Jughead's murder is the type of juicy whodunnit that captivates a small town. Just remember how they reacted over Jason Blossom's and Midge's murders!
On Riverdale Season 4 Episode 15, the town fell deep into the sensational murder-mystery of their resident aspiring author. Unfortunately, our favorite trio is on the other side of the case.
It's a whole new world for them since now they're the biggest suspects in this crime.
You gotta love Alice's journalistic ambitions. Even in the midst of a tragedy, she finds a way to turn things around and prosper from it.
Seriously, she didn't even wait a day before recording her documentary!
How was FP fine with this?! No one else would be cool if their girlfriend was recording footage about their son's murder.
This is one of those instances where Alice needed a bit of tact. I respect her Slytherin quality and seizing the opportunity, but this was the time to act like a Hufflepuff and chill.
Her documentary didn't need the footage that bad.
The footage itself created a new stylistic experiment for Riverdale. It's almost like when the therapy sessions from Riverdale Season 4 Episode 8 interspersed with the rest of the chapter.
The interviews gave more depth to the thoughts of the secondary characters dealing with the murder.
Riverdale has been so focused on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead that the rest of the characters fell by the wayside. Alice's interviews connected everyone on the outside and showcased a few of their thoughts. It wasn't a big update, but it gave context to how the town viewed the murder/rumors.
The low quality of the film felt real and raw. You could tell that it was just Alice utilizing whatever she had to put a movie together.
It's one of the few moments that Riverdale has kept it relatable and believable for one of its characters.
"Chapter Seventy-Two: To Die For" also serves as Riverdale's most meta chapter. Did you pick up on every reference, Riverdale fans?
Alice brought up references about the Jughead being alive/faking his death theories, the fan support of "Bughead" (Betty + Jughead), and also the equal heated push for the "Barchie" (Betty + Archie) romance. These all are popular fan discussions; not only during Riverdale Season 4 but since the start of the series.
Donna: You must really miss your brother? When was the last time you saw him? He isn’t really dead, is he?!
[Betty comes rushing over]
Betty: Donna, are you serious?! This is Jughead’s little sister and you’re accosting her!
Donna: Oh, come on, Betty. You and I both know this is all an act.
Betty: B****, I’m done with you. Let’s go.
Heck, even our Riverdale Round Table has tackled these hot topics over the years!
These plot points were surprising twists. Riverdale has never been this outright, and by so much, in a single chapter in referencing the fan chatter.
Sometimes there are slight nods to online topics, but this was a full-blown inclusion. It's great to feel seen.
As compared to Riverdale Season 4 Episode 14, this was completely night and day for Betty's success rate. Whereas she was previously messy and panicky, here she stood four steps ahead of Quill & Skull.
Taking the offensive worked out in her favor. Donna and Brett crumbled under the weight of being kept out of the loop.
Their spiraling downfall is the perfect example of a character archetype who slowly loses control and descends into paranoia/madness.
Donna: In case you’ve forgotten, I’m the brains of this operation. We still have a job to finish and a meddlesome girlfriend to pin this on.
Donna: And if you ever undermine me again, you will go the way of Jonathan, may he rest in peace. And that’s a fact.
First, they had confidence and power. Second, they worried when things didn't go their way. Third, they then doubted the truth and created their narrative. Fourth, they panicked and got angry. And up next, they're going to start lashing out and do reckless things.
Donna even resorted to stalking Betty to discover the truth! She is at the end of her rope; Betty rattled her cage and is playing her like a puppet.
Donna is going to do whatever it takes to win. If she was desperate enough to get Brett to charge a coffin, she'll do anything. Just look at her (possible) second victim, Jonathan; she most likely silenced him to cover-up her crimes.
I'm happy that Riverdale revealed everyone involved in the scheme.
I had questioned why Betty had not told FP what happened during the party, but that was most likely laddering up to a bigger development. To cover-up a fake murder like this, the core four needed the help of many outside people to get it done. There's no way they could do it alone.
Mary, FP, Alice, Dr. Curtle Jr., Jellybean, Charles, and now Hermosa all played their parts to fool the Stonewall kids. This is like Riverdale's version of the Justice League or Avengers coming in to help. No questions asked; they were all there to support.
Veronica: Well, well, well! If it isn’t the girl who cried, “Papi.”
Hermosa: I did a little digging like you asked me to.
Hermosa: You are lucky I am such a good P.I. because you’ll never believe what I found out.
The biggest surprise had to be Hermosa.
Her relationship with Veronica is shaky at best, and she's done some villainous stuff against her. However, she sided with her sister and helped her instead of tearing her down. There might be a good side to her after all!
Are you still holding out hope for Barchie? (I've got my t-shirt ready.)
Bughead is a thriving force and working toward endgame like "Varchie," but there's a huge wrench in those plans now that we can't ignore: the sparks. Did you see those sparks? And that texting pause?!
Betty and Archie are feeling each other and enjoyed their fake kiss more than they wanted to admit.
While the whole plot was a ploy to fool the Stonewall Prep kids, those feelings were long present before Riverdale Season 1 Episode 1. Let's not forget that Betty loved her BFF for years and that Archie couldn't be with Betty because she was too good for him (which she is).
Alice: Though, I understand you made quite the public spectacle over the Archie and Betty romance?
Veronica: Hmmm, I think you mean I gave an amazing performance?
Alice: But weren’t you afraid that something might actually spark between them?
Veronica: I trust Archie, and I trust Betty. To be honest, the thought never crossed my mind.
I'm curious if Riverdale will dive into the romance fully. There was a potential start during Riverdale Season 2, but it ended before it began.
If the show goes down this route, it needs to be a full investment and not a one chapter plot. There needs to be development to prove if this is a romance or a crush.
Maybe this will answer the fateful question if #Barchie is the true endgame after all?
The biggest mystery has been solved: Jughead is alive and faked his death! (Did you doubt it at all? Even a little?!)
The reveal felt underwhelming because nobody expected Jughead to be dead. Ever since the flashforward, fans ruled out that possibility and waited to see how it connected to the story. Even his words to Betty before the Ides of March party cemented that this was a plan against Quill & Skull.
So, when Jughead appeared alive, the reveal didn't have weight since we knew it was coming.
Just imagine if Riverdale had killed off Jughead? You would be speechless! That would've been a shocking twist that caught everyone off-guard; no one would be prepared for that.
As much as I like Jughead, the twist-within-a-twist could've been game-changing.
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
Even at a funeral, Hiram has poor timing and a lack of tact. FP didn't need to go on leave during a stressful time like this.
Out of the interviews, Cheryl and Reggie had the funniest one-liners.
Was Cheryl in on the plan? It's great that she cared about her cousin's well-being, but if she wasn't, she should've talked to Betty about the Archie kiss first before texting everyone.
Jonathan's death was surprising. Why do you think Donna finished him off?
- FP took Donna's word a little too easily before he arrested Betty, Veronica, and Archie. Did he forget that Jughead said the Stonewall kids were evil?
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans!
What did you think of "Chapter Seventy-Two: To Die For"?
What information did Hermosa uncover about Donna? If the group takes down Brett, will that mean Jughead gets his Yale spot back? Will Archie and Betty explore their potential feelings together?
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 below!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.