Jughead wrote a short story for the University of Iowa, Mr. Honey tried to cancel all extracurricular activities, and the Riverdale parents campaigned to bring prom back on Riverdale Season 4 Episode 19.
Below, TV Fanatics Becca Newton, Meaghan Frey, and Jasmine Peterson debate Mr. Honey's secret soft side, the discovery of a new murderous tape, and their thoughts of Riverdale Season 4 as a whole.
Jughead created a short story about the group kidnapping and accidentally killing Mr. Honey. Did you like the story and how it progressed?
Becca: I liked it because it made the episode fun. This time the meta-humor landed for me.
Plus, it led to one of Riverdale’s better character moments—still rushed and underexplored, but it was very good by Riverdale standards.
Meaghan: I loved everything about watching Jughead develop the story. It was twisted, but isn't Riverdale always a little bit twisted?
I also really enjoyed Jughead changing his mind about Mr. Honey actually being dead. It was nice to see him remember who he was when the show began before he got caught up in Riverdale's madness.
The one thing that would stop Mr. Honey is if we killed him. [Awkward silence] Or, scared him enough to leave town. I mean, it would be so easy.Betty
Jasmine: I thought it made the episode fun, and I did love how meta it was. I laughed so many times throughout it.
One of my favorite guilty pleasure movies is "Teaching Mrs. Tingle," and I felt like the short story within a story paid homage to that. I especially adored when he concluded that they were the monsters.
The teens got their parents to help get the prom reinstated at Riverdale High after they got banned and Mr. Honey canceled the prom for everyone. Were the teens right in their move or was Mr. Honey justified in his actions?
Becca: Getting the parents involved was the right way to handle the situation, but most of the teens weren't innocent victims who deserved to have their parents bail them out. After Ticklegate, the Appleyard situation, and other incidents, Mr. Honey was within his rights to ban them.
Canceling prom for everyone wasn't fair to those who didn't cause trouble, but it's not like Mr. Honey had a lot of options since Reggie, Archie, and Kevin didn't come forward about pranking him.
Meaghan: It was a good move for the kids to involve the adults instead of continuing to try to take matters into their own hands. I also loved the ladies doing a badass strut through the halls of Riverdale High.
As Becca said, though, Mr. Honey was within his rights to cancel the prom after the prank. Why didn't Veronica just host her own prom at La Bonne Nuit? It would probably be better than any prom the school could manage to put on.
Jasmine: I loved the scene of them coming in after calling in the Big Guns.
Mary, Alice, and Hiram especially were so ready to jump in and throw their weight around and wield their power. Cheryl wheeling in Nana Blossom was the icing on the cake. And the hot dad sheriffs.
Mr. Honey had every right to do what he did.
I loved Mr. Honey and Kerr Smith in this role. He was being a reasonable disciplinarian, and I liked that the teens' antagonist was an authority figure having the audacity to hold them accountable and treat them like teens.
Mr. Honey created a tape to force the school to cancel prom and all extracurricular activities. He claimed this was to protect the students. Do you believe him?
Becca: Yes, Mr. Honey is a well-intentioned extremist. His methods are sometimes too extreme, and sometimes well-intentioned extremists are worse than the monsters they fight, but he is on the side of the angels.
Archie: Is he okay? Is he alive?
Veronica: No, he’s not. He’s dead.
Jughead: R.I.P. Mr. Honey.
Meaghan: Completely. Mr. Honey is a bit nuts, but he has never felt like a liar. He owns who he is. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
The poor guy just wanted to keep his record as the only principal not to have a student die on his watch.
Jasmine: I definitely believe him. He sinks to their level and hits them in ways he knows they'll understand. That's what he did here.
I wasn't that surprised to find out he did so much for the students, including Jughead.
Mr. Honey left Riverdale High to teach at Stonewall Prep. While the group hated Mr. Honey, Ms. Bell explained why she thought he was a great principal. Has the revelation of Mr. Honey's actions changed your opinion about him?
Becca: I need to praise Kerr Smith again for making Mr. Honey more interesting than the character had any right in being.
My opinion of Mr. Honey didn’t change because I was already more sympathetic to him throughout the season than the teens were. He wasn’t always right, and his methods weren’t always right. (He went over the line with Reggie on Halloween, and I thought he should have defended Betty more with the quiz show fallout).
However, I sided with him many times over the season: the Appleyard situation, busting Veronica for being drunk, and Ticklegate.
I think Mr. Honey is one of Riverdale’s better attempts at crafting a morally gray character, but I think it would have hit the mark more if we had seen more of Mr. Honey’s better qualities instead of being told about them.
Meaghan: Yes, Becca, I completely agree that they should have shown us these good qualities more instead of laying it out after the fact.
The kids are so quick to see the bad in people because that is what life in Riverdale has taught them to do. They couldn't see that, despite how extreme he was, he was just trying to be an authority figure.
Cheryl: Poor Ms. Bell, you’ve fallen under the monster’s spell.
Ms. Bell: Do any of you have any idea what that man has done for this school? This year alone, he personally arranged for six low-income students to go to colleges on full scholarships.
Jughead: Wait, really?
Ms. Bell: Also, this year’s average GPA is higher than it’s been in decades, and more seniors will be going to college since 1956. Oh, and of course, no students have died under his watch.
Jasmine: I always enjoyed Mr. Honey because he was an entire mood.
I agree with Becca, though. Kerr Smith made him far more entertaining than he should have been. He worked magic and left an impression, which on Riverdale is hard to do.
I do agree that we should have actually seen more of his softer side, though. He was always a reasonably cranky authority figure who did questionable things. But I do wish we saw that he genuinely cared about his students more.
A new VHS tape was discovered of a masked group (like in Jughead's story) killing a masked Mr. Honey. What do you think this means for the overall Voyeur mystery?
Becca: This latest tape has me speculating who else Charles and Chic recruited for their scheme.
Bret, Donna, and Evelyn are immediate suspects. Polly and Penny are possibilities.
The suspect pool widens if the recruitment drive isn't limited to people who only associate with Betty and Jughead.
Meaghan: I'm not sure what it means, but I thought the scene was fantastic and I wish we had gotten more of that vibe throughout the season.
Jasmine: That we can expect this carrying over into the next season and being delved into more. I wish we had some more movement on the Chic and Charles front.
I'm hoping it isn't Bret, Donna, or Evelyn though. I am over their presence and hope it means new or completely unexpected people.
Now that the season's mystery has had an earlier end, share your thoughts about Riverdale Season 4. Did you like it? Did you hate it?
Becca: I wonder if part of the reason I’m sympathetic to Mr. Honey is that his relationship with the teens mirrors my relationship with Riverdale.
There are things I really like about Riverdale, such as the acting and the set design, and I see a lot of potential in many of the stories it wants it to tell. Yet, I’m angry and frustrated with the show much of the time because the writing doesn’t (and never will) match the potential.
I had a lot of the same problems with Riverdale Season 4 as I did with previous seasons: bad pacing, wasted characters, wasted storytelling opportunities, things happening because the writers wanted them to happen and not because it made sense for the character or plotline, weak resolutions, and so on.
This season had a lot of filler, a lot stalling, and sequencing issues (as much as I enjoyed Riverdale Season 4 Episode 19, the concept of basing an episode around one of Jughead’s stories would’ve made more sense as part of the Stonewall plot).
Yet, to try to end things on a positive note, this episode and Riverdale Season 4 Episode 1 are on my list of favorite Riverdale episodes. There were a lot of moments and scenes throughout the season I enjoyed, and I liked the new characters of Mr. Honey, Mr. Chipping, Bret, and Donna.
Meaghan: Riverdale Season 4 didn't hit the mark for me. The show has yet to be able to fully capture the magic that Riverdale Season 1 held.
I think part of that reason is that the show was more grounded in reality back then than it ever has been since. I loved where they were taking the season at the end with the tapes. I think that it had the potential to be an incredible storyline and that final scene was downright creepy.
If Riverdale had focused on this storyline more in the season, I think it could have been incredible. Jughead's storyline at Stonewall Prep could have been great, but it just kept feeling like it was falling short of its potential.
Betty: You’re a copycat, Mr. Honey, and not a very good one. Using the Voyeur’s M.O. to ramp up your personal feud against me and my friends…
Mr. Honey: Feud? I’ve been trying to protect you.
Jughead: The only person we need protection from is you, Mr. Honey. You’re deranged.
Mr. Honey: I was trying to help you. To prepare you for a life outside of Riverdale.
Jasmine: Yes, Becca is nailing it! I also struggled with the pacing of the show. It's all over the place
There is so much wasted potential here. There are characters who are just wasted, like Toni and Kevin, who apparently have better material on Katy Keene.
They leaned way too hard into the off-the-wall and zany things for the sake of it being Riverdale. Some storylines dragged on way too long or were redundant, like the daddy/daughter Lodge war and vigilante Archie. Other things didn't get to breathe, like Barchie.
So, it wasn't my favorite season nor the best, but it did have good points too. I liked how they handled Luke Perry's death, and to this day I still laugh uncontrollably at the mere thought of Chad Michael Murray in that rocketman suit.
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.