The Riverdale teens are not all right. Not just because some of them are experiencing trauma from their dad nearly getting killed. Not just because some of them are adjusting to life at a new school on the bad side of town. Not just because Pop’s Chok’lit Shoppe, the local milkshake store that everyone in this dairy-obsessed retro dreamscape loves for some reason, might close down. No, the Riverdale teens are also hooked on drugs, specifically jingle jangle, an upper consumed out of a paper straw like Pixy Stix — if Pixy Stix were dark, twisted, and vaguely sexual.
What is jingle jangle and why should you worry about it? The drug got a brief mention in the season-two premiere, but in this week’s episode, it gets a full introduction thanks to new hot Reggie, who deals the drug and promises Archie that it’s strong enough to “keep you up for days, in more ways than one.” Archie ends up opting to buy a gun to protect his father instead of relying on jingle jangle to stay up, but Reggie does find another prospective buyer in Moose’s girlfriend, Midge Klump. Midge and Moose sample some of the product in a car together at the end of the episode … and then the mysterious green-eyed killer in a black hood shoots them!
In Riverdale’s first season, the town’s drug of choice was heroin, which was smuggled into town under the cover of Clifford Blossom’s maple-syrup business. Clifford is dead, but according to Kevin Keller, who knows things because he’s the sheriff’s son, drugs are still flowing into town. Jughead insists that the Southside Serpents don’t deal, so the jingle jangle has to be coming from elsewhere. Our best guess as to the suppliers: Hiram and Hermione Lodge, who schemed their way into getting control of Pop’s, which now offers both milkshakes and a cover for drug deals in the parking lot. In short, jingle jangle isn’t going away anytime soon.
As for that name, jingle jangle appears to be a reference to the both a 1969 song and album by the Archies, a fictional band made up of Archie, Reggie, Jughead, Veronica, and Betty as seen on The Archie Show. “Jingle Jangle” reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 for one week in Canada in 1970. Canada is famous for its maple syrup. Maple syrup is what Clifford Blossom used as a cover for his drug business. The plot, much like cold maple syrup, thickens!