On this episode of Riverdale, titled “Chapter Twenty Six: The Tell-Tale Heart,” Agent Adams turns up the heat on Archie, Veronica tries to keep the peace between Hiram and the Serpents and Hal suspects Betty, Alice and Chic are hiding something.
The body count continues to rise in Riverdale, and this time, Alice Cooper has a lot of explaining to do. After arriving home to find the body of a dead stranger on the floor, Betty wants to call the police, but Alice is determined to make this another Cooper family secret. Alice doesn’t to risk the authorities taking Chic away. Alice swears it was self-defense and orders Betty up to her bedroom since it’s better if Betty isn’t involved. (Kind of a bit late for that, Alice.)
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You Can’t Slide Much Past Hal
Hal calls and insists on coming by to pick up some personal belongings, so with the clock ticking, Alice has no choice but to recruit Betty to help with the cover up. Meanwhile, Chic just sits catatonically on the living room couch.
The Cooper women are efficient at cleaning up a crime scene because by the time Hal arrives, the body is gone, the mess is cleaned up and they’ve both changed their clothes. Chic is in his room “resting.” Hal can’t help but notice the overwhelming smell of bleach and doesn’t look like he buys Alice’s story that she spilled tomato soup.
The next order of business for Betty and Alice is to dump the body. Jughead calls, and Betty is abrupt, ending their conversation quickly. Betty worries someone could come looking for the man, but Alice reassures her daughter the man didn’t look like the type — he didn’t even have a wallet. They abandon in the body in some old sewer pipes.
That’s Archie’s Story and He’s Sticking to It
In a twist that disproves the old saying that truth is stranger than fiction, Agent Adams (John Behlmann) is interrogating Archie. about Hiram Lodge and Poppa Poutine. Archie’s sticking to his story that he saw nothing and knows nothing other than the fact that Hiram and Poutine appeared to be friends. Archie swears he never saw Hiram leave the party, and Adams educates Archie that someone like Hiram would send a capo to do his dirty work. Adams asks if there’s anyone who’s always hovering around Hiram like a driver, but Archie can’t think of anyone.
Diplomacy is Ronnie’s Specialty
F.P. wants to take the head of Pickens to Mayor McCoy, tell her about Hiram’s involvement and appeal to her sense of justice. F.P. is unhappy to discover that Jughead sent Pickens’ head to Hiram (in a lovely gift box which beats leaving it in the man’s bed).
Hiram takes the “present” as a declaration of war, but Veronica thinks there could be an alternative. She wants her father to try a more diplomatic approach first. She promises to bring the Serpents to the table, and all Hiram has to do is play nice.
Bodies, Bodies Everywhere
After a night of cleaning and dumping a dead stranger, Betty awakens to a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, prepared by a perky Alice. It’s just like any other morning in the Cooper household. Betty doesn’t have much of an appetite after the previous night’s events, and she’s a bit jumpy.
Jughead walks Betty to school, and he’s worried she’s having second thoughts about their night together. He thought that they had a great time, but when she quickly hung up on him, he became concerned she’s having regrets. Betty reassures him that isn’t the case at all. She’s not exactly lying when she reveals there was just a lot of drama when she got home.
With a turf war brewing between the Northside and Southside, Veronica urges Jughead to bring his dad and have a sit down with Hiram. Jughead agrees, but he has one condition: Hiram has to come to Sunnyside Trailer Park and get a look at the people he’s displacing.
Kevin breaks the news that the cops found another dead body. Betty freaks out, assuming it’s the shady stranger she and her mother — typically Type-A overachievers — barely concealed. But Kevin is talking about the gangland-style murder of Poppa Poutine whose brains were splattered all over the walls of a local hotel.
Veronica can’t help but suspect that her father is behind the murder. She’s even more upset that she’s dragged her Archiekins into the whole mess. Archie urges Veronica to have faith in her dad. Sure, his business dealings are suspect, but in his heart of hearts, Hiram Lodge is a good guy.
Jughead Issues an Ultimatum
Jughead has noticed a pattern emerging with the closing of the drive-in, Southside High and, now, potentially the trailer park. They were or are town land, and he knows Hiram is behind all of it. Jughead suggests that if the Mayor has been accepting “donations” from the Lodges in exchange for land deals, now is the time for her to come clean to the public.
Archie Continues to Snoop
Agent Adams gives Archie a big envelope full of cash, claiming the FBI pays their informants. He’s also hoping the money will provide Archie with incentive to speak to Hiram about Poppa Poutine. Adams urges Archie to be aggressive and see how Hiram reacts. Archie points out that this might arouse suspicion. Adams pulls out a newspaper with a headline regarding Poutine’s murder splashed across the front page, and asks the teen how many people have to die before Archie is willing to do something about it.
Archie sits down with Hiram and brings up Poutine’s death, but before he can ask any questions, Hiram makes it clear that he’s “gutted” by this whole atrocity. But he explains that Poutine was rich, selfish, rude, deeply indebted due to gambling and had a lot of enemies. Hiram figures it was only a matter of time before Poutine met an untimely end, it’s just unfortunate it had to happen the night of Veronica’s confirmation.
Archie warns Hiram that Poutine’s death has Veronica considering her father is involved, and it’s making her spiral. He suggests that Hiram might want to clarify things to her, just to give her piece of mind.
Hiram takes Archie’s advice and speaks to Veronica. He acknowledges that certain aspects of his business “trouble her,” so if there’s anything she wants to know, she should ask. Veronica cuts to the chase, questioning if Hiram had anything to do with Poppa Poutine’s death. He looks her right in the eye and denies any involvement.
The Plot Thickens
Betty, Riverdale’s resident Nancy Drew, returns to the sewer pipe to search the dead body and finds the man’s phone. She locks herself away in her room and the next morning, she confronts Chic about what she found. The mystery man wasn’t a client of Chic’s (which is apparently what he told them). He was a drug dealer. His phone is full of messages from hundreds of junkies just looking for a fix, including one from Chic himself the night of the murder.
Chic begins to cry which doesn’t do anything but further piss off Betty. Alice pulls her daughter aside and warns Betty that her actions are going to get them caught. Betty’s certain that if anyone’s the weak link, it’s Chic. He’s hiding too much information. Alice is oddly less concerned about the increasingly-disturbing revelations about Chic. She’s relieved the man was a drug dealer because that means it’s less likely anyone will come looking for him (aside from whoever his boss is). Chic can hear his mother and sister fighting, and a creepy smile crosses his face. This dude may not be the Black Hood, but it’s looking like he could be something even worse.
Deal or No Deal
Archie continues to have play dates in broad daylight in the park with Agent Adams. Archie reports that he asked Hiram point blank about Poppa Poutine, and he denied any involvement. Well, case closed. Archie does mention that Hiram brought up bad blood between Poutine and a man named Lenny Kowalski (Eli Gabay) who was at the poker game. Poutine owed Lenny close to a hundred grand in gambling debt. Adams says he’ll look into it.
Hiram and Ronnie go slumming and have a face-to-face with Jughead and F.P. at the trailer park. Hiram, as a gesture of goodwill, wants to pay any back rent the residents of the park owe the town. All he wants in return is peace. F.P. agrees, and the men shake on it. Hiram never bothers to explain his role in the statue incident, even when confronted, but it looks like throwing money at the problem might work, for now. That is until Hiram asks Jughead to keep his name out of the article he’s writing. (Mayor McCoy let that cat out of the bag.) Jughead accuses Hiram of trying to bribe him and declares their deal is null and void, and F.P. has his son’s back.
Cheryl spots Hal leaving her house. She pleads with Penelope to give up her slutty ways before she destroys the Cooper family. Penelope swears that when it comes to Hal, her feelings are real. She orders Cheryl to stay out of it.
Thanks to the pending publication of Jughead’s article, the Lodges want to move up their timetable and announce their plans for Southside High. Mayor McCoy is not on board since she wants to wait until after she’s reelected. Mayor McCoy threatens to expose the Lodges if they don’t agree to her terms which means the whole town will be out for the Lodges’ blood. Hermione and Hiram have a plan. They want to get McCoy out of office under a cloud of scandal. That way, the damage she could do to them would be minimal. Hiram’s been having the Mayor followed, and they know she likes to spend a lot of time in cheap motels.
Archie arrives home to find Agent Adams with Fred. After Adams leaves, Fred tells Archie Adams informed him the FBI is assisting in a crackdown on undocumented labor. They think that Fred possibly hired some of these guys over the years and paid them cash under the table. Fred admits that a couple of times he’s looked the other way. They’re requesting Fred’s files from the last seven years.
Archie meets with Adams who wants to prove to Archie how quickly he can make things difficult for him and his father. Laughingly, Archie warns the FBI agent to stay away from his dad. Archie reminds Adams that they had a written contract. Adams reveals to Archie that Poutine didn’t owe Lenny any large sum of money. Adams thinks Archie is feeding him false information to protect Hiram which means Archie is compromised. All he can offer Adams now is access. Adams warns Archie to stop dicking around and plant a bug in Hiram’s office. Hiram will slip up, say something incriminating and get arrested. Then, Archie and Fred will be safe.
Archie doesn’t believe Adams. He thinks the agent will do anything to destroy Hiram Lodge, even if that means destroying Archie and his dad as well. Adams tells Archie he better hope it doesn’t come to that.
The Circle of Trust Widens
Betty calls some of the contacts in the dead man’s phone, trying to find out more information about the drug dealer. One woman answers and doesn’t buy Betty’s story that she found the phone in a parking lot. The woman accuses Betty of being the man’s sidepiece and tells Betty to tell Mr. John Doe not to bother coming home because he’s dead to her. So, somebody has noticed shady guy has gone missing.
Betty cracks and calls Jughead and confesses everything. She regrets not calling the police, and Jughead doesn’t think it’s too late, but Betty doesn’t know what she would say. A meter maid pulls up and asks about the dead man’s car which has been sitting on the street for two days. The neighbors have been complaining. Jughead covers for Betty, claiming it’s his car, and he can’t find the keys. (All of these people really suck at lying.) They have to move the vehicle in five minutes, or she’s giving him a ticket.
Bughead hotwires the car and dump it in some remote-ish lake (very Norman Bates.) Betty also gets rid of the phone.
Hal returns for some “quality time” with Penelope and finds Cheryl waiting. She makes it clear that her mother’s a whore. She promises not to tell Betty what Hal’s been up to as long as he returns to the not-so-loving bosom of his family.
Also handing out warnings is Veronica. She reveals to the Mayor her parents’ plan to discredit her. Sierra believes whatever bomb the Lodges think they have will only destroy them too. But her attitude changes when Veronica brings up the Mayor’s affair with Sheriff Keller. Veronica suggests that all hope is not lost. The Mayor can take control of the narrative and protect herself. The mayor announces her resignation.
All in the Family
When Hermione and Hiram hear the news, Hiram questions his daughter. He finds the timing very circumspect and wants to know if Veronica warned Sierra. Veronica looks her father in the eye and denies any involvement. This mirrors their earlier conversation and hints pretty strongly that Ronnie doesn’t think her father is innocent when it comes to Poutine’s murder.
Despite Cheryl’s promise to not tell Betty about Hal’s affair with Penelope, she blabs anyway. Betty arrives home to find Hal alone with Chic. Hal is irate and believes Chic stole his grandfather’s watch. Betty wonders what her father is doing at the house since he moved out. Hal claims he had a change of heart and wanted to come back and get some answers. But Chic can’t even look him in the eye. Betty accuses her father of terrorizing her brother. Hal begins to interrogate Betty about items being missing or broken and the smell of bleach. He knows something is going on.
Betty orders Hal to stay away from Chic, or she’ll call Alice and let her know all about Penelope Blossom.
Chic thanks Betty, but she didn’t do it for him, she did it for her mom. Chic is concerned what will happen if Hal comes back or decides to call the police.
Archie comes clean to Hiram about the FBI. He swears he smashed the bug with a hammer. But Archie needs to give Adams something he can use, or he won’t stop coming after Archie and his family. Hiram questions why Archie would tell him about any of this, and Archie’s reasoning is he like Hiram, he loves Ronnie and he believes Agent Adams is more dangerous than Hiram is right now. Archie’s looking to Hiram for help, and Ronnie’s father promises Agent Arthur Adams will be dealt with. It’s not Hiram’s first tangle with the FBI.
Betty confronts Alice, stating they are in way over their heads. There are too many loose ends out there, and they need help. That help is F.P. Jughead fills his dad in on everything, and F.P. is determined not to let Alice, Betty and Jughead make the same mistake he did with Jason Blossom. F.P. heads to the woods to deal with the body, covering it with lime to hasten decomposition. No more loose ends.
Andre, who works for Hiram in numerous capacities (capo, anyone?), arrives at the Andrews’ home. The boss has requested Archie’s presence. Archie soon discovers Andre isn’t taking him to the Pembrooke. Hiram wants to meet someplace more…scenic. The boss turns out to be Hermione. She reveals that Agent Adams isn’t real, he’s one of Hermione’s capos to see if Archie would crack. It was all a test and Archie passed. Hermione welcomes him to the family.
Chic looks through a Cooper family photo album, removes a pic and cuts Hal out. Who’s next?
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Are you shocked Agent Adams wasn’t a real FBI agent? Did Hermione just became way scarier than Hiram? What is Chic’s endgame? What really happened between Alice, Chic and the shady guy? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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