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Riverdale, “Chapter Eighteen: When a Stranger Calls”, Recap!

Jughead Jondee here at the Five Seasons Hotel,

Riverdale – “Chapter Eighteen: When A Stranger Calls” – Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW.

The chapter title refers to the 1979 thriller which inspired Scream (1996) with a killer taunting a teenage girl with phone calls from inside the house! It was remade in 2006. This episode picks up from the last where Betty gets a phone call from the Black Hood. He tells Betty about her sister. Her mother, Alice, walks in and wants her home after school. Morning, Archie tells Fred, his father, that the Red Circle is done. Betty walks with Archie telling him about the Black Hood’s call. Hermione reads the newspaper headlines to her husband and Veronica. He mentions the St. Clairs are invited to help him with investments. Veronica is interested tat Nick will be with them. Sweet Pea (Jordan Connor), the Southside Serpents member, talk to Jughead about Archie beating him up. So, they are building a pipe bomb! Toni explains that without his father, FP, the gang members are free to do whatever they want. The Serpents are an ongoing problem for Jughead, but it looks like he is in too deep.

Veronica tells Archie and Betty about the St. Clairs. At the pool hall, Jughead has on is Southside Serpent jacket, Tall Boy who gave it to him tells Jughead about the initiation. At Betty’s room, the Black Hood says he is watching Alice. He makes a deal for Betty to publish a headline in exchange for answering a question from her. Betty checks her computer and sees a headline of her mother. Night falls on Riverdale, Jughead wakes up to see men in snake heads and they give him the Beast, a dog. Toni says the dog’s name is Hot Dog the Third. Hot Dog is a mainstay of Archie Comics introduced in Betty and Me #13 (1968).  Veronica meets the St. Clairs including Nick St. Clair (Graham Phillips). Jughead goes over the Serpent rules with Toni and wants to stop a war. At the bar, Tall Boy yells questions of the rules at Jughead. The next trial is a rattlesnake in a tank. He explains to Toni that the snake bit him, but without any poison. Pop’s, Alice is there and he shows her the newspaper. Betty’s parents are angry over her publishing the article. Veronica introduces Archie to Nick. He offers them drugs. Archie is silent and doesn’t like his attitude. Betty gets a call from the Black Hood. She asks about the Black Hood’s face, he says she would recognize it, someone in Riverdale? He wants Veronica Lodge next.  Betty has her own obsession with the Black Hood!

Betty is nervous at Pop’s when she sees Jughead, they kiss, and he is worried about her from the newspaper. Jughead want to take her on a motorcycle away from Riverdale. Nick St. Clair claps for Josie and the Pussycats when Cheryl introduces herself. Archie catches up with Betty and asks about the Black Hood. Veronica introduces Nick and she agrees to go to the party. At the party, Nick has Jingle Jangle and tries to pressure Veronica in taking it. Cheryl takes it as well as Kevin. Archie joins them to watch over Veronica. Betty is by herself while the party goes wild. She sees Veronica, says she’s a fool, and shreds her. This sobers Veronica up really fast. Betty leaves. Jughead meets with Toni who is trying to warn him. The last trial is the Gauntlet. The party is over, Nick tries to flatter Veronica, and then moves in to be pushed away. He tries to say the deal with his family won’t go through unless Veronica gives in. On a bench alone, Betty hears the Black Hood, he names Jughead as the next victim.  Veronica seemed smart enough to break away from all of the drama from New York, but doesn’t realize that her NY friend will be trouble.

Riverdale – “Chapter Eighteen: When A Stranger Calls” – Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW.

Archie bursts in to see Betty and she admits the deal with the Black Hood. She says she wants Archie to break up with Jughead. Betty thinks that afterwards, Jughead will come back. A fancy party at the construction site, Veronica’s parents talk with her, she excuses herself. Hermione talks with Fred and Hal Cooper meets with Hiram. Veronica’s mother is shocked when Alice walks in with a risque dress. Nick apologizes to Veronica and admits he’s been in rehab. Archie sees Jughead when the Southside Serpents walk up for the initiation. Archie says that Betty wanted to break up with him for weeks. Jughead tells Archie to say that he got the message. Ack! this is sad. Nick meets with Cheryl and drops something in her drink! Hiram makes an announcement for a golf course and other projects. Josie, Veronica, and the Pussycats sing “Out Tonight” from the musical Rent. Cheryl dances with Nick. Jughead gets struck by a line of Serpents. Cheryl is disoriented and Veronica sees her taken away by Nick. Veronica and the Pussycats race to find them. Sweet Pea uses brass knuckles to knock down Jughead. Veronica pulls Nick off of Cheryl and he gets a beat down from Veronica, Josie, and the Pussycats! Jughead stands up and shakes the hand of Sweet Pea. Betty’s call form the Black Hood leads her to an abandoned house! Creepy shudders!  This episode has some tense struggles for Betty, a power moment for Veronica, Josie, and the Pussycats, and even more dark moments.

Four Red Circles out of Five!


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