The Wednesday, November 29, episode of Riverdale — titled “Chapter Twenty: Tales From the Darkside” — opened with a true crime-like narration, putting viewers on notice that the hour would be separated into three twisted tales of events that took place after The Black Hood sent another letter to the town. He warned that Riverdale citizens would be tested in the next 48 hours: If they showed they were pure of heart, the killing would end, but if they continued to sin, he would keep offing sinners.
Archie and Jughead
The first tale focused on Archie (KJ Apa) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) after Juggy got a call from Penny Peabody, the Serpent lawyer who helped him with his dad’s case. She notified him that his father had been attacked by some Ghoulies in jail, seeking retribution for getting them arrested at the street race. Penny offered to help get FP (Skeet Ulrich) out if Jughead did a one-time job for her: deliver a crate filled with “pancake mix” to Greendale.
The crate wouldn’t fit on the back of Jughead’s motorcycle, so he called on Archie to assist. The way Jughead saw it, Archie owed him for calling Sheriff Keller about the race, and Jughead needed Fred’s truck to haul the crate. Archie and Jughead set out for Greendale, with Archie behind the wheel (because apparently, Archie knows how to drive now?).
All was going well until one of the truck’s tires had a blowout. Just as Archie was calling Kevin (Casey Cott) to come pick them up, a truck stopped on the side of the road to ask if they needed a ride. The creepy AF guy said he’d need money and he could only take one of them. Jughead and his crate hopped in and headed down the road toward Greendale.
The man stopped at a gas station to fill up, and while there, he decided to eat at a café. He told Jughead a story about The Riverdale Reaper, an unknown who’d killed a family in Riverdale years earlier and was never caught. The man said he wouldn’t be surprised if The Riverdale Reaper and The Black Hood were one and the same — a theory Jughead latched on to.
When the waitress brought the bill over, the man wanted Jughead to pay, but Juggy had already given him the only $18 he had. In the nick of time, Archie appeared to pay the bill and drive Jughead to make the delivery. (Thank goodness Triple C was able to fix Archie’s tire!)
Jughead and Archie delivered the crate to a warehouse, where a lady in a wheelchair and her henchman were waiting to receive it. She asked which of the young men was Jughead Jones — the boy who Penny had said would be taking over the Ghoulies’ regular delivery.
Jughead went to visit his dad, and surprise: he was totally unharmed. Juggy confronted Penny about her lie and his unwillingness to be her delivery boy. Penny showed Jughead video footage of him and Archie delivering the crate and threatened to turn him in to the police if he didn’t follow her every order. Penny also confessed that FP made her a promise he didn’t keep. Therefore, FP’s debt was now Jughead’s debt, and she was only getting started with him.
Josie (Ashleigh Murray) was working on new music without the Pussycats, thanks to a producer who wanted to give her solo studio time after Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) shared one of her covers with him. Once the Pussycats found out, they dropped Josie.
The songstress was also receiving gifts from a secret admirer. Chuck Clayton asked Josie out, claiming to be a changed man, and while she at first rebuffed his advances, she eventually ended up at Pop’s with him. Mayor McCoy came there looking for Josie and told Chuck she didn’t want her daughter anywhere near him. Her paranoia explained itself when she told Josie about the death threats she’d been receiving as of late.
At school Josie got another gift from her secret admirer: a drawing of her that threatened, “If I can’t have you, no one can,” and a pig heart. Cheryl accused Chuck, and the janitor who’d been lurking around Josie hauled Chuck to the principal’s office. Josie implicated Chuck, and though Sheriff Keller questioned him, he didn’t believe they’d found the perpetrator.
The stress was too much for Josie, causing her to lose her voice. Meanwhile, Cheryl was drawing a picture of her and Josie, which looked suspiciously like the picture Josie received from her secret admirer. We’re not convinced Cheryl’s to blame, though. We’ll be keeping our eye on that janitor.
Betty and Veronica
Betty (Lili Reinhart) concocted a theory that Sheriff Keller is The Black Hood. Kevin said his dad had been acting strange lately, but Veronica (Camila Mendes) was convinced he was just having an affair. B and V teamed up to investigate Keller, but their methods were quite different.
Veronica had a sleepover at Kevin’s house, during which she tried to snoop around (to no avail) and questioned Sheriff Keller about his wife (she’s stationed in Bahrain). At the precinct, Betty quizzed Keller about The Black Hood’s killing of The Sugar Man, and Keller seemed more than happy to share evidence with the burgeoning reporter.
Betty took things a step further when she broke into the Kellers’ house and the sheriff’s home office. There she stumbled upon his victim board and a black hood. After Sheriff Keller found Betty in his office, he took her down to the station and called her dad. He blamed Betty’s overactive imagination for suspecting him and suggested they not tell Kevin about her theory so he wouldn’t get hurt.
Betty — now in full Veronica Mars mode — just couldn’t give it up, though. She knew Keller was hiding something, so she and Veronica followed him when he snuck out of his house late at night. They watched as he met Mayor McCoy at a motel and they shared a smooch that didn’t scream “city business.” Veronica and Betty agreed to keep the affair a secret from Kevin to protect him.
As these three tales wrapped up, the characters they concentrated on all wound up in booths at Pop’s. The diner phone rang ominously — it was The Black Hood. Pop Tate announced, “He says that we failed his test. That we’re all sinners. That the reckoning is upon us.”
Riverdale airs on The CW Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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