother is this good woman who is playing the bad guy, does Veronica trust her mother after this? What do you think will happen to Veronica as a result of all this?

Mara Danoff: No. I genuinely see Veronica pulling a bit of a Cheryl. Not burning down their apartment or whatever but I do see her leaving the family and trying to form her own identity.

Andrew Rivera: Okay, I totally go with that. So getting to the end of this episode, FP Jones is getting out or it looks like he’s getting out. Jughead goes to see this lawyer that they refer to as a snake charmer. A lawyer that specifically works with Southside Serpents, Penny Peabody.

Now Penny Peabody does a good job because she hooks Jughead up but it’s kind of like this mafia thing of it’s like, “Hey I did you a favor now you owe me a favor.” FP Jones sounds panicked on the phone. He wished Jughead would’ve just paid her off even though there’s no way Jughead could’ve done that. Why would FP Jones, the leader of the Southside Serpents, be afraid of a fellow Southside Serpent?

Mara Danoff: I mean, it’s in the title. She’s a snake charmer and he’s a literal snake. Like, she will have him under her thumb if she so wants to. Also, I couldn’t take her too seriously though with the name Penny Peabody. The whole time I was thinking –

Andrew Rivera: Talking to a character named Jughead Jones.

Mara Danoff: Yeah, this show is crazy sometimes but I’m a little bit nervous for Jughead because he is clearly in over his head.

Andrew Rivera: Do you think it’s pulling him deeper?

Mara Danoff: Oh, for sure and I hope that he will have the foresight to ask for help but knowing Jughead he probably won’t.

Andrew Rivera: Okay, okay, alright, well keeping on the idea of criminality, Archie has a gun from resident creep-o Dilton Doile.

Mara Danoff: Archie, don’t talk to Dilton! This should be rule number one!

Andrew Rivera: What is he doing? First of all, Dilton sold him down the river at Betty’s party for Jughead about how he was screwing Ms. Grundy.

Mara Danoff: Dilton is the worst! Why are you talking to him?

Andrew Rivera: I don’t know if you’ve seen 8 mile – and if you’ve seen 8 mile you know – there’s a character named Cheddar Bob who shoots himself in his own leg with a gun. Archie Andrews –

Mara Danoff: Archie can’t handle a gun! What are doing putting it in your pocket? Is the safety one? There were so many question that I had when he grabbed the gun and was just casually carrying the gun. I’m like, “Archie first off, I get that this is an important character moment for you and you’re really going down a dark hole but maybe we should get you off that jingle-jangle.

Andrew Rivera: Well he’s not on it yet but yeah. Reggie wouldn’t sell it to him because Reggie tried to break in and prank him and Archie tried to kill him but yeah.

Mara Danoff: All the more reason he shouldn’t have a gun.

Andrew Rivera: No! He’s suffering from PTSD.

Mara Danoff: He really should just listen to Veronica and go see a therapist about this, the answer is never talk to Dilton. The minute Dilton was on screen, I was like, “He’s getting a gun from this asshole, isn’t he?”

Andrew Rivera: I’d love to see more Dilton on the show honestly but, also, what is Dilton thinking? You’re giving a guy a gun that you own. Unless you’re selling – you’re sawing the serial number – I don’t know anything about guns so that’s why I said sawing but unless you’re like blemishing that and you’ve got a stash of weapons, you’ve got to know that if some shit goes down…

Mara Danoff: Dilton definitely has a stash of weapons, are you kidding me? For sure in like his parents basement he has a whole armory.

Andrew Rivera: And this is a very – I don’t want to offend anyone – actually, I don’t care – this is a very white thing to do.

Mara Danoff: Yeah!

Andrew Rivera: To just grab a gun that somebody’s giving you. Don’t care just touch – the finger prints. Betty did it last season too.

Mara Danoff: I know!

Andrew Rivera: Why are you touching these weapons without a handkerchief?  Nobody in Harlem does that!

Mara Danoff: What was bothering me the most was the fact that they just weren’t using the proper safety guidelines of using a gun.

Andrew Rivera: Do you have gun experience? I have minimal.

Mara Danoff: No but like some family friends of ours would go hunting. So I’ve seen like their cabinet where they have their various guns and stuff. What I’ve seen them hunt with like the most or use most are like bows and arrows because it’s cool. It’s just really cool.

So, there’s whole safety procedures that one must go through because these are dangerous weapons and you a) need to keep them in this locked safe cabinet and like all these safety guidelines that one should do.

Also, Dilton why do you have a hand gun? That’s not adventure scout-needed.

Andrew Rivera: He’s got a whole bunch of shit.

Mara Danoff: Why?

Andrew Rivera: So I guess we’re both in agreement that, especially had this been the comic Archie, who gets paint cans on his head and smacks himself in the face with a two by four…

Mara Danoff: He would never!

Andrew Rivera: He would be dead.

Mara Danoff: He would be so beyond dead! Just part of me is also a child you can’t handle this what are you doing?

Andrew Rivera: To quote Eminem in 8 MILE again, “I do got a dumb friend named Cheddar Bob who shoots himself in his own leg with his own gun.”

So, Archie is the Cheddar Bob of this show, hopefully not.

There is a moment at the beginning of this episode where Smithers is trying to get Veronica to avoid the front door so she doesn’t have to run into her father and her father catches him and then by the end of the episode, Smithers is gone. There’s this new younger, shadier doorman, who I don’t appreciate at all. Do you think Smithers is dead? You think he’s been fired? Has been let go?

Mara Danoff: Alright, RIP Smithers 2017.

Andrew Rivera: You think he’s dead?

Mara Danoff: No, I don’t think he’s dead but I don’t think it matters because we’re never going to see him again. He’s definitely gone, for sure, and I’m like, “I like Smithers. Why do you have to leave?”

Also, Hiram’s excuse just – if you want the text book case for the worst excuse to tell your child why this door man that she really liked disappeared – yeah, just telling her that he went over seas because of his mom. I’m like, “This is such a BS reason.” She’s obviously going to catch on. What do you think? That she’s stupid or something?

Andrew Rivera: Well here’s what I’m hoping that if Hermione is playing the long game and she does play Hiram at the end. I have a prediction that Hiram goes back to prison at the end of this season.

Mara Danoff: I hope so. I don’t like him.

Andrew Rivera: But I have a feeling Smithers will return at some point.

So, finally we get to the end of the episode. The killer rears his terrible green eyes again and he shoots Moose and Midge, who are just trying to get it on in the car like youths do.

Mara Danoff: I had so many questions about that because Moose weren’t you just trying to get with Kevin?

Andrew Rivera: I think Moose is bi actually because he was also making out with Cheryl on the dancefloor of Jughead’s birthday party.

Mara Danoff: Oh, I genuinely don’t remember that, which is weird cause it’s a Cheryl moment.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, so I’m wondering – what did you think? I didn’t like it that much that they’re getting rid of these two staple characters.

Mara Danoff: I didn’t like it either but I also felt like – and I’ll talk about this more when we get into theories and film, stuff like that – I felt like it helped established what kind of killer they’re going for because I don’t – Archie, that was like a whole weird thing where he’s like, “The killers after me he’s trying to hurt me,” and I’m like, “No Archie.”

Andrew Rivera: “No, honey, it’s not about you. Baby, it’s not about you”

Mara Danoff: “No, honey, it’s not about you,” and I felt that this really made that clear.

Andrew Rivera: Well let’s talk about the Mara film moment of the week. Go ahead, take over.

Mara Danoff: So my film moment of the week and – there’s two. The first one I’m going to talk about is this genuinely amazing lighting. When Betty and Jughead were leaving Cheryl’s house and there was just this amazing blue light coming in from the left screen. First off, I was just like this is beautifully shot. Whoever was directing this episode, great job.

It reminded me a lot of, and I know this might be a bit of a long shot, but it reminded me a lot of the poster for THE EXORCIST. As the man in the suit with the hat and the briefcase as he’s waiting to go into the house and the lighting is just pouring into the right of it. Which to me was just trying to set up this atmosphere of some supernatural being and we know that Sabrina the Teenage Witch will be making an appearance this season.

To further exemplify that, music is often used in movies to show themes and to express plot points. It’s used at the end of THE SEARCHERS when they sing, the Sons of the Pioneers, literally sings a song called “The Searchers” where a man must wander his whole life an John Wayne leaves these people and now you know more about THE SEARCHERS than you ever wanted to know. Essentially, the same sort of thing happens here.

At the very end of the episode where Moose and Midge get killed, they’re playing “Must Be the Season of the Witch”. Which is an interesting track to play when a supposed mortal character, that being the one of the killer, is the one causing all the trouble. Which to me implies that he is connected to some supernatural shenanigans, which would further the connection between RIVERDALE and TWIN PEAKS. Spoiler alert for TWIN PEAKS.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah and, to what you’re saying, that would go in line with Pops calling the killer the Angel of Death

Mara Danoff: Yeah, I mean, I really genuinely think that the killer is some supernatural force. I don’t want to put money on it now but I have a strong strong feeling that because they’re framing it in such a bizarrely inhuman way that they want us to start thinking about him in a more spiritual context.

Andrew Rivera: And Archie sees him like all the time now.

Mara Danoff: Yeah.

Andrew Rivera: Just to go back to the idea of there could be – we don’t know what the town of Riverdale is – Archie is seeing the werewolves, this whole ominous feeling to the show. It just feels like there is a supernatural element to the show overall. I think one of the show runners commented on that, they’re definitely trying to weave that in slowly. You know, seeing Jason everywhere as a zombie. There’s stuff like that and Sabrina of course coming through.

My film moment of the week, and I’m not a professional like Mara, is: if you’ve ZODIAC by David Fincher, which is about the Zodiac Killer, starring Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Junior, and there’s a third actor who I’m not recalling right now, so please forgive me. The way the killer kills people, specifically Moose and Midge at the end of this episode is very reminiscent of that film. It’s very jarring and shocking because it’s just very visceral. You hear the sounds of the foots steps, he shoots them, it’s all business.

It’s very removed and cold and I don’t know if I think he’s a supernatural killer but what I would think is — at first I thought he was Grundy’s ex-husband or whatever he is – what I’m thinking now – what I hope actually for RIVERDALE is Jughead’s always questioning whether this town is good or not. Based off what we’re seeing about this character in the preview for next episode, he’s talking about that this is a dirty town that it needs to be cleansed that they’re committing sins and lying. I wonder if this guy is just a crazed serial killer and that’s it.

Mara Danoff: That would be so much less interesting though.

Andrew Rivera: Do you think? Alright, well if you think so fine.

Mara Danoff: Well it’s just we have so many serial killer plots. Maybe it’s also because of I’ve been listening to a lot of serial killer podcast and I’m having trouble sleeping at night and I just really want my theory to be right.

Andrew Rivera: Well I hope it’s right.

Mara Danoff: But if it is a serial killer that could be a lot of fun too obviously.

Andrew Rivera: And the reason I’m thinking that is because David Lynch doesn’t really have to explain things to people.

Mara Danoff: No. He just does whatever.

Andrew Rivera: If they’re going to copy that would be – but CW always does this! There’s like a character who is loyal to everybody and then they kill everybody, or they do something ridiculous. I think for me at least it would be a little bit refreshing.

You know, Barry Allen has exhausted his speedsters on THE FLASH. The Arrow has these Batman-esque villains and I think what would be scarier and more jarring to an audience is just a guy who reminds everybody of the uncertainty of the world. He doesn’t give a shit about any of these people, but he does give a shit about what they’re doing and he’s going to kill them.

Mara Danoff: So, again for movie reference purposes, so like the guy from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN who is just all about the coin will decide your fate and he’s here to purge the world of evil.

Andrew Rivera: Something like that, even though I haven’t seen it, but yes, I’m familiar with the character.

Alright well those are our theories on who the killer is — my friend Kaela actually text me today like, “Do you think it could be connected to Betty’s brother?” I don’t know but maybe.

Mara Danoff: That’s a good question.

Andrew Rivera: Maybe, so just shout outs to Kaela for that real quick.

Other things I noticed on this episode – well not really the episode but in the preview for next week – the idea of Hiram and Archie maybe beefing over Veronica. Hiram standing by the fire and being like, “Stop sneaking into my daughter’s bedroom.” What do you think about that?

Mara Danoff: I’m not surprised that he was like, “Hey stop sneaking into my daughter’s bedroom,” so I was like, yeah yeah. You know, [it’s] a reasonable dad thing to say to a teenage boy but, also, he seems so much more dangerous than the Hiram we know from the comics. I’m genuinely worried Archie’s about to get himself into some deep shit just by messing with this guy.

Andrew Rivera: Absolutely agree. I think Hiram’s kind of a badass. I think he’s way more intimidating than Clifford Blossom.

Mara Danoff: Oh, for sure because part of it is that he can be genuinely nice and charming but when he turns, he turns hard.

Andrew Rivera: Shout out Mark Consuelos. Big episode for Mark Consuelos today. I guess one of the things I wanted to ask you about was this idea of trying to get more, we always want more, Kevin Keller. Casey Cott, if you’re listening – what do you think the death of Moose, if anything – if Moose is dead we don’t know if he’s maimed or not, he could be in a wheel chair – if Moose is dead do you think that does anything to Kevin Keller? You’re just shaking your head.

Mara Danoff: No, no I’m sorry. They were like not even a fling. That’s the problem, they didn’t even hook up. They were about to but never did. Though, the preview for next week, if you guys have seen it, Kevin is making out with some mysterious man.

Andrew Rivera: Some jacked dude. Two strong men.

Mara Danoff: Yeah, so Kevin, good job! I don’t know who this man is but I’m here for it. Let’s see how this happens.

Andrew Rivera: Who does Kevin Keller think he is complaining that there’s no gay guys in Riverdale? He’s hooked up with about as many people as Archie.

Mara Danoff: Kevin’s secretly as much, if not more so, of a player as Archie Andrews.

Andrew Rivera: Yeah, let’s go Kevin Keller.

Then just other fun things I noticed this episode, I think Jughead is becoming the Cisco Ramon of the RIVERDALE universe. Cisco, from THE FLASH, always brings up a kind of nerd culture thing or a pop culture reference and Jughead, last season when he saw grandma Blossom was like, “The horror! The horror!” and then this season in the first episode he calls Pops the old guy from FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH. In this current episode he calls Archie a dream warrior from NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3.

Mara Danoff: He’s literally just referencing every movie he knows and I’m like, “Dude, why?” Film majors, am I right guys? He’s a teenager, he’s not [a film major.]

Andrew Rivera: I love when Hiram walks in and Veronica goes “Daddy” and Lili Reinhart and Casey Cott go, “Daddy” “Daddy” because there’s this big thing about who is – Camila Mendes called Lili Reinhart on social media – she was like, “Lili is Daddy” like you guys better respect that and then there’s this big fight about who Daddy is —

Mara Danoff: Oh, it’s Lili. It’s definitely Lili.

Andrew Rivera: I think it’s Lili. I think all this Cole Sprouse stuff is nonsense. Lili is Daddy.

Mara Danoff: Wait who saying Cole Sprouse? Guys!

Andrew Rivera: Cole Sprouse, he did like a survey. We all respect the OG Daddy and I think we need shirts that say: Lili is Daddy.

Mara Danoff: Lili is Daddy. That’s just a fact. I mean, why is there a debate? She makes the best memes.

Andrew Rivera: This show is going to go on forever if we’re agreeing on the fundamental things.

Last cool thing I want to mention, I want you to take it away a little bit, is about Cheryl being called something. Go ahead.

Mara Danoff: So, once again, my love, my heart, my soul, goes out to Cheryl Blossom because Betty aptly points out that her new abode is one of my all-time favorite super hero characters as Poison Ivy. This might be news to people but she’s one of my favorites and her getting called that – and just to go very fan girl for a moment – just filled my heart with so much love and joy.

Andrew Rivera: And Madeleine if you’re listening, if anybody can get this to her, she should definitely play Poison Ivy in a Batman movie.

Mara Danoff: Oh my god, can you please? You would make such a good Poison Ivy.

Andrew Rivera: Absolutely, she would be a fantastic Poison Ivy. I think Lili Reinhart could pull off a solid Catwoman.

Mara Danoff: I’m now really into this idea. We should produce it.

Andrew Rivera: There you go.

Mara Danoff: Perfect.

Andrew Rivera: Alright, so then we’re winding down to the end of the episode. Line of the week. Do you want me to go first?

Mara Danoff: I feel like you should go first so I can pull mine up.

Andrew Rivera: So, I have a few. I really like Jughead looking at his dad’s lawyer, his little city appointed lawyer, and him saying, “How many damn years?” He’s like really pissed and it’s really interesting [when] talking about Jughead going to that dark side.

Reggie got two, easily, from me. [The first] is, “Why do you need uppers, Wonder Bread?“ Which is great because Archie is the whitest person on the planet. Then Reggie also saying, “What’s on your mind, [Archie] Andrews? Girl troubles, scabies? Why are you seeking guidance from Ms. Berble?” And Archie says, “I’m not.” And Reggie goes, “Maybe you should. You look like my nut sack after football practice.”

Mara Danoff: Reggie had a lot of really good lines. Just to do a few, I’m going to start with one that’s not Cheryl just because I don’t want to be that predictable. This is Alice Cooper and she’s talking to Betty, “Spreading ourselves a little thin as the patron saint of lost causes, aren’t we, Betty?” Which I just thought was such a beautiful “damn, she’s still got it” moment for her.

Andrew Rivera: Yes, Alice Cooper is real.

Mara Danoff: Alice Cooper is so real. Just like the other one that Cheryl said, because honestly Cheryl. This is – Veronica had asked – Veronica and Betty asked Cheryl if she could get the vixens to do a thing at Pops and Cheryl says, “Oh Betty, I did not emerge from frozen depths of Sweet Water River nor the flames of Thornhill to allow my vixens to sling milkshakes at some death cursed diner. The answer is a double cherry on top, no.”

Andrew Rivera: Love Cheryl.

Mara Danoff: Love her so much! Just everything that comes out of her mouth is pure gold. I have another quote from Betty. This is when, between Cheryl and her, when she’s trying to persuade Cheryl to go and talk to the Judge and Cheryl says, “Are you threatening me?” And Betty’s like, “This? No, this is fun girl talk.”

Andrew Rivera: Betty Cooper getting it in!

Mara Danoff: And Cheryl just replies with, “You’re a stone cold bitch, Betty Cooper.”

Andrew Rivera: I love this show so much. That’ll be it for us this week on episode two of The Sticky Maple: Archie, Lies, and Video Tape. I have been Andrew Rivera. I am of course with…

Mara Danoff: Mara Danoff.

Andrew Rivera: And thank you for watching. You can find me on twitter @roorivera r-o-o-rivera. Mara is still not on social media.

Mara Danoff: You know, I’m actually a transplant from like the 18th century, so I’m still catching up with this new-fangled tech.

Andrew Rivera: Perfect. I can’t wait to show you the watch, it’s no longer a sun dial.

Mara Danoff: No!

Andrew Rivera: It’s fantastic. Please, for more podcast, interviews, reviews, previews, video content, on everything comic books, comic books film and television, please always go and only go to comicsverse.com. Thank you, we’ll see you next week.

Thanks for listening to the second episode of The Sticky Maple our RIVERDALE and Archie podcast!

You can watch RIVERDALE here.

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