In the year 2017, it seems like everyone has a side hustle. Riverdale's Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) is no different. In addition to being the River Vixens' HBIC and Riverdale's resident it girl/arsonist, she's also the Sugar Man.
That's right: Meet Cheryl Blossom, drug lord.
Let's rewind to last season and the revelation that Cheryl's dearly departed dad/brother murderer, Cliff Blossom, wasn't just selling Riverdale's most addictive maple syrup, he was also selling Riverdale's most addictive, well, addictive substances. We never really did find out what kind of drugs they were, but they seemed very druggy. Druglike. Also worth noting: Cliff was a busy guy! Two jobs!
One theory about the motivation behind Jason Blossom's gnarly basement murder is that Cliff felt he just wasn't man enough to run the family business(es). While I don't think that Cheryl was necessarily in cahoots with her skeevy pa, you know what they say: The best man for the job is usually a woman. Enter Cheryl.
Have you noticed that Cheryl seems to be lurking in the background of pretty much every shot this season of Riverdale? It can't just be because gal is a season regular and they have to pay her regardless of how many A-plots she gets. She definitely seems like she's Up To Something.
Southside High teacher Mr. Phillips was revealed to be the drug-running Sugar Man (and subsequently gunned down by the Black Hood while in prison) a few episodes ago, one of the ever-rotating cast of goons to support the Blossom drug empire, but that doesn't mean Jingle Jangle isn't a problem anymore. All it means is that Cheryl lost her guy on the inside at Southside High. Indeed, the fact that the Blossom high-fest didn't end with Cliff's death, and the rise of Jingle Jangle among the town's youths points to Cheryl running the game. She's basically a trend forecaster, in with the kids, and we all know Penelope's been too busy being a burn victim/grieving mother to be disguising narcotics as pixie sticks and finding raves full of doofus football players who are dying for a hit. Do you think Penelope's ever even been invited to a rave? Please, she might get a glove dirty.
Plus, at the recent drag race between the Ghoulies and the Serpents, Cheryl mentioned that she was "born for" the flag girl role. Perhaps because she's been orchestrating Jingle Jangle deals with both gangs (the Ghoulies were the primary dealers, but the Serpents were getting in on the action as well), so she might as well kick off their race to dominance, right?
Not to mention Cheryl's hard creepy behavior as of late around Josie (Ashleigh Murray). This isn't the Blossoms' first rodeo with poisoning and/or dosing women (see also: Polly's daily prenatal downer milkshakes), and it seems pretty clear something's going on with Cheryl and the yowliest Pussycat. What, exactly, is she putting into that tea that she keeps pushing on Josie? And has anyone else noticed that Josie has been losing her voice after she has Cheryl's treats? Plus that attempted back massage — you can dose those "essential oils" that she just so happened to have on hand, you know?
Not to mention, Jingle Jangle's (ridiculous) name has been shortened to "JJ" several times by characters. Recall any other notable JJs in the Riverdale canon? That's right, it's Cheryl's pet name for her bro, Jason. And we never even heard about JJ until AJ (that's After Jason, obviously). In memoriam, I guess.
Cheryl's always been a strategist (also a witch, remember, that doesn't hurt), deploying her River Vixens and cronies when she sees fit. She'll most likely end up at the top of her MBA program in a few years, but for now, it would seem that she's experimentally stirring the ish in Riverdale's teen community and then throwing in extra drugs to fuel the fire and pad her pockets. Thornhill Jr. ain't gonna pay for itself, you know?
Is Cheryl an agent of chaos? Maybe. But she's also one successful entrepreneur.
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