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Riverdale Season 4, Episode 16 Recap: I Know Who Killed Me

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On Riverdale episode 16, Jughead locks himself in a tiny room with his would-be murderers and explains how he’s still alive. Because the best thing to do once you’ve narrowly avoided death is have a long chat with your killers and tell them where to improve. Maybe they won’t f*ck it up next time and we’ll actually get that Afterlife with Archie zombie storyline we’ve been waiting for.

RIVERDALE EPISODE 16, SEASON 4 Recap: WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

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Jughead’s omniscient narration is back just in time to complain about his time in the bunker. Two weeks stuck inside with no outside contact, surviving off of microwave meals, his only light those sad, handmade candles. Are we sure Jughead wasn’t just under coronavirus quarantine? Jughead explains that his father and sister were eventually brought in on the scheme, while Hermosa and Mary Andrews stumbled upon the truth in their own ways (being nosy and nice, respectively). Never one to lose his flair for the dramatic, Jughead’s grand return involves locking himself, Betty, Mr. DuPont, and our least favorite preppies in their classroom while he talks at them for half-an-hour. I’m just going to repeat that locking yourself in a room with people who have literally tried to murder you — and *outnumber* you ‐ is never the right move.

In the only actual surprise of the season, it all comes back to Moose. Jughead and Moose, and Jughead’s grandfather were all invited to Stonewall Prep during their senior year, and Jughead Sr. Sr. was even Mr. DuPont’s roommate. Jughead realizes being trapped in a coffin for 24 hours was an early red flag (no duh), but Moose’s subsequent departure was no accident. Mr. Chipping, Stonewall Prep’s townie recruiter, encouraged him to leave. But why? Mr. Chipping died the day after Jughead revealed that his grandfather had written the original Baxter Brothers novel and been exploited by a young Mr. DuPont. Jughead realized that four kids blankly ignoring their teacher’s suicide was vaguely suspicious and looked into Donna, who never had an affair with Chipping and completely fabricated her *other*, identical affair. He also had second thoughts about that “write the perfect murder” assignment that we obviously knew was going to be used against him. Moose was the originally intended victim, but Chipping couldn’t let him die. Chipping saved Moose when he herded him into the army before Chipping committed suicide, the result of a guilty conscience because of the circumstances that allowed Chipping to earn his Baxter Brothers contract years prior. The challenge to see which student will take the throne has nothing to do with writing — it’s about which student can get away with the perfect murder. Each year, a new townie is brought in as their pawn because, apparently, Mr. DuPont just really, really hates the poor. Didn’t How to Get Away with Murder do this, but with actual stakes?

So which Preppie dealt the not-so-final blow? They all had a hand in Jughead’s assault, but it was some random b*tch named Joan who’s never had a line. Poor Jonathon got cold feet and got murdered too, but only after he didn’t do his *one job* of checking that Jughead was actually dead. They never explain if all four kids were going to share writing duties or what, but since Betty was able to revive Jughead through CPR, it doesn’t really matter. Jughead, ever the great boyfriend, refused medical help because he knew Betty would be framed for the attack. Betty called Charles, who brought secret paramedics and explained to three freaked teens How to Get Away with Murder. See? this was totally jacked from Shonda Rhimes! If Jughead didn’t live, they were ready to take the secret to their grave, but it didn’t come to that. Jug pulled through his 36-hour coma, bribed the mortician into letting him play dead, and interrogated the past Baxter Brothers‘ ghostwriters to confirm his story. Mr. DuPont is the Big Bad here — he murdered the other three students in his OG study group and he instructed the ghostwriters to commit their crimes. Jughead’s grandfather was the only one left. Forsythe Senior’s old friend warned him that the study group was being picked off, so he abandoned his family to save his own life and gather evidence against Mr. DuPont. Like Grandfather like grandson. Between Forsythe Senior, FBI Charles, Chief of Police FP, and lil baby Jug, Mr. DuPont has been definitively caught. Naturally, he jumps out the window. Jug probably should’ve had this conversation in the Quill and Skull bunker.

Charles interviews the Preppy Murderers one by one, and it’s clear Donna was the micro-mastermind behind Jughead’s attempted murder. Joan has diplomatic immunity, so she’s just going to flee and never return. Brett threatens to release Betty and Jughead’s sex tape if he isn’t given a reduced charge. Jughead and FP beat some sense into him — I know it’s wrong, but that’s some sexy AF father/son bonding — and his terrible tape collection is handed over to the authorities, no strings attached. And Donna’s still fake crying and pretending she’s a victim in all of this. She covered her tracks, got everyone else to do her dirty work, and ultimately won the Baxter Brothers contract — being relaunched as Tracy True. All this because one of DuPont’s original victims was Donna’s grandmother, the hot tea spilled by Hermosa off-screen on the last episode, and Donna was determined to get revenge on her grandmother’s killer. Adding insult to injury, Donna’s grandmother invented Tracy True, another character stolen by the dastardly DuPont. We’ll never know Donna’s original plan, but Betty has proof tying her to this web of murder. Donna goes free, but only after Betty’s final victory — Donna has to give up her Tracy True contract, her birthright, in exchange for her freedom. That’s like way harsh, Tai.

Oh, and Hedwig and the Angry Itch is coming the second week of April. See you then, b*tches.

THE MOST CW MOMENT

After all this, they’re *still* trying to make Barchie happen.

HOW WE FEEL

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The CW

Surprise, surprise, Donna was the mastermind. I mean, it was either Donna or Robert Chamberts Brett, but we have two pictures in our hands and only one will continue on to be America’s Next Top Murderer. Prizes include a season of Serial dedicated to their case and a highly dramatized Lifetime Original Movie on the horrors of teen drinking, a gateway drug to murder. But, seriously, making Donna a smidge sympathetic and then taking away the Tracy True franchise that was stolen from her family seems a little… needlessly cruel? Like to us, the audience? She did totally try to kill Jughead as part of her revenge scheme and is a super scary *person*, but taking away her family legacy seems like an unnecessarily mean note to end this massive victory on. Like, she’s just roaming free, even madder? Nothing about that bodes well for season five. Honestly, Donna would have gotten away with it too, but it has nothing to do with meddling kids. It was her choice of murderer that made absolutely no sense. Of course, Jughead didn’t die. Joan is two feet shorter than him and *tiny*. If Brett had been in charge of the maiming, Jughead’s funeral wouldn’t have been quite so fake. Another funeral that I’m not buying is DuPont’s (or Chipping’s for that matter) — like, sure, it make sense in the plot, but that two-story fall would not kill anyone. Seriously injure them, sure. But death? DuPont should have asked for an office on the sixth floor. All in all, this was great How to Get Away with Murder fan fiction, but I’m glad it’s behind us. Riverdale is at its best when it’s being so batsh*t, there are barely any dots to connect, and I’m excited to get back to the series I know and love.

Riverdale Episode 16 FAN REACTIONS

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