The Town of Riverdale is mourning the loss of one of their own, or are they? In the newest episode, shot partially like a documentary, residents are trying to cope with Jughead’s death, but because of Donna and Bret, they soon think it could all be just an act. Betty, Veronica, and Archie try to make sure everyone knows that Jughead is actually dead, but a major plot twist could change all that.
Find out everything that happened in the latest Riverdale episode of the show’s fourth season, “Chapter Seventy-Two: To Die For.”
— Riverdale (@CW_Riverdale) March 5, 2020
Betty, Alice, FP, and Jellybean are all sitting around the table when the phone rings. Betty answers it, crying after hanging up and telling Alice that it was Yale’s admissions office. They were telling her about a spot that recently opened in their class of 2024. After a second review of Betty’s application, they wanted her to fill it. They didn’t say it was Jughead’s spot, but it’s more than likely.
As Betty is clearing out Jughead’s things at Stonewall, Bret stands in the doorway, telling her to save her tears, no one’s watching. Betty got her wish; Jughead isn’t going to Yale; it’ll just be the two of them in New Haven. Bret leaves, and as Betty packs up the last of Jughead’s things, she walks past Donna and Joan’s room.
Alice is at the police station to interview FP for the documentary about the investigation. He says a couple of nights ago, a body was found in the woods in a ravine that was positively ID’d as Jughead. The autopsy Dr. Curdle Jr. conducted declared the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head. He also talks about the rock in the woods that was found by a hiker and was sent to a lab for testing — nothing’s off the table. FP says he has a new lead, and he’s just waiting on a warrant so he can act on it.
Bret stops Donna in the hallway at Stonewall, telling her Jughead’s dad is in her room. When Donna gets there, she tells FP he can’t be in there, but he says her headmaster and this warrant say otherwise. FP says his office got an anonymous tip that Donna has something personal that belonged to Jughead. Donna assures FP she has nothing that belongs to Jughead, but FP finds a tiepin with his initials. She tells FP when Jughead was expelled, he threw his tiepin in their faces; she guesses she forgot she had it. Donna says she’s sorry they didn’t come forward, but they were afraid, they were afraid she’d do to them what she did to Jughead. She tells FP the night of the party, she and Bret decided to sneak into the woods to do what teenagers do until they saw Betty holding a rock, standing over Jughead. But she wasn’t alone — she was with Veronica and Archie. FP asks if there’s anyone who can back up the story, and Donna says Bret can; he was with her the whole time.
FP interrupts a class at Riverdale High, telling Archie, Betty, and Veronica they are under arrest for the cold-blooded murder of his son, Jughead Jones. As they’re being escorted through the hallways, handcuffed, Betty says this was their move, the Stonies. They knew they would do this; Veronica hopes she’s right. Betty assures her everything’s fine; this is where they start tripping up. It has to work.
While FP interrogates the three of them separately, Hiram tells him Veronica had nothing to do with the mess; Mary keeps telling Archie he doesn’t have to answer the question, and as his lawyer, she is required to make sure that her client is aware of his rights. FP gave Alice only a few moments with Betty alone with the security cameras off. Alice says she knows Betty did it, not on purpose, not premeditated, but she knows what it’s like to be driven by rage and desire. Sometimes things can just get out of hand. Betty says she didn’t do it; the Stonies did. Alice tells her FP has the proof, and she was expecting something like this, but Alice can’t help Betty unless she tells her the truth. FP comes in, saying forensics on the rock came back, and the blood was fake. Betty, Archie, and Veronica are free to go.
At three in the morning, Donna calls Betty, telling her she’s figured it all out. She tells Betty she heard about the rock with the fake blood, but she got too confident. Which means Betty must be working with FP. “Why would a sheriff, a father, help the girl who killed his son?” Donna says he wouldn’t unless Jughead isn’t really dead. Betty tells her she saw the body, and she and Bret burst into the morgue. Donna saw a body; she never looked at Jughead’s cold, dead eyes. Is she seriously saying that Betty made Jughead pretend to be dead? Donna says it’s what she would’ve done; she would’ve done everything to make the lies seem real, buy herself more time, and outwit her enemies. So now, Betty’s keeping Jughead tucked away while she desperately searches for proof that would tie them to attempted murder.
“I’m going to implode your little scheme and lead this investigation right to your doorstep.”
As everyone gathers for Jughead’s funeral, Bret, Donna, and a few other Stonies enter the house. Betty tells Sweet Pea, who has the urge to throw them out, that FP said they could come in. Donna notices a closed casket and says it seems a bit suspicious. Betty tells her the funeral home didn’t even want them to have the casket there, but it’s Serpent tradition. FP starts a eulogy about Jughead and isn’t able to continue and walks away, then Betty goes up and reads a passage from one of Jughead’s favorite Sherlock Holmes short stories. Afterward, Donna tells Jellybean she must really miss her brother, asking her when the last time she saw him was and that he’s not really dead, is he? Betty interrupts her, and Donna says they both know this is all an act. Betty tells her she’s done with her and starts to throw her out, but not before Donna tells Bret to do it. Bret’s about to open the casket when Sweet Pea stops him, Archie also coming up to them. Betty says he’s not worth it; he’s leaving anyway. Donna, Bret, and the other Stonies leave.
Kevin comes into the Blue and Gold and asks Betty if it’s true that Jughead is alive. Betty says that’s insane and cruel, and Kevin says he’s sorry; it’s what people are saying. He first heard it from Donna at the funeral, and now everyone is saying it. Donna was saying how it’s all some elaborate ruse. Alice is interviewing Kevin and asks him why he thinks the stories about Jughead faking his death are gaining so much traction, and he thinks it’s because they just want to believe that it’s true. He remembers in freshman year they were assigned The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to read. Although he barely knew Jughead at the time, he remembers he was obsessed with the book, especially the chapter in which Tom fakes his own death to see how other people in his hometown would react to his passing.
Archie meets Betty at Pop’s, and she tells him she doesn’t think she can do this anymore. She keeps waiting for Jughead to come back, but he doesn’t, and he won’t — she doesn’t know how she’s supposed to keep going. Archie tells her they’ll get through this together. Betty says these crazy rumors about Jughead still being alive are just making it so much more painful. Cheryl is overhearing in a booth near them, and the next day at school, she’s helped set up a memorial in front of Jughead’s locker with candles and pictures. Betty walks away, and Archie follows her to the music room, asking if she wants to talk about it. Betty says she feels so alone, and Archie tells her she’s not; he knows how hard it is. Betty wants to feel good, even for a few moments. Archie says he’s there for her; he always has been. The two of them kiss, and Cheryl is outside the classroom, taking pictures and sending them to Toni, Kevin, and Reggie.
Cheryl finds Veronica in the restroom, telling her to prepare herself for devastation. Cheryl shows her the picture of Archie and Betty kissing. Veronica storms into the lounge, wondering how Archie could do this to her. Kissing her best friend in the music room where the two of them had their fun. That’s his special place; it’s where he takes all his women. Veronica blames Archie for taking advantage of Betty when she’s grieving and at her most vulnerable. She tells Betty she doesn’t blame her, but she tells Veronica she’s the one who started it; she kissed Archie.
“You two deserve each other. So burn in hell, both of you.”
Betty admits to Alice, who is interviewing her for the documentary, that Donna has been following her; she was convinced that Betty has been sneaking around. Which was true; she’d been visiting Dilton’s bunker. It became a nightly ritual — first, she’d stop at Pop’s for dinner and then head to the woods alone. Donna watches Betty as she goes into the bunker, following her in. Donna spots Archie and Betty and keeps looking around for any sign of Jughead. Back at the interview, Betty tells Alice she needs to tell her something before she hears it from someone else, off the record.
Archie and Veronica are in bed together, Veronica saying their little gambit worked. Archie says between the look on Donna’s face at the bunker and Veronica’s performance in the student lounge … now and forever, Archie tells Veronica she is the only girl for him. In the bunker, Betty says this was a pretty crazy week, even by their standards. Jughead — yes, Jughead — says pretending to be dead is one thing, but hiding under a cot in the bunker while Betty makes out with Archie just to convince a bunch of evil preppies that he did die definitely cracks the top 10. Betty tells him it worked, and now Donna will start doubting herself and gives Jughead a brand new beanie that she had knit. He asks Betty if she’s sure telling her mom was a good idea, and Betty says considering Charles, FP, Jellybean, Dr. Curdle Jr., and Mrs. Andrews are all in on it, it felt like the prudent thing to do.
Alice interviews Betty, Archie, and Veronica, wondering why they went to such extraordinary lengths to convince the preppies and pretty much the whole town of Riverdale that Jughead was dead. Betty says it was because they were trying to pin the murder on her. If they knew Jughead was still alive, they would circle the wagons and lock them down tight. They were and still are, locked in a battle of psychological warfare with the Stonies. “The only way that we would be able to pin the attempted murder of Jughead on them is if we forced the Stonies to crack.” Betty can’t be certain, but after the last few days, she has a feeling they’ll be fracturing any minute now.
Just as Betty has suspected, Donna tries to convince Bret that Jughead is indeed still alive. She has proof that when she followed Betty to the bunker and found her with Archie, she had Pop’s takeout and three milkshakes. Donna’s certain Jughead heard her sneaking down the ladder and hid so he wouldn’t get caught. Bret tells her to take the win, Jughead’s dead; they killed him. Betty’s obviously moved on; it’s time Donna do the same. Donna says they still have a job to finish, and if Bret ever undermines her again, he will go the way of Jonathan, “may he rest in peace.”
Jughead, Betty, Archie, and Veronica are in the bunker, and Veronica tells them Hermosa put her PI skills to good use and did some digging on the Stonies. “And your gal pal Donna is not so sweet.” Veronica gives Jughead and Betty a file of who Donna really is. “If this is true, this is our smoking gun.” Jughead says this is the final piece of the puzzle that they needed. He thinks he knows how to take down the Stonies once and for all.
A lot has happened in just one episode. Jughead’s alive, so how exactly did the Core Four pull it off? How long had they been planning everything? What happened to Jonathan? Who exactly is Donna? Riverdale season 4 airs every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on The CW, streaming free the next day on The CW app.