‘Riverdale’ Recap: New Leads and New Feelings Are Followed in Season 4, Episode 18 “Chapter Seventy-Five: Lynchian”

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In the previous episode of Riverdale, while the town was in the midst of getting their Hedwig on, Jughead was combing through the mysterious videotapes that have been left on doorsteps throughout town. One of those tapes included someone wearing a Jughead mask being bludgeoned with a rock by someone who was wearing a Betty mask. Meanwhile, Betty and Archie were getting closer and even kissed. But will that kiss turn into something more? Will Jughead finally find who’s been sending the tapes?

Find out that, and more, in this week’s episode, “Chapter Seventy-Five: Lynchian.”

“‘Lynchian.’ Adjective to describe something inspired by the noted American filmmaker David Lynch. And/or to describe something that is both incredibly macabre and incredibly mundane.”

Jughead shows Charles, Betty, and Alice the newest tape that the mysterious voyeur has sent. So, the tape was dropped off at the station in a bin with all of the other Voyeur tapes? Yes, but the other Voyeur tapes were just static shots of people’s houses at a distance. It’s a recreation of whatever someone thinks happened to Jughead in the woods. Betty says she’s not getting pulled into some creepy new mystery, but Jughead can feel free to get sucked into this one. Charles adds that he can always use an extra set of eyes and ears.

Betty’s in her room, reading through her diary from when she was in fifth grade. “Dear diary, today I fell in love with the boy next door. He has red hair and freckles and a scar on his eyebrow that he got when he fell off his bicycle.” Alice comes into Betty’s room, and Betty tells her she’s just looking at one of her old diaries. “Oh, fifth grade. That’s juicy.” Alice can’t get over that her little girl is going to Yale soon, and Betty tells her not to cry, or she will cry herself. What does Betty possibly have to cry about? Betty thinks back to her kiss with Archie while Alice tells her she has her whole life ahead of her.

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Charles and Jughead are going through more tapes, and Charles tells him that both drop-off boxes, the one at the sheriff’s station and the one they have upstairs, are under surveillance 24/7. Jughead thinks they can identify the person who dropped off the faux snuff film, but it’s hours of footage. “Does this place have any popcorn?” Jughead and Charles are looking through security footage when Jughead recognizes someone very familiar. He tells Charles he’s going to check this lead out alone.

Archie and Betty are in the bunker together, lying down, and talking. Betty says Jughead’s working late with Charles, and Archie says Veronica’s with Cheryl.

Betty: “Archie, why are we here?”

Archie: “I don’t know. But it’s nice.”

Betty agrees, but it’s not like they can do anything more than this. What does Betty mean? They’re just hanging out. Betty loves Jughead, and Archie loves Veronica. “But this is nice, right?” They look at each other and hold hands.

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At school, Jughead asks Ethel Muggs if she has a moment to talk in private. Jughead wants to talk to Ethel about some of those creepy videotapes. She dropped off a couple at the station, right? Ethel admits she did; it was just hours and hours of her house, nothing new. Jughead tells her there was something new on one of them, footage of someone dressed up as Betty murdering someone dressed up as him with a rock. Ethel doesn’t know anything about that, and Jughead tells her she’s the only person who has a direct connection to Betty and him, who dropped off a tape. Ethel swears she didn’t; she’s just trying to keep her head down and make it out of Riverdale in one piece. She didn’t make any tape.

In the lounge, Betty’s reading another entry in her old diary.

“Dear diary, today was the happiest day of my life. After walking home from school, little Archie proposed to me. Of course, I want to marry Archie, but I know we’re too young. So I told him that he should ask me again when we’re both 18 and in high school.”

Kevin asks Betty if she’s alright, and Betty tells him she was just thinking about simpler times.

Charles asks Jughead if he solved the case, and Jughead tells him he had a hunch, but it didn’t pan out. He did, however, have another thought that maybe their suspect is not a Voyeur; maybe they’re a filmmaker. “Whoever made that video in the woods had to know what they were doing, and they even hired actors.” The fact that it’s all on videotape, Jughead says that’s the hallmark of a cinephile. Charles and Jughead leave to check out a theater, a record store, and a video store.

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Charles and Jughead get to Blue Velvet Video and the clerk, David, asks if he can help them. Charles flashes his FBI badge and asks if he can ask some questions. Jughead asks to check all the records to see who’s rented what, and David is happy to oblige. While looking through the log, Charles notices an E. Muggs rented Friday the 13th 16 times. Ethel, one of David’s regulars. When Charles and Jughead get back to Charles’ office, he tells Jughead things aren’t looking good for his pal. Jughead admits that renting Friday the 13th over 10 times is excessive, but it’s not a sign of guilt. Charles says Ethel has a preference for horror films; she dropped off a videotape at the station, and Jughead said himself that she was obsessed with him. “In my book, that makes her a prime suspect.” Jughead tells Charles that it finally seems like Ethel is in a good place, and there’s more than 100 tapes. He doesn’t think she has the bandwidth or even the equipment for that kind of operation. “Let’s just move on.”

Betty is in the Blue and Gold office, looking through another diary entry. “Dear Diary, today was the best day ever. Archie asked if I wanted to come over and listen to records. I said yes, of course.” Archie comes in, and Betty wonders what he’s doing there. Kevin told him that Principal Honey’s making her do the yearbook, and Archie wants to help. Betty tells Archie he’s not helping her with the yearbook, and she knows that’s not why he’s there. He admits that she’s right. Archie can’t stop thinking about Betty. He’s tried, but it’s impossible. They can’t do this, not at school. Betty can’t stop thinking about Archie either and tells him they can meet at the bunker the following night, so they have time to think about this.

“And make sure it’s what we really want.”

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Jughead goes to the office and asks Miss Bell if the school has an AV Club. Miss Bell tells Jughead there is an AV Club, and only members are allowed to use the equipment like videotapes and cameras. He wonders if Ethel is a member and Miss Bell says she’s the president. Jughead also happens to be the second person to ask her that today. “The first was a handsome FBI agent.” Miss Bell believes she saw him leaving with Ethel.

In Charles’ office, Jughead asks where Ethel is, and Charles says she’s at home with her parents. Jughead tells Charles that Ethel’s not their voyeur, and Charles takes out a tape and hands it to Jughead. They searched Ethel’s house, and they found it. “Watch it. Then we can talk about whether or not you still believe Ethel’s innocent.”

“Dear Diary, I hate, hate, hate Cheryl Blossom. She made Archie kiss her at school today. She said it’s because they both have red hair, which makes absolutely no sense.”

As Betty is reading another diary entry, Cheryl comes into the Blue and Gold office to drop off yearbook photos, telling Betty she’ll be needing two pages. It’s one page per senior, but Cheryl wants to pay tribute to Jason. Betty agrees, not really caring, and Cheryl asks her cousin what’s wrong. “Trip down memory lane gotten you blue?” Cheryl grabs Betty’s diary and starts looking through it, admiring how much Betty hated her back in the day, all because she snuck a kiss with Archie. Was Cheryl right when she said Betty and Archie were doing more than just pretending to date when Jughead was dead? Betty denies it; that was obviously pretend. “I think a part of me has been in love with Archie for ten years.” Cheryl tells Betty she’s been in love with the idea of Archie, the idea of the perfect romance. But that was fantasy. “But in this town of nightmares, you and Jughead found each other. That’s real.” That’s maybe, dare Cheryl say it, “endgame?” People stray; it happens. But Cheryl tells Betty the trick is to stop straying before anyone gets hurt.

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After asking Ethel if she has a minute, Jughead throws down the videotape that Charles found while searching her house. It’s a sex tape of Jughead and Betty, filmed without their consent at Stonewall Prep. Jughead stood up for Ethel, he believed her, and she had this tape the whole time? Ethel admits there’s a secret place in the back of the Blue Velvet Video Store called the Scarlet Suite. There are tapes, rougher ones, and weirder ones, homemade like the voyeur tapes, and darker stuff like sex tapes. Ethel’s heard there are even snuff films. That’s where Jughead and Betty’s tape was. The second Ethel saw what it was; she swears she turned it off. She only kept it because she didn’t want anyone else to get their hands on it. If Jughead goes to the Scarlet Suite, he’ll find what he’s looking for.

Charles and Jughead, along with other FBI agents, storm into the Blue Velvet Video Store, giving a warrant to David to search the store. They get to the Scarlet Suite, looking through the hundreds of videos until Jughead gets to one that has a very disturbing cover of Clifford Blossom. David tries to get into the room, but FBI agents are keeping him behind, and Jughead asks him where he got that tape. People come in selling and trading all kinds of tapes. Jughead tells him it’s a video of Clifford Blossom shooting his son Jason Blossom. It’s an actual snuff film.

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In the bunker, Archie gets his guitar out, telling Betty he wanted to share something with her. Archie wrote her a song and starts to strum his guitar and sing until Betty stops him. She tells Archie that she loves Jughead and Archie loves Veronica, doesn’t he? Maybe all of this has been because everything’s changing in the next few weeks, and they feel safe with each other, as they always have. Betty doesn’t want to hurt or lose Jughead. Archie doesn’t want to hurt or lose Veronica, either.

“So whatever this is, or it was … It’s just over.”

At Blue Velvet, David says the Scarlet Suite’s closed until further notice. Principal Honey wonders what happened. David says the FBI raided him, and all of his contraband’s been confiscated. Honey’s sorry to hear that; it’s probably for the best.

As Jughead and Betty are talking, Jughead gets a call from Cheryl. He tells Cheryl he’ll be right there, then tells Betty that Cheryl was sent another tape. Jughead knows Betty swore off mysteries but Betty’s in. “Dream team back together again?” At Thistlehouse, Cheryl says the tape was sitting on her doormat when they got home. While putting the tape in, Toni tells Jughead and Betty they thought it was going to be like the other tapes at first. The tape reveals to be a recreation of when Clifford shot Jason; only someone is dressed up like Clifford and someone as Jason. Cheryl wants to know why her, why are they coming after her? Jughead tells her it’s not just her; he got one, too.

“I have a feeling we’re only the first.”

The season finale is next week, and although it’s not the planned season finale, it’s still sure to be a big one. What does Honey have to do with the tapes? Will Betty and Archie really be able to get over their feelings for each other? And will we ever find who who has been sending the tapes and recreating horrific scenes? Watch the Riverdale season 4 finale this Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on The CW, streaming free the next day on The CW app.

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By Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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