With the murder of Jason Blossom last season, Riverdale had already established itself that this was not going to be your typical bubble gum and pep rallies kind of show. Its dark undertones continuously hang over the show even in the moments when the characters are in harmonious bliss. But this season has really been more of a thick continuous cloud cover with only brief instances of the sun peeking through. Case in point to last week's episode where not one but two deaths occurred (granted we only physically saw one) which goes to show that just because it's a small town it can't have big city aspirations!
We pick up immediately in The Tell-Tale Heart, where we left off at the Cooper household where Alice (Madchen Amick) is frantically trying to wipe up all the blood from the dead body lying on their floor. Betty (Lili Reinhart) starts to call the police but Alice tells her not to for fear that they will try to take Chic (Hart Denton) away from her. Oh, you mean Chic, the one sitting off in a corner, crying like an infant during this situation?! Alice tries to tell Betty to go upstairs so she won't be involved but then Hal (Lochlyn Munro) calls and says he's coming over because he wants to pick up some toiletries. How cheap is this guy that he still needs to run back to the place he refuses to live at? So now Betty has to help her mom so they can be like the girls from Sunshine Cleaning and get the place scrubbed. Thanks for the help, Chic.
When Hal arrives the house is back to normal but he's very suspicious because he says the house reeks of bleach. Alice just says she spilled some soup she needed to clean up. He gives one of those hard lingering stares but then just goes upstairs to grab his nose hair clippers or whatever.
Jughead (Cole Sprouse) calls Betty because he is still in his state of heaven from them just having sex but Betty hurries him off the phone because she needs to help mom get rid of the body. No time for teenage lovey-dovey right now. Betty and Alice roll up the body in one of the house rugs and drive out to the woods. Alice comes up with the idea to leave it in a giant sewer pipe because she used to hang out there as a child. Wait, can we get a flashback episode in the future of that story Mr. Showrunner?
When they get back home, the fun isn't over yet as Alice breaks into CSI mode and tells Betty they need to wipe down everything that the guy might have touched or left a print on. After they are finally done, Betty is seen crashing out on her bed and doesn't wake up until her alarm clock rings (an actual alarm clock is such a Riverdale touch). She goes downstairs and by some miracle, Alice has made a full-on breakfast and is sitting there at the table with Chic who surely is feeling well rested after all the sleep he got not contributing. Alice acting like it's just another normal day invites Betty to sit down and eat but she apparently doesn't remember that her daughter doesn't like chocolate chip pancakes. Shouldn't she know this by now? As Betty tries to pour herself a normal bowl of cereal her mind gets flooded with images of cleaning up the blood from the night before and it's obvious that she is not handling this well.
Thankfully for her, a distraction would happen as Jughead shows up on her doorstep to walk her to school. He brings up his concern that she hung up on him last night because maybe she regrets them having sex. Betty quickly stops and comforts him saying that "Not at all. It was amazing!" The words that every boy wishes they hear after a night with a woman. She goes on to tell him that there was just some drama at home that night and there is nothing for him to worry about.
While Betty was dealing with a dead corpse, Veronica (Camila Mendes) and her family were dealing with a body part as well as Jughead thought it was a good idea to send the head of General Pickens to the Lodge's residence. Hiram (Mark Consuelos) and Hermione (Marisol Nichols) see this as a declaration of war from the Serpents and are ready to retaliate but their daughter offers to be the peacekeeper. Veronica will get the Serpents to meet with him and they can negotiate a deal to settle things. This girl is learning the business real quick and using her level head.
At school the next day, Veronica tells Jughead of her idea for her father to sit down with his dad for a face-to-face meeting. While he isn't a fan of the idea, he still agrees to it as long as Hiram comes over to their home at the trailer park so he can see all the people's lives he's affecting. Before they can argue any more Kevin (Casey Cott) enters and announces how a body (referring to Papa Poutine) was found at a hotel with "blood and brains splattered all over." We can see the stress levels spike in Veronica, Betty, and Archie (KJ Apa) as they ALL have something to hide right now. Betty excuses herself to go puke in the bathroom and Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) notices her not doing well. When she tries to comfort her, Betty is very abrasive so Cheryl leaves but now she knows something is up.
I guess Betty can't let this go so she does the worst thing and returns to the sewer pipe where they put the body the night before. She removes the rug to stare at the body and as she does his phone goes off. How did they not think to empty his pockets first?! Apparently cleaning up the house is the only part they remember from whatever crime shows they watched. She takes it out of his pocket and keeps it as she heads home.
When she gets to her room she goes full Nancy Drew (again) and starts going through all of the text messages on the phone. When she's done she tells Alice of her findings that the guy was a drug dealer and there were messages from Chic to him on the phone. So he lied when he said the guy was one of his clients. But Alice comes to her son's defense when he starts crying like a little kid AGAIN! But Betty isn't buying it and tries to convince her mother that he is up to something. The whole time they are arguing Chic just sits there smiling like the Emperor watching Darth Vader battle Luke Skywalker.
While Betty is dealing with her dead body, Veronica is now having problems learning about this new one found at the hotel. She can't help but think her father had something to do with it and the conflict is messing with her head. Enter Archie as the champion of good who convinces her that her father is a good man and she should trust in that. But we all know in the back of his mind, Archie thinks Hiram is responsible as well.
Archie visits with Hiram at his office to ask about if he had anything to do with Papa Poutine's death and he deflects saying that he had a lot of enemies so it could have been several people. Archie also lets him know that Veronica is dealing with his possible involvement and he should let her know that he had nothing to do with it to calm her down. The funny part is Archie goes to have this meeting with Hiram after just being paid by Agent Adams (John Behlmann) for being an informant so he had his own agenda.
When Archie meets up with Agent Adams later, he feeds him the story that Lenny Kowalski is responsible for the murder of Poutine and not Hiram. But unfortunately that information would not pan out and Adams feels that Archie is messing with him. So in an effort to get Archie back in line he visits his dad and puts the screws to him about hiring illegal workers for his business. When Archie asks for Adams to back off he is told to put a bug in Hiram's office and then things will change.
When Hiram would approach Veronica to ask if she's had any concerns about his business she asks him point blank if he had anything to do with Papa Poutine's murder and he puts on that stone face and tells her "No, mija." The man does not get to his level of successful criminal stature without knowing how to lie perfectly. Even to his daughter.
Jughead, ever the crusader, would go to Mayor McCoy's (Robin Givens) office and tell her how he knows something is going on with all the properties that are being purchased. Does this mayor have an open door policy because it sure seems easy to get a meeting with her? He accuses her of taking bribes from Hiram Lodge in order for him to obtain all these properties in Riverdale. This kid sure likes to walk on thin ice.
When Jughead and his dad, FP (Skeet Ulrich) would finally get the chance to sit down with Hiram and discuss how he tried to get them in trouble with the mayor he predictable denies being behind it. He calls it a "misunderstanding" and as a sign of good faith offers to pay any of their members back rent so they can stay in the trailer park. All he asks for in return is for Jughead to leave his name out of the expose that he is writing. FP stand by his son's ambition and says no deal. So even though they had a chance to save everyone's homes they are going turn it down to have a vague chance at getting Hiram in trouble? Sounds like a bad choice.
When Veronica gets home that night, Mayor McCoy is just leaving after having a huge argument with her parents because they want to announce their plans for Southside High and the mayor wants to wait until after her re-election. If they move on without her the mayor threatens to expose them and their plans. So the Lodge's plan is to expose her first by revealing the affair that she is having with Sheriff Keller. They learned of it by having their trusty driver Andre (Stephan Miers) follow her around. The mayor should've known better to think she was going to pull one over on them.
So Veronica thinking that she can handle this situation better than her parents AGAIN goes to Mayor McCoy and warns her of their plans to use the affair with the Sheriff. Realizing she's got herself in some deep trouble, the mayor voluntarily resigns saying that the stress of recent events has caused her to want to step down and spend more time with her family. When her father would ask her if she had anything to do with this happening, Veronica would look at her father with the same stone face and tell him no. Damn Hiram, she is your spawn that is for sure.
Meanwhile, Betty is still trying to deal with finding out more information from the phone of the dead guy but every time she calls a number in it the person hangs up. Feeling that this is too much for her she finally calls Jughead and confides in him everything that has happened with them covering this up. And help she would end up needing as they discover the dead guy's car has been sitting in front of their house for the past couple of days. The interesting part is Jughead asks Betty if she knows how to hotwire a car when you would think he already knows how himself. But shouldn't they have the dead guy's keys from emptying his pockets? That's right, missed that part as well. Moving on, they get the car going and push it into a lake, plus toss the phone in because at least Jughead knew enough to do that part.
Archie has to make a tough decision about dealing with Agent Adams and trying to help his dad. But instead of complying with Adams he goes the other route and confesses to Hiram about the FBI approaching him to be a mole and the pressure they are putting on his father. He says he never told them anything and that he thinks Mr. Lodge is a good man so he needs his help because now it has got to the point where they are asking him to plant a bug in his office. Hiram tells Archie that this isn't his first dealing with the FBI so for him not to worry--he will take care of it. Archie thanks him and as he is leaving makes sure to repeat that he never told them anything. I know Archie loves Veronica but his instincts on people's character needs some work.
Betty and Alice are not out of the woods yet as Hal decides to return home because of Cheryl threatening to expose his affair with her mother if he doesn't leave. Which in truth is probably more her worried about Hal becoming her new step-father than anything else. When he does return, he finds Chic and going off of his suspicions that there are things different about the house and he doesn't trust this kid he starts getting in a fury of anger. But Betty pulls a fast one as Cheryl did, in fact, tell her about Hal's affair and she uses that to make him leave because she'll tell her mother otherwise.
Realizing that Hal's suspicions are a problem and they are in over in their heads Betty has Jughead tell FP about their problem and he decides to help them. FP takes the body out of the sewer, covers it in sodium hydroxide, and buries it in the woods. When he meets up with Alice, Betty, and Jug later at Pop's he tells them it's all taken care of. As Alice cries out of guilt, she thanks FP and he tells her, "We take care of our own." What a good man that FP is.
While at home, Archie gets a visit from Andre who tells him "the boss" wants to see him. After a long drive that goes into the woods, Archie begins to get very nervous considering the bold move he made telling Mr. Lodge about the FBI. Finally, the car stops and Archie is let out but the meeting isn't with Hiram, as Hermione is standing before him instead. She tells him that Agent Adams is a fake and he was hired by her to pose as an FBI agent to test Archie's loyalty to them. And he passed as she tells him, "Welcome to the family, Archie." Ladies and gentleman that is a game changer! Well done, Riverdale.
So where do they go from here? Is Archie going to get brought into the Lodge crime family? What will this do to his friendship with Jughead? And is Chic about to do something crazy himself with cutting up those pictures?! See you all in a few weeks when Riverdale returns on The CW.