Riverdale just showed us its darkest and most true-to-life storyline so far.
In “When A Stranger Calls” we meet Nick St. Clair (Graham Phillips), Veronica Lodge’s old school friend. The party-loving rich boy she used to rule New York City with.
St. Clair has all the traits you’d expect of someone from Veronica’s upper-class New York past.
He’s wealthy, well-educated, very sure of himself, and under the impression he can have anything he wants.
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We realise pretty quickly that St. Clair isn’t a nice guy and by the end of the episode, it’s clear that he’s a dangerous sexual predator.
We first see signs of Nick’s predatory behaviour when he tries to convince everyone to take the drug jingle jangle with him at Veronica’s party.
Everyone, including Veronica, slowly caves into peer pressure and takes the jingle jangle.
After the party we start to see more of St. Clair’s true colours, when he begins to touch Veronica and then tries to kiss her after she repeatedly says no.
Veronica ends up slapping him and walking out of the room, horrified by her old friend’s sickening behaviour.
After Veronica rebukes his unwanted advances, St. Clair switches his focus to another target.
When Cheryl arrives at the Lodge’s house she is greeted by St. Clair. Within minutes of meeting her, St. Clair spikes Cheryl’s glass of champagne. He then takes her up to a bedroom to sexually assault her.
This is not an uncommon scene in pop culture – and sadly, in real life – but it’s one that TV shows often get wrong.