Riverdale Season 4, Episode 4 Recap: Okay, Maybe Jughead Is Dead

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riverdale recap

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Does anyone else feel like this Halloweek has lasted a month and a half? It’s not even like Halloween celebrations are going to end on the 31st — since the spookiest day of the year lands on a Thursday, everyone seems confused about whether Halloweekend was last weekend or the first weekend of November and are just splitting the difference. Lucky for us, there’s nothing like a special Halloween episode of Riverdale to revive our holiday spirit. This Riverdale recap has enough costume #inspo to keep us going until it’s time to deck the halls.


cheryl blossom

The CW

The last time I heard about someone watching a mysterious VHS tape, the sentence “You will die in seven days” was being tossed around pretty cavalierly. When Jughead, Betty, FP, Charles and Alice (a totally normal family unit!) gather around their old-timey box TV, Samara is nowhere in sight: All of our leads receive their own creepy tapes, including poor Pop Tate who can’t catch a break, showing surveillance footage filmed outside of their homes. Nothing puts you in a Halloween mood like the constant threat of an unknown stalker! Oh, and in case you’re wondering if any of this is important — it’s not! We don’t return to this storyline once, but we do get a good twenty minutes of Archie realizing that a community center can’t keep kids off the streets and deciding to become a vigilante hero. None of us are happy about Arrow ending, but this is not the solution we needed.

Back at Sweet Valley High, Jughead learns about the Stonewall Four, a group of students that went missing and became the stuff of campus lore. While researching the legend, Donna drugs Jughead’s coffee, proving you should never trust the wealthy. Betty thinks her BF is just uncharacteristically late to their movie marathon, but he’s actually been trapped in a coffin by his classmates for insulting Edgar Allen Poe. I love private schools.

Betty has her own sh*t to deal with tonight — she may be dressed for Halloween, but a series of mysterious calls from a wannabe Black Hood is straight out of Scream. Charles arrives bearing pizza just in time for Betty to wonder if the call is coming from inside the house. Sharing DNA with an FBI agent has its perks, and Charles traces Betty’s threatening prank calls to Shady Grove Treatment Center where Polly has been staying. Betty *69s Polly pretending to be Edgar and immediately flips out on her sister, unceremoniously telling Polly that her beloved Chad Michael Murray is worm food and ranting until Polly hangs up.

While closing up Pop’s, Ronnie agrees to serve a weary traveler. Because it’s Halloween, breaking news alerts Veronica to a dangerous Shady Pines patient on the loose that pretends to be a trucker and forces his victims to prepare him home-cooked meals. That’s pretty on-the-nose. Oh, sh*t, he’s literally trying to kill her. Dang. Veronica escapes into La Bonne Nuit and somehow just knows the killer will be using a lighter to guide his way in the darkness. Her completely improbable impressive instincts pay off, and she dumps a bunch of alcohol onto the lighter, setting the killer on fire. This totally makes up for her weak storyline last episode, but someone, give this girl a real plot arc already!

Speaking of this Riverdale recap’s recurring arcs, Toni proves that she’s the coolest girlfriend ever by tolerating Cheryl’s dead brother for even a second, but Cheryl repays the favor by pretending Thistlehouse is being haunted by a doll after Toni helps her rebury Jason’s body. An Ouija seance aided by Nana Rose reveals this haunting is real, and that Chuckie-lite is Cheryl’s unborn triplet here to get revenge on our cherry bombshell for eating him in the womb. There’s too much to unpack there, and we refuse to try.

Reggie and Kevin TP Principal Honey’s office, and Kevin gets summonsed for a scolding alone because this show still has a tendency towards homophobic microaggressions — Exhibit A: Choni’s super-villainous hook-up being interrupted by a haunted doll. Honey implies Kevin will never get into Tisch because Heathers and Carrie were so bad — or maybe because of all the murder and cult invasions, IDK — and this harmless prank was the last straw. Reggie does eventually get brought into Honey’s office, and this grown-*ss man implies that Reggie is only a prankster because his dad beats him and that none of his friends actually like him. Note: That is *not* the appropriate response to child abuse as an authority figure. Also an incorrect response? Trashing Reggie’s car/the only thing he really loves in vengeance.

Oh, right, Jughead. It’s been a while since we heard from our kidnapped narrator. Mr. Chipper rescues Jug from the coffin — it’s been in his office the whole time — and reveals this is just a prolonged prep school hazing ritual. It also served as a convenient way to keep Jug away from Moose as he leaves SVH — or gets pushed out.

Our Riverdale recap ends with a flashforward to the Riverdale County Morgue, where Betty and FP are about to identify a body. You know, maybe Jughead really is dead because that’s definitely our boy Cole Sprouse’s yellowing body on that slab.


the seance

The CW

Learning that Cheryl Blossom ate her triplet in the womb… and his ghost is back with a vengeance.


riverdale recap

The CW

This Riverdale recapper only has one thing to say to those *ssholes whose high school Halloween costumes were the Gargoyle King and the Black Hood: People are dying, Kim.

Seriously, people *died*. That’s cold, especially for students whose usual idea of bullying is calling Moose “Gargoyle Boy” — real inventive, fellas. Speaking of costumes, I’m not sure if a generic blue button-up and jeans really counts as a Laurie Strode costume, but we appreciated the reference even if Betty’s storyline was confusingly inspired by a completely different throwback slasher film. Still, she looked fantastic. So fantastic, that I’m a little annoyed with how the Riverdale writers might be setting up Donna as a Toni Topaz-style character included to shake up Bughead’s relationship (talk about a TBT). Good news for all of our Bughead shippers: I cannot remember Donna’s name for the life of me, which I take as a sign that she isn’t long for this series. You’ll need to be slightly more memorable than Ann from Arrested Development to compete with a literal Cover Girl.

Speaking of Betty, I’m pretty sure her half-brother is hitting on her. Sure, he says he’s just trying to recruit her for the Junior FBI Training Program, but his *eyes* say that the program is in his pants. He’s also low-key spying on her phone conversations, so I’m not even convinced he’s in the FBI at all. Another possible red-herring: Polly’s unmasking as the ominous prank caller, not that Betty has any doubts. Remember, Polly was taken to abusive nuns after being impregnated by her cousin before accidentally joining a cultish organ farm and getting shipped off to a psychiatric hospital when the cult’s leader sent her to an FBI bunker wearing a suicide bomb. But, yeah, Betty, show no remorse for a couple of prank calls she might not have even made. I know this entire town is traumatized for one reason or another — So far, Riverdale has a poorly guarded jail, a poorly-guarded mental hospital, a gang problem, and multiple serial killers with a flare for the dramatic… Why does anyone still live here? — but this just made me sad. What happened to ask first, call your sister a b*tch later?

Pivoting away from one-half of our central couple, Veronica is apparently friends with Katy Keene, an amazing New York designer we’ve totally never heard about. She creates Archie and Mad Dog’s costumes with amazing speed, again making me wonder where exactly Riverdale is supposed to be. You’re telling me Lucy Hale designed, sewed, *and* shipped two custom made Halloween costumes with time to create pithy specialized names overnight? Still, the girl put KJ Apa in tights, so she’s A-OK in my book.

Join us next week for another Riverdale recap, if only to see the new and inventive ways they make light of Reggie’s child abuse storyline.


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