Riverdale‘s Chapter Eighteen, titled ‘When A Stranger Calls’ brought many twists and turns, but more than anything else, it brought terror and heartbreak. And though the Black Hood is still at large and making it his life’s mission to personally torture Betty, the Hood isn’t the only monster in Riverdale.
The Lodges are determined to have business booming again, and so they’ve invited old family friends to town, the St. Clair family. Hermione and Hiram can handle Mr. and Mrs. St. Clair, but their son, Nick, is a whole other matter. His father holds him in high regard, so it’s up to Veronica to show him the best time in Riverdale. It should be easy enough, considering they’re old friends. But Nick, as it turns out, isn’t at all what Veronica thought. And he’s guilty of much more than just being a notorious flirt.
After literally throwing himself at Veronica and attempting to force himself on her, Ronnie’s pretty much written him off. She’s willing to give him another chance after learning he’s been in and out of rehab, but she’s certainly watching him closely. And when he slips a drug into Cheryl’s drink and leads/drags her away from the party, Ronnie and the Pussycats run off the stage back to the hotel. Here, they find Cheryl passed out on the bed, and Nick beginning to undress himself.
Veronica pushes Nick away from Cheryl and punches him, forcing him to stumble backwards where Josie delivers another blow. She runs to check on Cheryl while Ronnie, Valerie, and Melody continue to hit Nick, knocking him down and kicking the living hell out him. Despite our worst fears, they got there in time.
Riverdale has set a new standard with this incredibly powerful scene. Instead of doing what almost every film, show, and book has done with instances of sexual assault, they didn’t have a man save the day. It wasn’t Archie Andrews who saved Cheryl and beat up Nick St. Clair. It was the Pussycats. It was these four strong women who came together to save Cheryl. Differences be damned, there was no hesitation, no fear for their own safety. They had one thought: to make sure Cheryl was okay.
Riverdale did not do what so many shows infuriatingly do – writing sexual assault in an arc just to progress a romantic relationship. This wasn’t about that. This was about the women of Riverdale refusing to stand for monsters of any kind. Cheryl will be pressing charges, and she knows that the Pussycats have her back. It was this terrifying but powerful scene that needs to be talked about more, and yes, it was this scene that stole the show.
Riverdale Airs Wednesday Nights On The CW And Is Currently Streaming On Netflix.