Riverdale “Chapter Twenty: Tales from the Darkside” Review
I have to give the showrunners credit for Riverdale right now. All of these comic book tv shows have the capability of going dark, very dark, but none of them are ever willing to be as bold as Riverdale. To go to those places that will make you uncomfortable and cringe because this is humanity at its worst. I mean these people’s lives are just one unfortunate event after the next. And unfortunate for the them is being lucky that you aren’t dead.
The anticipation for this episode of Riverdale was that we would follow these characters taking the words of the Black Hood to heart. This guy doesn’t just talk for the heck of hearing his own voice. If he says he’s going to challenge you to do something, and give you a possible consequence for failing? You’d be damn sure that he is going to deliver a punishment. I liked the approach here for the fact that these characters can truly get so wrapped up in their own personal issues that they can’t see that they are disappointing the guy so bad. I was at the edge of my seat bracing for the worst knowing that this was clearly going to be an episode of screw-ups all around.
Getting back to Penny Peabody calling in her favor from Jughead was inevitable and couldn’t have come at a better time. She’s not someone you would think cares about the Black Hood or what troubles he can cause for Jughead or those associated with him doing jobs for her. Them choosing Jughead’s story first was such a dick move, but it set the pacing right away for what the rest of this episode had to offer. So much could go wrong with this job that Jughead had to pull off. The worst case scenario of course being that the Black Hood intervened. Suspense was everything here when not even failure was an option for Jughead and Archie who was unfortunately dragged into helping. The strain put on his relationship with Archie was clear, but this was a big test for what their friendship is able to withstand. Now I’m not big on needing to sympathize with a character, but Jughead got all of it when you realize now how far he has dragged himself. There is this hole, and he has done nothing but dig himself deeper with each passing week.
Betty and Veronica’s investigation of a suspect was shocking for who that suspect actually turned out to be. It was definitely someone on your list of people who could possibly be the Black Hood, but trying to figure this person out was a dangerous game they were playing. For Betty most of all since she and Veronica were investigating this person for different reasons. Personally it kills me whenever Betty throws herself into the fire for the sake of the truth. She has all the best intentions, but no regard for her safety if and when things go wrong. This investigation may not have led to the answer that they wanted, but it created a whole new development that you want explored further down the road.
The story that I enjoyed most was Josie’s, and that was mainly for the fact that she was given this sort of spotlight. Most of the time when something concerns Josie, it has to do with the Pussycats. Not to say they neglect the thought of them this time around, but that wasn’t the main focus. They took the time to give her another personal story that revolved around her friendship with Cheryl, and her life at home. Teasing a possible romance was just as bold. Now of course this wouldn’t be Riverdale if focusing on Josie didn’t mean that she wasn’t in some sort of danger. That caught you off guard because they led us to believe one thing, then another, BUT somehow this turned out to be something else entirely. A revelation that leaves you really feeling a creep factor. How that plays out is definitely a reason to keep showing Josie with a stronger presence in episodes to come.
What was pretty cool about all of these stories is that the assumption was that these different events were happening at different points in time. It was thrilling to find out that all these things were happening at the same time without one person’s adventures interfering with another person’s.
Riverdale “Chapter Twenty: Tales from the Darkside” took creepy and pushed it to a new level. That was a whole hour of panic right there because this really is a town full of sinners. It seems these characters just can’t help it for better or for worse. I had this image in my head that they would have spent the hour trying to actually remain sinless for 48 hours, but I guess that is just too much to ask. Plus where’s the fun in being an angel?