Riverdale recap: Did [Spoiler] really kill Jughead?
Why do I still find it hard to believe that this show is really killing Jughead?! Because it LOOKS LIKE they’re killing Jughead. I mean, he’s dead. Right? I DON’T KNOW. But before we get to all that, let’s take this final recap of 2019 one story at at time.
It’s Veronica vs. Hiram in this hour, and it goes down like this:
- Hiram takes away Le Bonne Nuit’s liquor license, so Veronica invites her grandmother to town.
- Not only does Hiram’s mother slap her son in the face, but she also gives her granddaughter the family’s top-secret rum recipe.
- Hiram reveals that he has a patent on the recipe, so Veronica can’t use it.
- Veronica throws one final bash at La Bonne Nuit before their license is revoked. Hiram invites the Columbia representative who was all set to interview his daughter.
- Veronica performs “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” — a super fun number that’s admittedly an odd vibe for a speakeasy — and somehow the Columbia rep loves it?
I’d also like to point out that Veronica was drinking alcohol in front of her grandmother, so that’s cool.
Speaking of teens doing crazy things, Archie and FP team up to take down Dodger. After the Dickinson brothers beat up a couple of Archie’s kids, FP takes off his uniform and puts on his Serpent jacket to help Archie, but only if Archie promises to stop all this vigilante crap. Archie agrees and he and FP track down the Dickinsons. “Big men, huh? Beating up teenagers,” FP tells them. “Let’s see how you do against someone your own size.” AGAIN, MUST I REMIND EVERYONE THAT ARCHIE IS A TEEN?! Sure, he’s 18 but that’s still got a “teen” in it! FP qualifies as “someone your own size.” Archie does not.
After the fight, Archie and FP celebrate with some pie at Pop’s, but the celebration is cut short when Dodger shows up and shoots FP. Has Archie learned nothing about parents being shot at Pop’s?! Don’t worry, it’s just a flesh wound, but it sets Archie off. The angry teen tracks down Dodger and beats him to a pulp until he notices that some of his kids are watching and he has a real OMG I’M A MONSTER moment.
His mom assures him that he’s simply still dealing with losing his dad, but he tells her he’s “never felt further from dad than I do now.” One person who might help with that? Frank, his dad’s brother, who shows up at the community center.
After winning the Baxter Brothers writing contract, Jughead decides he needs answers about his grandfather before he can sign on the dotted line. So he enlists the help of Charles to track down THEIR grandfather, which will never stop being weird to me. Long story short, Forsythe is living in the woods in Seaside and when Jughead pays him a visit, he finally learns the truth: His grandfather did write the first Baxter Brothers story, but DuPont didn’t steal the idea. Rather, when Forsythe didn’t know what to do with it, he sold it to DuPont for $5,000, and then when it became a sensation, he took his anger out on his family. So no, DuPont isn’t killing people. Probably.
As for Jughead, he asks FP if he’d be willing to talk to his dad. FP — who might have his hospital gown on backward? — says yes, but by the time Jug makes it back out to the bus where his grandpa lives, it’s empty. So either the guy left again or something terrible happened.
Jug then returns to school where he signs the Baxter Brothers contract just in time to be inducted into the Quill and Skull society.
In order to figure out who’s been tormenting her, Cheryl sets off a bunch of roach bombs in her home. It looks like a suicide attempt, but it’s something else entirely: When Penelope comes out of the shadows coughing, Cheryl — in her gas mask — finally has her answer.
Cheryl then puts her mother on trial for prolonged gaslighting, the attempted murder of the core four, and the actual murder of Clifford, Claudius, and Hal Cooper, among others. But ultimately, what Cheryl gets out of the trial is an answer as to why her mother was torturing her. “You don’t get what I can’t have,” Penelope says, in reference to Cheryl’s happiness with Jason. (Who thought a corpse would ever be such a prized possession?!)
To punish her mother, Cheryl traps her in the bunker to think about what she’s done. She then tells Toni that it’s time to bury Jason. So, with the core four and Toni in attendance, Cheryl returns to Sweetwater River where she lights Jason’s boat on fire and watches her brother float away. Translation: THE CORPSE IS GONE! FINALLY!!
When Polly nearly claws off the face of a nurse named Betty, she swears to her sister that she doesn’t remember any of what happened. The real Betty then figures out that Polly got a phone call just before her freakout, and when the house phone rings, Alice answers. Moments later, she tries to stab Betty. Thankfully, Betty figures out that her mom is in a trance and snaps her fingers to get her out of it.
Charles traces the phone calls to Shankshaw prison, which just so happens to be the home of Evelyn. Betty pays her a visit and learns that with a simple trigger word, Alice and Polly become Betty, which means they instantly want to kill dark/evil/other Betty. The trigger word? “Tangerine,” said three times. (It’s the “Bloody Mary” of 2019.)
Betty, unsure of what the word will do to her, has Charles say it, after which she has a hallucination of her younger self on the day she killed her cat. Charles has an idea: Betty goes into a trance and stops the younger version of herself from killing the cat. That way, Dark Betty will never be born.
Betty gives it a try and thinks it works, but then she wakes up in the middle of the night and shatters her bedroom mirror? Cut to four weeks in the future and Betty is holding a rock standing over a bloody Jughead as Archie checks his pulse and says, “He’s dead. What did you do, Betty?!”
As much as I love the idea that Dark Betty could kill the man she loves, I’m still not sure it will happen!! But for now, I like how dark this show seems to be going…