We're only two episodes into the second season of Riverdale, but it's already super clear that this season is going to be much darker than the already-dark first season. There's a serial killer terrorizing the town, Archie is buying drugs and guns, and Jughead's, like, legit in a biker gang. But all of that morbid craziness pales in comparison to the mysterious savagery that randomly comes out of Betty Cooper every so often. We got tastes of Dark Betty in Season 1, and Betty's dark side came back for the first time in Season 2 in Wednesday night's second episode of the season. And according to actress Lili Reinhart, this is the first of many times we'll be seeing Dark Betty come out this season.
Spoiler alert: Don't read on if you haven't watched Episode 2 of Riverdale Season 2. Even though Betty Cooper didn't have her black wig on, her dark side came out for a brief but scary scene in the latest episode of Riverdale, as she confronted frenemy Cheryl Blossom in the high school locker room. With Jughead's father F.P. Jones facing a lengthy prison sentence for his involvement in Jason Blossom's murder, Betty and Jughead asked Cheryl if she could testify on F.P.'s behalf in order to lessen the sentence. When Cheryl refuses, Jughead feels hopeless, throwing out that the only way to get Cheryl to help anyone else is through blackmail or extortion. That stirs something up deep inside Betty's hidden dark mind.
In the locker room, Betty shocks Cheryl by threatening to leak security footage of her father killing her brother to the public unless she testify's on F.P.'s behalf, mercilessly taunting her with the threat of making her family trauma inescapable. Cheryl finally cracks and agrees to testify, even going so far as to lie under oath about her late father threatening Jughead in order to help F.P.'s case. Sure, it's no almost drowning of a male chauvinist, but the savage blackmail scene definitely signaled the the return of Dark Betty.
And we'll be seeing a lot more of Betty's dark side throughout this new season. When I chatted with Lili Reinhart a couple months ago, she revealed that much of Season 2 would be about Dark Betty:
The mystery of Season 2 revolves a lot around Betty... Season 2 focuses a lot on Dark Betty. I think the way it was portrayed in Season 1 was like 'Whoa, she's wearing a dark wig,' like an alter-ego, where it was a physically dark Betty. But in Season 2 it's a lot more... internally her darkness comes out, and it's a tortured soul Betty that you get to see.
As a reminder to fans, we first saw Betty's dark side come out in brief glimpses during the first season. The most notable instance was when Betty donned a black wig to help Veronica with a plan to get football player Chuck Clayton to confess that he's been making up sexually explicit rumors about a number of girls at Riverdale High. But Betty took the scheme to an alarmingly scary degree, nearly murdering Chuck by holding his head beneath a boiling hot tub.
We've also seen Cheryl have a triggering effect on Betty. Although she never released her full dark side on Cheryl, we did see Betty clench her fists to the point of blood spilling out of her palms when Cheryl made fun of Betty and her family in Season 1.
This blackmail scene is definitely the first herald of Dark Betty's return to Riverdale this season, and we can expect even more terrifying antics from her in episodes to come.