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Riverdale Season 4, Episode 14 Recap: Who Killed Jughead Jones?

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riverdale episode 14

The CW

The gap between Riverdale episode 13 and Riverdale episode 14 will go down in history as the most interminable hiatus in CW history. These two weeks of waiting may not seem like much, but tonight, we were promised answers to a mystery that’s been looming over Bughead fans since last May: Is Jughead dead, or nah? We’ve seen Archie, Veronica, and Betty get arrested by FP for Jughead’s death in flashbacks, and now we begin the slow climb through already-released footage and loosely-woven plot threads to the inevitable conclusions that Jughead’s just chilling behind a boulder somewhere and everything is fine. Does anyone have eyes on Cole Sprouse‘s contract? Because that could clear a lot of things up.

RIVERDALE EPISODE 14, SEASON 4 Recap: WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

betty veronica and archie

The CW

We’ve finally come full circle. Betty, Veronica, and Archie burn their clothes and Jughead’s ~iconic~ beanie, sneak home, and forget the all-too-important post-murder conversation where they craft a believable alibi. Archie tells his mother they all went skinny dipping, Veronica made up a story about strip poker, and Betty just freaks out and starts babbling about wine. Instead of calling the police, the team called Charles, who coached them into this massive conspiracy even though Betty swears she’s being framed for Jughead’s murder.

While Jughead’s lying in some shallow grave, allegedly, life goes on for our would-be murderers. Archie is asked to apply for the naval academy by Molly Ringwald‘s new girlfriend, Veronica and Hermosa get into a fight over Hiram’s will (hashtag rich people problems), and Betty calls FP with a pre-written speech asking about Jughead’s whereabouts under the supervision of Charles. Charles is looking pretty sketchy from where I’m sitting. The first rule of staying out of trouble: trust no b*tch, leave no receipts! Betty bugs Stonewall Prep while Veronica and Archie get an underaged drink and talk about Betty’s history of blackouts, like that Chuck Clayton incident no one ever mentions. Is this all a parable for the perils of underage drinking? Veronica’s not convinced that Betty is innocent. Archie, BTW, isn’t thrilled about the Naval Academy suggestion, but he’s totally supportive of his mom’s new relationship, and Veronica finally gets her father to admit to his terminal illness. Yeah, this episode isn’t pulling any punches. Hermosa and Veronica are named co-executors of Hiram’s estate, but that doesn’t mean these hermanas are ready to kiss and make up.

Betty visits Evelyn in jail to chat about Donna and lowkey confess to blacking out at the Stonewall Prep party. Evelyn probably isn’t the best person to tell your secrets to, especially since she wants Jughead dead and Betty behind bars even more than the one-percenters. Betty takes matters into her own hands by asking Archie to start a fight with Brett, both to create plausible deniability about Jughead and to get a rise out of the prep school pair, who obviously noticed the giant blinking bug Betty poorly hid under a table. Betty’s starting to get desperate (and more than a little creepy), monitoring Archie and making sure he doesn’t reveal their secrets to his mom. Her bigger issue is that she lives with the Sheriff, who knows how to use Find My Phone and finds Jug’s iPhone in Betty’s jacket pocket. It was planted there by another Stonewall Preppy, but Betty makes up another terrible lie to get off the hook. The Stonewall Prep kids are not backing down, planting a duplicate murder weapon that Charles swaps out for a boulder covered in fake blood. They’re going after Veronica, too, telling Barnard about the Maple Club and jeopardizing her admission. This is the last straw for Ronnie, who gently demands that Betty explain everything that happened, in detail. She’s a really great friend for sticking around, and she rightfully suggests that Betty use Charles’s nifty hypnotism to bring back her memories. Donna didn’t use a trigger word: she used Devil’s Breath, a blackout drug that can be ingested through airborne particles. Under its influence, Betty couldn’t have killed Jug, but she could’ve woken up with a rock in her hand. Betty confronts Donna in the woods, an interesting tactic that reveals nothing and helps no one. Donna makes it clear that Betty’s DNA is all over Jughead’s body, so Betty responds by organizing a search party engineered to have FP find the corpse. That just seems mean, but whatever. Betty ID’s the corpse with Brett and Donna sitting in the waiting room, and we’re obviously supposed to believe Jughead is really gone. Sorry, I still don’t buy it. Betty’s wild left-field move sufficiently spooks Donna, but this war is just beginning.

THE MOST CW MOMENT

Introducing our new favorite couple, Mary and Brooke! Say what you want about the CW, but they’re A1 when it comes to on-screen representation.

HOW WE FEEL

riverdale episode 14

The CW

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Riverdale was a promising freshman series with beautiful cinematography, a charismatic cast, and a Lynchian murder mystery made of teen TV gold. Riverdale episode 14 hasn’t quite returned us to the series’ glory days, but we’re legitimately impressed by how its been tying together seemingly disparate loose ends to form an actual, cohesive storyline. We’d honestly given up after Archie fought his second bear, but these writers never did. With Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols‘ impending departure, we’ve gotta assume FP is going to sacrifice himself to save his son. Right? Right?! He wouldn’t leave Alice for nothing… unless the death of his son drives him into a deep grief and he flees town to start a new life as a logger or a trucker or an eyewear model. Yeah, we’ve got nothing. It’s just so strange that Jughead’s best friends are so unaffected by his death, still worrying about things like naval academies and will disputes instead of taking even an hour to grieve. This gambit has turned the no body/no crime rule of television soaps nicely on its head, but Riverdale isn’t working hard enough to trick us into believing Jughead is gone for good. My money is on Charles being at the center of all this, but maybe that’s just because I don’t trust white men.

Riverdale Episode 14 FAN REACTIONS

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