While the DC superhero corner of The CW, centered on “Arrow,” was busy in the last quarter of 2019 setting up its holiday crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths” which started this month, the stakes in the dark teen drama “Riverdale” are more grounded in nature, but no less grim and definitely shocking. That was established by the season 3 finale in May depicting Archie (KJ Apa) and friends having murdered Jughead (Cole Sprouse). While season 4 started heartwarmingly in a tribute to late cast member Luke Perry, the rest of the episodes set up an eventual breaking point that leads to Jughead’s death, with Wednesday’s episode revealing the primary culprit.
E! News Online tells us that episode 9 of the fourth season of “Riverdale” on The CW finally sheds light on just who among the close circle of friends that are the lead characters of the show is the actual killer of Jughead Jones. This was revealed in yet another flash-forward sequence at the tail end of the episode “Tangerine.” Previous episode flash-forwards have built up to the aftermath of the gruesome murder from the end of season 3, such as the arrest of Archie, Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) as murder suspects.
As it turns out – or at least according to what the season narrative would have viewers believe – it was Betty who struck the fatal blow on Jughead. The main part of the episode does make plot progression on the circumstances that would trigger Betty to kill her significant other. In true “Riverdale” style, it is the perfect storm of Betty learning her father was a serial killer, that she inherited a genetic quirk giving her murderous impulses (the “Dark Betty” persona), and that Evelyn Evernever (Zoe de Grand Maison), imprisoned daughter of the Farm cult leader, has hypnotized Betty’s family to try to kill her .
One key scene of “Tangerine” is a flashback showing the first time a child Betty seemingly took a life, when her father Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro) told her to kill her cat, which she does with a rock. She decides to self-hypnotize with the dubious help of her half-brother Charles (Wyatt Nash), hoping to delve into her psyche and remove this memory of killing, which she believes is the birth of the Dark Betty personality. As the flash-forward shows, the attempt failed, with Betty here also holding a rock apparently used to murder Jughead.
With the nature of “Riverdale” being as surreal a setting that lies under it small-town façade, one can never be sure if what has been depicted in series really is as they seem. Viewers will have to tune in next year when the show’s season 4 resumes in The CW.
Image courtesy of Teen Vogue