The men of the town took center stage in this week’s episode of Riverdale, creating new sources of tension and conflict and propeling old ones further along.

After the introduction of Betty (Lili Reinhart)’s brother Chic (Hart Denton)  last week, bits about his character are slowly but surely being revealed. This week, fans learned he’s a cam boy with some anger problems and possibly a touch of paranoia. While Betty and Alice (Mädchen Amick) seems ready to make him a permanent fixture in the Cooper household, Hal (Lochlyn Munro) seems apprehensive of his son. It’s easy to wonder if other secrets about Chic will be uncovered later in the season, and just how much of a dark influence he’ll have on Betty.

Archie (K.J. Apa)’s relationship with Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) somehow gets even weirder. Their battle of masculinities plays out in one creepy wrestling scene, an early morning footrace and a heated confrontation in which Hiram asserts he doesn’t think Archie is good enough for Veronica (Camila Mendes). Hiram’s possessiveness about Veronica has always seemed a little intense, and now viewers have to wonder just how far that will go. Also, who knows how far Archie will go to help catch Hiram in criminal activity.

Jughead (Cole Sprouse)’s ever-growing hatred for the North Side and correlating loyalty to the Serpents prompts him to open some old wounds. When he publishes an article exposing the genocide of a Native American tribe on the land Riverdale was built on, South Siders storm the founder’s day festival in protest. Jughead has always been prone to a drama, and fans can bet he’ll be at the center of more North versus South Side incidents.

This week’s episode definitely wasn’t as fast-paced as the midseason premiere, but it was fun to see the men take the lead for a change. Chic’s mysteriousness is still intriguing, and secret agent Archie will undoubtedly bring more suspense in the coming weeks. It will be hard to predict how all the tension built up this week will play out.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW. 


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