Riverdale Roundtable 5: “When a Stranger Calls”

Welcome to Riverdale Roundtable: a recap series where we chat about all the drama and sexy intrigue from last week’s Riverdale — just in time to get you up-to-speed for tonight’s episode. Today we’re talking about Season 2 episode 5: “When a Stranger Calls.” Join us in celebrating Madchen #Looks and a girl gang kicking the shit out of a rapist and literally nothing else in this otherwise trash episode.

Please note: this recap includes Extreme Spoilers for this episode, as well as the entirety of Season One. We warned you!!



Rachel: I hated this episode
there were only 2 good moments

Jenny: i told you

Rachel: you were so right

Jenny: this one was rough

CC: ok but
not to be an insufferable butthead but
guess who called it ???????
re: jug & toni

Jenny: you did
you absolutely did

Rachel: ugh
fuck jug’s storyline here

CC: this is definitely a time that I am not glad to be right

Jenny: what happened to NO GANG ACTIVITY is what i want to know
hot teacher will be disappointed

CC: so if I’ve learned one thing from riverdale, it’s to be completely honest with everyone all the time
no white lies
if I don’t like ur quiche i gotta tell u 2 your face
so I don’t accidentally push you into a quiche gang turf war

Jenny: it’ll come back to haunt you
this ep i was honestly so surprised at how easily archie was able to manipulate a situation
re: betty doesn’t want to see you any more

CC: omg me too

Rachel: yeah that kind of fell into his lap

CC: he really “yes and”-ed that situation

Jenny: right??
he just seems like the kind of asshole at improv who would keep trying to make some dumb joke about boners work
like would not read the situation at all
but he did a decent job being shitty and manipulative

CC: “also betty told me you owe her $20 bucks; she definitely said that so you better give me twenty dollars”

Jenny: YES

CC: look i was trying 2 keep this a secret but
i snuck into a pool once without paying when i was 11
i hope u can forgive a criminal like me
just laying all my secrets on the table now

Rachel: ok here’s my secret
but it’s not very secret

CC: is it that u hate pumpkin

Rachel: no, it’s that madchen was my 2nd favorite thing about this episode

Jenny: !!!!!!!

CC: oh nvm yeah AGREED


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - what a babe. how's that for bad dad, rachel??

Riverdale Roundtable 5 - Madchen Entrance


CC: I was gonna say, are your two things Madchen’s Power Outfit and 5 women kicking the shit out of a rapist?
bc those are my 2 favorite things, in this episode and also just this week in general

Rachel: yes those are my things!!!!!!

Jenny: i was p out on her when she was accusing betty of having forged the black hood codex for attention
but then!

CC: madchen is a fucking wild ride


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - THAT SNAKE NECKLACE!! KILL ME

Riverdale Roundtable 5 - SHOVE IT HAL


CC: i saw that last week yall were saying she was being a good mom for once and
i don’t buy it

Rachel: oh we said that she was ALMOST a good mom
so close

CC: “i am so worried WHY DON’T U CALL” is manipulative bad mom playbook move #4

Jenny: she was a good mom for like half of one scene last week
but mostly just regular madchen shit

CC: it partners with “unreasonable request buffered by guilt trip”
my other secret is I don’t think the salem cat puppet is the murderer anymore
i think it’s
hal cooper

Jenny: ME TOO!!!

CC: -green eyes
-abusive judgey piece of shit

Jenny: -wants polly’s babies dead

CC: -anthropomorphic bag of flour in a sweater vest

Rachel: I think the murderer is Hal but Betty’s stalker is Dilton
they are def 2 people

Jenny: i’d buy that

CC: agreed
that’s a good call rachel

Rachel: I’ve been watching a lot of Mindhunter so
I feel like I’ve got good insight
the FBI should basically hire me

Jenny: you could be the dude in closer encounters

CC: **** closest encounters with rachel weiss ****

Rachel: hell yeah

CC: i hope madchen kills hal in self defense and then bones FP on top of a car in her viper outfit

Jenny: literally the best possible outcome

CC: and by “i hope” i mean “it’s coming”

Rachel: wink wink!!!

CC: so can we do a hot dad power ranking list real quick? I want to see where all these dudes stand

Rachel: oh sure

CC: mostly I just want to say: hiram is hot but more trouble than he is worth
he is also at the same time worse than all the other hot dads

Jenny: agreed

Rachel: Fred and Fp are still my top 2

Jenny: i’ve been p bummed about the lack of fp

CC: fred is the liam of riverdale
he is a sweet guy and overlooked by flashier dads but v trustworthy

is fp the zayn?

CC: this is uh, a different liam, this is a mass effect joke I’m sorry ;__;

Jenny: damn

CC: i think it still works though

Rachel: lol for once!!!
it’s meeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!
take that gilmore girls!!!!!!

CC: this dad was made just for me


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - this dad was made for me


CC: but replace “hole” with “dad” lolol)

Rachel: heh heh heh

Jenny: ok ok
hal, fred, hiram, fp, idk who else

Jenny: sheriff

Rachel: Josie’s dad
Jazz dad

CC: angry at teens for being teens dad lol

Jenny: jazz dad, cop dad, murder dad, handsome dad, best dad, bad dad
*bad dad is actually good dad now, i think

CC: bittersweet dad
hottest dad

Jenny: yeah, then eh
the point was to rank the dads right?
that’s what we’re doing?

Rachel: I think the dad ranking is still the same
not much has changed for me

Jenny: i think my top are still fred, and maybe sheriff

CC: imo: FP > an enormous gap > Fred > Sherriff > hiram > every weekend biker dad looking south side serpent > not hal
hal doesn’t get to be on the list
butttttttt anyway
so let’s talk about jug’s storyline
does it make sense for him to join the serpents or is this just easy melodrama or what


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - ah but have you heard about echidnas??


Rachel: 100% easy melodrama

Jenny: i mean i kind of see where they’re coming from

CC: god seeing sweet pea’s sweaty face makes me so mad but then I remember that archie literally pointed a gun at him for no real reason

Jenny: yeah

CC: sweet pea is the walmart brand jughead
the doctor paper of jugheads
cobra cola of jugheads

Rachel: well, archie pointed a gun at him because Sweat Pea was like “I have a knife and will stab you”

Jenny: for being in the wrong neighborhood
for vandalism
better reason
but still

Rachel: all I’m saying is both of these teen boys have too much testosterone

CC: all these boys need to like
play pokemon go
that brought people together, right? for a time, in 2016?

Jenny: idk why they’re not just, like, sleeping all the time? i feel like that’s what i did when i was a teen
after school jobs?

CC: ya but idk if u were trying to solve SPOOKY MURDERS all the time

Jenny: well not all the time

Rachel: that whole time at Veronica’s party I kept thinking
“where are the parents????”

Jenny: right???

CC: i mean i bet hiram brought them the jingle jangle
god what a sentence
fuck me

Rachel: this was me
this whole episode basically


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - betty is disappointed in all of us and also this show


Jenny: i mean i think hiram and hermione were wining/dining the st.clair adults
efficient time management

CC: is no one still concerned about the jingle jangle????
was it all a red herring???

Jenny: idk idk but reggie did admit to selling it to nick
the ghoulies have to come back up at some point right?

CC: this show!!!!!!
why do any of these things happen?????
i think they’re coming back in the next episode

Jenny: that was the jingle-jangle storyline
that’s something at least
a little continuity

CC: i wonder if madchen knows that hal is the killer

Jenny: i don’t think so

CC: i wouldn’t think so BUT
he is kinda accomplishing her goals for her
hal and madchen both want to isolate betty from literally everything she loves

Rachel: well and then this happened


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - girl gang!! kicking the crap out of a rapist!!!


CC: what a moment

Jenny: ok ok i want to say a thing about this
i think this is a lighting-direction error but here goes
i am SO ABOUT veronica and the pussycats beating the shit out of this rapist; but i am Actively NOT ABOUT its being paralleled to jughead joining a gang


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - gang initiation versus



Jenny: i think if veronica’s scene was well-lit
or if the girls were lit from the back, like haloed, avenging angels
then i think it could’ve worked

CC: yikes, yeah
especially considering that this show goes so hard on symbolism

Jenny: but rn
the parallel is between jug and this rapist
between the serpents and the pussycats
i’m all for girl gangs
literally having the shit kicked out of you so that you can be part of a club/also bc you’re feeling like garbage is a VERY DIFFERENT scenario than having the shit kicked out of you bc you drugged and attempted to assault the most precious and beautiful citizen of this godawful town


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - i know i said i needed more cheryl but not like this


CC: no one deserves cheryl
she is a gift upon this earth

Jenny: i’m still waiting for more shots of Thorndale
Thistle House
is the new one
evil greenhouse

CC: honestly if betty’s stalker was the killer, I wouldn’t exactly shed a tear over douchebag st clair getting murdered
my only regret would be that I’d want cheryl to kill him
i mean, even still, she’d probably beat the black hood to it

Jenny: i will say though that the bit at the end
the “give me a name” bit
— i did not know that THIS was the live-action Death Note adaptation
i thought it had Nat Wolff

CC: also that bit
imo, that betrays that betty’s stalker is somebody who doesn’t see the difference between freely given consent and coerced consent
and that, tinged with the creepy sexual undertones, really supports that her stalker and the killer are different people / the killer is her dad and the stalker is ROTC Nerd
i mean I know I am jumping to a lot of conclusions here but i think this is a person who desperately wants betty to be the same as him

Jenny: i mean yes


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - the mask (1994) SSSSSSSSSSSMOKIN


Jenny: w this shit

CC: barf

Jenny: that this was ACTUALLY not the death note remake but in fact a remake of the 1994 classic jim carrey film The Mask

CC: i sincerely bet that there’s a legit remake in the works
i’d put a very small amount of money on that

Jenny: i mean they’ve done everything else now
also on this scene




Jenny: these are cute boots but i think impractical
for meeting a serial killer
or going to the abandoned house a serial killer told you about

Rachel: god those boots were the first thing I noticed!!!

CC: imo u gotta get all the insole support you can when meeting up with a murderer

Jenny: i keep saying serial killer but he only killed grundy, right?
shot fred, killed grundy, shot moose

Rachel: yeah I was just thinking about that today
only successfully murdered one person

CC: does dildo dirk or w/e (ROTC guy) know that Betty went all Dark Betty in the past?

Jenny: he was at the party last season
where chuck told everyone

CC: ooooh shit
this show makes me so tired y’all

Jenny: i thought of another good point from this ep


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - the beast! team dog! hot dog!!


Jenny: so there’s that at least
the Beast
a good boy
team dog

Rachel: aww Hot Dog!!!!!

CC: hot dog and vegas! best pals from the opposite sides of the tracks!

Jenny: i would watch that show
in a heartbeat

Rachel: Hot Dog is just such a good dog name

CC: also that dog is the most doggy dog to ever dog
lol @ the entire serpent initiation
-dog sit
-let a dad yell @ u
-get the everloving shit beat out of you by a greasy mannequin named sweet pea


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - what kind of gang


Jenny: lets not forget the snake
-get bit by a literal fucking snake

CC: oh yeah
i hope the serpent initiation includes dental coverage
the whole time jughead was getting smacked around, all I could think is “ahhh i hope he has a mouth guard”
sincerely, a person with braces lolololol

Jenny: oh man i cannot imagine
your lips would get all cut up
all the more reason not to get in fights i guess

Rachel: I kept excepting him to spit out the tooth
that’s how it always goes, so movies/tv have taught me

Jenny: that would’ve been good
i could’ve been into that
but as it stands


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - at least we can all agree on that much


CC: i mean not right now ngl
even tho i generally like jughead

Rachel: right now he’s a real ding dong

CC: all the dudes in this show are garbage right now
except kevin, a true hero and icon

Jenny: yeah
i mean
i’d like to get more kevin scenes
where he’s maybe just chilling w moose
or his dad
could really lighten this up

CC: kevin joins the serpents to track down joaquin

that’s a good storyline

CC: casey cott knocks all the kevin scenes out of the park

Jenny: lili reinhart does a consistently good job i think
like i’m an easy weeper so maybe this doesn’t count for much, but she had me going on my first pass through this ep
i feel for her struggle

Rachel: she was a GOOD crier

Jenny: yeah

Rachel: Betty doesn’t deserve what’s happening to her
watching her fight with V was the worsttt

Jenny: heartbreaking


Riverdale Roundtable 5 - b + v = ???


Jenny: betty is my bestie, and THE BEST

CC: i love them

Jenny: they are so pure
they are the heart of this show and also my body
female friendship sustains

CC: dollars to donuts V figures out that something is going on without archie needing to tell her

Jenny: i believe it

CC: BECAUSE veronica is the most emotionally intuitive person in riverdale

Jenny: she’s so smart
also, i love betty’s stole-your-girl face in this screenshot
i mean, i know that’s not really what it is but it kind of looks like it out of context

CC: i think at this point tho, a large part of my ship is just that i don’t think either of these doofus dudes are good enough for either of these 2 babes

Jenny: that’s true
i stand by that

CC: also re: jughead
keeping secrets!!!!
and also, joining a gang to keep them in line

Jenny: “dogsitting” code for “joining a gang”

CC: like, yeah, this isn’t a bethesda game; you’re not just going to roll up on a faction and become the leader in a day
if u can’t do the fetch quests u don’t get 2 lead

Jenny: idk why he thinks he’s going to just start out at the top of the gang food chain
watch the pipebomb plan still happen

CC: ughhhhhhhhhh

Rachel: ugh of course it will

CC: i hate that plan so much
i thought that was in the box at the end tbh!!!!
I was like nooooo betty!!!!

Jenny: oh man yeah
that would’ve been wild
but also would’ve signaled that the black hood was a serpent
like for sure
maybe too big of a give

Rachel: true

Jenny: but also
hal 100% had access to that mugshot of his wife
so that’s a p big give too

CC: how does no one in town remember madchen’s sordid past?????
it’s not like she just moved to riverdale!

Jenny: i know!!!
fp remembers

CC: only like 12 people live there!
look i can’t run into one person i knew in high school without them reminding me of what a knucklehead i was back then (“”””back then”””” lol)
maybe it’s just that riverdale has always been a drama farm and everybody forgets yesterday’s drama when something new happens

Jenny: that seems plausible

CC: the blossoms have lived in riverdale forever, so it couldn’t have been all *that* quiet out there

Rachel: haha tru
ok y’all, final thoughts?

Jenny: kill all rapists

CC: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 100% 100% 100% 100%

Rachel: hahahahah
yeah mine is that maybe I should learn to wear high heels so I can really be my best rapist-ass-kicking self

CC: mine is, I want to see more about madchen’s sordid past!!!!!! I want the inevitable 80s flashback scene with actors who look nothing like their adult counterparts!!!!!
yall took the really Good points so I am bringing up the rear lol

Jenny: another takeaway: maybe invest in a flowing shorts-jumpsuit?
idk what to call that thing she was wearing

CC: romper with cape?

Jenny: that’s exactly what i need

Rachel: god that was such a Good Look

CC: I want to get on that “evil “widow” who definitely would never kill her useless husband” Look for 2018

Jenny: yeah i really want to see the fallout from madchen’s self-acceptance next episode
— fallout, read: husband murder

<<Season 2 Premiere     <Episode 4          Episode 6>

CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.

Romance Roundtable #52: Classmates

Today we’re covering Volumes 1 and 2 of Asumiko Nakamura’s Classmates: a sweet boys’ love manga about two extremely teenaged boys falling for each other and figuring things out about themselves along the way.

Read More »
POMEgranate Magazine