It started out like any normal Riverdale episode, and none of us had any idea how it would end.
Except that we kind of did because we’ve seen brief flash-forward’s to this very moment and assumed there would be some explanation because there was no way the writers would kill off Forsythe Pendelton Jones III.
And then, they did. That’s it, Jughead is dead. Or is he?
I know we’re all still holding out hope that maybe Jughead’s just unconscious and Archie’s a bad pulse-checker (which means he’ll snag a job as a doctor in Riverdale for sure), but from the looks of it, Betty killed Jughead by clonking him over the head with a rock.
It all started when Betty and Jughead teamed up to pull one over on the Stone Wall Prep students but found they weren’t a match for them. Or were they?
Riverdale is a dark place, and though Betty, Jughead and the rest of the students have dark demons, they have morals and would never even think about killing or hurting anyone.
But these Stonewall Preppies are a whole different breed; they aren’t above or beneath any of it. Jughead said it best — the game was rigged and there was no chance that they’d ever win.
But it’s possible that Betty and Jughead outsmarted them using their shared love of murder mysteries.
Let’s channel our inner teen detectives to figure out what went down in the last moments of “March of Ides.”
While Jughead was writing a novel about the perfect murder, his Stonewall Prep classmates were planning his.
There’s still a chance that this is all still part of Jughead’s story for the Baxter Brothers that we’re seeing play out in realtime.
However, all signs are pointing at this being an elaborate part of Jughead’s plans to level with the Preppies and finally teach them a lesson after weeks of torment that concluded with framing Jughead for plagiarism of his own story, stealing his idea for a Baxter Brother’s novel without giving him credit, and threatening to out his and Betty’s sex tape. You know, that’s enough to get anybody pissed off.
Clue #1 is when Donna said the”magic word” given to her by Evelyn Evernever, which allegedly triggered Dark Betty right before Jughead’s murder. It was an uneven playing field because Betty didn’t even know there was a second trigger word in addition to “tangerine” that made her violent towards her loved ones.
We never saw what happened after that so it’s possible Donna didn’t say anything, it didn’t work, or that it put Betty in a trance instead while someone else like Donna or Brett clobbered Jughead over the head and made it look like she did it. See, so many possibilities in just this one moment.
Betty’s face seemed genuinely concerned when she realized what happened in the forest, but Betty is a good actress and the only person who could help him sell this one. She’s the daughter of the Black Hood, of course. She took on the Farm. She’s a badass!
Clue #2 is when Jughead asked Betty if she “trusts him” right before hatching his devious plan which placed heavy emphasis on Jughead putting on his Southside Serpent jacket and his signature beanie. Seeing him putting on his jacket was a moment in itself and yes, I cheered because it meant he was putting to bed Stonewall and embracing his Serpent lifestyle again, but there’s also something to be said for Jughead wearing clothing that would make his identification unmistakable.
It’s like he wanted people to know who he was. Was he even wearing the jacket when Archie checked his pulse or did he give it to someone else when he followed Brett into the woods?
Clue #3 includes the plan Jughead tells Betty he has. Jughead, a man capable of whipping up a murder mystery novel in a few short days, would never concoct a plan that simply found him wearing a bunny mask and wielding a knife.
It’s also very un-Jughead like. He can serve up some punches, but Jughead leads with his brain. He’d never murder anyone, so I’m convinced there had to be more to the story we aren’t seeing. He also told Betty he was going to get back the leverage they had on him and retrieving a sex tape means he has to find where it’s hidden first, which could mean Jughead faked his own death as part of a surprise ambush. Maybe this is a waiting game.
Clue #4 is that we never see the murder happen, and that means anything could have happened in the meantime. There is a lot of missing time and therefore, plenty of opportunities for Jughead to switch places with someone else. We also don’t know what transpired between Jughead of Brett before the “murder,” what went down between Betty and Donna, or how Betty and Jughead found each other.
The biggest giveaway in all of this might possibly be that Jughead was voicing over his own murder. How is that possible if he’s dead? This isn’t Greendale for Satan’s sake.
Does this mean we’re watching Jughead’s story pan out?
There’s also a lot of evidence that could support Jughead’s death including Betty’s terrified expression, Archie confirming that Jughead is dead (unless he’s in on it too), and some of the flash-forward moments we’ve seen including the trio burning Jughead’s beanie, FP arresting them for murder, Betty and Archie mourning his death at Pop’s, and Betty getting into Harvard.
Jughead could have pulled off the perfect murder of himself and not informed anyone even Betty so it would be believable.
Or maybe he really is dead and all of this is just out attempt at avoiding reality and hoping for a re-write.
Personally, I wish they just ditched the party, washed their hands of this demented and psychotic school, and moved on with their lives.
The fans of Riverdale aren’t interested in dealing with a storyline that found Betty unconsciously killing her boyfriend and then covering it up! We didn’t ask for this.
In fact, before all of this, it seemed like Riverdale was finding its way back to become a level-headed and enjoyable series.
Back in Riverdale, Archie and Veronica were having a lot of sex. Like so much. I know teenage hormones are all over the place, but come on!
They had sex in a forest, in his room, and even in the music room, which has a window looking into the hallway of the school! Y’all crazy.
Veronica was also caught with a flash of rum in her locker — which Archie took the blame for — and was all about “having fun” after finding out about her father’s diagnosis.
She’s acting out because she feels scared of losing her father and betrayed that he didn’t confide in her.
Veronica may claim to despise Hiram, but the cat-and-mouse game is how they show each other their love.
The thought of not having that competition scares her.
Despite most of our doubts, it seems Hiram Lodge didn’t lie about his illness.
In fact, he seems to be feeling his mortality and turning over a new leaf as he uses Archie’s center as his new training facility.
There were some solid moments between the former-arch enemy’s with Hiram even having some “good” and fatherlike moments with Archie.
Then again, he could have been trying to influence Archie into selling Andrews Construction for his own personal gain.
One can never be too trusting of Mr. Lodge.
Hiram’s other daughter, Hermosa, tried to infiltrate the Maple Club and get information on Veronica’s whiskey by seducing Toni and Cheryl. It seemed as though both of the girls were actually into whatever she was selling but thankfully, they didn’t fall prey to her trap and allowed Ronnie to shut it down.
Even when Hiram is ill, he still has his minions doing his dirty work.
Archie bailed on the sale last minute because it just didn’t feel right, and I agree. Despite the center bearing Fred’s name, selling the company his family built was like turning his back on a legacy.
Having Mr. Keller take over as foreman allows Archie to focus on things that matter to him and hopefully, school because at the rate he’s going, he’s not going to graduate with his friends. That is if any of them get to graduation before getting arrested for murder.
Principal Weatherbee probably should cut Archie some slack. His father died, his mother is barely around, he’s raising and supporting himself, running a business, and opened up a center for kids to stay safe and get off the streets. That has to count for something.
Other Maple Syrup Musings
- Jughead’s prep school mystery nicknames were hilarious: Jardhead instead of Jughead, Byson instead of Moose, why even try to cover up anyone’s real identity?
- Why couldn’t the Stonewall Preppies just accept that Jughead conceded and let him leave? Did they hate him so much that they needed to kill him?
- Why couldn’t Jughead just tell the tribunal that Brett threatened him with a sex tape? That way, if the tape got leaked, you would know who did it.
- Is Mr. DuPont the villain that Betty thinks he is?
- What was Betty’s goal with her milkshake meeting with Donna? Does she know why Donna is lying about Mr. Chipping?
What did you think of the episode?
Is Jughead really dead?
Riverdale Review – Dance of Death (5×17)
The mystery of the Mothmen finally came to an end, along with the mystery of what happened to Polly Cooper.
Jughead, Betty, and Tabitha closed in on the truth on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 17 as another young girl named Britta went missing while Lynette Fields aka Squeaky was confirmed dead.
Is anyone else a bit bummed that the Squeaky mystery didn’t have too much meat to it?
The Mothmen mystery also wasn’t supernatural in the slightest, which isn’t exactly shocking when it comes to Riverdale.
The series always hints at the supernatural before elaborating on a story of serial killers.
In this case, the serial killers picked up women on the Lonely Highway because they enjoyed the hunt.
When compared to all the previous mysteries, this one was definitely the weakest.
Jughead’s former student, the sleepwalker who turned up after a week, is the one who clued them into the location of the Mothmen’s lair.
Turns out, it was none other than old man Dreyfuss, the one who told Jughead all about the Mothmen in the first place.
Dreyfuss was a Starkweather, a member of a family of Blossom offspring that were given away and raised in the woods. Yes, this is a true story straight from Nana’s mouth.
Another Starkweather brother included the man Betty captured that bit off his own tongue.
They were all in cahoots working the Lonely Highway and protecting each other.
They assumed they were preying on women that no one cared about — that is until Polly came along.
Eventually, Betty was able to get the location of Polly’s body out of Dreyfuss, and while it provided her family with some closure, it was far from the outcome Betty wanted for her sister.
And it was even more disturbing that it was an act of crime on Betty’s family by her own family.
On the plus side, it was nice to see Betty and Jughead team up for yet another mystery. There hasn’t been one that these couldn’t solve.
Toni was back, and she joined the crusade along with Fangs, who is helping her raise baby Anthony.
There hasn’t been much of a storyline for Toni, but it was sweet that she went to bat for Britta, a student who confided in her about being gay and asked her to be there to come out to her parents.
But all of this was maple syrup under the bridge because the most shocking moment came when Veronica killed Chadwick and turned on Hiram Lodge.
I know she’s turned on her father plenty of times before, but this time felt different.
This time, she took Archie’s side 100%.
And she didn’t even seem phased to shoot Chad as she zenned out in a tub with Archie just hours after.
This whole show is bonkers.
Chad deserved everything that came his way after he plotted to kill Archie and then attacked Veronica in her own home.
Clearly, taking advice from Hiram Lodge wasn’t a sound solution.
Veronica also realized she could never forgive her father for drumming up a mine explosion to kill Archie.
It’s honestly insane that this adult is still so hung up over a man half his age.
Archie may have been collateral damage in Veronica’s beef with Hiram over the palladium, but it was still very a very childish decision on his part.
Will this be the final straw in Veronica’s relationship with Hiram?
I feel like after all that has transpired, she either abandons her father or faces the consequences of losing Archie.
Will she pay to price for what happened to Chad? Or will self-defense hold up considering he tried to ambush her?
Cheryl may have found her calling as the divine.
Though her friends, including Kevin, had little faith in her religion, Cheryl seemed to believe in herself after seeing her prayers to Mother Earth aka Gaia answered as Archie emerged from the mines.
Will Kevin return to stand by Cheryl’s side?
And am I the only one completely annoyed with this church storyline?
What did you think of Riverdale? Are you enjoying the fact that it gets crazier by the week?
Let us know in the comments below!
Riverdale Review – Band of Brothers (5×16)
Riverdale is slowly trudging along toward some kind of resolution for the varying stories it introduced throughout season 6, including the Moth Men, TBK (Trash Bag Killer), the Trucker Killer on the Lonely Highway, the Church of Cheryl, and Hiram’s obsession with palladium.
As of right now, none of these things seem to intersect, but we’re all still watching hoping that it all feeds into some bigger picture.
Otherwise, this may go down as the most random season of Riverdale to date.
Archie continued to deal with the ghosts of his past by attempting to get justice for his men and putting General Taylor in his place. Seeing how Taylor threatened Archie, I anticipated that we would see Archie and Eric testify at the tribunal. At the very least, I expected to see some form of retaliation from Taylor, but the storyline wrapped up almost as quickly as it ended.
Are we to believe that Archie finally found peace? And that Taylor went down without a fight?
Jughead was making amends with an apology tour. Mr. Weatherbee made the cut, as did Tabitha, and, eventually, Betty.
He needed to apologize for the voicemail he left the night of his book release.
But for Betty, it was all under the bridge as she admitted to willingly choosing her obsession with serial killers over him.
I’m glad Betty and Jughead worked it out and found themselves on good terms, but I’m even happier that Jughead came clean about the fact that he submitted Cora’s novel as his own.
While he may have found himself in a tough spot with his writing career hanging in the balance, it’s never okay to pass someone else’s work off as your own.
Not meeting deadlines is bad, but plagiarism will get you canceled.
Thankfully, he knew better and took the hit.
Jughead’s first novel was born from spontaneity, and clearly, forcing another best-seller isn’t how it works.
Though, if he really wanted to, I’m sure he could find plenty of inspiration right in Riverdale.
He could always take inspiration from Betty, who admitted that she would rather investigate serial killers than socialize with other people.
It’s weird, yes, but Betty has always had a darkness about her that made her different from everyone else. It’s not exactly surprising.
Her work on the Lonely Highway is proving to be fruitless, and that’s probably because word of the truckers disappearance got around.
Unfortunately, the episode ended with an ominous warning from Jughead about something bad happening to both Betty and Tabitha.
Cheryl has gone off the deep end, I’m convinced of it.
She teamed up with Kevin to gain authority over the church, but while he thought they were simply punking the general public, Cheryl seemed to believe that she was really a gift sent from the divine.
Kevin’s face when he realized what he’d gotten into was priceless.
I don’t really understand the storyline with Cheryl, and to be honest, I feel like it’s a wasted character.
And finally, no one messes with Veronica Lodge.
In one fell swoop, she freed herself from Chad’s grasp and undermined Hiram Lodge. Win-win!
I’d expect plenty of retaliation from both parties, but when Chad sent the SEC on her company, she pushed back by stealing the palladium from Hiram Lodge, auctioning it off for a hefty price, and paying back all the investors he screwed over.
And then, as he celebrated his company going public, she tanked his stocks to ensure that no one ever messed with her again.
Petty Veronica is my favorite Veronica.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!
Riverdale Review – The Return of the Pussycats (5×15)
As the title of the episode revealed, Josie and the Pussycats returned to Riverdale.
Well, to be honest, I have no idea where Val and Melody have been this whole time, so it’s possible they’ve been thriving in Riverdale and it was just Josie who rolled back into town.
Regardless, Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15 saw their overdue reunion of the girl group and even sparked a reconciliation.
If memory serves me, Riverdale takes place roughly two years after the events of the now-canceled Katy Keene, which is when fans last saw Josie living in New York as a struggling artist.
It’s safe to say that her efforts paid off; By the time she arrives back in her hometown, she’s a global superstar!
Josie the pop icon has a nice ring to it, even if it does feel slightly forced.
Her return to Riverdale is personal as we find out that she ditched a show in Berlin after finding out that her father died of a heart attack unexpectedly.
It doesn’t take long for Josie to be reminded that Riverdale is a dark place when a man named Mr. Sweets approaches her and her mother to inform them that her father was mixed up in some bad stuff in New Orleans and may have been murdered.
Normally, one would question such an accusation made by a random man, but again, this is Riverdale; Josie and her mom simply get on the tour bus and decide to make NOLA their first stop in order to investigate.
The whole episode basically felt like a backdoor pilot to yet another spinoff, which should’ve happened long ago.
While I love Josie and I love that she finally got the recognition she deserved throughout most of the series, I don’t see this working simply because Katy Keene failed.
And what would it even be? A musical series hinged on a murder mystery? The CW sure loves those, so I’m not putting it past them.
Everyone on that tour bus would surely appear on the spinoff, including Sweet Pea (Josie’s new-again lover) and Alan Mayberry, Val’s boyfriend. Yes, Alan Mayberry, just like character from the comics who also appears in Scooby-Doo. Now, I’m convinced there’s going to be a murder mystery, detective-aspect to the spinoff!
The only way I’ll be fully behind a Josie spinoff is if they cast a live-action Scooby-Doo, too!
While Val and Melody were even more sidelined on Riverdale than Josie, the episode tapped into their backstories, and it turns out, they’ve both been pretty successful.
Val is an artist and a political activist, while Melody wrote a book that was optioned by Tyler Perry.
Both of their trajectories make me think that they were able to get far, far away from Riverdale considering the rest of their peers haven’t seen even a sliver of their success.
As Josie navigated her old stomping grounds, she made it clear that she wasn’t someone to be messed with.
When Hiram Lodge tried to file a noise complaint, Josie proved that she had way more pull than he did, and it was the icing on the cake that she called him out for still being a “little b****.” Don’t mess with Josie!
However, the episode felt very disconnected from what’s been happening on Riverdale this season, which, in its own right, has been all over the place. There was no mention of Archie’s PTSD, Betty was somehow totally over the fact that she’s been hunting down creeps on The Lonely Highway, and Jughead’s Rat King story seemed like a very faint, faint, faint memory.
It almost seemed normal…. almost.
Coincidentally, Alexandra Cabot also happened to be in Riverdale at the same time Josie returned. A little refresher: Josie dated Alexandra’s brother, Alexander, on the brief spinoff, so the two are rivals.
Alexandra confronted Veronica in hopes of getting back the money she invested with Ronnie’s husband, Chadwick, whom we know put her in a really tight financial situation.
Instead of paying out, Veronica took the opportunity to present Alexandra with an investment into Pop’s as Tabitha explained that she wanted to franchise the business.
Small town vibe at a diner with delicious food? Alexandra would be a fool to pass up on this opportunity!
Since Riverdale can’t pass up on a musical number, Alexandra, Tabitha, and Toni joined forces up for a little choreographed performance to sweeten the deal.
Was anyone else as surprised to see Toni as I was? I thought the show forgot about her!.
Thankfully, her presence was felt as she went into labor during Josie’s set, once again upstaging the Pussycats.
In true small-town fashion, everyone stuck around to be there for the birth, which happened in a backroom of Pops’…. I can’t imagine that’s sanitary!
Cheryl and Fangs teamed up to deliver the baby, which is also strange. I wouldn’t want my ex to deliver a baby, but weirder things have happened in Riverdale.
And finally, Toni, Fangs, and Kevin introduced their baby boy, Anthony a.k.a. Tony, to the world. Yep, Toni and Tony. That’s bound to get confusing.
Tony’s birth was a glimmer of hope and light in an otherwise dark and twisted town!
What did you think of the episode? Would you watch a Josie-centered spinoff?
It takes courage for a series to acknowledge the missteps it made with characters, particularly characters of color, Riverdale did more than acknowledge as it seemingly tried to make amends. Let’s hope the sentiment is extended to Toni as she was promised so much screen time but hasn’t had much of a storyline all season!
Sound-off with your thoughts in the comments below!
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