Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 213, "The Tell-Tale Heart"

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Riverdale 213 Telltale Heart

If Diogenes ever carried his lantern into the city limits of Riverdale, he'd be gone on to Greendale before the day was out.

Let's start with the Cooper household. Not only has the arrival of eldest brother Chic (HART DENTON), whom IMDb now lists as "Chic Smith" so we can better understand some of Hal's resentments, created discord with the Coopers, now he's also brought murder to their doorstep. And Betty (LILI REINHART), poor Betty, instantly jumps in to help her mother clean up and dispose of the body. We don't even know who killed him yet. We may not think it's Chic, with that heroin-thin frame of his, but surely Alice didn't just become a murderer? Regardless, Betty gets involved in the cover-up, moving the body to a disused sewage pipe.

But Betty can't let things go that easily, and returns to the scene of the burial, just to hear the victim's cell phone going off. Turns out he was a drug dealer, with a long and anxious client list. Betty starts dialing numbers back (because drug dealers don't lock their phones) to see if she can ascertain his identity. She later brings Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) into her secret, since he can tell that things are off with her and wonders if it has anything to do with them having gone all the way in their relationship the night before. Jughead urges her to go to the police -- and then they learn that the victims abandoned car has been sitting parked in front of the Cooper house. So they abandon the idea of going to the police and instead work on ditching the vehicle where it will never be found. They do, however, tell Jughead's father, F.P. (SKEET ULRICH), who knows a little something about getting rid of bodies and how <i>not</i> to do it.

The Lodge family figures heavily into this episode as well, as they should since they're driving the main narrative this season. Jughead is figuring out that Lodge is buying up city property on the south side at yard sale prices, and he confronts the mayor. And after Hiram (MARK CONSUELOS) and Hermione (MARISOL NICHOLS) receive the gift-wrapped bronze head of the decapitated park statue, Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) proves to be the cooler head of the family. Not only does she arrange a meeting between the Lodges and the Joneses to discuss the fate of the south side in an attempt to bring a peace (it doesn't work), she also heads off their plans to discredit Mayor McCoy (ROBIN GIVENS) by giving the mayor a chance to resign rather than have her affair with Sheriff Tom Keller come to light.

And then there is Archie (KJ APA).

The all-American boy who's the central character to all things RIVERDALE. Archie the loveable student, boyfriend to Veronica, intern to Hiram Lodge. And FBI informant to Agent Arthur Adams, who delivers him three weeks' pay this episode as further incentive to get dirt on Hiram Lodge. To further pressure Archie, Adams begins to interview his father, Fred (LUKE PERRY), about hiring practices of undocumented Canadian immigrants at his construction company. Adams wants Archie to plant a bug in Hiram's office.

Archie agonizes over the decision. He knows that the Lodge business is shady, but he also harbors some belief that Hiram Lodge is still a good man. So he tells Hiram everything that's happened over the past three weeks. Hiram is first obviously upset that it took Archie three weeks to bring this information to him, but Archie assures him he said nothing and that he took a hammer to the listening device. Lodge sends him home and says the agent will be dealt with.

Later, the Lodge's chaffeur picks up Archie for an unscheduled meeting with "the boss." They drive past the Lodge home, however, and out into the country, where Archie has a private one-on-one with Hermione Lodge. It turns out your reviewer called part of this last week: Arthur Adams isn't an FBI agent, he's one of the Lodge family capos, who worked for Hermione. This had all been a loyalty test for Archie, which he passed. The question now is, did Archie know it was a test, and does he really, willingly go into a crime family with his eyes wide open?

Never thought that Reggie Mantle, whom we never hear from, would turn out to be perhaps the most ethical person at Riverdale High.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0