This week on Riverdale, the season’s core mystery is finally solved and laid to rest. Before we vow to have a totally awesome last few months of senior year, we need to cover the main plots of the evening:
The Locked Room Mystery
Turns out Juggy doesn’t like all his time alone with his thoughts—and he’s not loving that he has to fake being dead, nor that Betty and Archie are now fake-dating. Though he does enjoy at least one of his obituaries (the one in the Blue & Gold). Considering how many people are in on the secret that Jughead is alive, it’s amazing that it’s stayed a secret for so long. But stay a secret it does, at least until Hermosa’s intel about Donna allows Jughead to crack the case and he and Betty surface from the bunker to confront his former Stonewall classmates and Mr. DuPont. The look on Brett’s face when Jughead strolls into the classroom? Truly priceless.
Jug and Betty turn the episode into a “locked room mystery,” literally locking the door and spelling out the twisted turn of events that have served as the main Riverdale season 4 mystery. We get a brief hint that it all comes back to Donna’s family history. Ah yes, as ever, Riverdale wants to discuss “the sins of one generation being passed down to the next.” (Everyone remembers the Black Hood and Betty’s serial killer gene? K cool.)
But that will have to wait—first there’s talk of Moose; the Halloween drugging; Mr. Chipping’s recruiting and then bouncing of Moose (which Betty reads as “Chipping knew Moose was going to get murdered and was trying to save his life”); the Stonies’ blank expressions when Chipping jumped out the window (which I, too, thought was weird), Donna’s falsified affair with Mr. Chipping (and Mr. Cotter); Mrs. Chipping’s tale of Mr. Chipping’s regret over taking the Baxter contract…it all leads to this: “The Baxter Brothers challenge was to devise the perfect murder, but what if the real challenge was to commit the perfect murder? In order to prove you could write it, first, you had to do it.” Wow, the publishing industry is really messed up in this world!
So who tried to kill Jughead? The whole lit society gang played a part, and Jonathan is definitely dead now because he screwed his part up—his part being “make sure Jughead is actually dead.” We see how Archie, Betty, and Veronica revived Jughead in the woods and called Charles for help, how Jug faked looking like a corpse at the morgue, and we get even more information: Mr. DuPont not only makes all his ghostwriters commit murder, he also murdered the original lit society members who knew of his original sin (that he stole the Baxter Brothers from Forsythe the First). At this point, Charles, F.P., and Forsythe the First walk into the room and Forsythe reveals that one of the other lit society members tipped him off to DuPont’s murder spree and that he’s been collecting evidence against DuPont since 2002. 2002! It is now 2020, let me remind you. That’s a LOT of evidence for three murders.
Anyway, Charles starts to arrest DuPont, who throws himself through the same window Chipping did months ago. Charles then interrogates Joan, who decides to leave the country with her diplomatic immunity. He interrogates Donna, who blames Brett and Mr. DuPont for everything. He interrogates Brett, who smarms as usual and threatens to release the Bughead sex tape…until he gets his face mashed in by F.P. and Jug before then relenting and deciding to cooperate. So, wow. The mystery is solved!
Game Recognize Game
But wait, there’s one last shoe to drop: Donna Sweet’s true identity. Betty pays Donna another “in the dark of the night” visit to play her last card—the fact that Hermosa discovered that Donna’s grandmother was one of the original lit society members DuPont killed (Jane Dallas Brown). So Donna’s entire life has been focused on getting revenge for her grandmother’s murder. And, as Donna lets Betty know, the theft of Tracy True (the girl detective in the Baxter Brothers series) by Mr. DuPont. Tracy was her grandmother’s creation, and now that Donna has won the BB contract—which includes a series re-launch focusing on Tracy herself—she has everything she’s worked toward. But Betty Cooper is like, not so fast. She’s not cool with Donna profiting off of Jug’s near-death, and she thinks both Tracy and Donna’s grandmother deserve better. So she warns Donna to walk away from the contract, or else she’ll release the medical file that proves Donna is related by blood to this whole murder mystery. Betty’s keeping her eye on Ms. Donna Sweet Dallas Brown.
Rumordale dot com:
• Jughead’s voiceover is back! Did we miss it? Eh, 50-50.
• Veronica asking her half-sister for a family discount on her PI services is just the best.
• It’s not heavy-handed or obvious at all that the Stonewall lit society is studying Crime and Punishment. I am not proud that Jughead makes this same observation.
• The Jughead-and-Betty show that these two put on during this locked room scenario is the moment they’ve been working toward as a detective duo for four seasons now.
• At school, Cheryl says she’s not surprised Jughead is back because, “no one ever really dies in Riverdale, do they?” While hilarious, it raises some questions. Because if Jason and Mr. Blossom and Midge and Mr. Cooper and more all come back from the dead, the show has a lot to explain…
• Cheryl also says that Betty and Archie canoodling during their “fake-dating” charade looked pretty real to her…Is this show really steering back into this B-V-A love triangle of Archie Comics fame?
• F.P. and Forsythe the First might be on their way to reconciliation, which to Jug, is the one good thing to come out of all this.
• At Pop’s, the core four debrief and vow over milkshakes to end their senior year on a high note. B and V vow to help their boyfriends graduate—it's time to study, no more getting distracted by mysteries (which hopefully means no more murders). Then Kevin comes in to remind everyone about the upcoming variety show...
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue