|“||Well, it finally happened. The moment we've all been waiting for. A fire in the woods. Three friends in their underwear, covered in blood. My iconic beanie up in smoke. Driving back to Riverdale, they didn't say one word to each other. They should have. They should've gotten their stories straight.||”|
"Chapter Seventy-One: How to Get Away with Murder" is the fourteenth episode of the fourth season of Riverdale, and the seventy-first episode of the series overall. It premiered on February 26, 2020.
Archie, Betty, and Veronica, stripped down to their underwear, stand around a fire in the woods. They burn Jughead’s beanie and get in Archie’s truck. Driving back to Riverdale, they didn’t say one word to each other.
Mary catches Archie as he attempts to sneak in the house. She questions why he’s just getting home at 3:00 AM in his boxers. Archie claims that he went skinny dipping at the Stonewall party, and the preppies stole his clothes as a prank. He asks his mother why she’s still awake, and she replies that she has insomnia.
As Betty creeps into the house, she is confronted by Alice, who demands to know why there’s blood on her bra and why she’s coming in so late without any clothes. Betty claims that Bret spilled wine on her at the toga themed Stonewall party. She says that she put her clothes in a sink to soak, but she couldn’t find them afterward. However, Alice is not convinced with Betty’s story, asking why Jughead didn’t just lend her something to cover up with. Betty panics and rushes upstairs, where she throws up.
The following day, Archie, Betty, and Veronica meet up at Pop’s to get their story straight after each telling their parents a different story; toga party, strip poker, and skinny dipping. Charles made it abundantly clear that they can’t make these kinds of mistakes. Archie questions if they should have called someone other than Charles, but Betty insists that they made the right call in bringing in Charles given his expertise in such matters. Veronica wonders if Betty had any involvement in Jughead’s death. Betty claims that she found Jughead on the ground the same way that they did. Admittedly, it was a stupid mistake to pick up the rock. Betty presumes that the preppies are trying to frame her for Jughead’s murder. Either Jughead got too close to the truth behind Chipping’s death or that this is just a game for them to see if they can commit the perfect murder. Kevin asks to join them, but Archie sends him away. Betty calls him back, reminding Archie that they have to act like everything is normal. Kevin takes a seat next to Betty, and she asks if he’s made a decision for the musical, which he has.
Archie returns home to find his mother in the kitchen with her old friend from Sarah Florence and the naval academy, Brooke Rivers. Mary and Brooke were catching up, and she told Brooke about Archie’s dilemma with school. So, they came up with an idea. Brooke tells Archie how impressed she was with him last year. Brooke is willing to recommend him for the naval academy, which Archie accepts. He then leaves to go for a run.
Veronica, Hermosa, Hiram, and Hermione sit down at the dining room table to update Hiram’s will. Veronica accuses Hermosa of putting the idea in his head since she keeps showing up only when it suits her. Hermosa accuses Veronica of being a terrible daughter, constantly going against their father. Even going as far as to change her name. Hiram intervenes and explains that updating the will was his idea, stating that it’s a normal thing that people do. Veronica refuses to pretend any further about not knowing that Hiram is ill. She rips up his will and storms off.
Betty calls FP and reads from a pre-written script by Charles. She asks if FP has seen Jughead as she hasn't heard from him, and she’s starting to get worried. She tells FP that she’ll check at Stonewall Prep to see if he’s there. Charles commends her, explaining that her phone call with FP felt genuine and natural. He then hands her a bug to plant in Bret’s room. Besides planting the bug, their goal is also to find out what the preppies know, what they think happened, and what they thought was going to happen.
Betty enters Jughead's old room to find Bret and Donna conversing. She asks if either of them has seen Jughead, but they haven’t, not since the party, where Donna claims that the last time she saw Jughead is when Betty went into the woods with him. Betty insists that didn’t happen, but Donna assures her it did, suggesting that maybe Betty blacked out and doesn’t remember. Betty then asks Bret about Jughead, who he claims came to the party with an attitude, wearing a bunny mask. The last thing he remembers is Jughead saying that he was going to meet up with Betty in the woods. However, Betty recalls Jughead saying that he wanted to meet with Bret. The last thing Betty can remember is going in the woods with Donna. Betty then tells them that she’s already informed FP that Jughead is missing. As she's leaving, Betty bumps into Joan, who tells her to watch where she’s going.
Veronica asks Archie to meet her at La Bonne Nuit, where she informs him how her father made out a will and still refuses to admit he’s sick. Archie then tells Veronica how his mother wants to ship him out to the navy. And Archie doesn’t even care, as he’s only concerned with Jughead. Veronica questions why Betty would pick up the rock if she knows so much about forensics. She reminds Archie about their sophomore year when Betty tortured Chuck Clayton in a hot tub. Betty thought she was Polly and Chuck was Jason. The most terrifying part is that she had no recollection of it the next day. Veronica wonders if maybe the same happened with Jughead considering they found Betty with the murder weapon.
Betty pays Evelyn a visit at Shankshaw prison and asks if Donna visited her, which Evelyn admits that she did. She asked about Betty’s time at the Farm. Donna said Evelyn told her about some post-hypnotic suggestion that Betty would be susceptible to. Evelyn questions what specifically is bothering Betty. Betty explains that she went to a party last night, and she thinks she blacked out, and she wants to know what happened. Evelyn tells Betty that she already knows the answer to this and then asks how Jughead is doing. Evelyn tells Betty that soon enough, she’ll be in there with her, in a cell where they keep all the boyfriend killers.
Betty returns to the FBI field office, where Charles is listening in on Bret and Donna. They haven’t said anything of mention yet. Betty wants to do something to rattle them and force them into making a mistake.
Mary approaches Archie and apologizes for springing the naval academy on him without any warning. She then reveals that Brooke is her girlfriend. They haven’t been close since college, and they reconnected after Brooke’s husband died in Afghanistan. At first, Mary was there to comfort her, but it grew into more. While Archie is surprised, he supports his mother’s relationship. Betty interrupts and asks to speak with Archie.
In Archie’s room, Betty tells him to go to Stonewall and start a fight with Bret. Archie wonders what that would accomplish. Besides revenge for Jughead, it would get them talking. Archie questions if they truly know it was the preppies that killed Jughead, as they never actually saw them with the rock. However, Betty insists they’re responsible.
Archie goes to Stonewall Prep and picks a fight with Bret, who runs in his room and tries to lock the door behind him, but Archie forces his way in. He asks what they did to Jughead, slamming Bret around the room. He demands to know what they did, but Bret insists he’s innocent. Donna breaks up the fight after telling Archie that campus security was on the way. Bret then tells Archie that they both know who really killed Jughead, blaming Betty.
Betty and Charles listen in as Donna scolds Bret for his encounter with Archie. He explains that Archie attacked him and demanded he confesses to Jughead’s murder. However, Bret explains that they all know that Betty is the culprit. He and Donna find the bug and tell Betty to up her game before breaking the bug. Betty grows aggregated. Charles tells her they’ll have to be smarter than the preppies.
Mary confronts Archie after getting a call from the headmaster at Stonewall following his fight with Bret. Archie insists that Brett had it coming. Mary wants to know what’s going on with Archie. While she and Archie may not have the same relationship that he had with Fred, she asks that Archie trust her with whatever is going on on his life. Archie then gets a call from Betty, who’s watching from her bedroom. She tells Archie to stop talking and to tell his mother nothing about Jughead. She instructs Archie to pretend as if he’s talking to Veronica and end the conversation with his mother. Archie does just that. He then tells Mary that he has to leave to meet up with Veronica, who’s father is sick. Archie uses this as an excuse to bypass his mother.
Alice and FP call Betty down to discuss Jughead. Admittedly, it was Jellybean’s idea to track Jughead’s phone. They found it in Betty’s jacket. FP questions what Betty is doing with his phone. Betty explains that the night of the party, Jughead left his phone at the house. She claims that she must’ve picked it up at some point and forgot. With Jughead missing and Betty in possession of his phone, Alice questions why she didn’t come forth with this. Betty blames it on her being distressed over Jughead’s disappearance. She suggests that they declare Jughead a missing person.
Betty reconvenes Archie and Veronica at the Blue and Gold, where she tells them that Joan most likely slipped Jughead’s phone in her pocket when they bumped into each other in the hallway.
Hiram calls Veronica into his study to discuss his illness. He apologizes for not being the one to tell her that he was sick. He didn’t tell her because he didn’t want her pity. He didn’t want her to see him as weak. All Veronica wants is to be a source of strength for him. She tells her father that she loves him and asks what she can do to help. Hiram asks that Veronica get along with Hermosa, as it would give him peace of mind.
FP calls Betty to tell her that he has a lead. He got a call from a hiker who reported a bloody rock in the woods. The same place where the Stonewall party was. FP intends to retrieve it and have the blood tested. Betty then asks Jellybean if she has any fake blood left over from Halloween, which she does. After finding a rock in the front yard, Betty paints it with Jellybean’s fake blood as she calls Charles to inform him of the bloody rock that FP is planning to retrieve. Charles recalls Betty’s throwing the rock in the swimming-hole. Betty surmises that the preppies knew she would toss the murder weapon, so they had a backup rock with Jughead’s blood and Betty’s prints on it.
FP returns to the station with the rock that supposedly killed Jughead. Charles offers to send it out to Quantico to have the blood tested, as it would take a week at the local lab.
Charles then meets with Betty at Pop’s. He gives her the murder weapon and in return, she gives him the decoy rock with fake blood. Charles explains to Betty that this will only buy them a couple days.
Veronica informs Archie that Barnard college is reconsidering her admission after reviving an anonymous tip that she’s running an illegal rum operation. And now her application is under review. She knows this is the work of the preppies. Now, Veronica and Archie are trapped in Betty’s war with them, and while Veronica’s ready to follow her to the ends of the Earth, she wants to know the entire truth.
Archie and Veronica call Betty, and the three of them meet up at the Blue and Gold, where Veronica demands to know everything that happened that night. When Archie and Veronica found her, she was standing over Jughead’s body with the rock. She never would’ve picked up that rock, at least not consciously. Betty thinks she may have blacked out. She didn’t tell them because she's terrified that she may have killed Jughead. They have to figure out what happened after Betty’s conversation with Donna and before she woke up next to Jughead’s body. Betty thinks Donna may have said a trigger word to make her hurt Jughead. Considering that Charles helped Betty the last time she dealt with a trigger word planted in her by the Farm, Veronica suggests that she seek his help again.
Archie, Betty, and Veronica convene with Charles at the FBI field office in hopes that he can help Betty regain her memories. Charles tells Betty to relax and think back to the moments leading up to her blackout. Betty recalls Donna telling her about the other magic word before blowing white powder in her face. That was the last thing Betty remembers. And at no point, did Donna actually say a trigger word. They conclude that Donna and Evelyn were bluffing. As for the powder, Charles concludes that it may have been scopolamine, better known as the Devil’s breath. It’s a potent drug that affects one’s short term memory. When inhaled, it leaves the victim disoriented and unaware. After inhaling the Devil’s breath, Charles is doubtful Betty would’ve been able to kill Jughead. It’s far more likely than Donna put the rock in Betty’s hand and spun her around.
Betty and Donna meet up in the woods behind Stonewall. Near the murder spot. Betty confronts Donna with what she’s learned about what truly happened that night. How Donna blew Devil’s breath in her face and planted the rock on her. Betty accuses Donna and her friends of killing Jughead. However, as Donna points out, Betty has no proof. Furthermore, rather than going to the authorities, Betty, Archie, and Veronica got rid of the body. And if it was to ever be found, all the evidence would lead to Betty. The crazy girlfriend with a history of mental illness. Jughead becomes one of the Stonewall Five and everyone moves on with their lives.
Archie, Betty, and Veronica grab a booth a Pop’s, and Betty tells them about her latest encounter with Donna. The problem is that they’ve been playing defense, making moves that Donna could anticipate. They need to make an unpredictable move to bring the game to a head. Betty comes up with an idea and wants Jughead’s body found by FP, specifically.
After recovering Jughead’s body, FP and Betty go to the morgue, where they identify him. As the sheet is pulled from over his head, Bret and Donna burst in. However, Betty immediately pushes them out.
Mary tells Archie that she’s sorry about what happens to Jughead. It’s not fair that he’s lost his father and best friend during what is supposed to be the best year of his life. Archie closes his curtains and tells his mother that he has something to confess to her.
Veronica and Hermosa come to Hiram with a proposal. They want to be named co-executives of his estate. Hiram agrees to have Sowerberry write up his new will. He would like nothing more than to see them working side-by-side, at least until Veronica leaves for college. However, should her business ventures start to climb, she offers to defer her admission for a year. Hermosa asks Veronica what is she hiding as no one has ever deferred Barnard. When Veronica refuses to answer her, Hermosa replies it’ll be more fun to find out on her own.
Betty and Donna meet up in the woods behind stonewall once again. Donna questions why Betty, whose wearing Jughead’s jacket, would reveal where Jughead’s body was when the evidence would only point back to her. Betty explains that she did it because the truth is that Donna killed him. So, if Betty’s going down, she’s taking Donna with her. Betty tells Donna that she’s "the ultimate wildcard." She goes on to say "I am the daughter of the Black Hood. The nightmare from next door. I’m training with the FBI, and I’m coming for you, you psycho bitch.” Not Joan. Not Jonathan. Not even Bret. Just you. You’re gonna regret ever meeting me."
Betty goes to Pop's and tells Archie and Veronica how Donna showed up at the clearly looking for her without having been invited. Betty knows that Donna and Bret are scared. Now, Archie, Betty, and Veronica wait for the preppies to make the next move.
- Chuck Dawson - I Love You so Much Julianne
- Peter Sivo Band - Long Is the Night
- The Antlers - Kettering
- Scene: FP, Archie, Betty, and Veronica organize a search party to find Jughead's missing body in the woods.
- Vision Vision - Rule The World
- Scene: Betty warns Donna that she's coming after her and that she's the ultimate wild card.