Riverdale Season 4, Episode 15 Recap: Jughead Is Alive, But So Is Barchie

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riverdale episode 15

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If Riverdale episode 15 wants us to believe this “Jughead Is Dead” storyline we’ve been following for nearly a year, may I suggest directing the new Core Three to show a single emotion? Tonight’s episode features Betty, Archie, and Veronica’s arrest for Jughead’s murder and Jughead’s funeral, yet we’ve seen these actors muster up more tears over a cheerleading try-out. Since episode 15 is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the man who ruined all of our lives by creating this, you know sh*t’s about to go down. I will pay every single person reading this $5 if Jughead isn’t magically alive by the end of tonight (for a grand total of like $20… does anyone even read these?).



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Jughead’s epitaph is some random Agatha Christie quote about life being messy, which checks out. Honestly, this episode does feel a little empty without Jug’s loquacious commentary, I miss him! Guess you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s definitely not gone. Alice is making a documentary about Jughead’s murder, which captures Betty’s reaction to her new Yale acceptance, but these aren’t happy tears. She’s taking Jughead’s spot. Cheryl blames the Blossom curse on Betty’s various misfortunes and puts her on a 24/7 suicide watch because Betty was Ophelia to Jughead’s Hamlet. Um, Ophelia dies first in that play, but points for trying. At least this means we’ll have more Cheryl this episode.

FP updates Alice and her film crew (aka just Kevin) on his investigation into Jughead’s death. He’s got a warrant to search Donna’s room at Stonewall, where he finds Jughead’s tie pin. Donna feeds him a bunch of lies about seeing Betty standing over Jughead’s body holding a rock with Archie, and Veronica by her side — come to think of it, that’s actually true — leading to the Core Three’s arrest at school. Betty assures her friends that this is all a part of the plan. FP interrogates the kids with their parents present, which must have been super awkward for everyone. Alice reveals off-the-record that she thinks Betty did it before FP comes in to question her, but Betty’s fake rock ploy from last episode works perfectly and she’s immediately released along with Archie and Jughead.

Archie and Veronica are coping with Jughead’s death the only way they know how: boning. But their boning is sadly interrupted by doubts about Betty’s plan and Hermosa’s meddling. She stops hitting on a minor long enough to reveal that she’s aware Veronica is under investigation at Barnard, and she’s determined to figure out why. When she hears about Veronica’s brush with law enforcement, she tries to help by bringing fake travel documents, but Ronnie thinks it’s just a clever way to get her out of town and out of her way. Archie’s been affected by the allegations as well, with his community center attendance plummetting because the kids all think he’s a murderer. IDK why they’d care — wasn’t their last leader a violent drug dealer? Whatever. Hermosa fully figures out that the Core Three gave different alibis on Murder Night, and Ronnie is coerced into telling her everything.

The Stonies (why not Stoners, Riverdale?) are thrown by the planted murder weapon. They saw Jonathan (who TF is Jonathan) smear Jughead’s blood on it themselves — yeah, smear. So Jughead was never hit in the head with a rock? So Jughead has just been chilling in the Quill & Skull basement this whole time? I’m telling you, this whole “death” thing still smells fishy to me. Donna is legit unhinged and calls Betty in the middle of the night with her *own* theory that Jughead isn’t actually dead. Am I Donna? I’m white, a little unpleasant, and don’t think Jughead is dead…

Okay, I’m back from my identity crisis and Betty is organizing a funeral for Jug. FP lets the Stonies come because he’s a messy b*tch that lives for drama, and they find the closed casket as mysterious as I do. They’re also wearing their school uniforms to a *funeral* so their deductive reasoning probably stopped there. Hiram thinks this is a great time to request FP take a leave of absence, and FP is so offended that he quits. The Stonies cause a scene and start a “rumor” that Jughead is alive, which Kevin totally believes because he liked The Adventures of Tom Sawyer so much. Reggie thinks it’s a senior prank. Both are equally hot takes. Betty and Archie have a heart-to-heart about Jughead’s death in Pop’s, which is a little Dan-Reacting-To-Gossip-Girl-Blasts for my taste, but it seems to be for Concerned Citizen Cheryl’s benefit. Hopefully, Betty and Archie’s music room makeout sesh was also for her benefit because no one asked for this. Cheryl blasts a photo of their private moment around the school, but she hand-delivers the news to Ronnie. Betty and Archie officially start dating, and it quashes the “Jughead Is Alive’ rumors once and for all with everyone except Donna, who doesn’t understand the weight of a Barchie reveal. It’s okay, she’s only been here for half a season. Donna starts following Betty, who’s taking frequent visits to Dilton’s bunker. Not for Jughead, though. For hookups with Archie. Alice asks how long they’ve been together, but Betty will only tell her off-the-record.

Shock! Gasp! Archie and Veronica are still together, and it was all part of Betty’s plan. Who could’ve seen that coming? Oh, and Jughead is alive. Like, confirmed alive and living in the bunker with Betty. This was so obvious, I don’t even feel like saying “I told you so.” But musical cues are hinting that the chemistry between Archie and Betty was real, too. This isn’t going to end well. In case you were wondering, Jughead only lived because his weirdo beanie cushioned the blow, I hate it here.

War is still on between the Stonies and our heroes, and Betty is confident she has the upper hand. Brett believes that Jughead is dead, but Donna saw three milkshakes in that sloppy makeout bunker and this conspiracy theorist is ready to kill Jughead for real. Just ask her last victim, Jonathan. Or any number of people from her last life, a secret identity discovered by Hermosa and revealed to Not Us. Guess we’ll just have to wait for the next episode when Jug makes his triumphant return to prep school and sets this final act in motion.


And the award for the Most Obvious Plot Twist of All Time goes to…


riverdale episode 15

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Things I Learned on Twitter Today: The democratic primary is a nightmare hellscape and there are way more Barchie stans than I thought. Seriously, there are so many of y’all and you have been holding on for *years.* Are you OK? That’s a long time to go without being fed. Speaking of a TBT, the number of throwbacks to abandoned storylines this episode was *chef’s kiss*. Toni bringing up her weird fling with Jughead from, like, two years ago? Kevin being the last person to find out about Miss Grundy? Cheryl apologizing for calling Jughead a hobo? We’ve had some good times with you, Riverdale. I’m honestly just happy Riverdale remembers each of the loose ends they’ve been throwing around like confetti and is actively choosing to ignore them. It’s more fun that way. A forgotten plot that still needs to be addressed, though, is those mysterious VHS tapes that were being left on our protagonists’ doorsteps earlier in the season. Did they explain that and I’ve just forgotten? Because that felt like a big deal, but I cannot for the life of me remember what happened with them. In my defense, there’s been a lot going on with Jughead not dying and everything.

I don’t even want to talk about Jughead being alive. Like, yes. Obviously. We all knew this, I don’t we as a fandom entertained the idea of his death for more than a week, so dragging it on for almost a year was an Interesting Choice. Wrapping it up neatly in two episodes once Jughead actually died was also a choice, one that left little time for Riverdale to build enough credibility for their ~crazy twist~ to land with any satisfactory payoff. To be fair, the writers probably knew that *they’d* get hella death threats if they made Jughead’s death seem too real, so this half-*ssed campaign of lies could’ve been conducted in the interest of self-preservation. We get it.

Riverdale Episode 15 FAN REACTIONS

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