Last week on Riverdale, increasing tensions between the north and south sides of town put Jughead in a difficult position, particularly with the Southside Serpents. Now, actor Cole Sprouse is opening up about what's next for Jughead and his father's gang.
In a recent set visit, Sprouse explained that while Jughead has always known that he'd end up part of the Southside Serpents, his slide into the gang has been a bit of a slow burn, but now that circumstances have changed, so has his perspective on joining the Serpents.
"Yeah, I think Jughead’s initiation is slow and steady, or rapid fire, was something he knew was coming inevitably, but the influence on his decision is really what kind of agency is he going to have over the Serpents and over keeping the kind of peace of the town, if he’s a little deeper into the gang itself," Sprouse said. "First season Jughead was all about staying away and consciously objecting against an involvement that would have, one, brought him closer to the other members of the town, but, two, possibly jeopardized him as a person, and I think he’s realizing now that he doesn’t really have the luxury of that choice anymore, to stay away. He has to get involved in the same way that everyone else is involved, and I think his initiation is truly that first step into that decision."
Jughead joining the Serpents also sets him on the same path as his father, FP (Skeet Ulrich), and Sprouse says he feels like all the kids in Riverdale are very much reflections of their parents -- and in Jughead's case that means he's likely to make many of the same mistakes.
"I think, in many ways, the kids in the town are all reflections of their parents and are kind of these ghost-like images of their parents," Sprouse explained. "Even when we start to learn the parents’ story in Season Onr, we see that someone like FP made some mistakes that Jughead is either stumbling into blindly or trying to acknowledge, and I think -- for Jughead -- Jughead has a tremendous yearning for the approval of his father, who was probably not there too much when he was a kid. He’s a kid whose mom is not around. He’s a kid who takes his childhood friendships super, super seriously and is all about the kind of purity and moral rightness of whatever person is making the bad decisions that they’re making, and I think he sees the potential for greatness in his father and he sees the potential for greatness in himself and he’s slowly but surely realizing that there are a lot of different shades to good and bad and that his father is definitely sitting right around the middle of that and what that might mean for Jughead."
Of course, it's not just Jughead who reflects his parents. Archie in particular is much like his own father, and, as Sprouse sees it, that sets up Jughead and Archie to eventually be on opposite sides of the spectrum, much like Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) and FP Jones are as adults, though Sprouse said that in Jughead's case, he still isn't exactly sure which way he will lean.
"In that way, we have Luke Perry’s character, who’s very morally righteous, and Archie is a specter of that moral righteousness as well, sort of a lawful good," Sprouse said. "And then we have Jughead sort of sitting on that spectrum, trying to figure out what part of that spectrum he sits on and if he leans either way and it’s definitely a shade of his father -- and if his father can end up influencing him towards either direction, that’s yet to be said."
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.