Resignations, dead bodies, mob bosses, adultery, creepy relatives, bad decisions, and a surprise or two. All that and more on this week’s episode of The CW’s Riverdale, “Chapter Twenty-Six: The Tell-Tale Heart”.
Riverdale Recap: “Chapter Twenty-Six: The Tell-Tale Heart”
Airdate: February 7, 2018
Julie Plec directed the episode written by Michael Grassi (#213).
Let’s start with the big reveal, no not that Penelope and Hal are “real”, we’ll get to that later. For those of us that suspected Agent Fake Name (Agent Adams) wasn’t actually an FBI agent at all, you were correct! A plant by Hiram Lodge to test Archie’s loyalty? Pretty close. This week Archie is once again being harassed by Agent Fake Name, even to the point of threatening Fred with possible prosecution if it looks like he hired undocumented workers in the past 7 years. Archie, being the loveable moron and easy target that he is, freaks out and spills his guts to Hiram. It’s been hard to understand what Archie’s play has been this whole time. In the beginning, he seemed totally on board, but then was lying to the “FBI Agent” and protecting Hiram. By episodes end, Archie gets picked up by the Lodge’s driver, who isn’t Smithers and I haven’t bothered to learn his name, and driven to a discreet location to meet with “the boss”. For those of us that questioned Hermione’s true colors in Season 1, vindication arrived when, much to Archie’s surprise, the boss was indeed Hermione Lodge herself. She reveals that the FBI situation was all a test of his loyalty and he passed.
Veronica spends much of this episode devising plots and plans to keep the peace in Riverdale. First, she advises her parents to talk with FP before declaring all out war on the Southside. Hiram agrees and meets with FP and Jughead at the trailer park (their request) and while denying he has any part in the Mayor calling in back rents to evict the dwellers of Sunnyside, he offers a gesture of good faith. He will pay all the back rents of the tenants, as long as Jughead leaves him out of the expose he’s writing detailing what he believes to be Mayor McCoy taking donations for her campaign in return for town land. No deal. (Pause for the once again odd power of a High School newspaper).
Veronica then begins wringing her hands about whether or not her father had Poppa Poutine offed or not and Archie assures her that Hiram is a good man. He even goes to Hiram to tell him Veronica’s concerns and Hiram assures her that he did not order a hit on the Poutine man himself. Careful wording choice considering what we learn later about who the real boss is, right? The Lodge’s reveal to Veronica that Mayor McCoy no longer wants to play ball with them and is threatening to out their plan. They in turn are going to blackmail her with exposing her affair with Sheriff Keller. Apparently in this small town people still care about affairs, they clearly don’t get CNN. Veronica, in an attempt to help and avoid blackmail by her parents, warns Mayor McCoy of their plan and she resigns. When Hiram questions Veronica, she denies going to Sierra. Perhaps our Miss Veronica is more like her parents than we think.
Cheryl catches Betty throwing up in the girls room at school and in genuine kindness offers to help her. Betty refuses, but Cheryl is still concerned. She later spies Hal leaving Thistlehouse and confronts her mother. What if this is why Betty was so upset? Penelope tells her that Hal isn’t a client, what they have is “real”. Cheryl confronts Hal and tells him to head on back home or she’ll tell Betty and Alice the truth about his extracurricular activities with Penelope. Realizing that she would want to know if it was her, she tells Betty the truth any way.
What was Betty puking about? Well remember last week when she walked into the house and found her mother on the floor with a dead body? Yup. That’s it. Alice tries to send her upstairs, she doesn’t want her involved, but when Hal calls and says he’s headed over, there’s no choice but to get it cleaned up quick. Chic is uselessly cowering in the corner and by the time Hal arrives appears to be upstairs. Doing what? Certainly not covering up the guy he killed “in self defense”. The next morning, Betty comes down to Alice and Chic eating pancakes like they didn’t just roll a dead body into the dining room rug and stash it in an old sewer pipe in the woods. Properly disgusted, Betty is happy to find Jughead at the front door and the two head off to school. It’s Betty’s turn to be a dumbass this week, as if hiding a dead body wasn’t bad enough, she goes back to visit it. Touches it and takes its cell phone. Detective Elizabeth Cooper inspects the cell phone’s text messages and discovers that the dead guy was a drug dealer, not a client like Chic said he was. This causes her to flip out on Chic for lying and he starts crying (insert eyeroll emoji). Alice defends him of course and while the Cooper ladies are arguing, Chic has a creepy evil grin on his face. Here’s the part where I offer the idea that perhaps the dead body is the real Chic and this dude is scamming them… maybe? Maybe not.
Betty, appointed bad decision maker of the episode, can’t take the stress of this dead body hanging over her head and she calls Jughead. He’s quick to help his lady love and together they sink dead-guys car in a swamp or something. Hal returns to the Cooper homestead where he begins asking questions about the missing rug, the lamp, and why the hell does the house smell like bleach? Betty finds him yelling at Chic and she threatens to expose the Penelope secret to Alice if he doesn’t leave. At this point, I don’t really understand why Hal cares so much if Alice knows he’s having an affair. Neither of them seems to like each other very much and after all we have to play up the rift so when Alice and FP get together, no one can be mad about it.
Speaking of FP, Betty and her mother enlist the help of the Jones boys for proper body disposal. The trio wait at Pop’s while FP digs a hole, throws the body in, and covers it with lye. We really have FP hiding another dead body, because going to jail last season for hiding Jason’s body and plot finagling away to get him out of it this season wasn’t enough.
I was so angry at Alice for involving Betty and the Jones boys in this nonsense all over her creepy ass son that she’s known for 5 minutes. Her creepy ass son who is cutting Hal out of family pictures in the living room. All this because Polly is a selfish b**** and can’t bring her babies home to meet their grandmother.