• Category: Episodic Recaps
  • Written by Linda Martindale

'Riverdale' Recap: Chapter 71 - Jughead Is...??

Okay, "Riverdale" fans! How many have ever watched Oklahoma? Remember this song where they tried to convince the villain that people would mourn him when he was gone with “Judd Frye is dead.” Well, it is my theory that they’re going the same way with Riverdale only with Jughead is dead but not really. The question is: How do you pull it off. We know they can’t kill off the narrator . . . can they? And the Twitter world would go crazy if he is! Well, maybe we’ll know the fate of the “crown one” before the night is through.

And the Deed Is Done

As the show opens, we get a season three finale flashback (or is it flash-forward in reverse). Oh, and did I mention, dead Jughead is narrating the story.  The three return to Riverdale is silence. I guess they forgot to arrange an alibi. Anyway, as in all murders that are set-ups, they get caught. Ronnie tells mommy and daddy she played strip poker. Archie tells Martha that he was skinny dipping. Betty, who has blood on her bra, was dressed wrong for the party and had wine spilled on her. The next day all three meet at Pop’s to try and get the story straight. Whoops! Too late gang and Kevin comes up on the intense discussion.

As if that isn’t enough, each finds something wrong at home. Ronnie walks in on Hiram and the rest of the family discussing the rewriting of Hiram’s will. Archie walks in on his mom with a friend who offers to get him into the Naval Academy. Betty walks in with — nope. Alice is being Alice after all. (I’m not sure what is going on with her.) Of course, she is seeing Charles who is going to help her get the goods on Donna and Brett and Jughead’s murder. Of course, this will involve a bug being planted. We all know how that will (not) work. Brett and Donna are the types of creeps who know about bugs (but I get ahead of myself as you will see in a few minutes).

And the Hits They Just Keep Coming

Archie and Ronnie are suspicious of Betty but what can they do? They only saw her with the rock so they try to support her. What no one knows — not even Charles — is that when Betty planted the bug, she made one more stop. She stopped by to see Evelyn about the “trigger word.” Evelyn says Betty already knows what happened and questions her on Jughead. Evelyn is one who loves to gloat and does so about Betty being in the same hell as she before long. Betty won’t admit even to Charles where she has been. With Brett and Donna only talking about a Rolex a new plan must come into play (especially after Brett and Donna mention to them that they found the bug).

Over at Archie’s, he gets disturbing news from Martha. Martha has a girlfriend. While I say good for Martha, It’s a big “whoops” because she hasn’t told Archie. Both women have had to hide their feelings but now are ready to be together. Well, I never saw that coming. At least Archie takes it well. Meanwhile, Betty gets Archie to go fight Brett but Donna sticks her nose in and Archie leaves. (If looks could kill, Donna would have killed Brett.) Martha finds out and whoops, the scheme may be blown but Betty calls and interrupts.

Oh, and let’s not forget poor Ronnie. Not only is she drinking again but daddy dear apologizes to her for not telling her the truth. Ronnie and Hiram share a moment and at least peace is restored within the family (or almost so because Ron has to be nice to Hermosa). Later, with Archie in bed, Ronnie finds out that someone spilled to her college choice (Barnard??) about the club that she is running. Her application has basically been pulled. Well, of course, Ronnie should have seen that coming. A minor can’t sell, distribute, or make alcohol. I honestly think that Ron thinks the prep school gang is behind it but I’d look closer to home — like her half-sister.

Poor Betty isn’t having much more luck. FP and Alice have pinged Jug’s phone which is in Betty’s pocket. Now how did that happen? Oh good, they let us see how the prep school gang slipped it into Betty’s pocket. FP and Alice want to know why and Betty says that Jug lost his charger. She was going to charge the phone and forgot. Betty knows it is a setup but proving it is going to be the problem.

And a Plan Emerges

Betty tells Archie and Ron that she has no idea how she got beside Jug’s body. She just knows she didn’t kill him. Charles has planted a fake blood rock in FP’s evidence file which Betty made with Jellybean’s fake blood. Later, with Charles’s help and Archie and Ron watching, they learn that Donna had known no trigger word but used a powder on Betty that knocked her out. Known as Devil’s Breath, Betty has no knowledge of how the deed was done (but we still don’t know who did it). It definitely had to be the Prep School Five (writing club). In fact, when Betty confronts Donna in the woods, Donna admits that there were no trigger words and Evelyn hates Betty. The two were working together to gaslight Betty. Why not set up the girl with mental illness to take a fall for the prep school five. Who would believe a deranged girl (well, seeing your creepy looks, I would!)

So, let’s cut to the chase. Betty sets up a search by asking FP to declare Jughead missing. The whole town searches. Archie finds the body in a ravine and calls FP. Betty and FP identify the body (but not exactly like what we saw in the flash-forward because Brett and Donna show up and try to barge in). By the way, have I said lately how much I want Donna and Brett out of this show and in jail or something? It’s never too many times to say that.

While Archie gets his mom’s consolation and tells her something (which we don’t see — bad producers), Ronnie is telling daddy dearest that she and sis will work on his estate together. Betty is again meeting with Donna who apparently called this meeting. Donna is upset that Betty didn’t just drop the body search. Donna isn’t as smart as we thought because she wants to know why Betty did it. In one of Betty’s best scenes ever, she declares herself the wild card. As she (not so) sweetly tells Donna, Betty’s the daughter of the Black Hood, in training with the FBI and coming for Donna. If Betty goes down, so will Donna who is going to be Betty’s target. Donna should be scared because Betty’s now on the offensive. The Prep School Five thought they were running the scenario but now Betty is going to switch it up. I just hope Betty and company can stay ahead of them because it looks like they are arrested next week (whoops, meant to hold that one).

Next week: Another memorial ceremony happens. Will Jughead be a special guest (Mark Twain style). More evidence is planted. Our trio goes to jail.

My question: How is Jughead faking his death this long? Did he have a dummy made of himself? Is FP in on it now? The medical examiner is a nitwit and could be bought off. I guess we should really say: If Jughead is really dead who will narrate the show during season five?