Riverdale Recap: Top Moments of “When a Stranger Calls”

The Divide in Riverdale Deepens as Betty’s Immersed in Chaos  

On this week’s episode of Riverdale, “When a Stranger Calls,” the Black Hood makes life a living hell for Betty as she’s forced to make some very difficult decisions. She confides in Archie afraid of destroying her closest relationships forever including her Juggie. While her mother, Alice, causes more drama between the North and Southside of Riverdale with her latest article in the Riverdale Register. Meanwhile, Veronica’s old friend from the city, Nick St. Clair, and his family are in town for the SoDale open house, but things go terribly wrong as he tries the unthinkable. Elsewhere, Jughead is backed into a corner, so he takes matters into his own hands to try to keep the peace. This week’s episode is certainly an intense one. Check out the top moments.

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The Black Hood Forces Betty to Choose Between Her Mom and Sister

Betty decides to confide in Archie about her late night phone calls from the Black Hood. She learns the Black Hood knows a lot more about her, her family and friends than she ever thought. Her mom’s scathing piece in the town paper not only deepens the town’s divide but puts her on the Black Hood’s radar. He gives Betty an ultimatum; Polly and the babies are his next victims unless she exposes Alice for a less than perfect past as a former member of the Southside Serpents she’s so vehemently against. Betty really has no choice. Her sister and the babies’ lives? Or her mom’s credibility. It’s really a no-brainer. Reluctantly Betty publishes her mom’s mugshot even though she absolutely dreaded it. I have to admit though it felt nice to see Miss Holier Than Thou, Alice Cooper, brought back to reality.

Jughead Begins the Initiation Process to Become a Southside Serpents

With tensions building between North and Southside of Riverdale, Jughead feels it’s time to join the Southside Serpents in an effort to help keep the peace. Jug begins initiation, which is based on four tests, in order to become an official member of the Southside Serpents. He must take care of Hot Dog, as well as memorize the six laws of being a Serpent. The third test, Jug has to retrieve a knife from the cage of a rattlesnake without fear. Jug’s bitten but Toni reveals the venom has been removed and he has nothing to worry about.

Riverdale’s Own Romeo & Juliet Meet at Pop’s

Once Jughead completes the first three steps of Serpent initiation, he and Betty meet up at the Pop’s Diner. In an adorable scene, Jug mentions how Betty is ‘a sight for sore eyes.’ They embrace and share a passionate kiss before sitting down to chat. Betty asks about his hand, but he lies instead of telling her he is going through initiation to be a member of the Southside Serpents. But she doesn’t tell him about her chats with the Black Hood either. There’s a second or so of awkward silence. Then they talk about what life would be like if they just left Riverdale while holding hands across the table gazing into each other’s eyes. “I wish we could just go. Just hop on a motorcycle and leave Riverdale.” This may be one of the cutest scenes ever.

Veronica’s Old Pal from the City Has a Hotel Party Complete with Jingle Jangle and Glimmers of Dark Betty

With friends and potential investors of the Lodges in town, Veronica is tasked to show her old friend and her their son, Nick St. Clair, a good time. After Ronnie introduces her to Archie, Nick invites them and the rest of the gang to a party in his hotel room. The guest list includes the immediate circle of course as well as Josie and the Pussycats, Cheryl and Reggie. Nick busts out party favors offering everyone Jingle Jangle. There are no takers at first, but after some good old-fashioned peer pressure, everyone except Betty is up for some Jingle Jangle.

Everyone is dancing, making out or generally feeling heightened emotions from the Jingle Jangle while Betty sits arms folded at the side of the room. She remembers the Black Hood told her to start weeding people out of her life. Betty seizes an opportunity to cause a rift between her and Ronnie when she comes over to encourage Betty to join in on the fun. Betty insults her claiming she’s acting like some privileged, shallow airhead. She continues claiming Ronnie uses “recycled banter and plunging necklines and throwing shade to hide the fact she’s really got nothing going on.” O.M.G. is right! Like Ronnie, I couldn’t believe my ears. I get why Betty did it but did she really need to cut so deep? Wow.

Aware something serious has to be going on with her bestie, Ronnie sends Archiekins after Betty to make sure she’s alright. What a good friend. While Archie goes to check on Betty, Nick takes the opportunity to try to put the moves on Veronica, but she isn’t having any of it. Girl doesn’t even entertain the idea for a split second. What a douchebag move on Nick’s part. He totally knows Veronica and Archie are together and doesn’t care. He even has the audacity to try to make Veronica feel bad for turning him down. Then Nick kind of insinuates of being a prude or something. Not cool bro! Not cool!

Betty Sends Archie to do What She Can’t and Things Get Heated

Now that Betty exposed her mom’s hypocrisy and successfully hurt her bestie, the next person on her hit list or the Black Hood’s is her Juggie. Betty cannot bear to break up with him, so she asks Archie to do it for her. She asks Archie not to be cruel in hopes they’ll be able to fix things later. To just tell Jug that they stay away from each other for a bit hoping the Black Hood thinks they broke up. Archie doesn’t like the idea but agrees.

Archie heads over to FP’s trailer to talk to Jughead, but catches him heading out to meet up with the Serpents. He tries to warn him it’s not a good time, but the Serpents come from around the trailer. Archie asks Jug if he’s friends with these ‘thugs’ and isn’t happy to see Jughead is joining the Serpents. The same gang that attacked him, Veronica, their friends and the Bulldogs. Archie can’t believe his friend would join the Serpents. So he probably doesn’t break the news as easy to Jug about Betty. Archie just blurts it out. Jughead doesn’t understand. Archie lies and tells Jug that Betty’s been agonizing over it for weeks, then he throws more salt into the wound and says Jug can’t be a Serpent and be with her. And the look on Jughead’s face is heartbreaking. So much for potentially backtracking in a few weeks. Damnit, Archie!

Mama Cooper Gets her Groove Back at the SoDale Gala Opening.

Hoping to gain investors, Lodge Industries host an event to showcase their latest project, SoDale, an upcoming development located on the Southside. With all of the biggest prospects from NYC invited including the St. Clairs. Everyone is mingling and making small talk and someone asks Hal if Alice is coming. He doesn’t think so assuming she’s still embarrassed by having her mugshot in the paper. Minutes later, Alice comes walking into the party turning heads and slaying like she’s working a runway. She’s dressed in a fiery red number that matches her no cares attitude. She completes her look with lace-up heels, gold belt and matching gold snake necklace. That necklace lets everybody know she’s not embarrassed about where she came from or her past. She owns it! Honestly for the first time this season she doesn’t completely; annoy me with her ‘I’m the perfect Stepford Wife’ attitude.

Veronica Sings with Josie and the Pussycats and the Ladies Kick Ass at More than Just Their Performance.

At the SoDale event, Riverdale’s uber-talented Josie, the Pussycats, and Veronica perform the iconic song “Out Tonigh” from legendary Broadway hit “Rent.” Much like the group’s previous performances, the ladies do a fantastic job. While the party continues on, Cheryl cozies up to Veronica’s douchey friend from the city, Nick. What she doesn’t notice is Nick drops something into her champagne before the toast. Dancing during the performance, Cheryl starts staggering and looks woozy so Nick hurries her out of the gala and back to his hotel room. Ronnie sees the whole thing go down and knows what he’s up to. She rushes to his hotel room with reinforcements in Josie and the Pussycats. They’re just in time and burst into the hotel room before Nick has the chance to rape Cheryl, who’s passed out on the bed. Ronnie pulls him off Cheryl and punches him in the face. Then the rest of the ladies join in and give scumbag Nick the beat down he deserves. The ladies then all stay with Cheryl to comfort her. I love that despite the ladies not always being the best of friends all of the time, they stick together and support Cheryl after what just happened and almost did happen.

Betty Goes to Meet the Black Hood.

While her parents attend the SoDale Gala Ceremony, Betty’s on a mission to find the identity of the Black Hood. As promised after she exposed her mom’s past, caused a rift between her and Veronica as well as broke up with Juggie, the Black Hood instructs Betty to an abandoned house. There she believes she’ll find out who the Black Hood is, so she goes alone to some random location to meet up with a serial killer. Yes, I was screaming at my TV too. How could she just blindly trust him? The house is in the middle of nowhere, of course, it’s night and totally dark inside. Betty just goes inside without a clue of what she could be walking into. She finds in a box, a mask just like the Black Hood. Her phone rings and it’s him. He instructs Betty to put on the mask, so she does. He has her turn around and look at herself in a mirror. She does and he claims that they’re not as different as she thinks. WTH? This part was kind of creepy. 

Jug is Officially a Southside Serpent, but He’s Not the Only Snake this Week.

It’s a busy night in Riverdale, With the SoDale Gala event going on and Betty off to meet the Black Hood, Jughead takes on the final test to become a member of the Southside Serpents. The most extreme part yet, he must face being beaten down by every present Serpent member. He endures everything from jabs to the gut to punches in the head without hesitation, which proves he’s worthy to be a Serpent.

Afterwards, as Jughead and Toni are at his Dad’s trailer, he sports some fresh ink on his bicep, the Serpent Crest. He holds an ice pack to his head as he and Toni sit at the table chatting. I guess Toni is also part of the Serpent welcome committee as well as at Southside High. Their eyes lock for a second and Toni leans in for a kiss and Jughead kisses her back! I couldn’t believe my eyes. She moved in on him fast and damn Juggie let her. Not cool.

Betty Reluctantly Chooses the Black Hood’s Next Victim.

After her unsettling visit to find the identity of the Black Hood and stopping by to check on Cheryl, Betty goes home and goes over all her clues to figure out who could possibly be the Black Hood. That damn “Lollipop, Lollipop” ringtone goes off again. She knows it’s the Black Hood yet again so she answers. He’s been watching her and knows Archie knows about their talks. Claiming they have some unfinished business, the Black Hood says Betty broke the rules and threatens her sister and the babies. The only way for Betty to save them is if she gives him a name of someone guilty of sin. She can’t, she just won’t sentence someone to face the wrath of the Black Hood. He taunts Betty by continuing to threaten Polly and the babies, her mom, her dad and ultimately everyone she loves. She remembers what happened earlier between Cheryl and Nick St. Clair and chooses Nick as his next victim. She even tells the Black Hood where to find him. The Black Hood makes a point to let Betty know they’re the same. Wow. What is that supposed to mean? Could he somehow be alluding to ‘Dark Betty?’ Or perhaps he is simply pointing out there’s light and dark in all of us.

RIVERDALE airs WEDNESDAYS at 8|7c. on The CW

Steph Flasher

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