Holy intense episode Batman! Things got really dark tonight in Riverdale, let’s start by giving Lili Reinhart a standing ovation. This has to be her best performance to date; you could feel Betty’s pain and anxiety oozing through the screen. Also, high five on the return to ‘not a dumb ass’ for Archie who spends the entire episode being there for Betty like a good best friend should do.
Riverdale Recap: Chapter Eighteen: When a Stranger Calls
Airdate: November 8, 2017
The Black Hood informs Betty that he is cleansing Riverdale of its sinners, just like she wanted and he requires her cooperation to do it. This includes cutting down her mother, cutting off Veronica and Jughead, and telling no one about it. If she doesn’t comply, he knows where Polly is and she’ll be the first to go. Betty is reluctant to go along with the Black Hood’s wishes and confides in Archie. When Alice and her hoity toity attitude get on Betty’s last nerve, she publishes the article The Black Hood sent her (her 1st task) which is a mug shot of a Southside teen getting arrested. That teen is, you guessed it, Alice Cooper. Her second task is cutting off Veronica which Betty does at a hotel party hosted by V’s NYC bestie Nick St. Clarie (more on this asshole later). After Veronica, Archie, Reggie, Cheryl, Kevin, and the Pussycats down some Jingle Jangle, Betty rips into Veronica calling her a shallow, awful person who only hangs out with them because of circumstance. Ouch Betty.
Nicky, V’s bestie, is a character trope ripped straight out of Gossip Girl except not as smooth. He offers Veronica cocaine, hits on her in front of Archie, gets all her friends high on Jingle Jangle, attempts to get V to sleep with him, oh and roofies Cheryl. He’s awesome (sarcasm). High point of this story is The Pussycats (which still include Veronica) racing to Cheryl’s rescue and beating the crap out of Nick. All I can say is, POOR CHERYL!!!!!!!!!!!!! My god! It’s no wonder this girl acts the way she does, some of the worst shit EVER happens to her. I loved that the girls rallied around Cheryl and saved her; never would have happened on Gossip Girl.
Jughead attempts to tow both the North and Southside lines this episode, but after Toni reminds him that his father was the only one who kept the peace, Jug realizes that someone has to step up while FP is away and he announces his intention to fully join the Serpents. This includes several trials of initiation. 1) Guardianship of “the beast”, Hotdog. 2) Memorizing the Laws, “in unity there is strength” 3) Retrieving a knife from a rattlesnake tank 4) The Gauntlet, similar to a soul train except getting punched in the stomach and face, not doing a fun dance routine. Good times.
Betty and Jughead have a sweet moment at Pop’s where they wax poetic about leaving town together and being the Romeo & Juliet with a happy ending. This will further confuse Jughead when just before he’s about to run the Gauntlet, Archie shows up to break up with him for Betty. WHAT? Say it isn’t so?!?! Betty’s 3rd task from The Black Hood is to cut Jughead out of her life; she can’t bring herself to do it, so she asks Archie to do it for her. Archie tries to talk her out of it, asking how can she possibly put herself and Jughead through that. Betty assures him they can walk it back later. Archie was pretty awesome this episode, you could see it pained him to lie to Jughead. Also, Cole Sprouse can you be more broody and heartbreaking! Excellent performances all around this episode.
Betty is a wreck when she gets another call from The Black Hood… *** momentary pause to address that Betty’s ringtone is Lollipop, a little gem from 1958***… she wants to know who he is and he sends her to an abandoned house where he has her put on a mask and look in the mirror, “to show you that we’re the same”. Betty gets spooked and runs out when she gets a call from Archie about what happened to Cheryl. When The Black Hood threatens her entire family, it is Nick St. Claire’s name she gives him as a next victim. Not that we don’t think he deserves it but, gosh our Riverdale kids are getting awfully murderous these days. Last week it was Archie, now Betty… who’s next?
I think the writers are setting us up for a Chic Cooper is The Black Hood reveal as several clues were dropped this episode. He tells Betty, she would recognize his face (cause they look alike); then sends her to an abandoned house, perhaps Alice’s old childhood home? The final clue pointing to Chic; when she’s in the house and he has her look in the mirror. If he was a sibling, that would make sense. OR it’s a red herring making us think it’s going to be Chic and it’s someone else entirely. But who? Also important to note, this story, while intriguing, can’t possibly go the entire season, right?
Other notables of the episode:
Hal and Hiram are “old buddies”? The Pussycats singing Out Tonight from Rent; I really wish they would sing another original song soon. Also interesting that they chose to cover the movie version of the song instead of the Broadway version. How do I know which is which? The movie version lyric “We won’t be back before it’s New Year’s Day” is “We won’t be back before it’s Christmas Day” in the original Broadway musical. It’s a personal pet peeve. Anyway, let’s talk about Alice Cooper and THAT DRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Doing as any good journalist should, Alice takes her mug shot outing as an opportunity to dress in a sexy orange number complete with golden snake necklace. YAAAASSSS ALICE! Toni plants a kiss on Jughead after he gets beat up, Bughead shippers everywhere are screeching their heads off on Twitter and some of the more insane ones are probably attacking Vanessa Morgan. It’s a TV show. Calm down. She ISN’T actually Toni Topaz, so let’s not. Also, keep the faith guys, Bughead are forever, obviously.
“I don’t judge you Alice. It was years ago.” Pop
“Gadot. Keep up, Archie.” Cheryl
“I’m choosing to blame Betty’s Britney-esque meltdown.” Cheryl
“Put your cape away, Archie. The Pussycats already saved me.” Cheryl