The timelines have synced up, and unfortunately, our favorite aspiring writer bit the dust on Riverdale Season 4 Episode 13.
Jughead's last few moments on earth were filled with betrayal, deception, and feeling his lowest yet. Quill & Skull/Stonewall Prep won the battle in taking everything away from him, including the book contract. (It's a tough chapter if you're a diehard Jughead fan.)
But, did the enemies win the war? Let's hope not!
Beyond Jughead's death, "Chapter Seventy: The Ides of March" was an hour full of opportunities where everything went wrong for him. In his own words, he was set up to fail from the beginning.
From the plagiarism accusation to the sex tape blackmail, there was nothing he could do to get himself out of it.
Quill & Skull planned every detail down to the tiniest conversation. At this point, it doesn't matter who is the great mastermind of Stonewall Prep. Donna, Brett, Jonathan, Joan, Mr. Dupont ... they've all played a part in this nefarious scheme.
As hard as it is to say, they deserve some respect.
A manipulative and well-connected web of lies like this takes a lot of planning to be done. They put in the effort to frame Jughead, and it worked. Out of Riverdale's long history of villains, they're at the top of the list as the smartest.
It's a shame that nothing worked out for Jughead because you hope that the hero gets one win, even if it's a small break.
The main tone thrived on feeling uncomfortable and weak in the grand scheme.
We were put in Jughead's (and Betty's) shoes, feeling each sting as every attempt failed to stop the Literary Salon. If you felt helpless, we were right there with you!
Brett: Turns out, I do have a videotape of you and Ponytail doing the nasty. If you so much as utter a “j’accuse,” I will release it wide.
Jughead: You think blackmail is going to stop me?
Brett: Yes, because you’re a hopeless romantic. That tape might not hurt you, Jones, but it will destroy Betty. Something like that will haunt her for the rest of her life. So, what’s it going to be: you want to continue this sad attempt at martyrdom or you gonna protect the honor of your precious girlfriend?
This series of events coming before what led to Jughead's death complemented that twist because it built up the momentum for the loss. There was nothing you, I, Betty, Archie, Veronica or anyone could've done to stop it.
Quill & Skull had their plan in action and made their move. It's a smart twist and plot development, but it's frustrating that nothing could be done to help him.
Does anyone think Betty killed Jughead? I'm leaning toward the idea of her being framed for the murder.
Hear me out: Donna claims Evelyn's brainwashing word would turn her into Dark Betty, but you can't trust anything Donna says. Maybe that word only blacked out her mind?
Jughead was with Brett in the woods, so maybe he killed Jughead and planted a comatose Betty there to frame "Ponytail"?
It's a calculated move that's right up Quill & Skull's alley. Plus, all four members creepily stood together at the party admiring Archie and Veronica going off into the woods.
Add that in with the creepy music, the foreshadowing was served on a silver platter.
During Quill & Skull's takedown of Jughead, there was one confusing issue that came up about his book series.
So, Jughead's first Baxter Brothers book (inspired by Jason Blossom's murder) was rejected by the board, and he had to write a new one. As petty revenge, Jughead started writing a story inspired by Stonewall Prep. But, what about the book inspired by The Black Hood?
The board loved that novel and wanted it published. And he dealt with issues in his relationship with Betty because of it. Why didn't he write that novel?
Mr. Dupont: We’re also terminating your Baxter Brothers contract for failure to deliver satisfactory material by March 15th.
Jughead: This Friday? As in The Ides of March?! Well, it’s only Monday, I still have time.
Mr. Dupont: Your rejected novel took you months to write. What makes you think you can write an entirely new one in five days?
Jughead: Watch me!
Also, if the board rejected and doesn't want the first book, why didn't Jughead go back to revise the novel based on feedback notes? And, why did the group spend time rewriting it?
I know I'm poking holes in the plot, but Jughead's banishment from his contract happened fast with no context about past events.
Veronica is a complex character when it comes to her parents. She loves them. She hates them. She subconsciously seeks their approval.
Though, even with her rocky history with Hiram, it's understandable why she reacted the way she did: he's her father, and she loves him.
Veronica is at a crucial moment in her life, like senior year, running three businesses, and going to college. Now she has to add that her father is dying; that's a lot of baggage to unpack and stress to deal with.
Plus, not even telling her about his sickness must've been the final heavy blow that hurt her heart.
Veronica's descent into party mode fits perfectly into how she'd cope. She's letting off steam and living life on her terms, even though she's lost control of the situation.
I liked her reaction because it's a genuine human response with her character development that she had to unpack and face head-on.
Veronica: As much as I loved visiting NYC, I reminded me how little time we have left together. I mean, we haven’t really talked about what we’re doing after graduation.
Archie: What are you saying, Ronnie?
Veronica: I’m saying … I don’t really want to think about the future right now, Archie. I just want to enjoy these last few months at Riverdale High with you. And I want to have fun. Can we do that, Archie? Can we have fun?
Archie: That’s music to my ears.
Drowning herself in booze, partying, and spontaneous hook-ups with Archie can't erase the fact that Hiram is dying. She can play mind games to distract herself and Hiram, but it can't mask the trauma when it happens. Unless, of course, this is all a fake plot.
(Where is Mrs. Burble when we need her? Veronica is in major need of a therapy session ... and fast!)
Was anyone else waiting for someone to snatch Hermosa's wig? The second she appeared at the bar, the clock started ticking for the iconic scene!
Everything about Hermosa's undercover mission and takedown added fuel to the "Choni" fire.
Toni's flirtatious meeting at the bar, the dance scene between all three ladies, and the moment Veronica pulled off Hermosa's wig after placing Hermosa in a trap. Plus, Dua Lipa's "Don't Start Now" as the background song during the dance: perfection!
It's a small plot in the grand scheme of "Chapter Seventy: The Ides of March," but it was a fun break in between the Stonewall Prep chaos. It was lighthearted, glamorous, and it had Riverdale's flair for drama without being too dark all the time.
Just when we thought Archie had his priorities straight, plot convenience rears its ugly head.
Maybe it's Archie? Maybe he truly doesn't know what he wants in life and he's simply a messy character? Embracing all his faults might be the only way to live in peace with his inconsistent plot.
After all his determination about not going to college, wanting to stay in Riverdale to run his gym/community center, and then keeping the construction business alive, Archie has backtracked to college.
Archie: Mr. Honey, I know it’s late in the game, but is there any way I can still apply to college?
Mr. Honey: The application period closed months ago, and moreover, based on your grades from the past two years, I have serious doubts you’ll be able to graduate with the rest of your class.
Was this a spur of the moment thing? He seemed content to run both businesses on Riverdale Season 4 Episode 12. A lot changed in a week. (Frank's messy plot must've been a wake-up call.)
The way "Chapter Seventy: The Ides of March" positioned his change was after him pulling in long hours for everything in his life. Archie is a hard worker, so this move undercut his value since he seemed like he was giving up on it all.
It's too sharp of a turn for Archie after he spent two and a half seasons telling Mary, Fred, and everyone that college wasn't for him. Let's not forget he gave up a lucrative boxing opportunity because he didn't want to go to school!
Even his decision involving the community center and the construction business go against his previous position.
Archie wants the best for both groups and doing what's right for their futures. He's putting in too many hours now, but if he goes to school, he can't help with either. He can't keep calling in favors forever.
The perfect opportunity was given to him so that the construction employees would be guaranteed work, AND the community center would have a dedicated staff member (and arguably great guy) running the place. Tom Keller was the perfect fit.
Archie's inability to think longterm will only cause him issues in the future because he'll be dividing himself amongst all of the projects in which he's only half-invested.
Plus, this is the second time that he's screwed Tom out of a great job. Part-time foreman is good, but he wanted stable work and has paid his dues.
Not cool, Archie.
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
I love that Jonathan and Joan are getting more lines. They will not be silent in their evil deeds anymore.
Brett had Jughead and Betty's sex tape, after all. Not a single person is shocked after that reveal.
Mr. Honey keeps being his worst self. Does he have no sympathy? Not one ounce of compassion? His karma is coming.
Veronica went all out with her plan to rile up Hiram. She had a printed and designed poster board ready to go. (Don't underestimate the power of petty.)
The Lodges love their undercover wigs.
Hiram working out at Archie's gym is not a coincidence. It's a calculated move and he's planning something.
Veronica pushing off the post-Riverdale High dating chat with Archie won't solve anything. It will be a big issue once she's leaving for New York City.
- The Stonewall Prep party looked excessive and a lot of fun.
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans!
What did you think of "Chapter Seventy: The Ides of March"?
Did Betty really kill Jughead? How will Hiram retaliate against Veronica? How deep does the Stonewall Prep conspiracy go?
If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.