You thought things were complicated in Riverdale before. The Wednesday, November 8, episode saw Betty helping The Black Hood choose his next victim after cutting Jughead and Veronica out of her life. Also, Cheryl was almost raped, but Veronica and the Pussycats stepped in just in time to save her. Here’s what you missed in “Chapter Eighteen: When a Stranger Calls.”
Veronica’s (Camila Mendes) old New York City pal Nick St. Clair (Graham Phillips) was visiting Riverdale with his parents as Hiram (Mark Consuelos) tried to persuade them to invest in his latest development. Veronica’s job was to entertain Nick — this was complicated by the flirty “will they or won’t they” thing they had going on back in New York, although they never actually dated.
Nick was trouble from the moment he set foot in Riverdale. He threw a party at the Five Seasons (you know, like one step above the Four Seasons) and invited V and her friends. Reggie hooked Nick up with jingle jangle, and everyone, with the exception of Betty (Lili Reinhart), partook. Apparently jingle jangle’s main effect is making you dance around like a fool in slow motion.
Once the party was over, Nick tried to force himself on Veronica. When she shoved him away, he threatened to tank his parents’ deal with Hiram unless Veronica slept with him. So she slapped him.
The next day at an open house for Hiram’s development, Nick apologized to Veronica and told her he’d been in and out of rehab the last few months. She agreed to a fresh start, but Nick then set his sights on Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch). He drugged her drink and took her to his hotel room. Veronica and the Pussycats saw Nick and Cheryl leave and followed them to his room. They busted in and proceeded to beat him up — such a “girl, yes!” moment. Back at Veronica’s apartment, Cheryl said she wanted to press charges against Nick.
The Chosen One
The episode picked up with Betty’s phone call with The Black Hood. He threatened to “carve [Polly] like a jack-o-lantern” unless Betty published a mugshot from her mother’s Serpent days (yes, Alice was a Serpent!) in The Blue and Gold. The killer warned Betty not to tell the police or Jughead (Cole Sprouse) about their chat, but Betty had to tell someone, so she confided in Archie (KJ Apa). Archie encouraged Betty to earn favor with The Black Hood by publishing the mugshot, but she couldn’t justify destroying her mother’s credibility … until Alice (Mädchen Amick) accused her and Jughead of fabricating the letter she received from The Black Hood. (Turns out the handwriting wasn’t a match to the letter Alice received.) So Betty published the mugshot, and in return, The Black Hood let her ask him a question: Would she recognize the face under the hood? He said yes.
The killer next demanded that Betty cut Veronica out of her life because he didn’t like sharing her. Betty threw a fit at Nick’s Five Seasons party, railing Veronica for acting like a privileged airhead and accusing her of not being a true friend. The next question she got to ask The Black Hood: What would make him stop? He told her to keep showing her devotion to him.
Betty later met up with Jughead at Pop’s. He wondered why they couldn’t run away from Riverdale. She said they’d be like Romeo and Juliet but with a happily ever after. Sadly, that wasn’t in The Black Hood’s plan. The killer told her to also cut herself off from Jughead. Betty couldn’t bring herself to do it, so she asked Archie to do it for her and reasoned that they could “walk it back” later. Though The Black Hood was torturing Betty, she felt better knowing he hadn’t attacked or killed anyone since their phone calls started.
After Archie had broken up with Jughead for her, Betty asked the killer who he was. He sent her to an abandoned house at the edge of Fox Forest and said she’d find her answer there. What she found was a gift box with a black hood in it. The killer told her to put it on and turn around, where she saw herself in a mirror. His point? “We’re the same,” he said.
Betty received one more call from The Black Hood. He knew she’d told Archie about their conversations, and as retribution, he was going to kill Polly unless Betty gave him another name of someone to kill. Betty said she couldn’t, but once the killer had threatened her entire family, Betty — who’d heard about Nick attempting to rape Cheryl — told him Nick’s name. We think that makes you a conspirator, Betty.
Jughead caught heat from Sweet Pea and the other Southside Serpents for siding with his north side friends following last week’s Bulldogs vs. Serpents street fight. Toni told Jughead how his father had long been a peacekeeper among the Serpents, so Jughead decided to become an official member after he discovered the Serpents were planning to bomb The Riverdale Register. He had to go through several initiation trials: “assuming guardianship of the beast” (a.k.a dog-sitting Hot Dog, the Serpents’ cutest and furriest member), memorizing the Serpents’ laws, retrieving a knife from a rattlesnake cage and, finally, surviving a beatdown from the Serpents.
Archie came by to deliver Betty’s breakup just as the Serpents were arriving for Jughead’s last trial, so Archie made the dumping about Jughead going dark. He told Jughead that Betty had been wanting to break up with him for weeks — she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. She’d seen the dark path he was heading down and didn’t want to be a part of it. Although Jughead was skeptical at first, he told Archie that he got Betty’s message.
Once Jughead was officially a Serpent (tattoo and all), Toni mentioned it’d be hard for him to hide his membership from Betty. He told her that’d no longer be a problem, so Toni took this as her opportunity to kiss Jughead — something we’re guessing she’s been angling to do for a while. Also, he didn’t pull away.
Riverdale airs on The CW Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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