In the end, it was all so simple.
As the Riverdale episode walked us all through the Stonewall Prep mystery step-by-step, I found myself wondering how it didn’t occur to me that the Stonewall Four and the Baxter Brothers novels were connected.
The link was so obvious and right there waiting for all of us, but alas, it goes to show you that Riverdale’s writers always know what they’re doing even if the episodes sometimes seem outrageous, unbelievable, or a mix of both.
When the puzzle pieces began falling into place, the fourth season of The CW campy drama turned out to be its best one yet.
While the Gargoyle King, the Farm, and the Black Hood were all compelling and intricate mysteries in their own right, this season dove into the heart of a “whodunnit” while layering on a “whydunnit” on top for a classic “locked room” mystery.
It was incredibly satisfying to see Jughead and Betty present their case to the Stonies and watch the smug little faces squirm. Well, mostly Donna and Mr. DuPont’s. Brett was entirely too confused for his own good to the point that it was hard to believe we ever thought that he was the mastermind behind all of this.
As the layers were peeled back, the true villain of the series was revealed. Mr DuPont stole the Baxter Brother’s franchise (then just one novel) from Forsythe, killed all three members of the original literary society who knew about it to cover his tracks and prevent the truth from tainting his career.
He then built a whole franchise and a “prestigious school” on the murderous lies.
Each new writer that took over the Baxter Brother’s franchise needed to prove they could commit the perfect murder before they could write it. With this in mind, Jughead was never going to win the writing competition, and he was solely there to draw out his grandfather, the one loose end that DuPont wanted to kill and shut up.
Considering how easily Jughead found his grandfather, you’d think a savvy man like DuPont who managed to have a huge body count and cover it up would have found him without going through all this trouble, but that would defeat the whole point of the series.
When DuPont was cornered with the truth — that his life’s legacy was a sham and built upon the blood of others — he refused to go down as a fraud. Death was better than a tainted legacy and thus, he jumped from the very same window that Mr. Chipping did, which was obviously going to happen. How did they not foresee that?
While DuPont deserved a fare harsher punishment, it’s better than nothing.
However, the fact that Donna and DuPont weren’t in cahoots was shocking. There was a brief moment where it seemed like Donna was simply a victim despite her deranged scheming, but it was quickly revealed that she had her own motive for going through with enforcing the perfect murder with her classmates — she wanted revenge.
Remember when Hermosa dug up some dirt on Donna that tied it all together for Jughead? Well, the dirt was that she was the granddaughter of Jane Dallas Brown, one of Mr. DuPont’s original three victims.
Her beef was never truly with Jughead or Betty, they were merely victims of a much grander plan which was to take over the Baxter Brothers and have DuPont pay the ultimate price.
Unfortunately, she messed with the wrong sleuthing detectives who stop at nothing to get answers.
Also, Joan didn’t hit Jughead hard enough to kill him. Honestly, that was mistake number one because their plan was foolproof and gave them all alibis.
All of their problems would have been solved had Jughead remained dead, but instead, he used all his time pretending to be dead in Dilton’s doomsday bunker (which could come in handy now with the coronavirus and all) to solve the mystery that’s been plaguing his life since he transferred to Stonewall Prep.
Donna’s desire for revenge was justified, but since she also killed innocent people who were just casualties of a bigger fight, which doesn’t make her any better or any less guilty than DuPont.
As for Chipping, he was driven mad by the guilt of what he had done to secure the contract. He brought Moose there under false pretenses because he was the perfect target to be killed, however, he began to feel bad and thus, gave Moose and out by recruiting him to the army before he took his own life.
Almost every loose end was tied up as we went through what happened that night in the woods, shortly after as Betty, Archie, and Veronica truly didn’t know if Jughead would survive, and in the weeks leading up to their takedown.
I said almost because there are still some things left unanswered. Riverdale is a sucker for a mystery within a mystery and while Charles may have been instrumental in saving Jughead and helping them plan the perfect murder, we also know he has a vendetta of his own (with his boyfriend Chic) against the Cooper/Jones family.
When is that going to be brought back into play? Also, are they responsible for those odd and stalker-ish videotapes?
The series goes into their musical episode next week which finds Kevin taking charge in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Is that when we’ll also address the untapped feelings between #Barchie?
Cheryl made sure to note that it was obvious Betty and Archie weren’t just “faking it” with their fake relationship. There are some real feelings there, but does it matter when these couples are so strong and rooted in themselves?
Other Murder Capital of the World Musings
- Jughead brought honor back to his family and retrieved what was stolen from his grandfather. Does this mean they will take over the mysteries of Tracy True?
- Redeeming his grandfather’s name also reunited FP with his father. Moreso, it gave FP a reason for why his father abandoned them in the first place and it wasn’t because he was a good-for-nothing dad but because he wanted to protect himself and his family.
- Riverdale is a complex town plagued by darkness and murder, but it was incredibly satisfying to see everyone working together in unison and being able to keep the secret so that Jughead could blow the lid off of the Stonewall conspiracy.
- There’s nothing more enjoyable than Jughead and FP beating Brett with brass knuckles to get those sex tapes back. Man, that guy got a good, well-deserved beating. And I’m sure it felt good for Jughead to just get it out of his system.
- Even Hermosa helped, which may be the first step in patching up her relationship with Veronica.
- And seriously, Dr. Curdle Jr. for the win!
- Is anyone else mad that Cheryl wasn’t in on the whole thing?
- So… just to clarify — Jughead didn’t have a plan to expose Brett and get those sex-tapes back? If Joan succeeded in killing him, that would have been the end of our boy. One little oversight saved his life.
- Food poisoning is code for five-feet under, right?
- No one ever really dies in Riverdale, do they?
- Mysteries aside the focus of the next few episodes will be to getJughead and Archie to the graduation line — no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
All-in-all, Betty and Jughead proved they’re the perfect couple by crafting the perfect (fake) murder and solving 8 murders, stopping DuPont, and getting closure for the families.
It’s a good day in Riverdale, and that’s rare, so let’s cherish it as we wait for the other foot to drop.
Skeet Ulrich Explains Why He’s Leaving ‘Riverdale’ – 5 Ways The Series Can Explain FP Jones’ Exit
When Riverdale announced Skeet Ulrich’s exit in February following season 4, the fandom began to worry.
Ulrich plays FP Jones, the father of Jughead Jones, a former Serpent gang leader who has managed to turn his life around, become a Sheriff, and snag the love of his life.
He’s become an instrumental part of the series as he helps Jughead and his friends navigate normalcy in the fictitious murderous town.
In an Instagram Live in May, Ulrich elaborated about his departure explaining that he was “bored creatively.”
At first, fans thought FP’s exit might confirm Jughead’s death, however, now that we know Jughead survived staged “perfect murder” with his father’s help, it’s unclear how the show will tackle the departure.
We have some thoughts about how Riverdale can explain the exit of one of the show’s finest dads:
1.Kids go off to college
In the “most obvious” lane, the kids go off to college and the parents are no longer a focal point of the series. Jughead and his buds are currently in their senior year and will be going to college in just a few months, pending they actually graduate.
Expectedly, the role of the parents will dwindle as the teens leave town and begin their “adult” lives. If this is the avenue they take, Riverdale might not even have to explain FP’s exit because he’ll simply still be there just not as frequently as when Jughead was living at home. And if Ulrich agrees to some guest appearances, they can very easily break him out of his contract while keeping the character and his relationship with his son in tact.
It’s now been confirmed that season 5 will have a time jump when it returns in 2021, and thus, FP existing off-screen seems like the most obvious avenue for the series to pursue.
2. New Job Opportunity
After Jughead’s death, FP spiraled slightly (despite being in on the whole thing) and it led to a confrontation with Hiram Lodge. Hiram suggested that maybe FP was too close to the case, and FP straight up resigned as Sheriff.
With nothing tying him to this town any longer and Jughead gearing up to fly the coop, FP might look for job opportunities in other towns. FP deserves happiness and a fulfilling career, so we’re on board with this 100%.
3. Living It Up with Alice
Much like the teens of Riverdale, the parents have lived a life that could only be described as small-town hell. They were involved with the Gargoyle King since they were teenagers, Alice’s husband turned out to be the Black Hood, they’ve endured so much mayhem and suffering, and the one ray of hope has been that Alice and FP have found their way back to each other and allowed their romance to blossom.
If anyone deserves a vacation, possibly even a permanent vacation, it’s these two love-birds. They need to leave Riverdale and never look back as they ride off into the sunset together.
4. Fed Up with Riverdale
For all the reasons listed above, FP might just be done putting up with Riverdale’s insanity. It wouldn’t be surprising if he was just fed up and done with Riverdale and using this opportunity now that his son is off to college and he doesn’t have a job to pursue a better life somewhere, anywhere else.
I hate to say this, but if Ulrich never wants to return to Riverdale, there is a permanent solution. It would break fans’ hearts, but they don’t call it the murder capital of the world for nothing, right?
Turning it over to you, Cravers.
How do you think that Riverdale will write off FP? Will his exit be permanent?
Riverdale Season Finale – Killing Mr. Honey (4×19)
The rise and fall of Mr. Honey played out during the early season 4 finale of Riverdale.
Riverdale Season 4 Episode 19 was not supposed to be the finale, but alas, the coronavirus pandemic had different plans for all of us.
Still, it was a fitting way to end leaving us on a head-scratching cliffhanger that brings the mystery of the videotapes to the forefront.
The VHS tapes have been sprinkled in throughout much of the season but larger mysteries like the shenanigans at Stonewall Prep took precedence.
The episode blurred the line between fact and fiction delivering two very different realities that slightly paralleled each other and offered up some beneath-the-surface commentary about the murderous and twisted town of Riverdale.
Jughead, who was given a shot at attention the University of Iowa, had to submit yet another story and felt inspired by the group’s collective hatred for Mr. Honey, the principal who set out to ruin their senior year by cancelling the yearbook (gasp!) and senior prom (the horror!).
I had to dig deep and put myself in the mindset of a senior to fully grasp the motivation here. Admittedly, senior prom is a big deal, but the yearbook, well, a year from now, none of them will even know they chucked the thing.
Prom, on the other hand, was the student body’s treat for enduring a twisted year ranging from psychopaths to murderers, so they weren’t going down without a fight; they deserved this.
Mr Honey made a lot of enemies during his short-tenure and initially, it seemed almost justified since he’s never given the characters or the audience a reason to root for him. In fact, many of us were convinced he was the season’s villain and the man behind the tapes.
Alas, Riverdale had other, bigger plans for him.
Both storylines started off with an epic senior prank only in Jughead’s fictitious story, the prank was darker and involved kidnapping Honey dressed as Stonewall Preppies.
In reality, Honey retaliated to the sticky prank by cancelling prom completely, which is where the seniors brought in reinforcements: the hot moms and dads of Riverdale. The dads, aside from Hiram, were simply there for muscle. But the moms… oh, they meant business.
They threatened to sue, they threatened to gather the PTA, it was nuts.
And they got their way until Honey made a copycat video pretending to be the Voyeur to get prom cancelled once again under the guise that it was too dangerous.
In Jughead’s short story, Mr. Honey was kidnapped and got a good beating from Reggie. Veronica and Archie found him passed out and the group covered up his “accidental” murder by pretending to never speak of this moment again. Sound familiar? Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Archie have been down this road once before, so Jughead was definitely pulling from his own reality.
In the story, Reggie’s guilty conscience got the best of him so they killed him too. Ruthless.
In reality, once the group succeeded in firing Honey in reality and Jughead read the letter of recommendation that the principal wrote on his behalf did he realize that he needed to change the narrative of his story.
Miss Bell informed them that Honey has been the best principal Riverdale High has ever seen (sure, I guess), and was only trying to protect them.
At this point, Jughead realized he’s been reveling in the twisted narrative of the town and using it as an excuse. Mr. Honey may not have made a good impression on any of us, but he was right that the murder, mayhem, and manipulation was not normal and needed to be eliminated.
However, it’s hard to accept that Mr. Honey was truly trying to steer the students towards a new and promising reality since there was never any explanation as to why Honey wanted to cancel prom. He explained he was trying to protect the students and prepare them for the real world, but what did prom have to do with that? Did he know who was behind the tapes?
It didn’t explain why Honey cancelled prom at every other school he worked at or why he was a frequent visitor of the Blue Velvet where all the Voyeur’s tapes were found prior to it getting shut down.
It almost felt like the writers needed to redeem him so they did it without offering up expanations to any of our other questions and we were just supposed to go along with it.
And let’s say that we did just go along with it, the final moments in the episode were equal parts twisted and confusing.
Whoever is sending the tapes knows about the cabin where Veronica’s mom had an affair. They could’ve picked any place for Betty and Jughead to go, so what’s the significance of that cabin other than its the place Sheriff Minetta was murdered?
The Voyeur also seems to be interested in reminding Riverdale of all its sins while also trying to frame Betty, Jughead, Archie, Veronica, Cheryl, and Reggie for murder as the cliffhanger featured six masked people dressed as them killing “Principal Honey” by stabbing him.
This, again, paralleled Jughead’s story prior to his re-writing.
It seems they’ve walked right into the Voyeur’s trap.
Early on in the episode, Jughead gave away the point of the videotapes as being the rehearsal before the actual murder.
Everything we were seeing was “the rehearsal” leading up to that final moment where Jughead and Betty were visibly shaken and disturbed by the videotape.
It’s weird to say that I was glad to see them express such disturbance, but for a moment there, it seemed as though Betty and Jughead were normalizing murder as a way of life because they’ve been exposed to it for so long. The town turned them into monsters and they were okay with it. Thankfully, they diverged from that path rather quickly and their reactions to the tape of a man, a good man, possibly dying, prove it.
Now, the fact that Honey accepted a job at Stonewall Prep in the first place after everything that happened during Jughead’s time there makes me think he’s not as “good” of a principal as they let on.
It’s also unclear whether or not Mr. Honey was the man “murdered” in that final scene or if it was just a re-enactment as if the tapes were serving as a “I Know What You Did Last Summer” reminder.
And then, there’s the question of who is actually behind them.
Jughead focused on writing his story for much of the episode, and aside from his core group of friends, the only other person who knew about it was Charles.
In my review of Riverdale Season 4 Episode 18, I argued that their half-brother is behind the videotapes because he has time, access, and control of the situation. He’s been privy to every “private” situation, and could have gotten the other tapes when the FBI raided the Blue Velvet.
Think about it — what if Charles, Chic, Ethel, Evelyn, Donna, and Brett are all working together and the ones behind that final video to mess with #Bughead.
However, with Jughead leaving pages of his short story around the school randomly, it’s possibly its someone else entirely.
The mystery and all the relationship drama (that was completely absent from the episode) would have likely been wrapped up in the final episodes of season 4, but with the current situation, everything is being pushed to season 5.
So, no worries, Riverdale fans, we’ll get our answers soon, we just have to wait a bit longer than expected.
Other Sticky as Maple Syrup Moments
- The classic prank of sticking Honey to a chair and phone was an oldie but a goodie. I thought maybe it would foreshadow that he got his hand stuck in the honey jar (aka — he’s the culprit behind the tapes), and I still think that would’ve been cute.
- It was fun to see the cast all together in the scenes including Cheryl and Reggie. It adds a new dynamic because their personalities are so distinct.
- RIP Midge Klump.
- As of this episode, Cheryl is going to Highsmith College, Veronica is going to Barnard in New York, Betty is going to Yale in Connecticut, Archie is off to the Naval Academy, Jughead tentatively heading to University of Iowa, and Reggie is hopefully going to attend Riverdale Community College.
- I couldn’t help but laugh that they all have experience moving a dead body except for Reggie. Welcome to the team.
Riverdale Review – Betty and Archie Catch Feelings, Mr. Honey Is Shadier Than Ever (4×18)
No other show is able to squeeze in two twisted mysteries into one season except Riverdale.
It’s the kind of content we’ve come to expect from them, and there’s nothing more enjoyable than Jughead sinking his teeth into yet another mystery, this time, one that benefits the whole town.
The case of the voyeuristic tapes left behind on everyone’s doorsteps took a more sinister turn when Jughead was given a tape recreating his “death” aka when Betty bludgeoned him over the head with a rock.
There’s one thing to stalkerishly film people’s front doors for hours on end, it’s another when you try to expose their deadliest secrets.
Jughead didn’t take too kindly to being this psychos new muse and jumped headfirst into the mystery.
Betty understandably decided to sit this one out because she’s met her quota of psycho mysteries but also, she couldn’t stop googling little hearts of the “i” in Archie’s name and reading her fifth grade diary. More on that in a minute.
With Betty out, Jughead teamed up with his brother Charles and found a surprising connection to Ethel Muggs.
Alright, maybe it wasn’t that surprising since Ethel has been the crux of nearly every murder mystery in Riverdale.
Except Ethel truly seemed to be in a better place after all that went down with the Gargoyle King. What went down is precisely the reason why she shouldn’t be trusted at her word, but Ethel echoed most of the senior’s sentiments: she just wants to make it out of Riverdale alive.
Sure, she’s watching some weird homemade video tapes and just so happened to have Brett’s copy of Jughead and Betty’s sextape, but she didn’t watch it so it’s all good. Honestly, what?
If you think about it, it’s a small town and people need to entertain themselves somehow, right?
Ethel may be into some weird stuff, but I don’t think she’s the one trolling (for lack of a better word) her classmates.
I’ve mentioned this before in my Riverdale reviews, but I think Charles is the one leaving the videotapes.
There’s a few things that support my theory: he’s one of the only people who knows the details of what happened the night Betty “killed” Jughead with a rock, he has the means to pull it off, and he has the perfect cover because no one will ever suspect an FBI agent. His position also ensures that he can keep tabs on how far everyone gets to solving the mystery.
We also know he’s in cahoots with Chic, and there are always two people in the deranged videos.
The second video was delivered to Cheryl’s house and disturbingly recreated Jason Blossom’s murder mere moments after Jughead found the snuff tape being sold at Blue Velvet video store’s Scarlet Suite.
Plus, the twisted filmmaker seems to be hellbent on exposing Riverdale’s sins just like Black Hood, which Chic and Charles could be pulling inspiration from.
Charles also pursued Ethel when Jughead wasn’t around and it seemed like he wanted her to be guilty of something.
Riverdale has always been good at crafting a hard-to-solve mystery, so it’s no surprise that there are more than a few suspects good for the VHS tapes. Also, could this stalker not invest in DVDs?
Mr. Honey has been a pain in every student’s side this season with his “vanilla” approach to life. He thrives on discipline and hates when anyone steps out of line. He’s been bothered by Cheryl’s sex appeal and Kevin’s desire to be understood and represented.
And frankly, he’s just creepy.
But those are the people you have to be the most wary of. Honey is so uptight because he’s suppressing that he’s a nasty freak who frequents the Scarlet Suite more times than we’d probably like to know.
The house videos are creepy because it’s as if someone is always watching you, and maybe that’s Honey’s fetish.
He seems to have it out for all of his students, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he spent his free time trolling all of them with disturbing videos for his own pleasure.
And then, there’s Terry who is straightforward in his voyeuristic hobbies of filming young men tickling each other for a buck or two.
For now, Terry doesn’t have a motive for tormenting the whole town, but we also don’t know anything about him or who he’s dealing with. For all we know, he could be in cahoots with Honey or Charles.
When it comes to a guy who is making money off some weird fetish tapes, there is always more than meets the eye.
Reggie should have known that but he let his macho, tough-guy attitude and his greed get the best of him.
His business acumen is on point because yes, technically it did make sense to cut out the middleman and post tickle videos (??) on your own, but you also have to know that it’s a very limited and niche industry, so it was bound to get back to Terry who wouldn’t take kindly to his livelihood being threatened.
Not only did Reggie cost them a lucrative gig, but now they all have a target on their backs. And in a town like Riverdale, you literally don’t want to keep pissing people off!
Not to mention, Reggie missed the point of the videos being anonymous.
There were a lot of murder motifs in the episode as Riverdale established that even when Hiram Lodge is feeling under the weather, he’s still a deliciously villain.
There’s a reason Hiram never takes a merciful approach — it costs him too much.
He learned the hard way by being “weak” and allowing himself to get jumped by a Molloy thug. It’s surprising he walked away when the man begged for his life considering Hiram said the Molloy family is the most “ruthless” one in the liquor business.
I’m surprised he was conscious after that brutal beating. Which makes me wonder if he’s lying about his deteriorating condition.
Hiram is not one that accept defeat, so he made things right by killing the Molloy father without any hesitation.
Hiram is Riverdale’s most stable villain; he never disappoints. Did he just start a maple-infused liquor war between two of the most dangerous families?
However, he kept his murderous tendencies a secret from Veronica because it put him in her good graces again. Since she lost Cheryl Blossom as a partner in the maple whiskey business, she was more likely to work with her father again if she thought he was turning over a new leaf.
Poor Veronica will never learn.
For an episode filled with gruesome murders and sex tapes, I was most disturbed by Betty and Archie’s willingness to cheat on their significant others. Thank god it didn’t go too far.
Betty and Archie’s attraction was strong and they wanted to give into that forbidden love so badly.
Hanging out, snuggling up, and thinking back on what used to be were all “gateways” to cheating.
If it wasn’t for Cheryl, I think Betty would’ve gone through with hooking up with Archie.
Cheryl may not always be the most level-headed, but she put things into perspective for Betty — she wasn’t in love with Archie, she was in love with the idea of Archie.
And while that may be true, it doesn’t exactly stop the feelings.
Betty has the perfect relationship with Jughead, but it’s also all she’s ever known. There’s nothing wrong with seeing what else is out there.
Yes, they both may be drawn to each other because things are changing at a rapid pace, the life they’re used to is being threatened, and they want to cling to what feels comfortable and safe, but it’s also not safe if you think about it.
The very idea of breaking up a stable relationship to pursue feelings for a person you’ve known your whole life and that might ruin all the friendships you’ve ever deemed important is the opposite of safe.
It’s risky, it’s bold, and it’s stepping into the unknown without a safety blanket.
Archie was never Betty’s safety blanket — it was always Jughead, which is why she agreed to put things with Archie behind her and jumped back into solving mysteries with her beau instead of having an honest conversation with him about how they should maybe see other people.
Betty used the excuse Cheryl fed her, and while she wanted to believe it, she didn’t.
It’s very clear things between #Barchie aren’t over. By burning her diaries Betty is compartmentalizing her feelings for Archie. Similarly, Archie is running away by signing up for the Naval Academy.
The feelings will eventually bubble up to the top and become impossible to repress until they explore them.
It may be nothing, it may be everything, but they’ll never know unless they try.
However, if they consciously choose to explore #Barchie, they have to do what’s right by their significant others and break up.
For Betty, breaking up with Jughead means she’s preserving the possibility of getting back together in the future.
For Archie, a life without Veronica once seemed unimaginable, but it’s clear that his feelings for her are dwindling and the spark might no longer be there. When is the last time he was inspired by his love for her to write tender and heartfelt song for her? Exactly…
What did you think of the penultimate episode of Riverdale?
Are things shaping up to end on a promising, albeit premature, season finale? Or have the writers been drinking too many White Claws, er, Maple Claws?
Let us know in the comments, Cravers!
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