After two excruciatingly long weeks, Riverdale is finally back. The previous episode ended on the fatal Spring Break night fans have been dreading since the season 3 finale, and now, it’s time to face the aftermath. While Betty is trying to figure out how to act like she hasn’t heard from Jughead since the Stonewall Prep party — with help from Charles — Archie and Veronica are trying to figure out what really happened in the woods before they found Betty standing over Jughead with the rock in her hand. The three also try to figure out the real deal behind Bret and Donna.
Find out everything that happened post-Jughead’s murder in the 14th episode of Riverdale‘s fourth season, “Chapter Seventy-One: How to Get Away With Murder.”
— Riverdale (@CW_Riverdale) February 27, 2020
“Well, it finally happened. The moment we’ve all been waiting for.”
Veronica, Betty, and Archie are standing by a lit fire in the middle of the woods in their underwear, having burned their clothes to get rid of any evidence of Jughead’s blood. Jughead’s iconic beanie is up in smoke.
When Veronica gets home, sans clothing, Hiram and Hermione are waiting for her, asking what happened. Veronica tells them she played strip poker at the Stonewall party. Archie gets home just in boxers, and Mary asks what he’s doing. It’s nearly three in the morning. Archie says they all went skinny dipping at the Stonewall party, and some preppies stole their clothes as a prank; everything’s fine. Betty comes home, also in her underwear, and Alice tells her she better have a good explanation for keeping her up. Betty says she went to a stupid Stonewall Prep party, and Bret spilled a whole bottle of wine all over her, and she couldn’t stand the smell. She put her clothes in a sink to soak them, but when she went back, she couldn’t find them. Betty gets up to her room, trying to take in everything that’s happened. As a voiceover, Jughead says, “That’s the thing about murder. You gotta have a stomach for it. Especially if all signs point to you having committed it.”
Betty, Archie, and Veronica are at Pop’s the following day, discussing the three different stories they told their parents. Betty says they could be in deep trouble if their parents compare notes. All three of them blurted out the first thing that came to mind and Betty tells them this is exactly the kind of mistake they can’t afford to make. Charles made that abundantly clear. Veronica says they didn’t do anything … did they? When Veronica and Archie found Betty and Jughead, Betty was holding the rock. Betty says she had just found him, too, and picking up the rock was a stupid mistake. Betty knows she played right into the trap; the preppies are trying to frame her for Jughead’s murder. She tells Archie and Veronica they have to be smart. They cannot let the preppies get away with what they’ve done. Perhaps this whole thing is a game or an experiment to commit the perfect murder. “If it’s a game, then it’s a sick one.” Kevin comes up to them, asking to join, and Archie tells him they’re in the middle of something. When Kevin walks away, Betty tells Archie they need to pretend like everything’s normal, and she calls Kevin back to the table to join them.
Betty calls FP, reading a pre-written script to tell him that she hasn’t heard from Jughead since the party. After hanging up, Charles tells Betty she did exactly what she’d do if she hadn’t heard from Jughead for a few hours. Charles gives Betty a bug to plant in Bret’s room to hear everything they’re talking about. Their goal is to find out what they know, what they think happened, and what they thought was going to happen.
Betty gets to Stonewall Prep, opening the door to Bret’s room, and is greeted by him and Donna. Betty tells them she hasn’t heard from Jughead, and Bret says he hasn’t seen him since the party, with Donna adding that she hasn’t seen him since he and Betty walked off into the woods together. Betty’s confused. She and Donna went into the woods, but Donna says she remembers when Betty met up with Jughead and going off together, hand in hand. Maybe Betty doesn’t remember because she was too drunk and blacked out. Betty says she was fully conscious the entire time. Donna mentions Evelyn said Betty has a history of blacking out and doing terrible things. Betty plants the bug when Bret and Donna aren’t looking, and Bret says the last thing he remembered was Jughead saying he was going to meet up with Betty in the woods. Before Betty leaves, Donna tells her to let them know if she remembers whatever happened when she blacked out.
Betty meets up with Charles in his office, who has yet to hear anything interesting from Bret. Betty suggests they do something that rattles them, forces them to make a mistake, or say something incriminating. Betty goes over to Archie’s and asks for his help. She tells him she needs him to go to Stonewall and start a fight with Bret. “Going to Stonewall Prep is exactly what Archie Andrews would do in retaliation for what they did to Jughead.” Betty says it would get them talking. They know it was them; they just need proof.
Archie arrives at Stonewall, ready for a fight. Before Bret can safely lock himself in his room, Archie gets to the door too quick and demands to know what Bret did to Jughead, fighting him in the process. Archie wants him to admit it, but Donna interrupts him, saying she called campus security. Bret tells Archie they both know who killed Jughead — Betty. “Don’t let her drag you down with her.” Meanwhile, Betty and Charles are listening in to Bret and Donna’s conversation, and unfortunately, they’ve found the bug. Charles says Bret and Donna are smart, so they just have to be smarter.
FP calls Betty and tells her he’s got a lead. He got a call from a hiker who found a bloody rock in the woods at the same place the Stonewall party was. They won’t know if it’s Jughead’s blood until they get it tested. FP says he has to go pick up the rock and bring it back to the station. After getting off the phone, Betty goes downstairs and asks Jellybean to find any leftover fake blood from Halloween for her. Betty tries to find a rock that matches the one used on Jughead outside her house, and when she does, she calls Charles — while putting fake blood on the rock — and tells him what happened. Although Betty threw it in the swimming hole, the preppies must have had a backup with Jughead’s blood and Betty’s prints. Charles says there’s not much they can do if FP gets a hold of that rock.
Charles is waiting for FP at the station, telling FP that Betty called him and gave him a heads-up. FP places the evidence bag with the rock on the desk and tells Charles he’s going to send it out to the lab and have it tested. Charles tells FP if he uses the local lab, it could take a week, but if he sends it to Quantico, they’d know in two days tops. Charles meets with Betty at Pop’s, and they swap rocks. Betty says Quantico will test the rock and discover that it’s fake blood, just some prop in a stupid prank. It’ll buy them a couple of days, at least.
Archie and Veronica meet up with Betty, saying they want to know everything that happened that night that Betty can remember. Betty wouldn’t have picked up that rock, not consciously. Betty tells Veronica she’s right. “I should’ve been trying to keep Jughead’s brains from falling out of his head.” Betty admits she might’ve blacked out. She’s terrified that she might’ve done it. Veronica says somehow they have to figure out what happened after Betty’s conversation with Donna and before she woke up next to Jughead’s body. Betty says she doesn’t remember anything but thinks Donna might have said a trigger word that caused her to hurt Jughead. Charles helped Betty with the Farm; maybe he can help her with this.
The three meet with Charles. He tells Betty to relax and try to remember what happened, recall the events leading up to the moment of her blackout. Betty remembers her conversation with Donna that night in the woods, but she didn’t say a word. She blew white powder at Betty; she must’ve breathed it before everything went black. Charles says the powder might be scopolamine, aka Devil’s Breath. It’s a potent drug that blocks certain neurotransmitters, affecting one’s short-term memory. Charles tells them after inhaling the Devil’s Breath that he’s doubtful Betty would have been capable of killing Jughead, and it’s much more likely that Donna put that rock in Betty’s hand herself.
At Pop’s, Betty tells Archie and Veronica every move they make; the preppies make a countermove, one that pulls them down deeper and deeper. The problem is that they’ve been playing defense, making moves Donna would be able to anticipate. Betty says they need to make an unpredictable move that blows up the game and brings it to a head. Betty tells them Jughead’s body needs to be found by FP. They need to organize a search party.
A search party commences, and everyone is going through the woods, trying to find any sign of Jughead. Betty and Archie look at each other, knowing exactly where to look. Archie tells FP he thinks he found something, and the two shine a light down a small cliff and reveal a body with a Southside Serpent jacket. Later, FP and Betty walk down to the morgue, photographers standing in the hallway along with fellow Serpents and, of course, Bret and Donna. The sheet is lifted off the face and confirmed as Jughead.
Archie is in his room, looking at the newspaper about Jughead, and Mary comes in. She tells Archie it’s not fair, losing his father and now his best friend. “This is supposed to be the best year of your life. Instead, it’s just full of devastation.” Archie gets up, closes the blinds, and then tells Mary he must confess something to her.
Betty is in the woods, and Donna arrives, asking Betty why she did it. Betty says she knows she killed Jughead, the man that she loves. “And if I’m going down, you better be damn sure I’m taking you down with me.” Betty tells Donna she is the daughter of the Black Hood, the nightmare from next door; she’s training with the FBI. “And I’m coming for you, you psycho bitch.” Not Joan, not Jonathan, not even Bret. Just Donna. “You’re gonna regret ever meeting me.”
Betty meets with Archie and Veronica at Pop’s and tells them about what happened. Donna may not be showing it, but she’s scared. All the preppies are. What do they do now? They wait for Stonewall to make the next move.
Watch Riverdale every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.