Spoilers for tonight's episode of Riverdale, "Chapter Eighteen: When A Stranger Calls", below.
Tonight's episode of Riverdale saw Betty Cooper break up with Jughead Jones, breaking fans hearts with the end of the "Bughead" relationship.
While audiences saw Betty (Lili Reinhart) forced into the breakup by the mysterious Black Hood, Jughead doesn't know the reason behind his girlfriend's sudden change of heart. However, Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead, said in a recent visit to the set of Riverdale that Betty ending the relationship doesn't completely come out of the blue. Jughead somewhat expected it.
"Part of it, definitely," Sprouse said. "I mean, I think there's that one line in it, too, that he goes, 'No, you guys haven't been good' and he's trying to lie to himself and he goes, 'no, I saw her earlier!' But he knows he's on the South Side now, and he knows he's been away from everyone, and I think also Jughead has absolutely no problem seeing himself as someone who could be easily thrown to the wayside, so I think something like that probably affects him a little bit. But he's also got his boys behind him, so it's not like he's going to be like, 'NO!'"
It isn't just the blow of losing Betty that is significant for Jughead, however. That it's Archie delivering the news is just as heartbreaking for Jughead according to Sprouse.
"The way that scene was shot was kind of funny to me, watching it back," he said. "I think Archie is also Jughead's weakness when it comes to Betty, because they were kind of the three amigos when they were young, but Betty had always favored Archie and it's something that will definitely see prevalence later on in the season, and just how much of a friendship Betty and Jughead had, even though it was just the three of them when they were younger or if Jughead felt more like a third wheel. So, Archie coming to deliver the bad news is not only a slap from Betty, but really a slap from Archie too, which I think is something we explore a lot later."
It's a slap that leaves Jughead reeling -- and turning to Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) for comfort. With there being some hope that Betty and Jughead could reconcile, his interaction with Toni might seem like a complicationm but Sprouse doesn't think it will be too damaging.
"I don't know! I don't think so," he said. "It's interesting. When I first read how Jughead was going to interact with that, I read it like he just kept brushing Toni off, and then I thought it would be more interesting if he didn't, and he was actually somewhat interested or enjoyed the admiration of another young woman, which I think is quintessentially the most teenage thing to do."
And Sprouse says that Jughead likes getting the admiration from someone other than Betty.
"Whether or not Jughead wants to admit it, he enjoys that attention, which is a kind of attention he's only ever received from Betty and never really has that kind of attention specifically, so when this new girl in a place where he knows nobody else starts paying attention to him," Sprouse said. "I don't necessarily even think it's sexual, so to speak. I think, even if it's platonic, it's something that's brand new, uncharted territory for him and he feels excited by it. I think he would be excited by it."
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.