Riverdale really upped the drama in “The Town That Dreaded Sundown.” Between Archie’s obsession to hunt down (and kill) The Black Hood and Betty finding out that everything The Black Hood is doing is apparently because of her, there was a lot of tension and heightened emotions. While the episode marked the strongest outing in the show’s second season, it’s truly Veronica Lodge who stole the show. Her scenes developed her character and showcased her noble and mature traits.
And so here are three ways in which Veronica pretty much owned “The Town That Dreaded Sundown”:
Confronting Hiram about manipulating Archie to form the Red Circle
Ever since Hiram got out of jail and made his way back to Riverdale, he’s had Hermione and Veronica under his thumb. Veronica, after initially not trusting him, isn’t completely unswayed and since he’s her father, she still wants to be back in his good graces. He’s got a hold on the Lodge women, but after hearing from Archie that Hiram convinced him to take an active stand against The Black Hood, Veronica isn’t afraid to confront him about it. Knowing her father can be manipulative and saying so to his face in defense of her boyfriend was a great moment for her. It showcased her strength and continued to support the notion that Veronica will stand up for the people she cares about most.
Breaking up the bridge brawl between the Red Circle and Southside Serpents
Veronica was placed in difficult situations in the episode. With the tension in Riverdale rising and Archie admitting he wants to kill The Black Hood, Veronica takes at least one matter into her own hands. It was a smart move to not give Archie back the gun he’d bought for “protection,” especially knowing his motivations behind using it. And when a fight breaks out between the Red Circle and the Southside Serpents after Archie’s provocation, it’s Veronica who steps onto that bridge, black cape billowing behind her, and shoots the gun into the air to break up the fighting. With one shot, she prevented any more violence from ensuing and helped Archie to reevaluate his extreme actions and feelings when it came to The Black Hood. In short, her involvement saved a lot of people.
Veronica confronted Archie about his actions and supporting him
Even though Veronica has consistently tried being there for Archie, his mind has only been on one thing, finding The Black Hood and making him pay for hurting his father. Veronica, after a talk with Hermione, in which the younger Lodge actually listened to some sound advice, confronted Archie about his actions and wanted to make him aware that she wouldn’t just follow blindly if he didn’t open up to her about what was going on. Support can only go so far and Veronica’s patience was wearing thin because Archie was being closed off. Her willingness to confront him about it instead of doing something less mature spoke volumes. The conversation was also one where Veronica asserted herself, but didn’t alienate Archie. Even more telling is that it shows she’s willing to listen to her mother if she sees sense in the advice she’s being given.
Honorable Mention: The moment when Veronica shoulders the blame for the t-shirts and doesn’t let Archie take the fall and get into even more trouble than he was already in. Sure, she was the one who came up with the idea in order to be supportive, but Veronica could have easily hidden behind the bad reputation Archie was already making for himself, but she didn’t. Openly admitting her transgression in front of the rest of the class also took guts.
Riverdale airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c.