Riverdale: All the Most Important Things That Happened in "The Tell-Tale Heart"
Caught your breath yet?
Tonight’s episode of Riverdale went to so many places and achieved so many things that it felt like it was three hours long in a good way. Questions were answered! Breaking points were hit! And of course, a few suspicions were confirmed.
But it was also a visual treat, with help from director (and executive producer of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals) Julie Plec, who was thrilled to dive into such a noir-heavy script. If you thought you saw a Hitchcock homage, you definitely saw a Hitchcock homage.
“When I read it, I was like s—t, I don’t know anything about noir,” Plec told reporters after a screening of the episode, explaining that she promptly educated herself on the genre. “What was fun is hearing like, the Psycho drown the car [scene]. I wanted to make sure that was a blatant homage/rip off, so it was shot exactly how that was done.”
Plec also happened to find herself in some familiar territory, since Cheryl’s new home of Thistle House was also once the home of a pair of famous brothers.
“I had seen Thistle House on camera, but it hadn’t registered with me and when we pulled down the driveway for the location scout to go and see it in person, I was like, this is so familiar,” Plec said. “And then I actually took a good look at the house and realized it was the Salvatore house from the [Vampire Diaries] pilot.”
While we start to wonder if Cheryl and her mother might also be vampires, let’s talk about what went down in this episode, with a few insights from creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
First, our biggest suspicion: Agent Adams was not from the FBI.
After Agent Adams went back on his word and appeared to be going after Fred and then demanded that Archie put a bug in Hiram’s office, Archie decided his loyalty belonged to Hiram and filled him in on what he’d been doing. Hiram was proud of Archie, but someone else was even more proud.
Agent Adams was not, in fact, an FBI agent, but was actually working for Hermione as a way to test Archie to make sure he could be loyal to the Lodges. He passed the test, and how he’s officially in league with his girlfriend’s crime family. Spoiler alert: This might not go well.
“It’ll be both a blessing and a curse to have Archie get in more and more deeply with the Lodges. That, at first, will seem like a great idea, then it may seem like not such a great idea. So there’s drama ahead.”
Betty and Alice are in deep.
Hoo boy. After Betty returned home last week from a magical night with Jughead to find her mother cleaning up blood off the floor, she promptly joined her mother in cleaning up the blood and disposing of the body. She then also went a little crazy, Tell-Tale Heart style, understandably obsessing over the body wrapped in a carpet and left in a large pipe.
She even went back to the body and discovered the guy’s cell phone, which revealed him to be a drug dealer, and called a bunch of his contacts to get more information about him. It was a mess of bad ideas born out of completely reasonable panic, and it continued until she told Jughead, who helped her dispose of the guy’s car in a pond before telling his dad.
FP just so happens to be fairly knowledgeable about getting rid of bodies, so he and a bag of lye headed out into the woods to get rid of the body in a more final way.
Aguirre-Sacasa says we will see “exactly what happened in the kitchen,” and learn a lot more about Chic, but the real focus is on what happens next.
“I think we’ll be feeling the repercussions of that murder for most of the rest of the season,” he says, describing what’s to come as a “chain reaction” all stemming from the death of that drug dealer.
And we might all be able to rest a little bit easier for Betty, despite the fact that she’s been through the ringer this season. Aguirre-Sacasa says her darkest moments this season were when she was chatting with the Black Hood, and that things are about to get “fun” for Betty.
“It does get dark, but it’s also mostly fun,” he says, though her quest to understand her inner darkness is not over. “It’s gonna take some twists and turns.”
The Lodge vs. Serpent war continues.
Hiram tried to cut a deal with FP and Jughead, and they were into it until he revealed his most important term: Jughead couldn’t write his exposé about whatever Hiram’s up to with his SoDale project. Shouldn’t everyone know by now that telling Jughead he can’t or shouldn’t write something is only going to make him want to write it more?
So the deal’s been rejected and the war rages on.
Cheryl is pretty good at archery.
Cheryl was firmly team Betty Cooper in tonight’s episode, furious when she discovered the tryst between her mom and Hal and kicking him out by threatening to tell Betty. Then, even after Hal left, Cheryl told Betty anyway, giving Betty ammunition when Hal was threatening the shady Chic.
While Cheryl’s kind of taken a backseat for the moment, that won’t last long.
“I think starting from next episode on, she has an incredible—her story is gangbusters through the end of the season in a really, really great way,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “She’s pushed into places she hasn’t been before.”
He says the show will “absolutely directly” address Cheryl’s crush on or obsession with Josie, and she will get into a relationship before the season is over.
Mayor McCoy is no longer mayor.
Sierra was having second thoughts about the ethically questionable deeds she was doing for the Lodges, so after finding out (from Veronica!) that the Lodges were threatening to expose her affair with Sheriff Keller in an effort to get her removed from office, she stepped down voluntarily to go back to her law career. This means one important thing for this small-town show: There’s gonna be a mayoral election!
“I don’t think there’s ever been a small town show that hasn’t had everyone running for mayor, so yeah, there’s definitely gonna be people running for mayor,” Aguirre-Sacasa teased.
Let’s guess now: Hermione vs. Fred? A Serpent vs. a Lodge? Alice?!
Whatever happens, something shady’s gonna go down and we cannot wait.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.