Riverdale Season 2 Episode 7 Recap – Jughead and Cheryl Seem Suspicious in “Tales from the Darkside”


Warning: Spoilers for Riverdale season two, episode seven, “Tales from the Darkside,” are ahead.

We begin with an ominous message from the Black Hood to the entire town: “People of Riverdale: I have rid this town of the drug-dealing child-killer and others like him. Now you must choose your fate. The next 48 hours will be a test, and I will be watching you very closely. Show me you are pure of heart and my work ends. Continue to sin, and I will take up the sword again.”

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Spoiler alert: They continue to sin. I feel like the responsible solution would have been for everyone to just chill inside for two days with a cup of hot cocoa, board games, and Netflix. Like a snow day, but a serial-killer-is-on-the-loose day! 10/10 would watch that episode. But what we get instead is a series of three vignettes following Jughead and Archie, Josie and Cheryl, and Betty and Veronica.

Jughead makes the same mistakes over and over; Archie tags along so he doesn’t die.

Remember when Penny Peabody (the Snake Charmer) helped Jughead figure out how to get his father’s sentence reduced? Well, she’s cashing in. It’s just like that time when Jughead should have called FP before accepting her help…or the time when he should have called FP before joining the Serpents…or that time he should have called FP to figure out how to handle the Ghoulies before confronting them…Look, all I’m saying is that a quick call to the local prison would have saved him a lot of grief.

Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan)

The CW/Riverdale

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You see, Peabody tells Jug that FP has been beaten in prison and it’ll take money to get him out. Jughead has $18 to his name, so she agrees to pay him if he delivers a crate of “pancake mix” (DRUGS) from the South Side to Greendale. He needs to do this by midnight, but the crate will not fit on his bike. Jughead agrees without so much as a get-well call to his poor father, and enlists Archie for his truck. (I guess we skipped the episode where they all took driver’s ed courses.)

On the way, Archie waxes poetic about his vision for them after graduation: Archie and Jughead will move to an East Village apartment in New York. Archie will work on his music and Jughead will be a writer. Betty and Veronica will be roommates on Park Avenue. So, basically, Gossip Girl. But none of this can happen, Archie says, if Jughead descends further into Serpenthood. Before Jug can respond, they pop a tire.

Luckily, or unluckily, they are picked up by a very creepy hunter who offers Jughead a ride in exchange for the previously mentioned $18 in Jughead’s pocket. The catch—he can only take Jughead on board. Was it suspicious to no one that he was willing to transport a kid and a crate of something obviously illegal for less than $20?

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Are you creeped out? I’m creeped out.

The CW/Riverdale

After setting up for the Sabrina spinoff by hinting at Greendale’s mysterious nature and tales of a past unsolved murder committed by the “Riverdale Reaper,” Creepy Guy stops for gas. Long story short, Mr. American Gothic attempts to steal the crate and leave Jug stranded, but Archie shows up and saves the day. Oh, and there are hints of a zombie deer! Wasn’t it dead in the creepy dude’s car? Do with that what you will, Jason Blossom truthers.

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Archie and Jughead are slightly late to make the drop-off, and worse, the recipient informs them that Jughead will now be their regular delivery boy, now that the Serpents have taken over for the Ghoulies. No bueno.

The two pals wind up at the diner, where Jughead and Archie reflect on the night. Jughead plans to follow the Riverdale Reaper lead, but first he needs to pay a visit to his dad. Shocker to no one: There’s no hint that any harm has come to FP. And now Penny Peabody has security footage of Jug delivering drugs. Sigh.

Josie has a stalker, and it’s not at all who you think.

Josie and Cheryl’s storyline gives us so much in a short amount of time. We get a new suspect for the physical man underneath the hood (that janitor seems way too keen on Josie); the best line of the episode, delivered, of course, by Cheryl (“Get out of the way, Bert and Ernie”); and the most adorable, wholesome sock-hop in Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Encouraged by Cheryl, who wants to repay Josie for saving her from Nick St. Clair, Josie has been rehearsing a solo act after school hours. We’re meant to be suspicious of the janitor when Josie starts receiving creepy letters and gifts in her locker, which she seems to suspect are from the Black Hood. She seems slightly relieved when a reformed, church-going Chuck Clayton (Jordan Calloway) sets his sights on getting a date:

Josie: Are you the one putting things in my locker?

Chuck: No, but I can be.

Josie: Ew. Sorry, Chuck, I don’t date. Especially not chauvinistic, misogynistic, harassers of women like you.

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Same.

Unfortunately, today is just not Josie’s day. The Pussycats received notes in their lockers too, telling them that Josie’s going solo—whether that’s even true is another story. Plus, she’s alone at night in a dark hallway with a serial killer on the loose. She runs into Chuck (what is he doing there?) and asks him to give her a ride home. He takes her to Pop’s instead and an adorable date ensues.

Sadly, the affair is interrupted by Mayor McCoy and Sheriff Keller, who drags Josie away. Apparently, the Mayor’s been receiving death threats. Sheriff Keller asks Josie point blank if she’s received anything. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why she lies.

Cue the next morning, when Cheryl and Josie find a new gift inside the music room: a drawing of Josie captioned “If I can’t have you, no one can” and a bleeding pig’s heart. Cheryl immediately confronts Chuck and gets him dragged out of school. For some reason everyone just agrees it’s Chuck, despite the serial killer on the loose. I actually kind of feel bad for him.

Ashleigh Murray (Josie McCoy), Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blossom), and Jordan Calloway (Chuck Clayton)

The CW/Riverdale

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But it wasn’t Chuck or the Black Hood. It was Cheryl, who we see drawing herself and Josie while listening to the head Pussycat on her iPod. WHAT? I’m screaming.

Like you, Betty also thinks Sheriff Keller is the Black Hood.

Like many viewers, Betty found it suspicious that the Sugar Man was shot inside the police station. She shares this with Veronica after Kevin confides that his dad hasn’t been sleeping and leaves the house at all hours of the night. V’s all, Slow your roll, he’s obviously just having an affair. Still, it’s time for some B & V sleuthing.

Veronica sets up a sleepover at Kevin’s so she can do some snooping. With the ruse of going downstairs to get a “bevvy,” she finds Sheriff Keller in the basement, working out…shirtless. As Veronica says, “Archie Andrews, watch your back.” V isn’t able to find anything else, but she does see the sheriff take off in the middle of the night.

Now that’s a DADDY.

The CW/Riverdale

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Unsatisfied, Betty straight up breaks into his house and office, revealing what I like to call a conspiracy wall about the Black Hood case. While rummaging through his drawers, she finds a black hood—presumably the one he confiscated from Archie earlier in the season. The sheriff catches her and brings her to the precinct. But he lets Betty go through his log book, providing alibis for every BH murder. He also promises not to tell Kevin, who would be heartbroken by the accusation.

This is STILL not enough for Betty, so she and Veronica decide to follow him on his nightly rendezvous. He pulls up to a motel with a suspicious duffle that Betty calls his “kill kit.” But it turns out that Veronica was right: He is having an affair…with Mayor McCoy. (What was in that duffle, though?)

So did they pass the Black Hood’s test?

At the end of the episode, all the kids end up at Pop’s. While Betty and Veronica ruminate over Keller’s affair with Mayor McCoy (“the list of sinners keeps expanding”), Cheryl comforts Josie over some tea, and Archie and Jughead recover from their night of drug-running. Before the credits roll, we get the results of the Black Hood’s test: They failed. Obviously.

One wild observation: Pop Tate doesn’t receive the Black Hood’s call until just after Jughead leaves to visit his father. My slight Jughead suspicion just got a little less insane.



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