Riverdale recap: 'Chapter Twenty-Six: The Tell-Tale Heart'
Only in Riverdale could the local diner be the perfect place to do homework, go on dates, and have a milkshake while you wait to find out if your boyfriend’s gangster of a father properly discarded the body of the drug dealer your mother murdered in order to protect your recently discovered gigolo of a brother. Don’t let that perfect ponytail fool you, guys. Betty’s life is MESSED UP.
We pick up right where we left off last week: As Betty puts it, “Mom, there’s a man on our floor!” Alice, who’s currently cleaning up pools of blood, doesn’t want her daughter calling the cops lest they take Chic away from her. Instead, she enlists her daughter to help her clean up the act of “self-defense” so that the house can look as close to normal as possible when Hal stops by to pick up his toiletries in a little bit. (Honestly, the man can’t just buy some new shaving cream?!)
By the time Hal arrives, things looks normal…ish, but according to Hal, the house smells like the inside of a hospital. But we are talking about Hal, the world’s most useless man, so after his questions go unanswered, he just grabs his shaving cream and heads back to his new life with Penelope Blossom.
After Betty hangs up on Jug — no time for boys when you’re dealing with (dead) men — she and Alice take the body out to the woods. Alice’s plan is to leave it in a sewer pipe that she used to frequent as a child. You know, because sewer pipes are totally normal places for small children to love.
By the time they get back home, the mother-daughter duo of the week start cleaning anything and everything that the dead guy could’ve touched. By the end of the night, Betty’s polished every last apple in the house, and she’s exhausted. Betty passes out — I love the way the camera follows her here — only to wake up the next morning to some sort of Stepford household where Chic and Alice are pretending that everything is okay and that they didn’t, I don’t know, kill anyone last night. While Chic and Alice enjoy a feast for breakfast — apparently the Coopers like to prepare 20 pancakes per person — it’s Betty who’s acting the most strange. “I don’t like chocolate chip pancakes” she says. I’m sorry — WHAT?!
Breakfast is then interrupted when Jug shows up to walk Betty to school. And at this point, Betty is just happy to have a break from the house, probably because it’s hard to breathe when the entire place wreaks of bleach. Jug, being a teenage boy, is all nervous that the sex was bad, but Betty assures him that her weird mood has nothing to do with their horizontal tango. Rather, it’s all about “typical Cooper house lunacy.” And let’s all take a moment to realize that Betty just called murder “typical.” And she’s not wrong.
At school, Betty has a close call when Kevin shows up announcing that the cops found a body. But no, it wasn’t in a sewer pipe. (After all, only kids hang out in those.) The body Kevin is referring to is none other than Papa Poutine. Betty’s relieved, but the moment still makes her so nervous she ends up vomiting in the bathroom. And when Cheryl finds her, she takes an interest in Betty’s life. That interest is then doubled when Cheryl sees Hal leaving her house. Cheryl confronts her mother, who claims that what she has with Hal is “real,” so this should go well.
Meanwhile, Betty temporarily goes insane and returns to the woods to make sure the body is still there and, just in case, put her fingerprints ALL OVER IT. And then, when the dead guy’s phone rings, she takes it with her!!! Has this girl learned nothing from living in this terrible town?! At this point, I’m half convinced that all the kids in Riverdale were required to take Annalise Keating’s class on How to Get Away With Murder before they could start high school.
Once Betty gets home, she starts combing through the MANY messages on this phone, and she discovers something: This guy was a drug dealer. Furthermore, he was Chic’s drug dealer. Betty confronts her shady brother, which only results in Betty and Alice fighting, and based on the creepy grin on Chic’s face, I’d say that’s all he wants in life. (Next: Archie proves his loyalty)
After Betty tries calling the numbers on the phone to identify the dead guy — again, Betty, WHAT ARE YOU DOING — she gives up and calls Jug. She fills him in on everything, and it’s a good thing she did, because she now needs his help ditching the guy’s car. It’s been parked outside their house for days, which means one thing: Jug turns to Betty and asks, “How fast can you hot-wire a car?” Again, he just asked BETTY about hot-wiring a car. And that’s not even the most heinous thing! The most heinous thing is that you know she definitely can!
Together, they get rid of the car and the guy’s phone. And then, there’s only one thing left to do: Ask FP for help, because why not involve more people in this, amirite?? While Betty, Alice, and Jug wait at Pop’s, FP takes the body into the woods, digs a grave, and then dumps a whole lot of sodium hydroxide on it. In a week, there won’t even be teeth left. Now enjoy your milkshakes guys!
As for Chic, he’s back home cutting Hal out of family pictures. (Oh, I should mention that Cheryl told Betty about her father’s affair. Needless to say, no one likes Hal. Not even Hal.)
While all of this is going on with Betty, Archie’s dealing with Agent Adams, who does not seem to care that he’s talking to a minor when he goes into A LOT of detail about Papa Poutine’s murder. But Archie doesn’t crack. He’s firmly on Team Hiram at this point, something that can’t be said of the Serpents.
After the whole “statue head in a box” thing, Veronica organizes a meeting between Jug, FP, herself, and her father. Hiram offers to pay the back rent on the entire trailer park in exchange for one thing: Hiram wants to be left out of Jughead’s exposé. Yes, this legendary (and very scary) businessman’s biggest fear right now is a teenager’s story. And then the teenager has the balls to turn him down!
To make matters worse, Veronica hears about the murder in town and can’t help but wonder if her father’s behind it, a totally normal thing for any teen to have to worry about. But Archie is there to make it right: He promises Veronica that her father’s a good guy before heading to Hiram and letting him know that he might want to reassure his daughter. Archie does this even AFTER the FBI pays him a salary for being an informant, by the way. The kid just can’t help himself: He loves a sneaky Lodge. (And it helps if they’ve got some wrestling moves.)
After chatting with Archie, Hiram assures his daughter that he had nothing to do with Papa Poutine’s death. As for Archie, he tells Agent Adams to look into Lenny as the murderer. But when that lead doesn’t pan out, Agent Adams threatens to come down on Fred for hiring undocumented immigrants over the years. If Archie wants to help his dad, he’ll need to plant a bug in Hiram’s office.
While Archie thinks that over, Veronica walks in on her parents fighting with Mayor McCoy. It seems the Lodges want to announce their plans for Southside High, but McCoy wants them to wait until after re-election, and she’s threatening to expose them. But they have something to expose too: her affair with Sheriff Keller. (Can you blame her?!)
But before her parents can act, Veronica warns the mayor, which causes her to voluntarily resign. As for Veronica, she lies to her father about getting involved. Because you’re not a Lodge if you don’t tell a lie or two.
And then there’s Archie, the lovable idiot who’s somehow smart enough to tell Hiram about the bug, a decision that leads to Archie ending the episode by meeting with “the boss.” It’s Hermione. And she’s here to tell Archie that Agent Adams was fake. He’s a friend that they paid to test Archie’s loyalty. And guess what? He passed.
Meanwhile, has André always been this hot?!
Overall, I enjoyed the tone of this episode more than last week’s, but I need all of the stories to really start coming together at this point in the season. Also, I’d like to request more André. Thanks.