Stonewall Prep accuses one of its best writers of plagiarism. Veronica fights to keep Hiram from ruining her rum business, and a typical week finishes fatal for one beanie-wearing Riverdale resident. Find out everything, including exactly what happened during Spring Break, in the newest episode of Riverdale, “Chapter Seventy: The Ides of March.”
— Riverdale (@CW_Riverdale) February 13, 2020
Jughead sees DuPont, who tells him he’s out of Quill and Skull, mostly because Betty broke into the sanctum sanctorum. DuPont says it’s a violation of their code, and that’s not all – they’re terminating Jughead’s Baxter Brothers contract for failure to deliver satisfactory material by the end of the week, Friday, as in the Ides of March. Jughead tells DuPont it’s only Monday, he still has time. What makes Jughead think he can write an entirely new novel in five days when his rejected one took months? “Watch me,” Jughead calls for Betty to meet him at Stonewall, and when she gets there, he tells her he needs to write the best damn Baxter Brothers novel by Friday. Betty suggests he write about what’s been happening to him at Stonewall, and Jughead likes the idea, like a prep school thriller.
Cheryl and Toni are at the Maple Club when Cheryl gets a call about a high roller at La Bonne Nuit, who’s caught wind of the Maple Club and wields a blank check with their name on it. Cheryl asks Toni to scrutinize the “enigmatic” patron, and Toni agrees. That night, Toni finds the woman at La Bonne Nuit. The woman introduces herself as Rosa Jevon (but she looks awfully familiar). She says she’s heard rumblings of a secret rum bar with ties to La Bonne Nuit. She’s intrigued. Toni tells her she’ll talk to her partner about it. She’ll want to meet her too. Toni sets up a date with her for the following night.
Jughead, Bret, Donna, Joan, and Jonathon are waiting for DuPont. When he comes in, he tells them the headmaster has told him that one of them is being accused of plagiarism. DuPont tells Jughead it seems the short story that qualified him for Yale, “On Featherless Wings,” was written by another student in this seminar. Jonathan tells Jughead he accused him. He has a timestamp on his computer, proving he wrote it two months ago. Jughead says he wrote it during the summer, he has it on his computer in his room, but when he tries to find it, it’s nowhere. When Jughead comes back, he says someone stole it, and he’s going to fight these accusations tooth and nail. DuPont tells Jughead he’ll go before the headmaster and the disciplinary committee on Friday. “On the Ides of March, fittingly enough.”
The next day, Jughead is talking to FP and Betty, saying it’s clear DuPont wants him expelled. Jughead says if he lets a baseless accusation destroy his reputation, his career as a writer is going to be over before it even begins. Betty says they won’t let this happen. She may have an idea.
At Stonewall, Betty and Jughead have set up a lie detector test, telling Bret, Donna, Joan, and Jonathan they know Jonathan’s lying and that one or all of them stole Jughead’s laptop and are conspiring against him. They’re going to prove it. Jonathan says he refuses to participate, so Jughead takes the test. During the test, Betty says this is proving Jonathan’s guilt by the process of elimination, but Donna tells her this isn’t going to prove Jughead’s innocence. “The lie detector test is only the beginning. Once we’re done with all of you one-percenters, none of you will be left standing.”
At La Bonne Nuit, Toni is at the bar when “Rosa” comes up to her. She asks Toni if she talked to her partner, Toni tells her she’s on her way. In the meantime, the two of them head to the dance floor. Cheryl enters the club and joins them. Toni introduces Cheryl to “Rosa,” and Toni suggests they get out of there. Cheryl says they have somewhere special they’d like to bring her. At Maple Club, a bartender gives Veronica a message from Cheryl, and Veronica tells her to prepare the suite. “It’s time to snap a trap.” When Cheryl, Toni, and “Rosa” get to the suite, Veronica is waiting for them. She blows Hermosa’s cover, telling her it’s an ambush. Toni shoves a newspaper at Hermosa that has a picture of her and Hiram on the front, saying she marked her as soon as she saw her at La Bonne Nuit. As if Cheryl and Toni would just expose them to the Maple Club, their rum operation? Hermosa tells Veronica she has no idea what she’s talking about. Veronica says she bets Hiram put her up to this – do a little recon, scope out the competition. Hermosa tells Veronica Hiram told her everything about his condition. Veronica can’t believe her father told Hermosa and not her, that he trusted Hermosa and not her.
After trying to search for Jughead’s laptop in Donna and Joan’s room, the sanctum sanctorum, and the seminar classroom, Jughead finds an envelope for the Baxter Brothers that is “ready for print.” Jughead sees that it’s his The Boy In the River novel that he submitted to win the Baxter Brothers contract. DuPont told him that the Baxter Brotherhood rejected it because it wasn’t dark or sociopathic enough. Jughead looks through the pages, pointing out that it’s been re-written, but it’s definitely his book. Jughead confronts DuPont, telling him he thought the Brotherhood rejected his novel. DuPont says they didn’t, and Jughead really should have had a lawyer take a much closer look at his contract. DuPont tells Jughead the Brotherhood owns everything he submits. They kept the elements they liked and then let another ghostwriter try their hand at it, all of Jughead’s classmates collaborated on it.
The next morning as Hiram, Hermione, and Hermosa are eating breakfast, Veronica comes in, saying she has a little presentation she’s been working on. Veronica shows them Red Raven’s newest ad campaign, saying that they’ve conducted a taste test where nine out of 10 subjects chose Red Raven over Lodge Rum and Lodge Spiced Rum. Veronica says they’ll be running ads in the Riverdale Register, Greendale Gazette, and Seaside Sentinel. Hiram asks if she thinks she really has the upper hand over him. She’s a little specialty brand. However, Veronica tells Hiram that Cheryl’s already began renovations on her family’s maple factory, producing 300% more maple rum by the end of the year. Hiram says Veronica has successfully awoken the dragon. “Prepare to be eaten.”
After going over yet another theory about Mr. Chipping’s death with Jughead, Betty meets Donna at Pop’s, saying they can hopefully resolve this whole Jughead witch hunt thing, just the two of them. Betty tells Donna she thinks that she, Bret, Joan, and Jonathan are just pawns being manipulated by DuPont, who might be the real villain here. Betty doesn’t think Donna had an affair with Chipping. If DuPont somehow put her up to say that she did, Betty tells Donna to come forward, to not let herself be a victim of his machinations. Donna says she guesses they’ll see if Betty and Jughead are closer to the truth.
Bret warns Jughead not to mention a word about anything he knows because it turns out he did secretly record Jughead and Betty in their room. If Jughead so much as utter a single accusation, Bret will release it wide. Jughead asks him if he thinks blackmail is going to stop him, and Bret says yes. While the tape won’t hurt Jughead, it will destroy Betty, something like that will haunt her for the rest of her life.
At Jughead’s tribunal, DuPont tells him the stealing of another student’s work will not be tolerated at Stonewall. If the accusation is found to be true, the penalty is immediate expulsion. However, DuPont says they’re going to give him a choice. Jughead can gracefully and quietly withdraw from Stonewall Prep, or he can stay and fight the accusation of plagiarism in a public forum, where he’ll most likely lose. Jughead says he’ll leave. Afterward, Betty and FP follow Jughead, and FP asks him what happened. He thought Jughead was going to bring down the temple, but instead, he let them run roughshod all over him. It’s not like Jughead to walk away from a fight. Jughead says this game is fixed and has been from the beginning. There was no way he was going to win.
Jughead is packing up his things, and Betty brings up the sex tape, getting clarification. Bret threatened to release it if Jughead didn’t back off. Bret and Donna are in the doorway, and Donna says they hope there aren’t any hard feelings. Bret tells Jughead and Betty there’s a party that night in the woods behind the school, celebrating the Ides of March, they should come. Jughead says they’ll be there. “One last hurrah.” Betty doesn’t like the idea of going, but Jughead asks if she trusts him. He has a plan, but first, he needs to take care of the leverage that Bret has over them. Then he will tell Betty everything. It’s all going to be okay.
Betty, Archie, and Veronica get to the party, and Betty asks if they’ve seen Jughead. She said they’d meet up with him once they got there. Betty leaves to look for him while Archie and Veronica leave to do something else in the woods. Jughead arrives, wearing his Southside Serpent jacket and shirt, takes off his beanie, and puts on a bunny mask. He walks up to Bret and his friends, just standing there. Bret tells Jughead if he wants to settle this, follow him. Jughead follows Bret out to the woods.
Meanwhile, Betty spots Donna heading to the woods and follows her, stopping her. Betty confronts Donna about the tape of her and Jughead, saying she doesn’t care what she does to her. She is the daughter of the Black Hood, and it’s going to take a lot more than that to get her and Jughead off Donna’s case. Betty promises Donna that she and Jughead are going to find out and expose all of her dirty secrets, up to and including Chipping’s murder. Donna admits she found out some fascinating things about Betty, taking a trip to Shankshaw Prison to see Evelyn Evernever. Evelyn told her the magic word, but not “Tangerine.” The other magic word, the one that makes Betty hurt the people she loves.
Veronica and Archie get back to the party and ask Joan and Jonathan if they’ve seen Betty and Jughead. They tell them Betty and Jughead went into the clearing behind the trees, and Veronica and Archie look for them. Bret and Donna stand beside Joan and Jonathan as they watch Veronica and Archie go into the woods. Veronica and Archie see Betty and run up to her, spotting Jughead on the ground and Betty standing over him. Archie kneels beside Jughead, whose head is bleeding, and checks for a pulse. There is none. He’s dead. “Started out like any other week. Who would’ve guessed that by Friday night…”
The episode that fans have been dreading since the season three finale and the events that season four has been teasing has come down to this, with much more coming next week. What really is Bret and everyone’s game? What was the word that triggered Betty? It’s Riverdale, so is Jughead really dead? Catch Riverdale Wednesday nights at 8/7c on The CW.