The CW's Riverdale is always a mystery, but even by Riverdale standards the question that's been looming over Season Four has been a big one that's been lingering since the Season Three finale: what happens to Jughead in the ominous flash-forward? Nearly every episode this season has offered another clue as more and more information unfolds in that not-too-distant future. This week's mid-season finale, however, may have just offered fans the biggest clue yet and it's one insane twist that if true could shatter everything we understand about Riverdale.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Riverdale, "Chapter Sixty-Six: Tangerine," below.
In tonight's mid-season finale, Jughead was awarded the Baxter Brothers ghostwriting contract and, after some soul searching and a visit to his long-missing grandfather, he not only signed it but was initiated into the Quill and Skull secret society. It is, for Jughead, a huge step forward as he chooses to move forward form his family's broken and somewhat tragic past.
At the same time, Betty is dealing with her own issues of the past when she learns that Evelyn Evernever has used hypnosis as a form of mind control with all of the Farmies. She's essentially used hypnosis as brain washing to make them think they are Betty and when she says the trigger word "tangerine" three times, they then flip and try to kill Dark Betty. More than a little freaked out by this, Betty asks her brother Charles to trigger her and, after having a vision of Dark Betty, she later decides to end this darkness by stopping Dark Betty from carrying out the act that starts the darkness. She later triggers herself with "tangerine" just to be certain she's ended the darkness -- and shatters her mirror in the process.
But Betty may not have ended the darkness. She may have somehow made it worse. In the flash-forward, we see Archie standing over Jughead's body, discovering that he's dead and asks Betty what she did. We then pull back to see Betty holding a rock in her bloody hands looking confused and stunned -- the implication being that Betty killed Jughead while in a fugue state. Yes, that's right. It's implied that Betty killed Jughead, just as Dark Betty killed Caramel.
At this point, what is actually going on during Spring Break is anyone's guess. We know that Jughead at least appears to be dead with his body identified at the morgue by his father. We also know that Betty, Veronica, and Archie are all arrested for it and identified by Bret and Donna -- his sketchy schoolmates from Stonewall Prep. We also know, thanks to the Season Three flash-forward, that Betty, Veronica, and Archie all burned their clothes and Jughead's. It's possible that this is all some wild ploy cooked up by Betty and Jughead to catch Bret and Donna. After all, Jughead already suspects they've been trying to cover up a murder.
But it's also possible that Betty has taken a truly dark turn this season, a prospect that could take Riverdale down a path of no return. For now, though, we are left only with speculation while we wait for the show to return after the winter break.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.