If you would like to read my review of last week’s episode, click here.
Synopsis: A hasty decision comes back to haunt Betty; Tensions between Hiram, FP and Jughead spiral out of control; Archie is forced to make a tough decision. (IMDB)
Writer: Michael Grassi
Director: Julie Plec
Running Time: 45 mins
“The Tell-Tale Heart” starts off with Betty standing over the body in their living room, her mom wiping blood off the floor. Betty is confused, she wants to call the police, but Alice won’t let the cops take her son away. Hal calls and wants to swing by to pick up some things so Betty offers to help clean up the mess because two pairs of hands are better than one. Chic sits in the corner crying, unable to look.
Again this episode divides into the couples’ stories with some minor overlap so first up let’s continue with the Coopers! Hal shows up at the house where they have thankfully cleaned up the body. He questions the odd smell, but the Cooper women shut him up. Betty gets a call from Jughead who’s just checking in, but their call is interrupted when Hal leaves. Betty and Alice have work to do. They take the man’s body to the forest and dump his body in an old sewer pipe. Meanwhile, Hal is staying at the Blossoms with Penelope massaging his shoulders, reassuring his paranoia.
Back at home, Betty and Alice bleach and clean the entire house to remove any fingerprints. And after a long night, Betty comes downstairs to find her family acting normal as if it’s like every other day. She starts to freak out a bit and then there’s a knock at the door. Thank god it’s Jughead. He walks her to school, confused as to her distanced nature, but she reassures him it isn’t about him. She’s having family drama. At school, Kevin brings up a gruesome murder they just found. Betty starts to freak out, and the others question if it could be the Black Hood, but it’s Papa Poutine at his motel room. Safe for now Betty Cooper. Betty starts having a panic attack and rushes off to the bathroom to be sick. Cheryl sees her in the bathroom and offers some help, but Betty doesn’t need it. Take charitable Cheryl’s help Betty you fool.
Betty goes to the dumpsite to look at the body when the man’s phone starts ringing. She doesn’t answer, but it has 47 missed calls so Betty decides to pocket the phone and head home. While the Coopers eat, she retreats to her room to look at the phone and finds some incriminating information. Betty confronts Chic about the man, who turned out to be her brother’s drug dealer. He starts to cry, but Betty isn’t buying it. Alice pulls her aside and tells her to stop worrying about this while Chic has a smile grow onto his face.
Cheryl is practicing archery in the yard when she sees Hal leaving her house. She confronts her mother about destroying families with her courtesan ways, but to her Hal is different. Turns out he isn’t a client and they’ve been having an affair. Yeah expected that. After trying to call the contacts on the man’s phone, Betty calls Jughead to come by. She breaks down and tells him everything. He’s obviously shocked, but when the man’s car parked across the street becomes a problem, he agrees to help cover their tracks. Hal returns to Blossom manor where he’s greeted by a very sassy Cheryl. She tells him that he isn’t welcome at her home and threatens to tell Betty about the affair. Finally we get some good Cheryl moments. Betty and Jughead dump the car and the victim’s phone into Sweetwater River, hopefully removing themselves from this awful situation. Unlikely.
The next day, Chic opens the door to Hal who begins to interrogate his estranged son. At school, Cheryl goes to Betty and tells her about Hal’s affair. Betty returns home and after watching her father berate Chic, she threatens to expose his relationship with Penelope Blossom. He leaves and Chic thanks her, but she did it for Alice. Betty tells Alice about Hal’s unexpected drop in and all the loose ends they forgot to cover up. They go to FP for help, but Jughead has told him everything. He agrees to help by covering the body in lye and burying it in the woods.
Now onto the continuing feuding crime families of Riverdale. Agent Adams interrogates Archie for information on Hiram’s involvement in Poppa Poutine’s murder. He suggests he might have gotten a hitman to do it, but Archie knows nothing. FP comes home from dealing with Tallboy and wants to deliver the head to the Mayor as a statement, but he notices the head is gone. “Boy, where the hell is General Pickens’ head?” Uh oh. The Lodges discuss their options as they sit around Pickens’ head and Veronica suggests a sit down.
At school, Veronica and Jughead argue about the feud between their parents with Veronica suggesting a civilized sit down. Jughead agrees, but only if Hiram comes to the trailer park to see the people he will be displacing. Meanwhile, Jughead goes to Mayor McCoy with the hunch that she’s selling off town-owned land to the Lodges. He threatens if she doesn’t come clean, he will do it for her. Archie meets with Agent Adams who pays him for his help so far, but suggests that Archie ask Hiram directly about his potential involvement in Poutine’s murder.
He goes to Hiram and asks, but Hiram interjects and explains he had nothing to do with it. Archie also tells Hiram about Veronica’s spiraling thoughts about her father. Hiram goes to Veronica and reassures her of his business dealings. She asks about if he was involved in Poutine’s death and he replies with no. He’s either really not behind it or a very bad father. Archie tells Agent Adams about Hiram’s lack of involvement in Poutine’s death and points the finger towards Lenny, his other business associate.
At the trailer park, Hiram and Veronica sit down with FP and Jughead to discuss the bad blood between their families. Hiram offers to settle the debts of the Southsiders so they can keep their homes, but in exchange for Jughead keeping his name out of his expose on Mayor McCoy’s shady dealings. Dude you are the shady dealings. Jughead can smell a bribe a mile away and rejects the offer which FP stands by.
After the Mayor storms out of Hiram’s study, the Lodges discuss how they can keep her quiet without stirring the pot too much and turning the attention to them. Turns out Hiram had someone following Mayor McCoy who picked up so juicy blackmail on her. “It’s time for Operation: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Archie comes home to find Agent Adams talking to his dad. After he leaves, Fred explains that the FBI is looking into undocumented labour and how his business is now in jeopardy. Archie goes to Agent Adams and demands he keep his father out of this, but Adams responds by saying Archie is covering for Hiram and he gives Archie a bug to plant in Hiram’s office.
Veronica goes to Mayor McCoy and warns her that the Lodges plan to expose her affair with Sheriff Keller which would destroy the town as they know it. She advises the Mayor get ahead of this story. “How long do I have?” In a shocking twist, Mayor McCoy resigns from her position and decides to return to her role as a lawyer in the town. The Lodges are surprised given their lack of extortion and suggest that Veronica warned her, but she lies and says she didn’t.
While Fred goes through all his old business files, Archie contemplates bugging Hiram’s office. He goes to Hiram and explains how Agent Adams approached him to inform on Hiram’s business. He tells Hiram that he’s stayed loyal and asks that the Lodges help his family out of this situation and Hiram agrees. Later that night, Archie opens to door to Andre, one of Hiram’s employees. “The boss wants to see you.” After they pass the Pembrooke, Andre explains they are going somewhere more private, scenic.
The episode ends with FP arriving at Pop’s where Jughead, Betty and Alice are waiting for him. He explains the body will be gone within the week. Alice thanks FP for helping them to which he replies, “We take care of our own.” They hold hands while Betty and Jughead embrace. WAS THAT A MOMENT? Meanwhile, Chic sits by the fireplace going through the Cooper photo albums, cutting out images of Hal. UM WHAT? And Archie arrives at the meeting location where he finds Hermione waiting for him. She explains that Agent Adams was a test created by the Lodges to see if Archie was loyal and he passed the test. “Welcome to the family.”
- How will McCoy’s return to law play into the town’s dynamic?
- How will Hiram try to shut down Jughead’s expose?
- How long until they find the car in Sweetwater River?
- Will Archie feel comfortable being part of the family?
- Who is Chic’s real father?
- Will Dark Betty take over?
- How will Penny continue to be a thorn in Jughead’s side?
- Will Tallboy return with a vengeance?
- How will the Serpents strike back to the attacks by the Lodges?
- Is Hal REALLY staying at a “shareBnB” or possibly with Penelope?
- Is the Black Hood really gone?
Overall, this was a good episode. Yes it was filled with outlandish situations, but the tension was at an all-time high. The editing and direction of this episode was particular good in creating an eerie atmosphere between Agent Adams’ increased hostility towards Archie and Betty’s slow descent into madness. As much as I enjoy the characters of Hiram and Hermione, it is hard to side with them in their story when Jughead’s crusade for justice has influenced my perspective for much of the season. I know his story with the Serpents and Penny will resurface, but it was great seeing him back to his North side ways. While both major stories of this season are entering new chapters we enter a short hiatus that gives us more questions than answers in typical Riverdale fashion. Just make sure there’s more Cheryl, Josie and Kevin when we return, okay?
What did you think of “The Tell-Tale Heart”? Did you expect that big twist? Let me know in the comments below! I know I’ll be impatiently waiting for Riverdale’s return on March 7th.