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‘Riverdale’ recap: Betty can’t handle the truth in Chapter Five, “Heart of Darkness”

Riverdale review: “Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness”, Aired Feb. 23, 2017

Last week was all about parental drama and date night. This week, Jason’s murder investigation is back front and center. Betty and Jughead (Bughead for the shippers) are back on the case this week and things hit a little closer to home than Betty expected. Archie’s throwing himself into his music and football, but one has to take priority over the other. Cheryl’s parents take the lead in the on-going contest for worst parental skills in Riverdale. If you haven’t seen the episode, be warned this recap contains spoilers for ep 1×05, “Heart of Darkness”.

And the award goes to….

Remember last week when we found out that Jughead was living at the Twilight Drive-in and his father was shady as all frak? Or how about that time when Betty’s mom went rogue and tried end her daughter’s long-standing friendship with Archie by blackmailing the latter, and Miss Grundy? Then there was Hermione Lodge using embezzled funds to buy up the drive in, and bribing the mayor to look the other way. The parents of Riverdale aren’t even close to perfect. Well, Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) and Sherriff Keller (Martin Cummins) come pretty close. How do Cheryl and Jason’s parents fair on this scale of near perfect to shady as frak? Oh, they broke the scale.

In this week’s episode, we find out that Jason Blossom convinced his sister to help him in faking his death, because he was desperate to get away from his parents.  Based on the elder Blossoms’ interactions with Cheryl throughout the episode it makes sense. At the top of the episode, Cheryl has fallen asleep in her brother’s room after trying to figure out his eulogy at Jason’s upcoming memorial. Penelope Blossom finds her daughter there after, Cheryl awakens from a nightmare. The woman is far from comforting. In fact, there’s a definite chill in Cheryl’s relationship with both of her parents. Penelope tells Cheryl that she’s wasting her time, because they wouldn’t dare let her speak at the memorial.

Cheryl apparently is a continued source of embarassment with her over-the-top personality, and Penelope doesn’t want her daughter distracting from the true purpose of Jason’s memorial. Saying goodbye and mourning the loss of Cheryl’s brother. Inviting everyone in town (mostly enemies) so that they can observe the usual suspects, and find out who could’ve killed Jason. Cheryl doesn’t care about this plan. She wants to say goodbye to her twin and she forges ahead to do just that.

Enter, Cheryl Blossom, bishes. The girl not only wore white to her brother’s memorial (some people do that), but also the same exact outfit she was wearing the day he disappeared. That’s definitely weird, but again Cheryl does things her way. She gives a sincere and heartfelt goodbye. Mama Blossom is still pissed, and threatens to ship her remaining offspring away to boarding school. Hmm, maybe Cheryl can move in with Veronica and Hermione. The growing bonds between the ladies of Riverdale continue to bring the feels. Despite her less than welcoming attitude from recent episodes, Veronica overlooks Chery’s usual mean-girl ways (protective facade) and proves to be a source of comfort and support for Cheryl throughout the episode.

The Blue and Gold has a murder board

Last week someone stole the evidence and clues from Sherriff Keller’s murder board. Thankfully, Kevin has an amazing eye for detail. Young Keller manages to recreate the murder board for Betty and Jughead. During the memorial, the duo sneak into Jason’s room trying to find evidence of who might have killed the teen. They run into the Blossoms’ matriarch. Thankfully the woman suffers from dementia and mistakes Betty for her sister Polly. This results in an interesting clue for the young investigative reporters. Jason didn’t break Polly’s heart. The two were engaged and happier than they’d ever been. Betty knew nothing about the sweetheart’s engagement. As a matter of act, her parents blamed Polly’s breakdown on heartbreak at Jason’s hands.

Betty confronts her father and finds out that yes they were engaged, but it ended after a fight that left Polly feeling suicidal. Mr. Cooper then goes into great detail about a family feud between the Coopers and Blossoms that went back for generations. (Sidenote:Surprising that this is the first Betty knows of this feud). What could the families possibly be feuding over? What else, but money and maple syrup? Either way, Mr. Cooper definitely has a spot right at the spot of Betty and Jughead’s list of suspects. Make sense, given that we find out that he actually wrecked Sherriff Keller’s original murder board.

Not Quite Friday Night Lights

Post-Grundy, Archie throws himself into music and football. He even makes time for an age appropriate flirtation that Papa Andrews definitely approves of. Though, Fred did make sure the bedroom door was open during Archie and Val’s jam session. The Pussycat agrees to help Archie out since his music teacher has abandoned him. She even suggests he check out her own musical mentor, Mr. Castillo. Archie’s excited, but Castillo questions the teen’s level of commiment. Especially when he finds out that Archie is splitting time between music and his Varsity football responsibilites.

His coach isn’t please either, because the young captain’s performance on the field has been suffering. He decides to make Archie work for the role of captain. Archie does this until he decides that though he still wants to play the game, he can’t make the commitment needed to remain captain. It’s a good thing, because there was a moment during the episode when Archie looked as if he’d hurt his hand playing football. A hand injury is definitely not what Mr. Castillo ordered. Perhaps this was a moment meant to give Archie pause as he thought about his options. Or it could’ve been orchestrated to give us that sweet moment between Archie and “Roni” where she helps him with the bandage for his sore hand (*cue* swoon). Let’s get this ship going already, shall we?

Speaking of ships, who else is onboard for Betty and Jughead? Then there’s poor Fred Andrews. He totally thought he went on a date with Hermione (as did I), but when he tries to ask her out again, she’s just not that into it. Or is she into it, but has a lot of personal thangs going on with the Southside Snakes, Hiriam’s incarceration, and still trying to pick up the pieces of her life. She does call Fred when she finds that box of snakes and he helps her out. He even offers her the accounting job with his company to help her out…no strings attached. I’m in for the slow burn for these two.

What do you think? What was up with Penelope Blossom’s reaction to Archie (secret triplet theory, anyone)? Who tops the list of suspects for you this week? What’s your favorite relationship on the show? Methinks we’re in for the slow burn on all fronts. That’s fine as long as CW brings this gem back for a season 2. Hit the comments with your thoughts on the episode.


Photos: The CW/Riverdale

Gifs: Tumblr


Cort Robinson

A lover of words and moving pictures, I'm a fangirl from way back. Seriously—I grew up watching Daytime TV from my granny's knee. It was Knots Landing over Dynasty, and BtVS over pretty much everything else. I watch entirely too much television and am quite happy sitting in an empty movie theater on a rainy day. And if we’re talking bromances, there's no bromance quite like the Winchesters. Cort has been writing since she can remember and podcasting for nearly 10 years with @bradzb. Be sure to check us out our "Brad and Cort Talk" interviews and recaps. Also, join in the conversation over at our "Brad and Cort Talk" FB group.

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