Halloween has arrived in Riverdale! It took a few years, but things are about to get spooky.
A series of unfortunate events has descended upon the town on Riverdale Season 4 Episode 4. Ghostly spirits, dangerous killers, and a potentially deadly prank affected all of the characters during the creepiest night of the year. No one was spared from the Halloween fun.
But, the biggest scare of all came from the final few seconds of the chapter. (We were not prepared!)
Jughead's torment at Stonewall Prep could've ended horribly had he not stayed calm.
Being drugged and trapped inside a coffin is one of the scariest realities anyone could face. A lack of oxygen, setting himself on fire, or a heart attack caused by fear might've been a deadly mishap had Mr. Chipping not eventually found him. And, of course, actually being buried alive.
"Tradition" might be part of the school's mindset, but if they had a rampant urban legend about the Stonewall Four spreading around, doing stuff like this wouldn't be the best decision. The entire situation came off extremely shady and created a lot more questions about the school's mentality.
Jughead: [Heavy breathing] What? Where?
Mr. Chipping: I’m always amazed at my students’ antics. How they get extra … creative at Halloween.
Mr. Chipping: Don’t take it personally, Jughead. It’s a Stonewall Prep tradition.
Donna: It means you belong now.
Jughead: Belong to what?
Brett: To us, of course.
Thankfully, Jughead kept it together, but he can't trust Donna, the other members of the salon, and definitely not Brett. Without Moose around, he needs to watch his back.
They're not playing manipulation tactics only anymore.
Though, based on the flash-forward, all of this fear means nothing. My jaw dropped when Jughead's dead body was unveiled at the morgue!
Did you think he was going to die? I didn't!
Ever since the cliffhanger from Riverdale 3 Episode 22, I expected a huge red-herring. All of this was going to be a twist and Jughead would stroll out to catch his would-be killer. (That theory is going off the list...)
It's depressing in murder-mystery plots like this whenever you find out the identity of the victim early on before the killer. The rest of the events will now be piecing the murder plot together for how this death came to be. And, looking at all the suspects of who could've done it.
Charles could be on the list. His new suspicious behavior around Betty might be a reason for why Jughead needed to be taken out of the picture.
Charles loved coming in to save the day when Betty started receiving those terrifying calls from The Black Hood. Without her brother's help, she wouldn't have known Polly's deranged involvement.
Plus, with Betty most likely taking the opportunity with the junior FBI (if that's even a real thing?), they'll be spending a lot more time together. Charles may be manipulating the situation to get what he wants, whatever that may be.
Speaking of Betty's ordeal, I loved all the nods to Laurie Strode/Halloween and Scream. Slasher flicks are my favorite genre of horror movies, so I was living for this!
She embraced her inner Final Girl mentality when things started getting scary.
Betty rushed to Jellybean when she sensed danger, she armed herself to open the door, and she had strangely escalating phone calls with an unseen voice. Typical Final Girl behavior.
Betty: Meanwhile, I feel guilty that I wasn’t there for you, Jug.
Jughead: No. Well, actually, you were there for me. Thinking about you was the only thing kept me from losing hope. And my sanity. I think deep down I know that if I ever went missing, you’d be the one to find me.
Betty: I would, Jug. I promise.
Polly being revealed as the caller was an interesting development that subtlety teased the potential shadiness coming from Charles.
Betty finally cut ties with her sister after everything she did, and now by letting down her guard with Charles, she's potentially rehashing the same cycle with a new sibling. The Cooper/Smith siblings have a seriously complicated relationship.
Cheryl should thank her lucky stars that Toni stuck by her side.
Anyone else would've called the cops ages ago and sought her help, especially after the psychological manipulation Cheryl played. But, Toni stuck around out of love and concern.
"Choni" stands tall and proud among the Riverdale romances.
Though, let's call this what it was: Toni deserved better this chapter. Everything she said and did regarding burying Jason was out of concern for the woman she loved. She knew that keeping Jason's dead body around wasn't a healthy (or sane) coping mechanism for Cheryl.
Yet, at every turn, Cheryl was making subtle nods toward choosing Jason's dead body over Toni. Sure, Cheryl's mental state wasn't ready to give up the "ghost" (as it were), but the poltergeist references slowly morphed into a conflict plot between Jason/Julian and Toni.
This is the same couple who had the iconic kiss in front of the movie screen on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 17. If this Jason/Julian plot evolves into the reason why Choni breaks up, that would be a heartbreaking goodbye after everything they went through.
Let's hope Julian's spirit is quelled or that it turns out to be a twist. Maybe Penelope is the one playing the spectral pranks?
Note to self: don't mess with Mr. Honey. After his little encounter with Cheryl on Riverdale Season 4 Episode 2, he's not playing around with his own sociopathic sense of justice.
Mr. Honey effortlessly turned the tables on Kevin and Reggie without exerting any effort. No anger, no raised voices, no facial expressions ... just calm conversation and manipulation.
I understood why Kevin cracked first. He was the weaker one in the prank, and after his involvement with The Farm, him having a self-involved/survivalist attitude wasn't shocking. Kevin wasn't going to put his dreams of NYU at risk for anyone.
Mr. Honey's treatment of Reggie, on the other hand, was a tactical and cold maneuver. He knew exactly how to get revenge on Reggie: (1) recognize the abuse he received from his father, and (2) hurt his car. Reggie played into his hand.
Even though he's the principal, Mr. Honey's moral and ethical compass is suspect.
Veronica's deadly encounter had all the 1950s flair you'd come to expect from those old urban legends told over campfires. This is Riverdale's bread and butter. (I'm surprised she and Archie didn't experience the escaped criminal with the hook for a hand/parked car urban legend.)
There was something off about Michael the second he entered the diner. His need for coffee and food was a standard ask; he did go to a diner, after all. However, he was too earnest to interact with Veronica, especially for someone who just drove 28 hours.
Plus, the scene set an uncomfortable tone with its lightning and camera angles. The neon sign backlit the space and the camera angles always showcased the distance between Veronica and Michael. Almost as if it was setting the stakes to be wary of this visitor.
Also, their perspectives emphasized the distance. We saw how Michael and Veronica looked at each other, but the only time they were ever close was when Veronica handed him food.
The editors did a great job keeping us on our toes to wonder if he was friend or foe.
I loved Alice's emergency newcast about the escaped mental patient, "The Family Man Killer." It's so 1950s urban legend that the nostalgia shone brightly.
Betty isn't the only horror movie Final Girl in the bunch.
Veronica can stand her own and take down a killer when necessary. She channeled her inner Alice from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and stopped her attacker with a little diner ingenuity.
The flames on Michael's outfit seemed too CGI and fake, but the build-up toward their climax made up for it. The tension ramped up nicely for a satisfying fight and slasher flick moment.
During Riverdale Season 4 Episode 4. Archie and Monroe's hearts were in the right place. Their concerns were a noble effort for wanting to protect the kids in the community on Halloween and offer a fun celebration at the gym.
Plus, when Dodger and his crew tried to take Eddie and threatened everyone, they showed enough courage to stand up and keep everyone safe. No one is denying that fact.
And, I will congratulate Archie for doing the right thing by calling FP first when he saw Dodger's gun. He didn't make a reckless move to fight the criminals; he put everyone's safety first above his own. That is the good side of Archie.
However, if his plot is now going down the road of him becoming a masked vigilante to fight Dodger and other criminals ... someone needs to have a very serious conversation with Archie.
No. Stop this. He can't. There is no way that Archie would think this would ever be a good idea.
Veronica: Archie, as well as you fill them out, you’re not actually fighting crime in those tights, are you?
Archie: Of course not. I’m gonna need a mask.
Riverdale is not a superhero TV series. There have been manipulative cults, serial killers, a murder mystery, incestuous secret cousins, an addictive board game, musical episodes, mob bosses, boxing rings, and a shirtless gang of teen boys to name a few of Riverdale's plotlines. But, Archie becoming a masked vigilante would take the cake.
Let's hope that this plot was merely a joke that gets brushed under the rug. If not, anyone for a Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover?
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
What was your favorite costume: Betty as Laurie Strode, Toni as Harley Quinn, Cheryl as Poison Ivy, Archie as Pureheart the Powerful, Jellybean as Rosie the Riveter, or Monroe as The Shield?
If Polly is still so obsessed about Edgar after he placed a bomb on her, she deserves to leave Betty's life.
- Let's hope Moose left for the army instead of the Stonewall kids kidnapping him. Moose is actually a nice guy.
Moose: I mean, I’m 18, and the army doesn’t care who you are and where you’re from.
Jughead: Dude, what Brett did, spreading that article about you was a real scumbag move. But you can’t let him win. He wants you to leave. Hell, he wants me to leave. Let’s not give him that satisfaction, okay?
Moose: Easy for you to say, Jug. They’re not calling you, “Gargoyle Boy.”
What do you think is the purpose of these VHS tapes? Better yet: who has all this time and video equipment on their hands to do this?
A creepy seance brings out all the Halloween fun. Right, Julian?
- Mr. Chipping is absolutely involved in the Stonewall Prep tradition. For someone who said he didn't know, he quickly pulled out Jughead's phone from his INSIDE jacket pocket.
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans!
What did you think of "Chapter Sixty-One: Halloween"?
Does Charles have something nefarious planned for Betty? Will Julian make a move against Toni? Who could have killed Jughead?
If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments.
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Justin Carreiro was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in October 2020. Follow him on Twitter.