Read the previous review here.
This post contains spoilers for Riverdale.
Hope all of you out there who were team “it’s totally Keller” are okay with your theories getting dashed. That’s not sarcasm, I was right there with you. Though it would have been devastating to see one of the few good parents within the city limits of Riverdale turn out to be a serial killer, all of the pieces did seem to fit. There’s still a chance that it could be him, but Riverdale’s not going to give us a glimpse of the killer until the mystery is all but solved if it stays structured the way it was in season one.
“Tales from the Darkside” follows three stories: the tale of two easily manipulated morons named Archie and Jughead, diva story time with Josie and Cheryl, and Nancy Drew goes crazy while her best friend tries to reign her back in with Betty and Veronica. Riverdale has a way of showing you things that might not seem relevant at the time, but play into the arc in a big way later on, so let’s check out all three.
Jughead and Archie are idiots. Juggie made a deal with Penny Peabody because he’s a big dumb sap who just wants to make sure that his dad is okay, but you should never show a snake your weakness. Penny spins a lie to get Jughead to move a crate full of god knows what for her. Archie gets wrapped in with this misadventure, since he has access to his dad’s truck, and the boys go on their little mini road trip. On the way to deliver the goods, they get a flat tire, because of course they do! Thankfully, a creepy old man comes to the rescue. Jughead gets into the truck with said creepy old man, because what else is he going to do? Meanwhile, Archie waits for CCC to come fix the tire. When things inevitably go sideways, Arch is there to save Jughead’s tail, but all of this inevitably leads up to the fact that Penny was lying, and now she has Juggie on blackmail. Cool.
Cheryl and Josie are both divas, but only one of them is malicious. There's been reasonable motive behind every evil thing Cheryl Blossom has done, but the girl’s still a sociopath. Josie just wants to chase her dreams, but she’s willing to go behind the other Pussycats’ backs to achieve them. Who’s a rock star? She is. Only things don’t play out for her the way they would have in a 2001 teen movie. The other cats have claws, and they’re not going to stand for Josie going behind their backs with Cheryl to get a record deal. But, at the end of the day, music and fights with her girl gang are the least of her worries. Josie’s got a secret admirer, and they’re starting to make her life hell. Turns out after all the runaround involving Chuck Clayton, Cheryl’s the one who’s been giving Josie the runaround.
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge Chuck. For those who don’t remember, he’s the chauvinistic prick that Betty and Veronica almost boiled (literally) in season one. He and his creep master football bros would prey on girls and give each other points based on what they did, which Chuck was ultimately suspended for. Chuck, for all of his flaws, seems to be trying now that he’s returned to Riverdale’s main story. He seems genuinely interested in Josie, and turning his life around, but others aren’t too keen on giving him second chances. He’s an easy scapegoat for Cheryl to use to manipulate Josie further, but the real question is if Chuck really is changing. There’s no time for apologist storytelling when it comes to abusers, but it would be interesting to see the show depict someone’s journey towards actual change.
Finally, there’s Betty starting to go a little bit crazy, and Veronica trying to bring her back from the dark side. It’s that damn ponytail. If you had your hair up for that long you’d be getting a little bit twitchy too. It could also be the fact that she’s being toyed with by a serial killer, but it’s most definitely maybe the ponytail thing. Betty’s convinced that Sheriff Keller’s the Black Hood. Veronica’s convinced that he’s having an affair while his wife is in Bahrain. At the end of the day, V’s women’s intuition wins out and she ends up being the one who’s right about what’s going on with the good sheriff.
What neither of them could have known was that the affair he’s having is with Mayor McCoy, who also happens to be married. With that theory scrapped, who’s your newest whodunit? There’s the new creepy janitor at Riverdale High, but he’s certainly there to make you think that. Could it be the Boogeyman the creepy guy who picked Jughead up mentioned? Maybe Cheryl has a long lost crazy cousin. If you had thoughts on the episode, you know what to do!