Riverdale Ep.5 “Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness” recap

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“Heart of Darkness” took things down a notch in the drama this week. That’s not to say that there wasn’t Cheryl Blossom running through her house all Wuthering Heights-like or imagining seeing a zombie Jason in the Blossom family cemetery. But you know, everything is a bit tame after a teacher leaving after admitting to a relationship with her very-much underage student.

Jason’s memorial is approaching, which means Cheryl is gearing up to raise some hell. Incidentally, so are Cheryl’s parents, who have invited everyone to the memorial that they consider serious suspects.

Cheryl invites Veronica over for a sleepover after the girls agree to extend an olive branch. Unfortunately for Veronica, she stuck at the dinner party from hell as Cheryl’s parents go a bit bonkers over the roast, including berating Cheryl, who has already been told that she’s not allowed to speak or even attend her brother’s memorial service.

Betty is continuing to hone her super-sleuth skills. She and Jughead continue their work on the case, which has been complicated by the fact that Kevin’s sheriff father had all of his evidence stolen from him. The newspaper team decide to recreate the board as much as they can with Kevin’s help.

Part of Betty’s plan to learn more means going out with Trev. While on their date at Pop’s, Trev tells Betty that in the weeks after the Blossom started dating Betty’s sister Polly, he started to become strange and distant. Jason began to sell things to make money, including selling drugs.

After learning that tidbit, Betty goes to her father for some answers. Her dad tells her that the reason Polly has been sent away is because he discovered her trying to kill herself after a particularly nasty argument she had with Jason.

At the memorial, things go as about what you’d expect in new Riverdale. Against her parents wishes, Cheryl arrives at the wake (totally dressed in all white – the same outfit she was wearing the day that she said goodbye to Jason). She delivers her little speech that royally pisses off her parents.

After the memorial, Betty and Jughead slip out unnoticed and begin to dig through Jason’s bedroom. They’re both startled when an elderly member of the Blossom family catches them. Mistaking Betty for Polly, the woman begins to talk about a Blossom family ring that Polly had, and mentions to Betty that the last thing she was living for was “the wedding”.

When Betty confronts her dad about the engagement, he admits that he had known about it. But the Coopers have always hated the Blossoms after Betty’s great-grandfather was murdered by a Blossom that was his business partner in the maple syrup business (I shit you not – what’s with the obsession with syrup, Riverdale?).

By the end of the episode, it’s made pretty clear that Betty’s dad had indeed stolen all of the evidence, making him the most prime suspect.

Is Betty’s dad Jason’s killer?  Probably not. There’s many reasons as to why, but mostly it’s too obvious too early on. Plus it just wouldn’t fun or dramatic enough (which is what Riverdale is all about). Interestingly, Archie Comics has ruled out many fan theories that Betty is also Polly. A page from the Riverdale one-shot out next week shows Polly as an actual person. Sorry, kids! Betty is crazy, but not I-invented-a-sister crazy.

Meanwhile in more quaint plotlines, Archie goes to a mentor at Carson College recommended to him by Valerie of the Pussycats. But Archie is turned down by the man after being told that his music is repetitive and his work is sloppy. He and Reggie spent most of the episode head-to-head trying to get the captaincy of the football team.

The football coach awards Archie the “honor” of being the captain after Archie decided to retire Jason’s football number. But finally deciding that he wants to focus on his music, politely declines and Reggie takes over as captain. In fairness, Reggie had a pretty good episode – showing that he was actually concerned for Archie and his injured hand.

While this was a more “normal” episode, I would be shocked if the next episode gives us more of this. Archie’s dad Fred offers Veronica’s mom Hermione a job that he originally turned her down for. Their relationship is about as tangled as their children’s. Fred is rejected by Hermione for a second date (as you know, they’re both still married), but he still helps her get a snake out of Pop’s one night.

The snake is a warning sign from the South Side Serpents. They haven’t been paid their money, and it’s clear that getting back on the gang’s good side is going to take a lot of cash. Poor Mrs Lodge has got herself into a bad position. And looking at the preview for next week’s episode, it’s pretty clear that some people are determined  to get themselves into equally awful corners.

Can’t wait.

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