Riverdale Season 2 Episode 7: Chapter Twenty- Tales from the Darkside Recap

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This week, Riverdale takes its episode title seriously, as it becomes an anthology show. The 3 subplots are split into separate stories, rather than intercut throughout the episode. We also have some fun with crime show references and the usual season 2 fright fest. Every episode is a Halloween episode this season.

We open with a 50-60s style true crime monologue and scrolling text, in black and white, complete with faux aging effects. Detective Joe Friday and his badge would be proud.

The Black Hood has left a note attached to the door of Pop’s with his latest set of disappointments and demands. Aren’t these things usually attached to churches or government buildings? Why is the Black Hood so obsessed with Pop’s? Plus, he’s seriously starting to remind me of the Church Lady. He makes so many more threats and insults than he actually goes through with, and he’s so worried about everyone else’s good behavior while he’s breaking commandments. He’s a slow burn serial killer.

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Riverdale Season 2 Episode 5: Chapter Eighteen- When a Stranger Calls Recap

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Riverdale is all about the tests this week. Tests of loyalty, friendship, love, and strength. Some on purpose, some accidental. Some of the characters pass, some don’t. Betty and Jughead’s loyalties are tested on purpose. Their results are complex, because nothing in Riverdale is ever simple and straight forward.

Except for Alice’s response to slut shaming. Don’t even bother trying to make Alice feel guilty about anything. She’s way ahead of you and You Will Fail. Even the Black Hood can’t hurt Alice.

But we have other things to do before we get to the fun of Alice and her grand entrance.

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The Women of Riverdale: Character Analysis

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Penelope Blossom

Penelope is cunning, devious, calculating, and cruel, a true Blossom through and through. She also was a loving mother toward Jason and a loyal wife to Clifford, as far as we can tell, until he was revealed as the murderer. Even then, she seemed to have divided loyalties between Jason and Clifford.

Jason’s death broke her, but was she broken before that? Why is she so abusive toward Cheryl? Projected self-hatred? Why didn’t she suspect Clifford of Jason’s murder? Did she know about the drugs? It would seem that she did, because she knew that Cliff arranged for Hiram’s arrest.

Cheryl is the only family member she completely despises, which suggests that Cheryl may not actually be her child. The possibility remains that one or both twins were born using a surrogate’s eggs, with Mary Andrews being the most likely candidate. Alternatively, Cheryl may be Clifford’s child from an affair, born around the same time as Jason, and brought home by Cliff to be raised with Jason as his twin. That would explain Penelope’s hatred.

I’m still half convinced that everyone in town is a distant Blossom relation. It would explain a lot. Only the favored branches still own a piece of the syrup/drug business, and there are resentments about old and new slights all over the place. Given that the Blossom men do seem to be cursed to early deaths, the women have to be the ones in the family with the real power. That would leave Penelope at the center of that extended family web, as the new head of the syrup business. I suspect that she has some connection to every Blossom feud, curse, and scandal ever.

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Riverdale Season 1 Analysis and Review and Season 2 Speculation

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Overall, this has been a great season on Riverdale, with a complex overarching plot and characters. I’ve enjoyed recapping it and keeping up with all of the literary references, which added a fun depth to the show. I now jump every time someone makes a reference on any show I watch, and assume it will have importance that spans the rest of the season. This doesn’t always pan out.

The cast are all amazing, especially Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, Mädchen Amick, Skeet Ulrich, Madeleine Petsch, Marisol Nichols, and Luke Perry. They all dominate the scenes they are in. Even though Fred Andrews is one of my least favorite characters, Luke Perry is still a great actor. All of these actors, and many of the others, have given their characters mystery and nuance, even if they didn’t necessarily get much screen time, in the case of some that I didn’t list, like Ashleigh Murray, the actress who plays Josie McCoy.

The Gothic strand of the show’s story seems to be over, but I hope they keep the Noir aspect for the entirety of their run, and add in other genres to explore. This show would be so much less interesting if it was just about a group of small town high school kids. The creepy otherworldly atmosphere, the dark, seedy Noir lighting, Jughead’s voiceovers, read as if from a murder mystery novel that’s steeped in his existential alienation, and the costumes and sets that seem to be from someplace frozen in time, are all what make this show feel so unique.

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