He is the omniscient narrator of the series and the writer of an ongoing novel about Jason Blossom's mysterious death and the riveting events occurring in Riverdale, a town that while innocent on its surface, has many dark and hidden secrets.
Jughead is close friends with Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper, the latter with whom he’s currently in a relationship with. While Jughead was a sophomore at Riverdale High School, his father FP Jones, the leader of the Serpents was arrested, resulting in Jughead being placed into foster care and transferred to Southside High. While attending the gang and drug-infested high school, he re-opened the school newspaper, the Red and Black, where he was an editor, alongside fellow Serpent, Toni Topaz, the newspaper's photographer, with Robert Phillips, their adviser until his arrest. However, with the closing of Southside High, Jughead has since returned to Riverdale High.
After Jughead transferred to Southside High, even though he wasn't officially a Southside Serpent yet, they still considered Jughead as family, due to his relation to the leader. As Toni pointed out to him, he was a "Serpent by blood", stating that it was his birthright. Even though he refused at first to be a part of the gang, the Serpents still respected him and would protect him by having his back whenever they're needed.
It wasn't long after joining the Serpents that Jughead came back in contact with Penny Peabody, otherwise known as the Snake Charmer, who trapped him into becoming her personal drug-runner, thus fulfilling the debt that his father failed to pay. Due to the surveillance video that Penny acquired of Jughead Archie making a drug drop off, he was forced into regularly trafficking her drugs from the Southside of Riverdale to a warehouse in Greendale. However, his father took his place as Penny's drug runner upon his release. With Jughead refusing to accept this as their only option, he rallied the younger Serpents and they took care of Penny by driving her out to Greendale, and removing her Serpents tattoo, thus banishing her from ever returning to the Southside.
Toward the end of the second season, FP announced his retirement for the second time, making it official that he was actually retiring from the Serpents this time around. With the recent events that had occurred between the Southside Serpents and Jughead almost dying for them, FP thought that it would be fitting if Jughead were to take the mantle from him and become the new Serpent King. As Jughead graciously accepted, he states to the Serpents that he will not let them down on his watch.
A heartthrob with a philosophical bent and former best friend of Archie Andrews. He is still smarting from the rift that took place between the two.
A few years before the series, Fred Andrews fired FP from his business and soon afterward, FP began drinking heavily interspersed with empty promises to quit drinking. His downward spiral along with their lack of income led Jughead's mother to take off with his ten-year-old sister, Jellybean, while Jughead took up residence in the projection booth at his workplace, the Twilight Drive-In. His mother and Jellybean currently live with Jughead and Jellybean's grandparents in Toledo.
Six years prior to the series, Jughead was playing with matches outside Riverdale Elementary School and was sent to the Riverdale Juvenile Delinquent Center for "arson" as listed on his permanent record. He was also routinely bullied throughout high school, predominantly by the football team, which included Jason Blossom and Reggie Mantle.
Jughead hates his birthday, because throughout his childhood, despite the constant chaos at home with his alcoholic father, there was an arbitrary day where he was supposed to pretend that everything was okay, which just made him feel really lonely. From that point forward he decided to barely acknowledge his birthday. Instead, he would attend a double-feature at the Bijou theater with Archie (aside from his 16th birthday, when he went with Betty instead).
Prior to the summer of 2017, Jughead and Archie were best friends. They had planned a road trip set to occur over Fourth of July weekend, however, Archie canceled at the last minute for unknown reasons. It was later revealed that Archie instead spent the weekend with his music teacher, Geraldine Grundy, with whom he was having an affair. As a result of Archie canceling their trip, he and Jughead had a serious falling out and broke off their friendship. However, their friendship has since been mended "over many hamburgers and milkshakes".
In Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, Jughead sat in a booth as he began writing a novel about the events surrounding Jason Blossom's apparent death. In it, he described how the town of Riverdale was often presented as safe, decent and innocent, as many other small towns around the world are, but if you look close enough, you can see the shadows underneath. On the first day of school, he attended the memorial for Jason in the gymnasium.
The following Saturday night, instead of going to the back-to-school Semi-formal like most of the students, Jughead spent another night at the Chock'lit Shoppe again. He was surprised when Archie came in looking for Betty, however, she was not the only topic of discussion as they briefly talked about Jason's death. Before Archie left, Jughead gave him a piece of advice, he advised Archie to talk to Betty, because it could go a long way; it would have gone a long way with him as well. The next morning, he was present at Sweetwater River as Jason Blossom's body was brought to shore, surprisingly, he had a bullet hole in his head.
As usual, Jughead sat in a booth at Pop's shoppe working on his novel, he transcribed the entire town had likely been hoping against hope that Jason Blossom hadn't drowned on July 4th. They'd come to school Monday morning, and there he'd be, or that they'd see him and Cheryl sharing a smoothie at Pop's. However, this was before the undeniable discovery of his body at Sweetwater River. Now, all that remained were the terrible secrets that could only be revealed through the cold, steel blade of a coroner's autopsy scalpel.
Jughead had a brief conversation with Archie in the hallway, where his sardonic humor over Jason Blossom's death fell short with Archie. Before heading off to class, Jughead recalled that he and Archie were supposed to go on a road trip during the July 4th weekend, which Archie just so happened to bail on at the last minute. This lead led Jughead to believe that Archie was hiding something.
Jughead was shocked to learn that Archie and Ms. Grundy were in a secret love affair; he stumbled upon them as they were in a close embrace, leading Jughead to confront Archie later that day. Archie revealed that he and Grundy had been in a relationship since the summer, and that they both were Sweetwater River on July 4th, when Jason was ostensibly killed. They heard a gunshot that day, which Jughead urged Archie to report to the police, but he resisted, having been manipulated by Ms. Grundy to keep this information to himself for fear their relationship would be discovered. Jughead claimed that she cared more about herself than she did Archie. The fact that she's the one who told him to keep quiet only supported Jughead's claim. He was disappointed in Archie's resistance. Although the Archie he knew wasn't perfect, he at least tried to do the right thing.
The next day in the student lounge, Jughead was singled out by Reggie as a typical outsider with a grudge that could've possibly killed Jason. Reggie asked if Jughead "did stuff" to Jason's corpse, to which Jughead reminded him that the technical term was Necrophilia, then jabbed at Reggie's "dumb jock" personality by doubting that he could actually spell the word. This led to a heated confrontation between Reggie and Archie, who came to Jughead's defense, and ended with Archie getting knocked out with a black eye.
Eventually, Archie came to his senses and approached Jughead at the Pep Rally to inform him that he would be bringing his knowledge of the gunshot to the police. Archie then apologized to Jughead for their fight the previous night. Despite Jughead's unwillingness to hug Archie in front of the whole town, it was clear that some of the tension had passed and they were on their way to discuss being friends again over "many burgers and many days" To celebrate, they headed to Pop's shoppe for milkshakes, where they ran into Betty and Veronica, who welcomed the boys to join them.
Joining the Blue & Gold
His presence was requested by Betty at The Blue and Gold office. where she wanted his assistance reawakening the high school newspaper. However, Jughead wasn't sure that the Blue and Gold was the right fit for his voice, but Betty reminded her that Jason Blossom's death changed Riverdale, nothing that bad was every suppose to happen, but it did, and she wanted to know why. Jughead agreed so long as he had complete freedom. Upon their agreement, Betty gave him his first assignment; Dilton Doiley, he was the one person at Sweetwater River on July 4th that no one seemed to be questioning.
The next day, he interrupted Dilton's boy scouts meeting to ask him about the incident surrounding Jason Blossom's death, Jughead reminded him that both Archie and Cheryl said they heard a gunshot that evening, however, Dilton claimed that he didn't hear or see anything weird. Just at that moment, Jughead noticed that he and Dilton were being watched by one of his boy scouts, the same boy scout that Jughead would later go on to confront at Pop's Shoppe. As Jughead consumed the young boy scout's ice cream, he revealed that Dilton was lying about not hearing the gunshot, when in fact he was the one who fired it, Jughead was in disbelief. Apparently, Dilton was a hardcore survivalist, who had been teaching them how to shoot.
That night, he managed to sneak his way into the Taste of Riverdale, an event that was being held by Mayor McCoy, in an effort to further question Dilton Doiley. Although he was not the only creeper in attendance, Archie had made his way in as well in order to listen to the song that he helped Josie and the Pussycats write, a song which Jughead admitted wasn't too bad.
He found Dilton standing in the stairway, and confronted him with the knowledge that Dilton fired that gun on July 4th, which made him both a liar and a public menace. Dilton claimed that he was doing the scouts a favor, but Jughead wasn't up to hearing it, telling Dilton to save his explanation for his statement, which he could make to Sheriff Keller or Jughead, whom suggested the latter.
Dilton showed up at the Blue and Gold offices the next day, if they published the story of him firing the gun, his life would be ruined, so he offered them a better story instead. He revealed that he saw something at Sweetwater River that no one else saw, which was Ms. Grundy's car.
With the Twilight Drive-In closing, Jughead was sure that it was just another nail in the coffin that is the American dream. Furthermore, he was furious, the drive-in was very special to him, the residents should be trying to save it, which he tried to explain to Betty, Veronica, and Kevin. Jughead struggled over which film he should play for closing night, he asked the group, who he had already invited to attend, he went with Betty's suggestion "Rebel Without a Cause." As Archie, Fred, and Ms. Grundy entered the diner, Jughead pleaded with Betty and Veronica to not get involved, but neither listened.
The next day at school, Jughead explained to Archie that not getting involved in the situation with him, Betty and Grundy was the most moral, apathetic choice he could've made, he also mentioned that Archie had nothing to worry about as Jughead assured him that Betty would never do anything that could possibly hurt him.
After school, Jughead went down to Town Hall, hoping that he could persuade Mayor McCoy to save the drive-in, a futile attempt it turned out to be as the deal was done, and Andrews Construction already had the contract for demolition. Jughead told her of the special connection he shared with the drive-in, how he practically grew up there with his family, yet there was still nothing the Mayor could do.
In another attempt to save the drive-in, Jughead approached Fred Andrews, in an effort to convince him to at least hold off on the demolition until he can track down the anonymous buyer, sadly, Fred could not afford to give him that time. Jughead grew increasingly angry, he reminded Fred how he already put his father out of work, so he might as well do the same to another Jones. That night, Jughead sat in the booth the entire night as Rebel Without a Cause played on the big screen, one last time.
The next morning, it was revealed that Jughead was living out of the drive-in, and with its demolition in motion, he would soon be homeless. Before leaving the drive-in, for the final time, he spray-painted his name and signature crown hat on the side of the booth, then have a brief run-in with his father, who told him that they'd tear the booth down, and them with it. Jughead hoped that maybe they'd save the booth, store it in the town hall attic, and rebuild it in a hundred years, so people could wonder who the hell they were.
At school, Jughead, Betty, and Kevin reconstructed Sheriff Keller's murder board that had been previously destroyed. Unfortunately, the police had no suspects in the break-in, there weren't any fingerprints, and the files, background checks, and video and audio tapes of police interviews were stolen.
That evening, after learning from Betty, that Polly attempted suicide, and that Jason Blossom began selling drugs shortly before his murder, Jughead began to not only question why a rich kid would do such a thing, but what would make him want to run away from his parents, since they couldn't ask Jason or his parents, Jughead decided they would raid his room during Jason's memorial, which they had earlier been invited to by Cheryl.
Following an emotional eulogy from Cheryl, Jughead and Betty snuck away during the commotion, and made their way to Jason's room, Jughead suggested that they check in such places as under the mattress, in the drawers, under the headboard, and in the closet, all locations where teenage boys would hide things. Unbeknownst to either of them, Rose Blossom, Jason's grandmother was also in the room, she startled them both, however, she mistakenly took Betty for Polly, her older sister, Jughead remained quiet, and listened as the two of them conversed. Rose Blossom unknowingly revealed to them that Polly and Jason were engaged.
As more secrets from Betty's family came to light, Jughead believed that her parents knew more than they're letting on, if Betty's father would be willing to do anything to protect Polly, the next logical question would be, how far would he go. Whoever broke into Sheriff Keller's house wasn't at the Twilight Drive-In, and coincidentally, Betty's father wasn't at the drive-in, with that being said, they added the Cooper family's name to the board.
In an attempt to find Polly, Jughead was invited over to the Cooper house for breakfast with Betty and her mother. He distracted Alice by asking to use the bathroom, which she then proceeded to lead him to, and while those two were off, Betty went through her mother's purse and took several photos of her checkbook.
Upon further investigation at The Blue and Gold, they discovered that one of the checks were made out to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, a home for troubled youths. Over lunch, Betty and Jughead quietly discussed finding Polly, which led the two of them to catch a bus over to the group home, where Jughead was forced to wait in the entrance hall while Betty was taken to her sister, who turned out to be pregnant with Jason Blossom's child.
From Betty, Jughead learned that Polly and Jason had planned to run away together on July 4th, but the Coopers had found out and sent her away. Before the day's end, the duo was caught by Alice, who was then confronted by Polly over Jason's death, which caused a big scene. This led to Polly being pulled away by two orderlies as Betty told her she loves her and promises to get Polly out. Jughead stood there helpless as another orderly prevented him from interfering.
Back at the Cooper house, he climbed a ladder and knocked on Betty's window, happily surprising her, Jughead commented "Hey there Juliet, nurse off duty?". After discussing her worries over her parents and Polly as well as herself, Jughead calmed Betty down and reassured her that they are not their families. Visibly nervous, Jughead kissed Betty, after which he exhaled and sighed and she smiled just before remembering that earlier Polly had mentioned a car Jason had stashed for them out by an old maple farm sign on Route 40. Jughead made a comment about her changing the subject and 'ruining their moment' but she explained that it wasn't her intention.
They skipped the Variety Show that night and went out to find the supposed car, which was hidden under a tarp away from the road. Inside the vehicle, they found a number of Jason's belongings, including his varsity jacket, as well as copious amounts of drugs. Jughead took photos for evidence while, unbeknownst to either of them, someone watched from the woods.
After gathering proof of their find, Jughead and Betty found Sheriff Keller at the school, and told him about what the car, along with what they found inside. Unfortunately, the vehicle was up in flames by the time the authorities had arrived. Having left the vehicle unprotected, whoever was watching Betty and Jughead set the car on fire, presumably to destroy evidence. Jughead and Betty then raced to rescue Polly from the group home but by the time they arrived, her room was empty, the window was broken and blood coated the glass.
Ever since the closing of the Twilight Drive-In, Jughead had been living out of a forgotten closet under a staircase at the High School. It wasn't long before Archie made this discovery, to which Jughead explained that things weren't good at home. His dad had fallen off the wagon after Fred Andrews fired him, and his mother had left with Jellybean to live with their grandparents a while back. Archie invited him to stay at his place, but he declined, saying that his situation was only temporary, then insisting that Archie not tell anyone, especially Betty.
In the student lounge, Jughead comforted Betty as she stressed over the situation with Polly and her unborn child, then telling Kevin that it wouldn't be the best idea to get his father involved because Sheriff Keller answers to the Blossoms.
After the earlier discussion with Jughead, Archie spoke with his father about the situation, who then decided to offer FP his job back. Jughead then visited his father to talk about the job offer, but he came home to a trailer riddled with trash and beer bottles. Jughead insisted on FP getting rehired at Andrews Construction, so they could then proceed to rebuild their family, which FP seemingly agreed with.
Jughead and Betty led a search party throughout Eversgreen Forest, hoping to find Polly, after her escape from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy group home. Following the press conference held by Alice Cooper, where she revealed to the entire town that Polly was pregnant with Jason Blossom's child, Jughead offered to walk Betty home. During which, Jughead attempted to find the suitable name for the nature of their relationship, although nothing was clarified. They then discussed Polly before something Jughead said made Betty realize where her sister was hiding. Grateful, Betty kissed Jughead, who smiled as she ran home.
The next day, after a successful first day back for FP, Archie and Jughead wanted to celebrate with their fathers', so the four of them went to Pop's for dinner, where the two fathers told stories about their younger years.
Later that night, Jughead sat back and watched as FP and Archie practiced music in the garage, which led Archie to ask FP about something he had mentioned earlier that night about Fred owing him. FP revealed the truth about why he was forced to resign from Andrews Construction, he got into trouble after working some odd jobs to support his family, Fred bailed him out, but he then wanted to part ways with FP afterward. This left FP very upset and he began drinking, before taking his father home, Jughead hid his flask in Archie's couch.
Once home, Jughead put his father on the couch, where he mentioned to that he spoke with his mom on the phone, who now worked at a call center and is taking online classes in the hopes of finally getting her GED, for which Jellybean was helping her study. Speaking of Jellybean, Jughead also mentioned that she wanted to be addressed as 'JB' from now on because she thought it sounded cooler. He remarked that she's a "ten-year-old who listens to Pink Floyd on vinyl, how much cooler could she get?". However, Jughead then noticed that his father had passed out while taking off his boots and that he hadn't heard a word he'd said.
The next morning, Jughead was taken into custody and brought down to the Sheriff Station by Sheriff Keller, as a suspect in Jason's murder. His and Betty’s fingerprints were found on Jason’s torched car as expected, but Jughead had a surprising juvie record from six years ago as he almost burned down Riverdale Elementary School. According to Jughead, the fire was an accident as he was playing with matches.
Sheriff Keller unfairly suspected him as the killer due to his background and being from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’. Fred unexpectedly came to his aid and told Sheriff Keller that Jughead was tearing down drywall for his construction company on July 11th, which Fred and Archie later falsified a time card to prove.
Jughead’s father showed up to the station just as everyone was leaving and caused a scene in front of Fred, Archie, and Betty. FP was furious and angrily demanded to see Sheriff Keller for making accusations against his son and even lashed out at Fred, who tried in vain to calm him down. Jughead convinced him to let it go before he left, FP tearfully promised he would get his act together and that they would have their family back, it would just take some time. Jughead looked angry and resigned as he told his father he believed him. In the end, Jughead went to live at the Andrews’s house, but he had yet to give up on his father.
Jughead's Slithering Secret
After a late night of gaming, Fred entered Archie's room to inform the boys that it was time to call it a night, but not before he noticed the foul odor circulating within the room. Jughead felt very at-home with the Andrews, almost as if he, Archie and Fred were roommates in a college dorm. Tomorrow, Andrews Construction would be breaking ground for the SoDale project, which was a sore subject for Jughead as the land formerly housed the Twilight Drive-In.
The next day, in the student lounge, Jughead, Archie, Betty, Veronica, Kevin, Cheryl, and Valerie analyzed Polly's dilemma, in which the Coopers wanted her but not the baby, and the Blossoms wanted the baby, but not her. A true Gordian Knot, Jughead said, however, Veronica disagreed, it was a fairly solvable problem, she suggested that they throw Polly a baby shower, which would force the Coopers to finally start communicating.
Having learned that Andrews Construction was facing turmoil, Jughead, Archie, Kevin, and Moose volunteered to assist Fred Andrews in keeping the SoDale project on schedule until he could find a real crew. Jughead commented how handy Archie was with the wheel barrel, joking that Archie could fall back on manual labor if his music career were to never take off. However, he was very much aware that his dad's path was not for him.
After a long day of work, the boys returned to the trailer, but Moose forgot his phone back on the project site. As he returned to retrieve it, he was attacked by two thugs, who warned them to stop construction or else they'd return. While Fred thought that Clifford Blossom was at the center of the attack, Archie speculated that it could've been the Southside Serpents, angry due to being kicked off their territory, but Jughead reminded everyone that the Serpents never bothered him when the drive-in was still up and running.
The next day at Pop's Shoppe, Jughead filled Betty and Veronica in on the attack at Andrews construction, in which he assured them Moose was fine. Archie then entered the diner seeking Jughead's help as he, Moose and Kevin planned on finding the Serpents they alleged to have attacked Moose. Kevin's boyfriend, Joaquin, who was also a Serpent, could get them into the Whyte Wyrm, a known hang out for the gang, where they could find Moose's attackers and notify Sheriff Keller. Betty wasn't too sure that it was the best idea since the Serpents were dangerous drug dealers; the drug dealer portion of that comment being confirmed a day earlier as Polly informed them that Jason was dealing for the Serpents. Jughead insisted that going into the bar was a terrible idea, but all Archie wanted to know is if Jughead would join him, which he didn't.
Jughead and Betty shared a kiss as the baby shower began, she thanked him for being there since that event wasn't his usual kind of scenery. Jughead sarcastically replied that "organizing a baby shower was totally on his bucket list". Archie unexpectedly showed up at the shower not much later and confronted Jughead on his father being a Serpent, which is why he tried to prevent them from going to the bar. As the baby shower came to a close, Jughead explained that he was ashamed of his father's affiliations, which is why he hadn't told anyone, which Betty immediately forgave him for, and then suggested that they pay FP a visit.
At the trailer park with his father, Jughead announced that they knew about the drug deal between the Serpents and Jason, the cops knew too, so if they hadn't been there already, they would be soon enough. FP claimed they gave Jason some product to deliver upstate, but when it never showed, they assumed he ran off with it, that was until his body showed up at Sweetwater River. Jughead then asked his father if he had any involvement in Jason's death, despite FP being his father, it was the dark ages, he didn't know what to think. FP admitted that he was a lousy parent, but he insisted that he wasn't a killer.
Outside the trailer, Jughead told Betty that he believed his father, and she believed Jughead, the two of them then shared another kiss. Jughead returned to the Andrews house where he admitted that he should've trusted Archie, but he was afraid that his father was at the center of the attack. Archie understood where Jughead was coming from, saying that they were brothers and that they would always be there for each other.
In Betty's room, Jughead assured Betty that she did nothing wrong upon learning that Polly had been ignoring her calls and emails. He said they'll figure it out and then went in for a kiss, before being interrupted by her mother.
Later that day in student lounge, after discovering that Archie could be attending an exclusive summer music program with the help of the Blossoms, Jughead questioned their motive for doing so. Archie explained that all he had to do was escort Cheryl to the maple tree tapping. Although Valerie was cool with it, Jughead was not, asking if Val was cool with him being a Gigolo.
A couple days later, Jughead and Betty confronted Cheryl in the hall and demanded that they are allowed to talk to Polly. It was then that Cheryl revealed to the two of them that Polly was having twins, just as Rose Blossom had previously claimed. Betty began to wonder why Polly would not tell her something of such importance, to which Jughead explained that hostages weren't usually allowed to make phone calls. In the end, after calling Jughead a hobo, Cheryl agreed to pass on Betty's message to Polly. As Jughead, Archie, and Fred at dinner that night, they were momentarily joined by Cheryl, who thanked Archie for agreeing to escort her to a banquet, which Jughead referred to as Archie pimping himself out.
The following day, Betty ranted and raved about her parents' ill behavior during a time of crisis, where Polly was living with the Blossoms. She mentioned how her mother threw a brick through the window of The Register, an incident that Jughead wished he could've been present for, this statement was subsequently followed by an apology for his typical sense of sardonic humor. Betty felt like her family was falling apart, and she felt like there was nothing she could do to stop it, but Jughead persuaded Betty to keep fighting. He agreed that the Cooper family was splintering, but that it wouldn't fall apart because of her effort in holding it all together. Jughead went on to tell Betty "You're so much stronger than all of the white noise. You're stronger than your mother, you're stronger than your father. You're holding this family together. So don't. Don't let go."
Later that night, Jughead and Betty informed Alice that they learned from Archie that Polly was fine, she didn't choose the Blossoms over them, she went there to spy on them as she suspecting them of being involved in Jason Blossom's Death. Polly was their woman on the inside, they were going to use this connection to finally expose the Blossom family. Jughead invited Alice to write with them at the The Blue and Gold.
As Jughead sat in the chair playing video games and Archie lay on the bed, Fred entered the boys' room before taking off to Chicago to apologize for having to miss Jughead's upcoming birthday. Though, Fred would not be missing much considering that Jughead barely acknowledged his own birthday.
That night, after taking the pizza out of the oven, Jughead informed Archie that this year's double-feature at the Bijou consisted of "An American Werewolf in London" and "Animal House", two films directed by John Landis. Unfortunately, Archie had no intent on attending the films with him, instead Betty would be going for which Jughead wasn't too happy about considering he did not want her to know it was his birthday as it was a primal betrayal on Archie's fault. Jughead's hatred for his birthday began when he was a kid because his life at home was never good, usually because of his father, and then there was this arbitrary day, that they would get together and pretend as if they were normal. Consequently, it just made me feel really lonely.
The following night at the Bijou, after talking to Kevin, Jughead asked Betty about the confrontation she had with Chuck Clayton in the cafeteria. He wanted to know what exactly happened between her and Chuck the night leading to his suspension, but it wasn't a big deal, and Veronica wanted her to keep the details under wraps, or so Betty claimed. He only asked because Kevin made it seems as if she was upset, but if Betty was upset about anything, it was the fact that she found out about his birthday through Archie. He claimed that he didn't think of Betty as an American Werewolf in London kind of girl, but she corrected him, saying she's all about the beast within.
After the double-feature, he and Betty returned to Archie's house only to find that a surprise party was awaiting him, which he was not too thrilled about. After greeting everyone, Betty came out the kitchen singing with his birthday cake in hand, which he noted as being oddly creepy. Before blowing out the candles, he quietly remarked that he wished it was only him and Betty at the house.
Then they entered the kitchen to find Archie and Veronica hugging, to which Veronica revealed she wasn't in a partying mood, and neither was Jughead. He appreciated the sentiment behind Betty throwing the party, but he would rather the four of them sitting in a booth at Pop's Shoppe, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions.", Jughead told Betty. She questioned why he couldn't be normal just for once, but he replied that he wasn't normal nor was he wired to be, and just when he thought the night could not get any worse, the doorbell rang and Cheryl and Chuck were at the door, along with several dozen classmates eager to party.
Despite knowing Jughead opposed the idea of a party, Archie invited everyone in any way, which led Jughead to retreat to the garage, where he sat with Vegas until Archie came in raving at Valerie. As his blood brother, it was Archie's responsibility to make sure that nothing like a wild house party ever came to be for his birthday, but Archie insisted that it was Betty's idea, he simply went along with it. Not to mention, he was Betty's boyfriend, meaning that he's getting a party whether he wants one or not. His father then unexpectedly entered the garage with a gift in hand and wishing him a happy birthday. He warned FP that he was the only adult at the party, which came as no surprise. Jughead then asked if Betty called him, which she did, and she came to see him, FP said that she knows what she wants.
Later, Jughead confronted Betty over inviting his father to a party with alcohol, while knowing he had a drinking problem, but Betty claimed that Chuck and Cheryl's invasion was not apart of the plan, it was only supposed to be a party with his friends. Betty and Archie are his friends, everyone else, including Kevin and Veronica, are people that he would have actively shunned two months ago because he's weird that way. Jughead doesn't fit in, and he doesn't want to, he became increasingly upset over Betty not knowing or caring that a party is the last thing he wanted. He wondered if it had ever occurred to her how different they were, Betty's a straight A student, she was a cheerleader and the perfect girl next door. While he, on the other hand, was the damaged loner outsider from the wrong side of the tracks, Jughead believed they were on borrowed time, but he wasn't one of her projects, like Jason Blossom's Death, suspecting that she was only fine with being his girlfriend until she grew tired of slumming it with him or until Archie changed his mind to say he wanted to be with her.
Before leaving the party, he ran into Ethel, who offered him a slice of cake as it was bad luck to not have some on his own birthday, but Jughead declined, commenting that the entire night was bad luck. As he headed for the door, he was cut off by Chuck and Cheryl, who insisted that the night was far from over as they had a game they wanted to play first, called "Secrets & Sins", a game in which they reveal all their dirty little secrets.
They started with Archie and Veronica, in which Jughead learned that the Twilight Drive-In was brought by Veronica's father, and ended with Betty, as Chuck retold the story of what happened the night that he confessed. Betty dressed up like a hooker in a terrible black wig, drugged and handcuffed chuck to the Jacuzzi until he said what she wanted to here, and it only got stranger from there as she actually believed that she was Polly. This set off Jughead as he punched Chuck directly in the face, however, his hit did little damage in comparison to the bruise Chuck left on him when he struck back.
FP broke up the fight and escorted Chuck out the house, as well as ending the party altogether, but he stopped Jughead as he attempted to leave. His father wanted him to go back inside and talk to Betty, but Jughead was not too sure it would work out, which FP would not allow, he told Jughead that he had something good going with his friends, something his parents could not give him. He was then told to man up, after what FP saw go on, Betty needed him, which Jughead apparently agreed with as he went back in.
He and Betty had milkshakes at Pop's, where he admitted that Betty was doing something nice for him, but he short-circuited and that frightened him, he was scared of being rejected for being himself. Betty then admitted that she should have told him the truth about Chuck instead of throwing a party he did not want, there's an overwhelming darkness within her, she then showed Jughead the scars she unintentionally left on her inner hand, and then the two of them kissed.
The next morning, he caught Veronica creeping downstairs from Archie's room, the two awkwardly smiled, and he promised not to tell anyone. A little later, as he finished off his cake, Jughead asked Archie about him and Veronica, then making the same promise of saying nothing just as he did to Veronica.
FP Framed; Whodunnit?
Alone in the bleachers of the gymnasium, Jughead continued to write his story surrounding Jason Blossom's Death. He then headed over to Sunnyside, where he was surprisingly welcomed by a clean trailer and a clean father, it would appear that FP was finally getting himself together, much to Jughead's satisfaction, he even joked that maybe his father had been body snatched. Surprisingly, FP had actually read Jughead's manuscript, and he thoroughly enjoyed it but he had a few questions, such as why Jason Blossom. Jughead explained that he didn't pick Jason, it was as if Jason picked him to tell the story that no one else was going to tell, from the outside looking in. Jughead didn't have much of an opinion on who killed Jason, for him, the question wasn't "Whodunnit", the real question was whether Riverdale was a place of good or a place of darkness and evil.
A little later that day, Archie asked Betty if he could play a couple songs at the Homecoming dance, which she was hesitant as Archie's style of songwriting was very dark which Jughead remarked that it makes you want to slit your wrist, but in a good way.
Shortly after, he approached Betty wondering why she didn't tell him about the dinner being thrown at her house by her mother, who nearly tackled Jughead in the hallway to invite him and his father over before the dance. He was a little terrified by the social experiment, but he was thrilled too as it was important for their families to get to know each other better.
That night, after learning that Archie's mother and father would be attending the dance together, Jughead questioned if there could be a possible rekindling in the near future. Archie thought it was a pipe dream, but Jughead assured him that stranger things had happened, like his father getting cleaned up and being at work every day, leaving him to question if maybe it was time for him to return home. FP had even stopped drinking, however, Archie still thought that he should hold off on moving back, but Jughead was sure that his father was going straight, but something had shifted. He mentioned to Archie how engaged his father was in his manuscript. Archie then hopped out of bed, claiming that he was going to get his mother some almond milk from the store, but Jughead saw right through this. He rightfully assumed Archie was sneaking off for a late night rendezvous with a certain raven-haired princess.
Just as planned, Jughead and his father had dinner with Betty and Mrs. Cooper the following night, during which time Alice practically interrogated his father on his involvement with the Southside Serpents and his spotty work history. The doorbell rang, it was Betty's father, Hal Cooper, which only made the situation worse, leaving Betty with the only option of ending the dinner, and leaving for the dance with Jughead and FP.
Before going to the dance, Jughead asked Betty to wait as he had a private conversation with his father inside the truck. He told his father how he was contemplating coming back home. Pleased, FP thought it would be even better if they got the entire family back together and that he wanted to move to Toledo to be with Jeallybean and their mom, which Jughead wasn't too thrilled about. People like them get chewed up in Riverdale, but he couldn't help but think about Betty, so after the dance, he wanted to talk to her about it.
After an amazing performance by Archie and Veronica, Jughead joined them and Betty in the hallway, where they revealed their treacherous actions of breaking into his father's trailer in search of any evidence that would prove him to be Jason Blossom's Killer. Alice put them up to it, and they knew when to go because he would be at the dinner, which led Jughead to believe that Betty was also in on this treachery, leaving him to question why he would ever pass on moving with his family to Toledo for her. Betty insisted that she had no prior knowledge of the plan, but Jughead began to wonder if his word was not enough to vindicate his father, but it was enough, Betty said. He was so excited about the dinner, she didn't want to disappoint him.
The betrayal of his friends was only the beginning of Jughead's terrible night because he soon learned that his father had been arrested for the murder of Jason Blossom. Jughead stormed out the school, and headed over to the trailer park, where he found the door covered in yellow caution tape, though this did not stop him from breaking through the door. In a fit of rage, he destroyed the trailer, and then started to cry, before pulling himself together and exiting the trailer.
Shortly after learning his father had been arrested for the murder of Jason Blossom, Jughead called his mother from a pay phone at the Riverdale bus station. He told her that he planned on catching a bus out to Toledo to see her and Jellybean. Unfortunately, she turned him down, thus making his terrible night even worse as he briefly sobbed in the phone booth.
With Toledo no longer an option, he went back into the lobby to buy a ticket to the next bus out of town, and he didn't care where it was headed. However, the next bus wasn't coming until the next morning at 6:00 AM. With nowhere else to go, Jughead hung out at Pop's Shoppe, where Archie, Betty, and Veronica found him, and informed him that his father was being framed.
The four of them rushed over to the Sheriff Station to speak with Sheriff Keller, and tell him about their discovery. Unfortunately, by then, FP had already confessed to the murder, Jughead then shared a long and confused look with his father as he was escorted elsewhere.
Initially, Jughead decided to stay home from school the following day, but he made an unexpected appearance in the cafeteria to apologize to Cheryl for his father's action. Cheryl slowly stood up, and in a fit of rage, she attacked Jughead up until Archie pulled her off. Mr. Weatherbee then entered the cafeteria, demanding that Jughead come with him, and in the office, Jughead had to undergo his second interrogation of the day, he wasn't sure who was the bigger dick, Weatherbe or Sheriff Keller. Betty told him to ignore them, his father was innocent, they just needed to prove it. Jughead grew tired of the entire ordeal, he questioned who killed Jason if not FP, he even confessed to doing it. Jughead had been waiting his whole life for his father to do the right thing, but he was done waiting, and Betty should be too.
Sadly, his day would only seem to get worse as Weatherbee later went on to call Mr. Andrews, and suggest that Jughead finish out the school year from home, in order to prevent any further altercations like the one that took place with Cheryl. Jughead sat on the steps and listened as Archie and his father argued about what to do with him and the trouble that seemed to constantly follow his family around. Jughead came off the steps, and as Archie approached, he told him that he would sleep in the garage that night, hoping to avoid any further problems.
The next day, he was awakened by Archie, and the two of them headed down to Pop's to talk with Archie's mother, who happened to be a lawyer. Mrs. Andrews passed herself off as FP's attorney to get as much information on the case as possible, and it wasn't looking good due to his list of priors, the anonymous tip, and the possession of the murder weapon, but Jughead reminded her not to forget about his father's pesky confession. Known for his dark and sardonic sense of humor, Jughead even joked about his father being an honest murderer. Mrs. Andrews then informed him and Archie that FP's one call was to Joaquin DeSantos, Kevin's boyfriend, a fellow Southside Serpent. He was then advised to go and see his father, tell him everything he wanted to say because he wouldn't get another chance once FP was arraigned.
Jughead took Mrs. Andrews advice. He visited his father at the police station, and told him that when he and Archie first devised the plan to get FP back on his feet, he knew deep down that it was a mistake. FP really had him fooled, cleaning the trailer, convincing him that he had quit drinking, because of this he was so happy for the first time in so long, FP even paid attention to him. Although the only reason FP even read his manuscript was to make sure that Jughead wasn't on to him, and FP didn't want to move to Toledo to get the family back together, he wanted to run away. FP exclaimed that he did what he had to do, but Jughead question if he had any remorse for killing Jason, but his father claimed he was only sorry he got caught. Just as Jughead prepared to leave, his father told him to never come back, and in that moment, something changed, he could tell his father was hiding something.
His dad had been lying to him his entire life, but he'd never been good at it, so after his conversation with FP, Jughead called Betty, admitted she was right about FP, and the two of them met up at The Blue and Gold offices. They began to question why he would lie, and who he was protecting, so they began ruling out suspects, like Betty's father and Veronica's mother. On the murder board, the only suspects left were Hiram Lodge, and Clifford and Penelope Blossom. Mrs. Cooper then entered the office to inform them that the body of a Serpent had been discovered. Sheriff Keller was convinced that he was working with FP, not to mention he allegedly committed suicide by overdose, and there was a bag of money in his room that tied him to Hiram Lodge, so everything was tied into a nice little bow, but too tidy for Alice.
Betty then received a call from Kevin, and the three of them met up on the highway off Route 40 where Jason's car was torched. Whatever it was they were looking for, Joaquin wasn't sure if it would help FP or hurt him, but it was apart of their contingency plan that FP called off from jail because it was too dangerous. Under the Blossom Maple Farms sign was a duffel bag containing Jason's varsity jacket. Inside the lining of the jacket, Betty found a USB flash drive, which housed surveillance video from the night that Jason was murdered, which revealed that Jason was killed by his own father, Cliff Blossom. That night, Jughead, Archie, Betty, Kevin, and Veronica sat in Archie's garage and watched the entire video, from Jason being tied up by Mustang to the fatal shot fired by his father.
From there, they learned the truth behind why Jughead's father falsely confessed, it was to protect Jughead, who Clifford threatened would suffer the same fate as Jason if FP spoke a word about how Jason really died. After learning the truth, Jughead demanded that his father be released, though Sheriff Keller could not accommodate as FP was still being brought up on several other charges, like mishandling a body, perjury, obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence and more.
Jughead sat at Pop's shoppe that evening, as he continued with his novel. In the wake of Clifford Blossom's death, a narrative quickly emerged following the discovery that his family's maple syrup farm was a front for his true business of transporting heroin from Montreal on his trucks. Jason Blossom must have discovered his father's drug dealings, and threatened to expose the truth, resulting in his kidnapping and murder. Clifford then killed Mustang, the Serpent responsible for Jason's abduction, and framed Hiram Lodge in order to cover his own tracks.
Later that morning, he learned from Archie and Betty that Mayor McCoy sought to honor them for their contribution in solving Jason's murder. However, they refused to go up so long as Mayor McCoy continued to ignore Jughead's involvement in the case. The |Jubilee was the least of Jughead's concern since Sheriff Keller had offered his father a lesser sentence for his cooperation with the recent increase in drug dealings, but FP refused to turn on the Serpents. FP claimed they're innocence, leaving Betty even more frustrated at Mayor McCoy's reluctance to address the real problem, Clifford Blossom. So, she decided it would be best to address the subject head-on by writing an article about FP and the Serpents.
That night, Jughead and Archie returned home to find Fred, and his caseworker awaiting his arrival. With his father facing serious jail time, and his mother out of state, they needed to make sure Jughead was taken care of. Unfortunately, his time with the Andrews had come to an end due to the fact that Fred had a prior DUI, and that he wasn't financially stable. There was a family on the south side of town that was willing to take him in but this would mean that he'd also have to transfer to Southside High.
The next day at school, as he ate alone, he questioned Veronica's willingness to join him at the 'social pariah' table. Veronica had been thinking, and she realized that the two of them had a lot in common. Other than the fact that his dad was going to prison, and her dad was getting out, Jughead sarcastically remarked, they were dating each other's best friend. They're briefly joined at the table by Cheryl, who only sought to apologize for her attack on Jughead the previous day. She gifted him with her iconic spider broach, which would catch a pretty penny at the pawn shop, enough to keep him in burgers and S t-shirts for years. Kevin abruptly interrupted them, demanding that they follow him, revealing that Betty's locker had been vandalized with a hanging Betty doll and pig's blood.
Jughead explained that as long as Betty was his girlfriend, and continued to write articles about his father, trouble would keep coming at her from all sides. He felt as if the multiverse itself was working against him, telling him that he didn't belong, so maybe it was time he started to consider leaving. Betty refused to allow Jughead to leave as Riverdale was just as much his home as anyone else.
The very next day, he called Betty from a payphone at south side high to inform her that he would not be returning to Riverdale because he was finally where he belonged. As Jughead sat alone at lunch that evening, he was joined by several students, who he became fast friends with. Much to his surprise, Archie, Betty, and Veronica showed up as they had incorrectly assumed that he was in need of their help.
Just outside the school, he and Betty discussed his decision of leaving Riverdale High ahead of schedule. The south side is where the power to be wanted him, and maybe it's where he wanted to be as well seeing as his chances of blending in were significantly increased. However, Betty was unwilling to allow "Riverdale Civil War" to split the two of them up. At that moment, Veronica received a message from Cheryl, thus leading the four of them to Sweetwater River, where Cheryl had planned to take her own life and reunite with Jason. Jughead, Archie, Betty, and Veronica arrived at the river as Cheryl pounded on the thick layer of ice covering the river's surface. They pleaded with her to stop but the ice cracked right beneath Cheryl's feet, dragging her under the current.
The race was on as the four of them attempted to find Cheryl before the current could drag her further out. Archie spotted her just beneath the ice, however, the only way to get to her was by breaking past it, thus leaving Archie with no other choice but to punch through the thick layer of ice with all his force, resulting in a bloody and battered hand. As Jughead, Betty, and Veronica watched from the sideline, Archie managed to pull Cheryl to safety and get her to shore. Later that night, instead of attending the Jubilee, Jughead visited his father once more at the sheriff station, and while Sheriff Keller had hoped that he could convince his father to give up the Serpents, FP yet again refused. Knowing the chances of his father going to jail are at a higher rate than ever, Jughead made it a point to tell FP that he would be fine without him. The family that had taken him in was nice, and he could learn to adapt to the social ranking of south side high.
While he was more innocent than he was guilty, FP would have to take responsibility for his actions, meaning it was up to Jughead to look after Jellybean and his mother. After leaving the station, Jughead made his way over to the Jubilee just in time for Betty's speech, where she addressed the murder of Jason Blossom and the crossroads their town was facing. As her speech came to an end, he smiled, and started a standing ovation which made its way throughout the entire crowd. After a milkshake at Pop's shoppe with Archie, Betty, and Veronica, he and Betty stopped at the trailer, where Jughead professed his love for Betty. The two of them then began kissing and undressing, however, they were interrupted by a knock at the door. On the other side were the Southside Serpents, who were grateful for FP's loyalty. Because of this, they would always have Jughead's back, offering him membership into their gang, which he accepted as he tried on the custom Serpent jacket.
Alongside Archie, Betty, and Veronica, Jughead appeared in a hallucinatory vision of Fred Andrews' following the shooting at Pop's. He and his friends were in their caps and gowns, prepared for graduation. In the student lounge, they stood collectively, waiting for Fred to take a photo of them. Next to Fred, was Archie's mother, Mary Andrews. Fred commented that he didn't think he would live to see the day, to which Jughead replied that he didn't, meaning he didn't survive the attack at Pop's. Before Fred could respond, the shooter appeared at the scene. As he entered the lounge with his weapon drawn, Fred yelled for everyone to go down, before a gunshot was heard.
Jughead continued to work on his novel from his father's trailer when he received a call from Betty, informing him that Fred was shot at Pop's by an unknown assailant in a black hood. Hearing this, Jughead took FP's motorcycle and rushed over to Riverdale General Hospital, where he is met by Betty and Veronica. They find Archie in the lobby, pacing back and forth and covered in his father's blood. The four of them hugged each other closely. Afterward, Archie walked them through the entire ordeal, however, just as it seemed he was about t say something of importance, he stopped himself, though this did not go unnoticed by Jughead. When the ambulance that Pop Tate called never showed, Archie put Fred in the truck and drove him to the hospital. Jughead assured Archie he did the right thing in driving his father to the hospital. In 24 hours, he had saved Cheryl and his father. Jughead joked that soon enough they would have to come up with a superhero name for him; Pureheart the Powerful. Once Archie exited the lobby to call his mother, Alice sought to address the possibility of the Southside Serpents being involved in Fred's shooting, looking to Jughead for answers. At least she couldn't accuse his father of being the killer considering he was in jail, Jughead remarked.
Jughead joined Archie and Sheriff Keller as they recounted the moments leading up to Fred's shooting. According to Archie, the shooter was wearing a dark jacket, which Sheriff Keller hoped that he would elaborate on by asking if the jacket had any symbols or patches, leading Jughead to conclude that he too suspected the Serpents' involvement, though Archie assured them that it wasn't a member of the Southside Serpent. After Archie described the hood that the individual was wearing, Sheriff Keller asked of him to fill the gaps in Pop Tate's story. However, just like before, Archie is hesitant in the telling of the incident, which Jughead surely noticed. Sheriff Keller suspected the shooter be a thug from the south side that was high on drugs and looking to make some fast money, but how much money did he get away with, Jughead asked. A question that Sheriff Keller did not have the answer to just yet. Since it was Riverdale they were talking about, a town with a dark and violent history, Jughead felt compelled to ask what if robbery wasn't the motive, what else could it be. Sheriff Keller speculated that maybe the shooter was someone who held a grudge against Fred, but wanted to make it seems like a robbery. However, it was too early in the case to know with certainty.
As he and Archie returned to the lobby, Jughead confronted him on withholding information from Sheriff Keller, which Archie admitted was true. Apparently, Fred and Hermione fired the Serpents they had working on their crew. Archie is aware that FP vouched for them, but he couldn't help but consider the possibility that maybe one of them was angry enough to retaliate. Realizing that this could very well be true, Jughead volunteered to look around the southside for answers as he shared one last hug with Archie and exited the hospital.
Outside the hospital, Jughead met with two Serpents to see if their claim to have his back extended to Archie and Fred, a guy who is like his brother to him, and a man that is like his second father, respectively. He explained to them that Fred was shot by a guy wearing a black hood at Pop's, and while Serpents don't wear masks, some of them were working for Fred Andrews when for reasons of his own, he suddenly let them go, leaving Jughead to wonder if maybe someone took it personally. With the Serpents knowing every hidey-hole in town, someone had to have heard about the shooting at Pop's. Per their extended courtesy to Jughead, the Serpents agreed to ask around.
At Veronica's request, Jughead and Betty prepared to head down to Pop's in search of Fred's missing wallet, though Betty had her doubts that the wallet would be at the diner considering the shooter likely stole it. However, Jughead theorized that the random shooting wasn't so random. People are known to have enemies and hold grudges, especially in a town where fathers are killing their sons. It's entirely conceivable that this was a contract hit. Nevertheless, they agreed to check out Pop's shoppe just in case. Just outside the hospital, Jughead persuaded Betty into getting on his motorcycle as the two of them sped off.
Jughead and Betty entered the diner to the sight of a pool of blood all over the floor. They told Pop Tate that they had just come from the hospital with Fred, who was out of surgery, and that their reason for being at the shoppe was to look for his missing wallet. While Betty double checked the booth for Fred's wallet, Jughead look to Pop for answers, however, he didn't have many. As soon as the gun turned off him, he dove for cover, and waited until after the shooter left to call the police. Remembering his prior conversation with Sheriff Keller, Jughead asked Pop how much money did the shooter get away with. Pop's answer on the shooter leaving the register untouched confirmed Jughead's suspicion that Fred's shooting was far from a random act of violence. Pop's agreed, having encountered many thieves and thugs in the past, having looked all of them in the eyes. But this man was different. He had darker intentions. It was like the Angel of Death had come to Riverdale.
Before leaving, Jughead and Betty sat down for a meal, and while Betty didn't have much of an appetite, Jughead certainly did. During this time, Betty aimed to address Jughead's affiliation to the Southside Serpents. He claimed that he only accepted their offer because he didn't believe it was something to be turned down. However, for Betty at least, last night meant something when he put on the Serpent jacket, which fit him both like a glove and a second skin. She also noticed the look of joy on his face while wearing it. Then there's also the fact that he's since acquired a motorcycle. With all this in mind, Jughead assured Betty that he wasn't a Serpent, and that his father's path wasn't his own, though Betty was still concerned with his living situation with the foster family, to which Jughead explained that they had an arrangement. They'll cover for him with his social worker, but he'll actually be staying in his father's trailer. Fred's near death had forced Jughead to face facts; FP was going to jail for a long time. Wearing a Serpent jacket, riding his bike, and living in the trailer reminded Jughead that no matter what, his father would always be close to him.
After returning to the hospital with food from Pop's for everyone, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica learned from Archie that he wasn't the hero that they believed him to be. After the masked attacker shot Fred, Archie revealed that he stood there doing nothing, paralyzed with fear. He didn't move an inch, not even when the shooter held a gun to his head. He shut his eyes and kept then shut until hearing the bell on Pop's door ring. Archie perceived his actions as cowardice, but Jughead, Betty, and Veronica would beg to differ as there was nothing else he could've done.
Jughead appeared during another dream of Fred's as he lied in the hospital bed unconscious. But this time he was the best man at Archie and Veronica's Scottish themed wedding. He stood alongside Archie as Veronica approached the altar. However, the dream came to an abrupt end as the black hooded assailant appeared and fired his gun. Meanwhile, back in reality, Jughead offered to drive Betty home, but she declined his offer at the risk that Alice may come out with a shotgun if she saw Betty on his motorcycle. Betty then addressed what he previously said at Pop's. She understood his need to feel the connection between him and his father at all cost, so whatever he needed to do in order to maintain that connection, she supported him. Happy to hear that he has Betty's support, they kissed.
After his kiss with Betty, Jughead returned to the trailer to find his two Serpent comrades awaiting his return. However, they were not alone. Beaten, bruised and tied to a chair was a man that they had taken from the Whyte Wyrm. He was holding court in reference to how Fred allowed Hermione to take over the SoDale project and fire the crew full of Serpents. This resulted in a fairly bitter individual who found joy in Fred's shooting. So, the two Serpents kidnapped him in order to determine whether or not he shot Fred. After a lengthy examination, during which time brass knuckles were used, they concluded that he was just another loud mouth. Now that Jughead has seen that they did what was asked of them, they hoped that he would relay that over to FP because it was important to them that he knew they were looking after Jughead. With or without the jacket, Jughead's a Serpent.
For decades, Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe was the heart of Riverdale. However, recent events have resulted in the diner becoming the latest casualty in the town's ongoing battle against darkness. On the side of the establishment were the words "Death Diner" painted in black spray. Jughead then proceeded into the shoppe to find Pop Tate distraught over the vandalism.
At school later that morning, Jughead told Archie, Betty, and Veronica about the vandalism and how the shooting caused all of Pop's staff to quit on him. Pop Tate wasn't sure how much longer he would be able to keep the doors open. Maybe not even a week. While it had seemed that they were willing to accept the closing of Pop's shoppe once and for all, Betty was much less willing to surrender. She reminded Jughead about his passion in trying to save the Twilight Drive-In, but as Jughead explained, his hands were full with his father's upcoming hearing, which Betty full understood, and because of this, was willing to take point in saving the diner. Veronica volunteered to assist her. "Another B and V team-up. They should really make a video game about you guys", Jughead remarked. Jughead then announced that he had to leave as he had to meet with his father's court-appointed lawyer, who was far from qualified for the task. Archie decided to join him as he too had business at the Sheriff Station; he needed to drop some flyers off of the black hooded assailant.
Jughead paced back and forth throughout the interrogation room as his father's lawyer reviewed the charges that FP was facing; arson, destruction of evidence, making a false confession, obstructing justice, and dumping Jason Blossom's body in the river. Fortunately, he was being offered a deal. How many years, Jughead wondered, to which the lawyer explained that he would be facing twenty.
That night, Jughead stopped by Archie's house, where he was nearly savagely attacked by Archie with a baseball bat as he entered through the back door. He had been walking around town all night, trying to wrap his head around how bad the situation he is facing was. With FP facing twenty years, the lawyer thought that he should take the deal because if he doesn't and the case goes to trial, he could be facing forty. Jughead confessed that he was really scared of what would come next. Archie replied that he was scared as well. But of what, Jughead asked.
The next day, Jughead and Betty headed down to the Mayor's office, where they asked Mayor McCoy for her assistance in saving Pop's shoppe. Jughead was hoping that she could make the diner a landmark or declare a day for Pop Tate in support. However, the Mayor didn't want to run the risk of endorsing Pop's only for another shooting to occur. Her priority was keeping the town safe. If they had to close Pop's in order for that to happen, then she was all for it. Jughead asked if she was also all for sending his father off to state prison for a murder he didn't commit. He was hoping that the Mayor could call the state attorney, and arrange to get his father a more qualified lawyer, but she dismissed his plea. He then told Mayor McCoy to remember the moment because this is the moment that she turned her back on both Pop Tate and his father.
Jughead met with Tall Boy later that evening to explain the crisis he was facing. He tried going the legit route by asking Mayor McCoy for help, but it felt like the entire system was rigged against them. Tall Boy wondered what FP had to say about this and if he had taken the deal that was being offered. Jughead replied that FP hadn't taken the deal yet, and he wouldn't so long as he had any say in the matter. In a desperate attempt to save his father from life in prison, Jughead suggested that they bust him out of jail before he gets transferred to the state. The plan was doable according to Jughead. The Sheriff Station had worse security than Riverdale High. Once his father was out, it was a straight shot up Sweetwater River to the Canadian border. Rather than breaking FP out, Tall Boy suggested getting FP a better lawyer, he needed a snake-handler. Someone whose livelihood depended on snakes. Who's used to dealing with them, and Tall Boy knew just who to send Jughead to.
Tall Boy pointed Jughead in the direction of a lawyer named Penny Peabody, who could be found in the back of a Southside Serpents' tattoo shop. Upon his arrival, Penny explained that she not only worked for Serpents, but that she is a Serpent, and that they put her through law school. The Serpents are often on the other side of the law, so having one of their own on retainer, helping out, was clever, Jughead acknowledged. Penny then commented on how FP always bragged that Jughead was smart. She knew his father and she also knew of the deal he was being offered, which was garbage by her account. While there were no loopholes, Penny suggested that Jughead get the Blossoms to forgive his father in front of a judge as that could shift things in FP's favor. Instead of twenty years, he could get time served with parole. Jughead asked if he was now supposed to pay her for her consultation, but Penny told him that they were friends. She did him a favor, and maybe one day, he would repay that favor.
That night, Jughead and Betty visited Cheryl and Ms. Blossom at Thistlehouse, their place of residence since the burning down of Thornhill. They explained that they were instructed by FP's lawyer to seek mercy from the victim's family. It was an appeal for leniency in order to reduce FP's sentence, leaving Cheryl to question where FP's mercy was when she was walking the halls of Thornhill in agony, obsessing over what was happening to Jason, imagining the worst. She then asked where was FP's mercy when she slept under the same roof of Jason's cold blood killer, night after night. Unfortunately, if it were up to Ms. blossom, she would watch FP fry in the electric chair. With it being apparent that neither Ms. Blossom nor Cheryl were going to forgive FP of their own free will, Jughead and Betty left Thistlehouse. While doing so, they discussed their next course of action. Jughead would've suggested blackmail and extortion if they weren't an orphan and a widow.
The next day, Jughead and Betty stopped by the diner to ask why Pop was selling the shoppe and to who. As much as it shamed Pop Tate to admit, he was selling it to ChugMo, the liquor store chain. Considering that the diner would soon be closing for good, Jughead made a last supper request for his father, who was facing twenty years of having to eat the weird meatloaf that they serve prisoners. So, barring an eleventh-hour miracle, Jughead was hoping for FP's last meal in Riverdale, that Pop could make his favorite, which was fried chicken, cornbread, onion rings and an orange freeze. With Pop Tate accurately recalling FP's favorites, down to the drink, Jughead joked that it was very "Rain Man" of him. However, despite their willingness to accept what they perceive to be the inevitable, Betty refused to give up, telling them both that she can fix everything before exiting the shoppe.
That evening, Jughead joined Veronica in the Blue and Gold offices, and while he didn't have red hair, nor broad shoulders, or even a blonde ponytail for that matter, he was willing to listen and help Veronica to the best of his ability. Not too long ago, Jughead was ready to walk away from his father, and now he's crusading for his freedom, which had Veronica wondering what changed. FP changed, Jughead said. He made an effort by taking another swing at being a good dad. But what if some people can't change because they're bad by DNA, Veronica wondered. Jughead explained that he's not going to presume to know what lies in her father's heart. But Archie's father almost died, and his father was going away for twenty years. If there's even a .0001% chance that her dad is trying, Jughead believed that she should at least give him a chance.
The following day, Jughead and Betty attended court, where after some convincing from Betty, who bribed her with footage of Jason's murder, Cheryl forgave FP in front of the judge for his role in covering her brother's death and humbly asked the court for leniency. As much as the judge sympathized, he couldn't ignore the quality of FP's crimes. There were no extenuating circumstances. This forced Cheryl to lie under oath; she claimed to have overheard her father threaten to hurt Jughead if FP didn't comply. In light of these revelations, the judge decided to delay sentencing. Jughead and FP happily embraced one another after gaining their first win in a series of loses.
Retro Night finally commenced at the diner, but the place was empty. Betty was sure that she had failed, but Jughead insisted that people would come. As the night progress, more and more customers began to arrive, just as he had earlier said. However, they were quite surprised by the arrival of Tall Boy and two of his Southside serpent affiliates. Jughead urged Betty to relax, he was sure that they were there to enjoy Pop's world-class burgers and service. He and Betty then began to kiss before being interrupted by Cheryl, who compared them to chimps in captivity, grooming and picking lice off each other. Mark this day, Cheryl said. She lied under oath for them, a misdeed that Jughead thanked her for, before handing over the USB flash drive containing video surveillance of her brother's murder. After a fun-filled night and succeeding in saving the diner from closing, Jughead, Betty, Archie, and Veronica shared a booth, during which time they relished in their victory; a rare win for the good guys.
While preparing a late night snack back at the trailer, Jughead received a call from his father, who was upset that he had gone to see Penny Peabody. Jughead explained that they didn't have a choice. FP then asked if he paid her, which he hadn't because she said it was a favor. FP warned Jughead against contacting Penny ever again as he did not want to be in bed with the Snake Charmer.
Entering the Snake's Pit
Jughead joined his friends in the student lounge after learning that Moose and Midge had been shot in the woods, and that Kevin was the one that found them. Archie then entered the lounge, asking if they could at least all agree that there was a killer on the loose in Riverdale. A killer with terrible aim, Jughead remarked. Three out of four of his victims had survived their attacks. Midge was luckier than most considering she escaped the attack unscathed due to Moose's heroic actions in using his own body to shield her from the gunfire. On that note, Veronica wished to address what really mattered, that the new season of the Matchlerette started that night, and that they were all coming over to watch. Jughead was in disbelief that with all that was going on with a killer terrorizing the town, Veronica was more focused on a gross reality dating show. But she confessed that what she really wanted was for them all to officially meet her father. It was then that he realized that he was thirty minutes late for meeting his peer mentor at Southside High. Betty told him to wait, as he was exiting the door, hoping that he could just continue to attend Riverdale High. He told Betty that he would be fine, before giving her a goodbye kiss.
Jughead finally made his way over to Southside High, only to be stopped at the door by the metal detector. After successfully passing back through the detector without his hat, he was approached by his peer mentor, Toni Topaz, who called out to him by his birth name, Forsythe Pendleton Jones III. As he was guided through the school by Toni, she explained to him that the classrooms don't have Wi-Fi. The bathroom stalls don't have doors. And the school paper, The Red and Black, had closed down long ago due to budget cuts. To their right was a rare glimpse of Jingle Jangle being consumed in its natural habitat, though Jughead had no knowledge of the term. Toni told him that it was a highly addictive gutter drug that's better off avoided. In the cafeteria, Jughead learned of the Ghoulies, a rival gang of drug dealers, street racers, and rumored cannibals. As for the two of them, they sat on the other side of the cafeteria with the Serpents. Despite her kindness and welcoming manner, Jughead would rather sit alone, which left Toni confused considering that he was a Serpent by blood; the son of FP Jones. While this was true, Jughead wasn't a pack animal. He identified as a loner. Toni advised him to hang with the Serpents. Should the Ghoulies discover that he's vulnerable, they'll seize the opportunity to attack.
As planned, Jughead, Betty, and Archie gathered at the Pembrooke that evening to watch the "Matchlerette" and officially meet Veronica's father. However, Archie was distracted by the recent shooting. He began to feel like they were being specifically targeted by the killer. It was then that Mr and Mrs. Lodge entered the room before leaving for dinner. As he and Mr. Lodge shook hands, he was told that his father is a good man that valued family. Mr. Lodge hoped that FP's release would come sooner rather than later. Back onto the subject of the shooter, which Mr. Lodge couldn't help but overhear. He expressed his understanding of their frustration with Sheriff Station. He could say with great confidence that the police weren't always the solution.
The next day in class, Jughead was warned by Toni against answering Mr. Phillips' question in relation to the dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451, though Jughead failed to heed her warning, correctly answering the teacher's question. Explaining that Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper burns. Having learned from Toni that Mr. Phillips used to advise the school paper, Jughead approached his desk after class to find out why it was shut down. Drugs and gangs came to Southside High, Mr. Phillips stated. Trying to get students interested in the school paper was an exercise in futility. However, he hadn't yet met Jughead, who was actively seeking to revive the Red and Black. His experience writing for The Blue and Gold at Riverdale High made him the perfect candidate. With his past articles up for viewing online, Mr. Phillips could use them as references.
He was later approached in the hallway by Mr. Phillips, who after reading his online articles was considering re-opening the Red and the Black, but under two conditions; those conditions being that he isn't allowed to traffic in gangs or drugs. Should he fail to comply, Mr. Phillips will shut everything down.
The next day, he and Toni headed down to the Red and Black offices to clean up and unpack. He remarked that while it wasn't anything compared to New York Times for instance, it was the safe space that he had been searching for. Looking to Toni, hoping that she would agree to join him, Jughead stated that all he needed now was a photographer with an amazing eye and a hunger for social justice. Before Toni could respond, they were interrupted by Sweet Pea and two fellow Serpent members, who were hoping that Toni and Jughead would join them at the quarry. Jughead declined Sweet Pea's offer, sarcastically remarking that he didn't have his beach body yet. Sweet Pea took great offense to Jughead's refusal to join them, surmising that they were good enough for him to ask for help, but not good enough to hang out with. He told Jughead not to come crawling to them when some random Ghoulie decided to earn his stripes by taking out FP Jones' kid. This was duly noted, and while Jughead appreciated what the Serpents had done for him and his father, he had no desires in being one of them, which angered Sweet Pea, enough to make him attack. Fortunately, Toni was there to keep the two separate.
That night, he received a surprise visit from Betty, who came bearing gifts to make his new office a bit more comfortable. While he was happy to see her, Betty shouldn't be walking around the Southside at night unless she was armed with a weapon. He then informed her that he discovered that the local component of Clifford Blossom's drug pipeline (Jingle Jangle) was coming from the school. He recalled his father previously stating that the Serpents never dealt with hard drugs, but the Ghoulies do. Betty couldn't help but consider the health risk Jughead was facing if he chose to write about gangs and drugs while attending the school. Are you worried about me? I thought you liked me reckless, Jughead replied. He and Betty then started to kiss before being interrupted by Toni.
With Betty and Toni already gone for the night, Jughead exited the office on his own. He headed down the hallway where he heard a startling noise, which caused him to stop momentarily, though he then resumed walking, that is until the lights shut off and an unfamiliar voice began calling his name. Visibly concerned, Jughead turned the corner and rushed down the steps only to discover that the back door had been looked with a chain. He proceeds down the hallway, hoping to find another exit, but he was ambushed and repeatedly hit and kicked.
At his father's trailer, following the attack, Betty applied alcohol to Jughead's wound, which he claimed that he sustained during a motorcycle incident, though Toni knew the truth. For a moment, Betty suspected that he had been attacked by the Ghoulies, which he supposedly had, but he would rather not worry Betty with the truth. Toni then interjected, telling Betty that the Serpents had Jughead's back. Even though he wasn't an actual member, there was still a connection of family loyalty. Once Betty left, they were able to talk freely about the attack, which she had previously warned Jughead about. She was hoping that this would force him to take them more seriously.
Jughead returned to school the next day, and walked over to Toni and Sweet Pea in the cafeteria, asking if he could join them. As he sat, Jughead and Sweet Pea exchanged looks, nodding to one another after coming to an understanding.
As Jughead continued to work on his novel from the trailer that night, he heard a strange noise coming from just outside the door. He peaked his head outside only to find that nothing was there.
The next morning, Jughead spoke to Betty over the phone as he arrived at school. She asked if he could come over for lunch. Unfortunately, Jughead was forced to turn down Betty's offer as he had to at least try to maintain a semblance of him being a student at Southside High. After hanging up with Betty, he joined Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fangs Fogarty at their table in the cafeteria to find that they too had seen the video of Archie threatening violence towards the Black Hood. With Fogarty looking to ear his Serpent stripes, Sweet Pea could think of no better way for him to do so than to bring them the head of the Northsider in the video, that being Archie. Jughead advised them against such action as Archie was someone he knew, who he described as being milquetoast and a lame target. If the Serpents felt as if they had something to prove, Jughead suggested that they go after the Black Hood themselves, though this wouldn't be in their best interest. With the Black Hood targeting Northsiders, he was doing their work for them, essentially making him a hero.
The Red and Black office is where Jughead sat when his study session of some of America's most infamous serial killers was interrupted By Toni. He was reading Beware of the Zodiac, which Toni noted as being a decent read, however, she preferred Robert Graysmith's definitive books on the subject. Jughead then received a call from Betty, which he chose to ignore. Toni was disappointed with his selection in study. If serial killers were an interest of his, she suggested that he check out Ted Bundy, Albert Fish, and Aileen Wuornos. However, none of them fit the profile. Their killer was most likely someone consumed with self-loathing. Conversely, he also sent letters and cryptos to the press, Toni stated, as she dropped the latest print from the Register in front Jughead. Do you think he's narcissistic or a Batman villain, Jughead playfully asked. Both he and Toni were "true crime junkies", which is why she was seeking Jughead out. The print from the Register that she gave him, contained the Black Hood's cipher, which she hoped Jughead would help her crack.
First thing the next morning, Betty unexpectedly stopped by the trailer before Jughead headed off for school. Betty told him that she was on her way to the library after asking Ms. Paroo to set aside all the books she had in relation to cryptograms and ciphers, as she thought it would help in cracking the Black Hood's code, which she hoped that Jughead would join her in doing. However, Jughead and Toni had already started on the code, the day before. Hearing this for the first time, Betty suggested that they all work on the code together. A code breaking party, she called it. Jughead would even come to host the event.
That night, Jughead, Betty, Toni and Kevin gathered at the trailer, where they joined forces in trying to decode the cipher. Per Ms. Paroo's books, Jughead had been looking for common letter associations like T-H, A-N, I-N-G. The problem with this being that they didn't even know if the code was in English. It could be an anagram. Betty commented that the codes looked familiar, though she couldn't quite place them, and struggled with this throughout the night. Jughead suggested that they go back to the basic, asking the group what they knew of the thus far, and why he chose to begin his killing spree now. From what little they knew of the Black Hood, he was obsessed with cleansing the town of sinners and hypocrites, seemingly attacking anyone with ties to the north side, which Toni referred to as fake news. An argument then ensued between Betty and Toni, during which time, Toni revealed that Jughead had been secretly eating with the Serpents at lunch. A fact that Jughead had failed to mention to Betty. With tension rising, both Toni and Kevin decided to leave. Once they were alone, Jughead explained that he sat with the Serpents purely for reasons of survival, though Betty didn't seem too concerned. She'd rather they focus their time on solving the code.
Jughead and Betty woke up the next morning on the couch. Realizing that they had accidentally fallen asleep, Betty began to panic, even more so as she realized that her mother had been repeatedly calling her phone. She grabbed her belongings and quickly exited the trailer.
Jughead headed over to Betty's house that night after discovering that she had left some of her notebooks at the trailer. While he wasn't snooping through her belongings, as he was gathering them, he found a letter from the Black Hood addressed to Betty, leaving him to wonder why she hadn't told him. Betty initially claimed that she withheld the letter from Jughead because he was too busy at Southside High with the Serpents. But as Jughead explained, he was only at the school for all of two days. And while it was saddening that they no longer went to the same school, Jughead knew that this wasn't the reason she was holding out on him. Betty confessed that she hid the letter because the Black Hood wrote that she inspired him. She feared that Archie would blame her for his father's shooting. Jughead assured Betty that Archie was on their side and that he would never blame her for the shooting. He compared Betty to a combination of Nancy Drew and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was this reference that led Betty to conclude that in writing the cipher, the Black Hood used one of her touchstones.
Jughead and Betty arrived at the library, where Betty explained that when she was a kid she used to excessively check out a Nancy Drew book entitled "Secret-Code". Betty then used the book to crack the cipher, which read that the Black Hood would strike next where it all began, that being at the Town Hall, where he heard Betty's speech that encouraged him to go on his cleanse of sinners and hypocrites.
After learning of the Black Hood's plan to attack at the Town Hall meeting, Jughead and Betty rushed over to alert all those in attendance. Soaked and wet from the storm, the two of them came in through the back door, warning everyone that they needed to leave immediately as the Black Hood was on his way. Mrs. Cooper stopped them in the aisle, asking what it was they were referring to. Betty explained that they cracked the cipher, which in turn informed them of the killer's next move. The lights then shut off. Whether or not this was due to the storm remains unknown. But in fear that the Black Hood was preparing to strike, Betty pulled the fire alarm, which resulted in an immediate evacuation.
With the Town Hall meeting brought to an abrupt end, Jughead and Betty reconvened at her house, where they revealed to Betty's parents, Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy that there was also a letter that Betty had kept secret from them all.
Jughead confronted Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fogarty in the courtyard after learning that Dilton Doiley had supposedly been jumped and stabbed by Southside Serpents. However, according to Fogarty, Dilton stabbed himself, with his own knife. Furthermore, they didn't jump anyone. There was a fight; Riverdale Bulldogs vs Southside Serpents, during which time, Sweet Pea acquired the black eyes he was currently sporting. Archie gave it to him, just before Veronica shot a gun into the air. And to no surprise, the Northsiders went unpunished as they were hauled in by the police. Tired of being the source of blame for everything wrong with Riverdale, Sweet Pea and Fogarty devised a plan to blow up the Register with a pipe bomb, after hours, as payback. Jughead objected to the bombing due to the fact that blowing up a building would only worsen the matter. So, he asked that they hold off from exacting revenge until he could talk to Archie. But that was his answer to everything, Sweet Pea stated. Moreover, they didn't even know which side Jughead stood with. He couldn't be half a Serpent. Jughead then took a seat next to Toni, as Sweet Pea and Fogarty left the courtyard. He blamed Archie for starting World War III. While Northsiders had been dumping on them for years, Toni informed Jughead that his father always put forth the effort to maintain peace and avoid bloodshed. But with him in prison, reckless individuals like Sweet Pea, only believed there to be one solution; violence.
Jughead sat at the trailer, contemplating his next move in the war between North and Southside. He decided to put on his Serpents jacket, and head down to the Whyte Wyrm. However, upon entering the bar, he didn't receive the warm welcome he was hoping for. In reference to him playing both sides, Sweet Pea remarked that Jughead was a lost Northsider. Jughead countered that he was over being half a Serpent. Unfortunately, Sweet Pea mistook this as a ploy to save his friends on the Northside. Jughead assured the Serpents that he was willing to stand with them, just as his father led them. Tall Boy gave him the jacket, it was finally time that he started wearing it. However, he would first have to survive the initiation, if he truly wished to join them.
In the late hour of the night, Jughead woke to the sight of Sweet Pea, along with a few other Serpents, wearing Serpent masks. His initiation began with him assuming guardianship of the Beast, otherwise known as Hot Dog.
The next day, while leaving school with Toni, she asked what did he think of the Beast. Jughead replied that he stinks and had no boundaries. Every new recruit had to take care of Hot Dog, as is it was a tradition, and Jughead was no exception. Toni then told him that this was the Serpents' third Hot Dog, making him a third generation, much like Jughead (i.e. Forsythe Pendleton Jones III).
Back at the trailer, Toni tested Jughead's memory of the laws of being a Serpent, which were the following; "a Serpent never shows cowardice", and "if a Serpent is killed or imprisoned, then their family will be taken care of". However, he failed to cite the remaining laws. Toni instructed him to focus and to take the initiation seriously, which he swore he was, but he was struggling, though this still left the question as to why Jughead suddenly wanted to go from conscientious objector to full-fledged member. Much to Toni's surprise, Jughead's sudden change of heart was because of her earlier statement in regards to his father being responsible for keeping Serpents like Sweet Pea inline. Somone had to step up in order to prevent an all-out war from erupting. Hearing these words from Jughead convinced Toni to continue helping him with his review of the laws.
After what was presumably a successful review of the six serpent laws, Jughead and Toni returned to the Whyte Wyrm, where Jughead was then instructed to cite all six laws to Tall Boy. Upon completion of this, Jughead moved on to the third trial, which required him to retrieve a knife from inside the cage of a venomous rattlesnake. He grabbed the knife with little to no hesitation, though he was bitten. Unbeknownst to Jughead at the time of retrieval, the snake's venom glands had previously been removed. Toni explained it was a trial to test his courageousness, and he passed, thus making him one step closer to becoming a Serpent. It was during this chat with Toni that she called him "Juggie", for the first time, which they both simultaneously realized, resulting in an awkward exchange of looks.
Jughead met up with Betty at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, the following day, where he was greeted with a kiss. Betty was a sight for sore eyes, he commented. He'd been feeling unmoored recently, so he wanted to check in with her, especially after the exposé she published from many years ago, of her mother's arrest as a young member of the Southside Serpents. Betty asked about his hand, which he had wrapped in gauze after being bitten by a snake, during the third trial. Jughead lied to Betty, telling her that he sustained the wound while watching Hot Dog. Sitting on opposite ends of the table, holding each other's hands, Jughead wished that they could leave Riverdale for someplace where there wasn't a brewing war between two sides or rival gangs attacking one another. Betty shared the same sentiment, adding a place with no crazy moms or Black Hoods. They'd be like Romeo and Juliet, but with a happily ever after instead.
Later that night, Toni stopped by the trailer to warn Jughead. If he was having any second thoughts, that moment would've been the time to back out because of the final trial, the gauntlet, was on a whole other level. Jughead joked that if it was anything like the beast, he'd be fine. Though this was no laughing matter, Toni explained. If he joined the Serpents, he had to be willing to die for them, because they were willing to die for him. As for his Northside friends (Archie, Betty, Veronica, etc), he'd look up one day, and they'd be gone. That's what happens when you join a gang, the Serpents included. Jughead thanked Toni for stopping by, telling her that she can consider him warned.
The next morning, as Jughead prepared to proceed with the initiation, Archie unexpectedly dropped by the trailer to deliver some news, but before he could get a word out, Jughead attempted to get him to leave, as Sweet Pea and the others were on their way. Unfortunately, the Serpents rounded the corner just as he was pleading with Archie to go. That moment, Archie learned that not only was Jughead friends with the guys that attacked him, he was also joining the Serpents. Jughead asked if Archie was there to warn him, but he soon learned that Archie was there under much more saddening circumstances. He came to inform Jughead that Betty was breaking up with him, though Jughead had a hard time believing this considering he had just seen Betty the day before. Archie claimed that she's been wanting to end it ever since he crossed over to the dark side, but she couldn't bring herself to do it, so she sent Archie. She saw where Jughead was headed, as did they all. He couldn't be a Northsider and a Southsider. Realizing that it's over between him and Betty, he told Archie that the message has been received. He then turned around to see the Serpents watching as it all unfolded, asking if they enjoyed the show.
Later that night, it was time for Jughead to face the final trial; the gauntlet, which consisted of the Serpents standing on both sides of him, forming a straight path, which would eventually lead down to Sweet Pea. Prohibited from fighting back, Jughead walked down the path, as the Serpents landed many powerful punches, one after another. He continued down this pathway until reaching Sweet Pea. Beaten and bruised, Jughead asked if that was all they had to offer. Sweet Pea, who was wearing brass knuckles, delivered a massive punch, knocking Jughead to the ground, instantly. After regaining consciousness, Jughead stood to his feet and shook Sweet Pea's hand. He was then handed his Serpents jacket by Toni.
Jughead was congratulated by Toni back at the trailer for officially becoming a Serpent. As he held an ice pack against his face, Toni pointed out that he was going to have a difficult time hiding his brand new double-headed Serpent tattoo from Betty, though as Toni would come to learn, he and Betty broke up, thus making his tattoo a non-issue. The two of them then momentarily gazed into one another's eyes, before sharing a kiss.
Street Racers: Serpents vs Ghoulies
In Riverdale, everyone wore a mask, not just the Black Hood. But every so often, the mask slips, and their true self is laid bare for all the world to see. As Jughead continued working on this, the latest entry to his novel, Toni came from the back of the trailer, half dressed. She asked if he was hungry, to which he replied that she never had to ask him that, as his appetite was unmatched.
At Pop's, while enjoying their meal, Toni thanked Jughead for allowing her to sleep over, as her uncle would repeatedly lock her out the house, forcing her to find places to crash, from night to night. My trailer, is your trailer, Jughead remarked. They discussed their kiss, that Toni referred to as a PG-13 grope session, which she saw no reason to further pursue. Jughead wasn't over Betty, and Toni wasn't interested in being his rebound girl, not to mention the fact that she was more into girls, which took Jughead by surprise.
Jughead reported to Mr. Phillips upon completion of his article for the Red and Black, in which he addressed how residents of Riverdale would negatively associate Southside High with the plagues of the Southside, that being drugs, gangs, and violence. But like the Southside, there was a community within the school. While the decay was real, it was not irreversible, Jughead believed. Mr. Phillips was impressed with Jughead's ability to write such a well-crafted article, especially while simultaneously pledging his allegiance to the Southside Serpents. Jughead had broken their deal about not trafficking in gangs. However, as he would go on to explain, the Serpents were a community, just as the article depicted. They weren't the dangerous drug dealers that the town was making them out to be. Dealing with hard drugs was the Ghoulies territory. Jughead then excused himself from the conversation after getting a message from Archie, telling him to meet him outside. In the hallway, Jughead discovered that Mayor McCoy and Sheriff Keller were about to raid the school in search of the Jingle Jangle dealers. As they came barging through the doors in full force, Jughead and Archie ran out the fire exit, as Sweet Pea and Toni are handcuffed and taken into custody.
After narrowly escaping the raid, Jughead and Archie reconvene at Pop's. With Mayor McCoy convinced that the Serpents are responsible for dealing Jingle Jangle, Riverdale had become a police state. Jughead insisted that the Ghoulies were dealing the heavy drugs, though few were willing to listen. He couldn't go to Mayor McCoy with this information, as she held a personal vendetta against the Serpents, which became clear after she began arresting his friends on sight. Jughead wondered why Archie even cared about what happened with him, after he made it perfectly clear at the trailer park that he and Betty wanted nothing to do with him. Archie apologized about the sequences of events that transpired, and instructed Jughead to talk with Betty, though would have to make time at a later date, having just received a message from Tall Boy, who wanted to parley.
Jughead met with Tall Boy on the Southside, in a building known as the House of the Dead, which he would come to learn is a drug den ran by the Ghoulies, and that Tall Boy was looking to unite the two gangs after the recent heat being brought down on them started to deplete their ranks. They met with Malachai, leader of the Ghoulies, who shared the same sentiment as Tall Boy, believing that a union would be in the best interest of both gangs, and successfully doing so would be easier to do if Jughead endorsed the partnership because he was FP's son, which carried weight with the younger members of the Serpents. Jughead was adamantly against the partnership, as the Ghoulies were responsible for Southside High being raided. Malachai replied that chaos is how they thrived, and that Jughead best get used to it. Tall Boy was supposed to be his father's right hand, so Jughead questioned how he could betray him so easily. But with the Northsider declaring war, and his father in prison, that left Tall Boy in charge to call the shots. The dynamics of the Southside were changing. Tall Boy advised Jughead to either change with it or suffer the consequences.
Jughead returned to the trailer to inform Archie of the recent developments. Despite what he was being led to believe, the alliance with the Ghoulies wasn't an alliance at all, rather a hostile take over. Jughead proposed that he stall until Sweet Pea and Toni were released from police custody. He hoped that once they were out, they would rather go to war with the Ghoulies than start dealing Jingle Jangle. Though, Archie reminded him that his entire purpose for joining the Serpents was to prevent war, rather than participate in it. However, his father would never allow such an unholy union to take place, so neither would Jughead. While Archie didn't have any better ideas, he figured FP would, so the two of them headed down to the prison to pay him a visit.
At the prison, Jughead and Archie talked to FP from behind the glass. Jughead was accepting of whatever future punishment his father saw fit for him joining the Serpents, but right then, they needed his help in saving them, otherwise, the Ghoulies would have full control of the Southside. His father explained that while Ghoulies dressed like fops, they were a nasty crew. However, the Serpents have survived much worse. Unfortunately for Jughead, the Ghoulies had him outnumbered, meaning he had to avoid bloodshed at all cost by out-thinking them. The one thing Ghoulies loved above all else was there souped-up retro cars and hearses. With that being said, FP informed the boys to challenge the Ghoulies to a one-on-one street race, but to keep it quiet. Should the cops learn of the race, they'd all be arrested. As for the terms of the race; if Malachai won, the Serpents would surrender, but if they won, the Ghoulies stand down and they'd gain control of Southside High, thus bringing an end to the Ghoulies and the Jingle Jangle problem, while simultaneously getting Mayor McCoy off their back.
Off his father's advise, Jughead and Archie returned to the House of the Dead to challenge Malachai to a race. He explained that If they win, Serpents remain autonomous and Ghoulies quit dealing at Southside High. However, if the Ghoulies win, the Serpents will fold, and he and his kind can continue polluting the Southside with his "little straws of death", though, with the Ghoulies having nothing to actually gain from this arrangement, Malachai wasn't interested in Jughead's offer, who he referred to as the "Serpent Prince". Betty and Veronica were then brought in after they were caught by the Ghoulies, trying to sneak in through the garage. On that note, Malachai wanted them all out. In a last-ditch effort, Jughead offered up the Whyte Wyrm should Malachai agree to the race, which he does, only after adding on the Sunnyside Trailer Park.
At the local mechanic shop, Jughead and Betty worked on Reggie's muscle car, which he allowed them to drive for the race. Betty attempted to make small talk, but the awkward tension was unavoidable. She asked if street racing rival gangs was something the Serpents did for fun. Betty was disappointed that he had joined the Serpents despite telling her he wouldn't, though she was in no position to talk, claiming that she loved Jughead, only to break up with him via Archie, which he remarked was far worse than via text. Betty apologized, telling him that everything around them was imploding, and that she broke up with him for his own protection. But Jughead saw their break up differently, as she did the one thing that could actually hurt him. Betty promised to explain everything to him, but that would have to wait until after the race.
As the drag race was about the commence, Betty informed him that she never stopped loving him, and that he shouldn't ride the clutch or allow it to slip between gear shifts.
Jughead shook hands with Malachai, and told him that the race was to take place over Herk Harvey bridge to dead man's curve. First one back to the starting point won. Cheryl took to the center of the road as the flag girl, asking both drivers if they were ready before waving her flag, signaling the start of the race. Jughead took a momentary lead as the rival gang sped down the road. However, it didn't last long as Malachai began repeatedly ramming their vehicle. As they approached the bridge, Archie advised Jughead to fall back because it was too narrow for both vehicles to cross, though Jughead refused to back down, "the serpents are joining the Ghoulies over my dead body, Archie". With Herk Harvey bridge approaching fast, Archie pulled the emergency break against Jughead's wishes, forcing the car to a stop as the Ghoulies crossed over. Furious over Archie's interference, Jughead grabbed him, and demanded to know why he would do such a thing. Archie explained that Jughead would thank him for it, just before hearing police sirens at the end of the road. They followed the sirens over the bridge to find that Malachai had been stopped by Sheriff Keller and the police department.
Jughead and Archie returned to the starting pointing, alerting everyone of the police's presence, and telling them that it was time to leave. Tall Boy accused him of calling the cops, questioning how any honor could be found in his actions, but Jughead insisted that it wasn't his doing. Archie revealed that he called Keller. It was his idea. This way, the Ghoulies would get arrested for street racing. However, as Jughead informed Archie, they wouldn't be locked up for long. And when they got released, they'd wanted everyone's heads on a stake.
The next day, Jughead returned to school, where he walked the hall with Toni, who revealed that while some Serpents were giving him props for challenging the Ghoulies to a street race and beating them, others hate that he cut a deal with Sheriff Keller, because it put them in bed with the police. And while Jughead and Toni knew that it was Archie who called the police, others didn't. Jughead was startled by the sight of two officers rounding the corner, as he suspected another raid was in order, however, as Toni informed him, they were there to arrested the Sugarman, who had been identified as Mr. Phillips, the adviser for the Red and Black.
That night, after Betty came clean about her mysterious calls with the Black Hood, which is why she broke up with Jughead, the two of them cuddled up in the trailer; Jughead - working on his novel, and Betty - reading a book.
Charmed by the Snake Charmer
At the trailer, Jughead laid in bed with Betty who felt guilty about Mr. Phillips' death, as he had been murdered by the Black Hood, in his cell at the Sheriff Station. Betty thought that she had finally outsmarted the Black Hood by having Phillips arrested, thus saving his life. Though, despite having the best of intentions, this plan backfired. While Mr. Phillips didn't deserve what had happened to him, Jughead surmised that he was a high school teacher that dealt drugs. Betty then began to wonder how the Black Hood managed to gain access to Phillips, who was in police custody at the time of his death. Jughead then received a call from Penny Peabody, otherwise known as the "Snake Charmer", who his father had warned him against, though the time had come for Jughead to repay the favor that he owed her after she provided consultation in regards to his father's case.
Jughead convened with Penny at Pop's, where the two of them discussed his father and him fulfilling his end of their bargain. He learned from Penny that his father required further assistance after he had supposedly gotten jumped in the showers by the Ghoulies in retaliation to Archie making the deal with Sheriff Keller, which resulted in their higher-ups being arrested. His father was in the infirmary, Penny stated. Jughead asked what it would take to see his father free. Penny replied that they needed money in order to negotiate for FP's release. Rich people don't sit in jail because money greases the wheels of justice, Penny explained. Unfortunately, Jughead only had $18 to his name. Taking that into consideration, Penny suggested that Jughead pay her back in the form of a one-time delivery job, where he would be required to pick up a crate on the Southside, and deliver it to an address in Greendale. As for the contents of the crate, Penny preferred to call it "pancake mix" but in other words, it was drugs. However, Jughead was reluctant to be her drug-runner. But should he do as he's told, Penny would use his cut of the money for his father's case and early release. Willing to do anything to save his father, Jughead agreed to be Penny's "transportation advisor". Penny handed him address before explaining that he needed to make the drop before midnight because Greendale is not a town you want to be in after a certain time. As for the crate, it wouldn't fit on his bike, so Penny advised him to find a ride.
Given that Archie owed him for the deal he made involving Sheriff Keller and the Ghoulies, Jughead stopped by Riverdale High School to ask for his help and his father's truck, no questions asked.
That night, the two of them drove out to retrieve Penny's crate of drugs that were to be delivered in Greendale. Upon arriving at the shipping yard, they found the large crate in a shipping container, locked with chains. Jughead and Archie then loaded it into the truck and drove off. While Archie was willing to see it through, he had to ask where does Jughead being a Serpent end. However, this was a question that not even Jughead could answer, as he was living minute to minute. Archie told Jughead of the idea he had about them moving to New York after graduation, where he'd be a musician and Jughead a writer, both living somewhere like the east village, which doesn't exist anymore, Jughead commented. Where are Betty and Veronica in this scenario, Jughead asked. Archie replied that they were roommates in park avenue. Unfortunately, as they were driving, the truck caught a flat tire, forcing them to call Kevin, who had a truck of his own. As they were doing so, a man named Farmer McGinty pulled up alongside the road to offer assistance. While the farmer didn't have a spare tire to offer, he was willing to give them a ride to Greendale, but not without pay, and he only had room for one. What's in the crate, he asked. "Pancake mix", Jughead stated, before agreeing to pay the farmer his last $18 for the ride. As for Archie, Jughead told him that he had fulfilled the favor, and that they were all good. After loading the crate into Farmer Mcginty's truck, Jughead and Archie parted ways. As Jughead drove off with Farmer McGinty, he commented that when he first pulled up, he mistook Archie for Jason Blossom, just for a moment, reasoning that "you never know on the road to Greendale".
While in truck with Farmer McGinty, a station on the radio played a man preaching about the Black Hood, and his attempt to cleanse Riverdale of sinners; "this is truly judgment day, and he is the reaper, for Riverdale is soulless and corrupt. But in the Black of the Hood is the light of God, and when you see it, you will die. Unless you are of heavenly things and pure of heart". There were a lot of people who believed that the Black Hood was doing God's work. The recent attacks reminded Farmer McGinty of the Riverdale Reaper, which was news to Jughead.
On their way to Greendale, Jughead and Farmer McGinty stopped at a gas station, where he was instructed to fill up the tank. As he did so, Jughead noticed blood seeping from under the tarp, in the back of the truck. He lifted the tarp to find a dead deer. Farmer McGinty, who then exited the gas station, told Jughead that they were first going to make another stop by the cafe next door before hitting the road. In the cafe, Farmer McGinty confronted Jughead for looking under his tarp, though he assured him that he had his permits, as he wasn't a thrill-seeking psychopath like the Black Hood and the Riverdale Reaper. Who exactly was the Reaper, Jughead wondered. Farmer McGinty told him the story of a family of four that lived out near Fox Forest, who were murdered in their sleep by an unknown assailant with a shotgun. And while the Reaper was never apprehended, some people say that the lynch mob hung him from the tree near Pickens Park. Others think he hopped a train and went out to California, where he started praying to the Devil. However, there was also a theory that he never left Riverdale, which left Jughead to question if the Reaper and the Hood were one and the same. Farmer McGinty merely believed that it was killing season. The waitress then put the check on the table, though the Farmer tried to pass it on to Jughead, who didn't have any money. Farmer McGinty then got up from his seat and prepared to leave with intentions on taking the crate with him. Fortunately, Archie arrived to pay the bill, during which time, the farmer accused both him and Jughead of being sinners.
Just outside the cafe, after paying the bill, Jughead and Archie retrieved the crate from Farmer McGinty's truck and moved it back into Archie's dad's truck, which had been repaired. Jughead then thanked Archie for coming back for him. Despite his efforts to adhere to Penny's warning of staying out of Greendale past Midnight, Jughead had no choice, as he and Archie got back on the road at 11:52 to deliver the crate. They arrived at the Greendale warehouse soon thereafter, where they delivered the crate as promised. Moments later, they were joined by an older woman in a wheelchair, and the man that was pushing her. They were late, the woman remarked, as her male companion flashed a gun to frighten the boys. She told him not to be late next time, but Jughead told her that his delivery was a one time job, though the woman had by informed by Penny that the Serpents were taking over for the Ghoulies, and that they were set for regular deliveries, with a regular delivery boy (i.e. Jughead).
After making the delivery, Jughead and Archie returned to Riverdale. At Pop's, Jughead thanked Archie once more his assistance even though, doing what they did, violated every strand of Archie's DNA, Jughead acknowledged. Although, they'd all done bad things ever since the arrival of the Black Hood. It was almost as if he was making them do it. Maybe it was just a tale from the dark side, but Jughead had been thinking about the story he heard regarding the Riverdale Reaper and the possibility of it being an actual lead. He hoped that Archie would join him at the library to research the topic. However, Archie would be busy the following day as he and Reggie were taking Moose to physical therapy, and after that, he would be having dinner with Veronica and her parents. Maybe the day after that, Archie offered. He then further expressed his concern for Jughead, and the predicament he was in with the Penny and Serpents. Jughead replied that he would try to get himself out, before leaving to visit his father in prison.
Much to Jughead's surprise, as he visited his father that day, he discovered that FP was completely unharmed and that Penny had lied to him about the jumping in the shower at the hands of the Ghoulies.
Jughead called Penny over to the trailer, where he confronted her with knowledge of her deceitful ways, though she claimed that she merely incentivized him. Jughead refused to make another delivery for her given that she initially told him that it would be a "one and done" job. However, Jughead would then learn that he didn't have much say in the matter as Penny had video surveillance of him and Archie dropping off the crate in Greendale. It was insurance that he would do as she said. And if he failed to comply with her demands or even raised his voice towards her ever again, Penny threatened to send the video to the Sheriff Station, which she imagined would break his father's heart. Why me, Jughead asked. Penny explained that FP made her a promise that he failed to keep, so as far as she was concerned, his debt was Jughead's debt as well. Unfortunately, she was only just getting started with him.
FP's Release from Prison
After spending some time at the Whyte Wyrm, where he worked on his novel, Jughead met with Betty at Pop's, where they discussed the murder victims of the Riverdale Reaper. Shockingly, Farmer McGinty had told the truth about the family of four being murdered in a house near Fox Forest. The victims were Jim and Mary-Ellen Conway, and their kids, Tommy and Sue, who were ten and nine. The Reaper was never apprehended or identified, meaning he could possibly be the Black Hood, though it was doubtful considering that he would be in his sixties. The reporter of the article talked to the Sheriff at the time who thought the killer chose them at random due to the isolated area where their house was located. From an archived article of the Register, Jughead showed Betty a picture of the house where the murders took place, not knowing that Betty had been there once before. The Black Hood had sent her there as part of his twisted game, which meant there was undeniably a link between the two killers. Jughead wanted to go to Sheriff Keller to see if he could pull the files from the murders. However, after Betty accused him of being the Black Hood, they couldn't exactly go to him for assistance. With that being said, Jughead suggested that they go to the house in question. But Betty was frightened the last time she went and didn't wish to endure that fear again. Jughead then got a call from his father, who informed him that he would be getting out of jail soon.
In the Blue and Gold offices, Jughead and Betty informed Archie and Veronica of the recent development in his father's case. What heralded this miracle, Veronica wondered. Jughead claimed it was due to a combination of overcrowding at the jail and Cheryl's testimony, which the Judge must've reviewed. However, both he and Archie knew the true reason for his father's release was because of the drug-run they made into Greendale for Penny Peabody, during which time they discovered that Penny had set Jughead up to be her permanent drug-runner. With a new lead on the Black Hood case, Jughead and Betty were hoping that Archie and Veronica could follow up on it, as Jughead would be busy helping his father readjust. Essentially, they wanted Archie and Veronica to be them, in the sense that they would be investigating the case as an investigative team.
After arranging for Archie and Veronica to investigate the connection between the Black Hood and the Riverdale Reaper, Jughead headed down to the Wyrm, where he announced his father's upcoming release. The Serpents rejoiced. Upon his father's release, Jughead would bring him up to speed on his plan to have a sit down with the Mayor McCoy, which would supposedly "bring the Southside back". Unfortunately, Tall Boy expressed his frustration with Jughead's plan to compromise with the Mayor and the Northsiders, to which Jughead explained that he was sick of Tall Boy acting like "a little bitch". Furthermore, Tall Boy's whispers of Jughead being half a Serpent were becoming a great concern of his. Looking to resolve the conflict, Jughead decided to put their next move to a vote. If the Serpents disagreed with his mission to find a peaceful resolution with the Northside, then he would step aside, however, if they stood alongside him, he would follow through with the plan as scheduled. Many of the Serpents within the bar raised their hands in agreement with Jughead's plan to negotiate with the Mayor on their behalf, Toni and Sweet Pea included.
The next day, Jughead and Betty, who were driven to the prison by Mrs. Cooper, greeted FP as he exited the prison. Mrs. Cooper then asked if it was true what they said about men who were just released from prison; that they were extremely sexually frustrated. On that note, everyone got into the station wagon, as they headed to Pop's, where his father enjoyed his first meal as a free man. Once there, Mrs. Cooper advised his father to watch his back given that the Black Hood was targeting sinners. Jughead then learned that his father, who had done a lot of thinking while incarcerated, had decided that he wouldn't be returning to the Serpents. However, they needed him, Jughead remarked. As for the extra time that his father would have on his hands due to no longer running the Serpents, he would spend that time working at the diner, which was hiring. Fortunately, a backslide into his old routine of drinking and partying was not of concern considering that his father was in AA.
Later that day, Jughead and his father road their motorcycles along the coastline of Sweetwater River. They parked off-road, where they looked off into the nearby forest and discussed past grievances and future plans. Things got out of control while his father was away, leaving Jughead to often question what he would do in certain predicaments. Concluding that Penny was responsible for his releases, FP asked if she had bothered Jughead. He claimed that he made a simple delivery for Penny, and considering that it was a one time job, he didn't ask too many questions, and while Jughead knew this to be untrue, he assured his father that they were squared away. Jughead then learned that FP was kicked out of the house by his father when was sixteen, and told to got tell hell. Instead, he joined the Serpents, and then the Army, but only to return to the Serpents. He didn't want Jughead to follow in his footsteps given that he was destined for better things. However, Jughead didn't wish to leave, though he wanted his father's blessing in staying, reasoning that he ran the gauntlet, and fought with and for the Serpents. FP was only willing to grant Jughead his blessing so long as he promised to keep writing, which Jughead agreed to, considering that he had been doing so every day.
While at the diner that evening, Jughead was forced to stand idly by as Cheryl belittled his father by intentionally knocking over her milkshake, and demanding that he clean it up considering that he had been hired as the diner's newest busboy. Jughead sought to intervene but his father advised him to stand down. Jughead grew angry, as his father used to be a king. A leader of men, but now he's fallen to the point of being demeaned by the likes of Cheryl. He deserved to be honored, not humiliated. From that, Betty devised a plan to throw FP a retirement party fit for a king.
That night, Jughead returned to the trailer with his father, where they discussed the retirement party, which FP was initially against, explaining that the Serpents were a thing of his past. However, Jughead managed to persuade him into attending the event. Jughead then headed into the back after receiving a call from who he claimed to be Archie. But, it was actually Penny, calling to arrange another business meeting between Jughead and herself at Pop's. When Jughead refused to play along, she threatened to have his father sent back to prison. With no other choice, Jughead joined Penny at Pop's, where he told her that he wouldn't be held hostage by her. He did his previously agreed upon favor, meaning that he no longer owed her. Unfortunately, Penny would beg to differ. Jughead had debts to pay, and their's was an on-going arrangement. To combat Penny's threats, Jughead revealed that he was about to have a sit-down with Mayor McCoy, who was actively working towards bringing an end to the trafficking of drugs throughout Riverdale. However, with Penny's vast knowledge of the law system, she stated that he would need proof to make an accusation like that stick, such as the surveillance video she has of him and Archie making a delivery in Greendale. Jughead's concern in regards to Penny's surveillance video began to dim, as an attack against him or his father, was an attack against all Serpents, which wouldn't bode over well for Penny. As Jughead prepared to leave the diner, Penny mentioned Betty, and how every snake had a soft underbelly, meaning that Betty was his weakness.
Jughead returned to the Whyte Wyrm the following day, where he and Toni talked about his father's release. Though, this discussion led to Penny and the drug delivery that Jughead had made for her in Greendale, which he had informed Toni of. Toni asked if Penny had called him for any more favors since, to which Jughead replied that the delivery was the favor, meaning that he technically no longer owed Penny.
He and Betty met up with Archie and Veronica in the Blue and Gold offices, where they learned that Archie and Veronica had gone to the house of the Reaper's murder, and discovered from the Sheriff's case files that there was a third child of the Conway family, Joseph Conway, who survived the massacre. His name was changed and his identity was hidden so that he could lead a normal life. According to Sheriff Howard's notes, he was adopted by another family in Riverdale, and presumably enrolled at a local high school. Fortunately, they had a photo of Joseph, meaning that all they had to do was match the photo to one of the students at Riverdale High School during the years he would've attended. If they found him, then he could possibly tell them how the Conway massacre was related to the recent killings. Jughead speculated that finding Joseph Conway wasn't the best idea since he could be the Black Hood. Considering that Joseph possibly saw the slaughter of his family, that type of brutality and viciousness could've traumatized him, which he might even blame Riverdale for, and is punishing the town because of it. Jughead and Betty then invited Archie and Veronica to his father's retirement party.
That night, after sweeping the perimeter, Jughead entered the Wyrm for his father's party, where he found Archie sitting near the bar. Archie told Jughead that he was waiting for Veronica's arrival as he was looking to clear the air between them. Tonight's going to be a good night, Archie said. Here's hoping, Jughead replied, before walking off. As he passed the bar, Toni asked if he would like a drink given that he looked nervous. Jughead declined the offer, claiming that he was just getting a lay of the land. It was then that Betty and Mrs. Cooper entered the bar, thought Mrs. Cooper was dressed in a fashion that Jughead was not accustomed to. She resembled a Southsider more so than anything else. As Mrs. Cooper ordered shots at the bar, Jughead learned from Betty that she had a surprise for him later on in the night.
Jughead watched from the crowd as Archie and Veronica performed Michael Andrews' and Gary Jules' Mad World. However, after Veronica abruptly ran off the stage, with Archie not far behind, the crowd began to boo. That is until Betty got up on stage to perform the "Serpent dance" in front of the entire bar, which was a tradition of acceptance amongst the female members of the Southside Serpents. Essentially, it was a strip show that Jughead watched in shock and anger. His father then got up on stage, covering Betty with his jacket before sending her off. FP gave a speech in regards to his time as a Serpent. Jughead listened as his father described the good times and the bad times. Despite the letter of the law telling him that he wasn't allowed in the Wyrm to associate with the Serpents, FP announced that he had decided against retiring. As his father stepped off the stage, Jughead asked him what happened to his retirement plans. His father held him close, and whispered into his ear that he was aware of Jughead's deal with Penny; how he made a drug delivery for her and the debt he owed. This broke his father's heart considering that it was the one thing he had asked him not to do. Jughead offered to fix the situation, but he was already out, as his father put it. Penny was no longer Jughead's problem. They were then joined by Tall Boy, Sweet Pea, and the other Serpents, who insisted that FP have a celebratory drink. "Hail to the king", they said.
Jughead joined Betty in the bar's parking lot. She noticed that he was upset, asking if the dance was the reason for his sudden change in attitude, which it was, though it wasn't the only reason. Jughead wondered why Betty would do such a thing. Betty explained that she wanted to be apart of his world, and the Serpent dance was the only way for that to happen. Unfortunately, unlike Archie, Betty didn't know when to cut bait. Jughead was upset that he was dragging his father down, as well as Betty, who wanted to figure everything out together, though Jughead could be with her no longer, out of fear that she would get hurt, which he couldn't allow to happen. This wasn't his decision to make, Betty stated. However, given his status among the Serpents, it was, in fact, Jughead's decision. How many times will they have to break up, Betty then asked. Until it sticks, Jughead replied. Due to his involvement with Penny, he wrecked his father's one chance of going straight. He refused to subject Betty to the same fate. She insisted that he tell her what happened, but Jughead simply begged her to go home.
Uncharming the Snake Charmer
As Jughead worked on his novel from Pop's, Archie and Mr. Andrews entered the diner with the Christmas tree that Pop Tate had ordered. After setting it up, Archie joined Jughead in his booth, where the two of them discussed Christmas plans. Archie and his dad were staying in town for the break despite their initial plans to visit his mother in Chicago, who had booked a singles cruise. Jughead then asked how Archie was dealing with his break up from Veronica. Archie revealed that they had been better. If it was any conciliation, Jughead told Archie that he and Betty weren't on the greatest of terms either. Mr. Andrews then asked Jughead if he and his father wanted a Christmas tree, free of charge. Jughead accepted his offer, though it would have to be a small tree given that they lived in a trailer. Archie then left, but not before making sure that Jughead would also be attending Kevin's secret Santa gathering.
At the trailer the next morning, Jughead had hoped to talk to his father about the predicament they were in with Penny. However, as far as FP was concerned, Penny was not Jughead's problem, despite the fact that she had Jughead and Archie on camera, delivering drugs to a warehouse in Greendale. In spite of all this, FP still sought to keep Jughead out of Penny's grasp, even if it meant as Jughead put it "pimping the Serpents out as drug-runners". The more Jughead pushed, the greater he tested his father's patience, who warned him multiple times to steer clear of Penny and her trafficking of drugs. Jughead failed to adhere to his father's warnings, asking Tall Boy about the contents of a mysterious bag that he had brought into the trailer. However, Tall Boy chose not to respond, and Jughead was sent to school.
As planned, Jughead stopped by Riverdale High for Kevin's secret Santa gift exchange. With a look of concern, he watched as Betty opened her gift from Archie, which was an old children's read-along record that she and Archie used to listen when they were five years old. Moose and Midge then entered the student lounge to join them for the Holiday.
After the gift exchange, Jughead awaited Betty's return to the Blue and Gold offices, where he could personally deliver her gift. He wished her a Merry Christmas before apologizing for their abrupt break-up. As Serpents, Jughead and his dad were specifically in a precarious place, and he didn't want to see Betty get caught in the cross-hairs. However, this wasn't his decisions to make as far as Betty was concerned. Even if he thought his actions were to protect her, Betty insisted that it was her choice to take risks, to which Jughead agreed. As he was heading out, Betty revealed that she had gotten him a gift as well. He smiled as she handed him the large present.
Jughead left Riverdale High and headed down to the Whyte Wyrm, where he found the Serpents wrapping gifts and putting forth the effort to help their community; the Southsiders. Toni and Fogarty explained that they gave back to the Southside every year. It had become a Serpent tradition to look after the young and the elderly of the Southside during the holiday season and to help out via Toys for Tots and Meals on Wheels. Jughead remarked that he was always down for charitable works. He then ran into his father, who questioned why he wasn't in school. Jughead told him that it was a half day due to Christmas break. With that being said, FP requested that Jughead looks after the Wyrm while he and Tall Boy made another delivery for Penny. Jughead asked to join them, but FP refused to allow him to accompany them. Instead, FP called on Sweet Pea to assist them in the delivery.
At the trailer, Jughead answered to door to find his father's parole officer, Jack Walsh, on the other side. Jughead informed Jack that his father wasn't home, though he didn't need to be, Jack stated. He was merely issuing a warning, which Jughead was to pass along to FP.
Jughead waited for his father to return home before telling him about Mr. Walsh's unexpected visit. Out of respect for his father, he had also left the mystery bag sitting on the table, untouched. While Jughead managed to get rid of Mr. Walsh, he had already heard about the Serpents moving into "Narcos territory". FP then unzipped the bag sitting on the table to reveal multiple presents, which Jughead initially assumed were drugs disguised as gifts. However, they were actually gifts for him, his mother and Jellybean. FP had hoped that on Christmas day that he and Jughead could drive up to Toledo, where they would deliver the gifts in person. Unfortunately, their current predicament just wasn't going to work, Jughead concluded. That day it was gifts, but in the following days, it could be drugs or weapons. Jughead couldn't help but wonder how much longer they were going to live under Penny's thumb. As long as she wants, FP replied. Jughead worried that from there, Penny's favors would only grow, eventually resulting in all the Serpents being dragged into her drug trade. Having said that, FP agreed that their current living situation wasn't a good idea. He suggested that Jughead move back in with Archie or even with Betty. However, as Jughead went on to explain, he and Betty had broken up so that he could remain with the Serpents. Jughead went on to say that he only wanted his father to allow him to help in cleaning up the mess that he made. Unfortunately, with no leverage, they were trapped.
Later that evening, Jughead rallied Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty, and many of the other young Serpents to reveal that Penny had forced his father into dealing drugs. He knew this because he was dealing Penny's drug before his father's release from prison. Since then, she had dragged in Tall Boy and Sweet Pea. Jughead feared that the Serpents would eventually end up like the Ghoulies. Furthermore, he doubted that any of them became Serpents merely to be at the beck and call of a drug Queenpin like Penny. The path that the Serpents were currently headed down only ended in two ways, jail or death. Which is why in the interest of self-preservation, Jughead wanted to take out Penny before she could take out the Serpents. Unfortunately, Sweet Pea was hesitant in joining Jughead's cause given that the Snake Charmer had helped some of them in the past. Though this admittedly came at a price, several favors to be exact. If they didn't stop Penny that night, Jughead promised that she was going to drag every single one of them into the business of drug trafficking. The only remaining question was whether or not they were willing to risk their lives in order to his father's life. "What is the first law", Toni asked. "No Serpent stands alone", Sweet Pea replied. Having said that, Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty, and the others agreed to assist Jughead in stopping the Snake Charmer.
That night, Jughead and the Serpents, all of whom were wearing snake masks with the exception of him, paid Penny a surprise visit at her warehouse as she loaded drugs into a crate. Penny asked if Jughead was willing to lend a hand considering that his father was on the way. However, she concluded that he wouldn't be too happy about Jughead approaching her. Though, Jughead wasn't concerned with his father's arrival given that neither of them would be there by the time he arrived. The Serpents then put a hood over Penny's head and carried her away.
Jughead and the Serpents drove Penny out to Greendale, her new place of residence, where they then removed the hood covering the face. Jughead didn't care where she set up shop so long as it wasn't in Riverdale or with the Serpents. She was more than welcome to traffic drugs and extort people, but it wouldn't be on the Southside given that the territory belonged to them. Penny laughed in Jughead's face, calling him stupid and cocky, before pulling up the sleeve of her leather jacket to reveal her Serpents tattoo, stating that Serpent law prohibited them from hurting one of their own. Unfortunately for Penny, it was time that she learned that her tattoo didn't make her a Serpent, especially since she hadn't been honoring their ways. Jughead then instructed Sweet Pea and Toni to hold Penny down as he pulled out a knife, and forcefully removed her tattoo with said knife, which was an excruciatingly painful process.
After getting his pound of flesh, Jughead stopped at Pop's on his way home. He greeted his father with a celebratory dinner, telling him that Penny was gone, as he had rallied the younger Serpents to help drive her out of Riverdale. Despite Jughead's best efforts to right his wrongs, FP was furious. He was positive that Penny would return with a vengeance, though Jughead would beg to differ because he was very persuasive. However, should she return, they would take care of her together. Jughead recited the sixth law to his father, "In unity there is strength", which was the very same law he recited every day while his father was in jail. He lived by this specific law. Jughead was fine with his father taking his Serpents jacket and relegating him to Toys for Tots because no matter what, he would still be a Serpent, which he was proud of. And it was something that no one could take away from him, not even his father.
Jughead met with Archie, Betty, and Veronica in a booth at Pop's after Sheriff Keller killed the Black Hood, and they discovered that the man behind the hood was Mr. Svenson, Riverdale High's janitor. Archie and Veronica's instincts about Svenson were correct. Veronica thought he was the Black Hood, and had Archie listened when they confronted him at school, they could've end everything in that moment. But after looking directly into the killer's eyes the day that his father was shot, Archie didn't see the resemblance in Svenson's eyes. Regardless of the eyes, they had a hard time understanding how he possessed the will to cut off his own finger. "So we know whodunit. Why did he do it?", Jughead asked. Svenson accused an innocent man of being the Riverdale Reaper and murdering his family, which got the man killed. Maybe, in some twisted way, Svenson thought that targeting sinners would balance his sin. Him having such vast knowledge on their lives made perfect sense given that Svenson was always around, lurking in the hallways. He could have seen Archie and Ms. Grundy in the music room, as well as Moose and Midge buying Jingle Jangle. While they continued to go over the killer's motives, Jughead was just grateful that Svenson was in a body bag and they weren't.
Christmas day had arrived, and Jughead unwrapped his present from Betty. She had purchased him a Vintage Underwood, which is the typewriter of champions. His father asked if he wished to swing by the Cooper house to thank Betty in person, but he would rather call or text her.
Transferring to Riverdale High
Jughead sat in a booth at Pop's, adding another entry to his novel. This time regarding certain towns, where bad things often seemed to occur. In light of recent events, it was starting to seem as if Riverdale was one of those towns, with the school janitor, Joseph Svenson, being the Black Hood.
On the steps of Southside High, Jughead sat alongside Toni as she read over his novel, which she remarked as being "very Lovecraftian". Which is a direct reference to the subgenre of horror fiction that emphasized the cosmic horror of the unknown more than gore or other elements of shock. Toni asked if his work had been done on a typewriter, which it had, the very same typewriter that Betty had given him for Christmas. However, Jughead claimed that his interest in typewriting was merely a technique to better understand H. P. Lovecraft's head space. They were then startled by the sound of Sweet Pea and Fogarty kicking open the school's doors. From Sweet Pea and Fogarty, Jughead and Toni learned that Southside High was closing down due to quarantine, and that they were all transferring to Riverdale High.
In a booth at Pop's, Jughead read aloud to his father the notice that was released of Southside High's abrupt closing. Supposedly, the school had been deemed a public health hazard by Mayor McCoy due to toxic fumes from the methamphetamine lab in the basement. Oddly enough, there wasn't any meth to be found, merely Jingle Jangle. Jughead began to grow suspicious given the circumstances surrounding the closing down of Southside High. However, his father claimed that his reason for not wanting to return to Riverdale High was in relation to Betty, who walked through the shoppe's doors just as they began to speak of her. Betty appreciated that he agreed to meet with her. Jughead told her that it was not a bother given that he was going to reach out to her in an effort to avoid any awkward exchanges at school. Betty explained that she needed his help to find her long-lost brother. She was hoping that Jughead would put her in touch with his social worker, Ms. Weiss. While Jughead agreed to set up the exchange, he couldn't help but wonder why Betty suddenly sought to find her brother. Betty responded that Polly gave birth to the twins, but that she didn't even call their mother to tell her. Betty was hoping that having him in their lives would make things better. As for clearing the air, Betty was happy that Jughead was returning to Riverdale High.
The next day, Jughead, Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty and the other Southside transfers arrived at Riverdale High to the sight of a welcoming committee awaiting their arrival. They were immediately greeted by Veronica. To ease their transition to the Northside, she had set up a registration desk in the hallway for locker assignments, class schedules, and a list of sports and extracurriculars. Cheryl and Reggie interrupted just as Veronica was encouraging each of them to drink from the cup that is "fair Riverdale". With the River Vixens and Riverdale Bulldogs in tow, Cheryl approached the registration desk, hurling insults their way, referring to them as "Southside scum" and "raggamuffins". Cheryl refused to allow Riverdale High's above average GPA to suffer because of overcrowded classrooms with underachievers such as themselves. So she instructed them to find another school to deface. In doing this, she upset Toni. Just as the two were about to face off, Archie stepped in the middle of them, hoping to put their differences aside so that they could start over. When Reggie declined Archie's offer, Sweet Pea stepped forward to finish what they had started during the rumble, Fortunately, Jughead and Fangs held Sweet Pea back to ensure that no kind of altercation would ensue. The rivaling sides went back and forth until Mr. Weatherbee arrived to send them off to class.
In the student lounge, just as Toni, Sweet Pea and Fogarty were becoming acquainted with Veronica, Josie and Kevin, Mr. Weatherbee pulled them out into the hallway to reveal that their school's seal had been defaced with a spray-painted on Serpent. Next to Weatherbee stood Reggie, who they believed to be the actual vandal. The Serpents were innocent, though Weatherbee believed otherwise, especially with Reggie in his ear, claiming that the Serpents were doing what they do best, tagging their turf. Having fallen victim to Reggie's lies, effective immediately, Weatherbee outlawed gang behavior of any kind. As of that moment, Serpent jackets would no longer be tolerated and tattoos were expected to be covered. Possession of any gang paraphernalia would lead to immediate suspension.
At the Whyte Wyrm with Toni and Sweet Pea, Jughead expressed his frustration with Weatherbee, stating that they were being profiled. He was already telling them what to wear. Jughead was worried with what might follow, possibly brain implants that can control what they think. Toni advised him to calm down as he sounded like a conspiracy nut. She and Sweet Pea went on to explain that with the closing of Southside High, they were now attending a better school with a computer lab, textbooks, and fully functioning toilets. As far as Toni and Sweet Pea were concerned, getting transferred to Riverdale High was the best thing that could've happened to them. If it meant that they had to take off their Serpent jackets from 8:30 am - 3:00 pm, Monday - Friday, then so be it.
The following day, despite Mr. Weatherbee explicitly prohibiting them from wearing their Serpent jackets on school grounds, Jughead arrived at school, jacket and all. He entered the lounge, first acknowledging his friends before heading over to the vending machine, where he was confronted by Reggie, who demanded that he take off his Serpent jacket. Jughead refused to comply, telling Reggie that he couldn't possibly understand what the jacket meant because that would require for him to have a sense of honor, history and loyalty. This angered Reggie to the point where he became physical, forcefully trying to tear Jughead's jacket from his body. To no surprise, Sweet Pea and Fogarty came to Jughead's aid, resulting in a rumble in the center of the lounge between the Serpents and Bulldogs. Veronica stumbled onto the brawl, calling out to Mr. Weatherbee in assistance with breaking it up. In the office, after the fight had been brought to an end, Mr. Weatherbee gave them a week of detention. Though he wasn't quite done, looking to Jughead and telling him to remove his jacket or else he would be suspended. In that case, Jughead took the suspension.
Jughead grew frustrated while playing the Mortal Kombat arcade game at the Whyte Wyrm, so much so that he hit the side of the game in a fit of anger. His father entered the bar, telling him that if he broke it, he would have to buy it. Jughead explained that he was suspended from school because Weatherbee was disrespecting the Serpents and targeting them. He even told them to take off their skins, another term for their Serpent jackets. Much like Sweet Pea and Toni, his father didn't seem to think it was a big deal, suggesting that Jughead just wear the jacket after school. "A Serpent never sheds his skin", Jughead stated. One of the Serpents' laws, which FP needed no reminder of. Jughead then admitted that the real reason for his frustration stemmed from the closing of Southside High. Admittedly, it was in poor condition, but it was their home nonetheless. While his father understood his frustration, getting arrested for truancy wouldn't solve anyone's problems. They needed to be smart. Serpents hibernate in the winter. His father advised him to lay low for a while, but never stop being a Serpent.
On his father's advice, Jughead arrived at school the following day, without his jacket, only to find that Toni and Sweet Pea had been issued standard uniform (navy blue collar shirts and khaki pants) by Weatherbee, who claimed to understand that not every Southside student had the means to purchase Riverdale High acceptable clothing. The uniform would supposedly help them fit in. Where's Fogarty, Jughead asked. Sweet Pea told Jughead that he was suspended after refusing to wear the uniform. Essentially, their choices were conform or be cast out.
Later, Jughead welcomed Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty and the other Serpents to the inaugural meeting of the "Swords and Serpents" club. When Toni asked him to elaborate on the purpose of the club, Jughead explained that officially, they are a gaming group sanctioned by Mr. Weatherbee, where like-minded students can meet to concoct world building, role-playing scenarios, inhabiting fantastical heroes, and dispatching mythological creatures. Unofficially, it's a safe haven-like club for them to be Serpents during school hours and under everyone's noses. Jughead refused to allow them to shed their skin, rather they would simply be lying low in the tall grass.
One week had passed since Riverdale High's absorption of its Southside counterpart, and in this time, everything and nothing was the same. On his way to class, Jughead was rudely bumped into by several of his fellow students. Afterward, he sat in class, typing away, until being instructed by Mrs. Haggly to give his attention to Cheryl, who at the front of the class, gave an oral history report on General Pickens and her great-great-great grandfather, colonel Barnabas B. Blossom, who bankrolled General Pickens' settlement of, an Eden along the river of Sweetwater, where maple trees grew taller than the steeples of Europe's grandest cathedrals. As the bell rang, cutting Cheryl's presentation short, Mrs. Haggly told Jughead that she looked forward to reviewing his oral history report.
In the days leading up to Pickens Day, Jughead, Veronica and Kevin gathered around Betty in the student lounge to talk about her long-lost brother, Chic, who she had found in a Centerville Hostel and was staying with her. When Kevin remarked that Chic looked familiar, Jughead questioned if he could have possibly ran into him while cruising Fox Forest, though Kevin was unsure. And with Chic still acclimating and Betty attempting to gain his trust, it was unlikely that they would be meeting him anytime soon. Hoping to solve Betty's dilemma, Veronica suggested that she bring Chic to Pickens Day, which Jughead claimed he would not be attending because the Serpents weren't extended an invitation. When Veronica insisted that they were specifically invited, Jughead retorted that they were hired as security. The damage as they say, had already been done, as far as he was concerned. Jughead then left with Toni, whose grandfather Jughead had planned to interview for his oral report given Thomas' status as the oldest living Serpent.
In Toni's grandfather's trailer, Jughead began the interview by addressing the fact that Thomas was, in fact, one of the founding members of the Southside Serpents. Thomas told Jughead that the snake and the laws were all based on Uktena tradition. The Uktena, he explained, is a horned serpent and/or a water serpent. Before there was a Riverdale, all the land belonged to the Uktena. How did the Uktena evolve into the Serpents, Jughead asked. Thomas laughed hysterically, stating that they didn't evolve. They were all slaughtered. When his grandfather was a baby, there was a raid, and it was led by Riverdale's very own General Pickens. The battle only lasted for 12 minutes, but the slaughter was total and savage. General Pickens, whose statue stood proudly in Pickens Park, was responsible for the massacre of many, including children. In spite of all this, every year the Northside honored him. When Thomas' grandfather died, they formed the Serpents as a way to keep the family together. Jughead wondered how no one knew of this. While few were aware, Toni stated that it was the direct result of the whitewashing of history. She added that Jason Blossom wasn't the first person to be murdered in Riverdale.
The following day, Jughead interrupted Betty and Kevin's discussion in the Blue and Gold offices to run his story by her. He noted that he had taken a liking to Kevin's new Gossip column. The readers loved it, not to mention that Betty needed to fill the space after Jughead left for Southside High. Jughead handed Betty his story and told her that when he interviewed Toni's grandfather for history class, he had some pretty intense things to say about General Pickens. Having taken it upon himself to do a bit of follow-up research, Jughead discovered that General Pickens was hired by Barnabas B. Blossom to remove the Uktena tribe by force. In doing so, he killed 400 innocent men, women and children. To make matters worse, the last remnants of the tribe, the Serpents, were being squeezed out of existence. Thomas lived in a trailer the size of a broom closet. And Hiram Lodge was planning on honoring General Pickens instead of trying to make amends. Jughead believed this was a story they needed to tell. Betty agreed, asking if he was going to get a quote from Hiram Lodge.
Off Betty's suggestion, Jughead called Hiram later that day to ask about General Pickens and how he massacred the Uktena tribe in order to steal the land that Hiram was currently building on.
Jughead was confronted by Toni after publishing the article addressing General Pickens and the massacre of the Uktena tribe. The article read "General Pickens was a murderer and ripples from his gruesome acts continue to be felt today. Descendants of the victims are still being displaced. So I challenge the Northside, instead of honoring men like General Pickens and Hiram Lodge, hold them accountable. Reparations must be paid to men like Thomas Topaz, who are too old and beaten down to fight back for themselves." Riverdale was a town with a tragic past, which Jughead wished it would own up to. Toni exclaimed that her grandfather wasn't a broken down victim nor was he a prop for Jughead's vendetta against the Northside. While she understood that he hated the Northside and that being invited to work the Pickens Day party triggered all the rage about being born on the wrong side of the tracks, the Uktena tribe wasn't Jughead's story to tell.
On Pickens Day, Jughead returned to Thomas' trailer with Toni to apologize. Jughead explained his actions, reasoning that he was angry because the Southside is their home and he was sick of watching it get dismantled piece by piece in front of their eyes. They lost their drive-in. Then they lost their school. Nonetheless, he shouldn't have used Thomas' story or what happened to the Uktena against the Northside. He had no right and he was sorry. Whatever his reasons were, Jughead had opened an old wound by publishing that article, and something had to be done to heal it. Toni asked her grandfather if he had something in mind.
Later that day, Jughead, Toni, Thomas, Sweet Pea, Fogarty and the Serpents crashed the Northside's annual celebration of Pickens Day. They marched into the park with duct-tape over their mouths while holding signs that demanded their land be honored. Jughead remained in the crowd, next to Thomas, as Toni, Sweet Pea and Fogarty took to the center stage to announce that they represented the dead and the silenced. Pickens Day was a lie. General Pickens slaughtered the Uktena tribe, Toni's family. And the land in which they were standing on, would soon give way to a new Southside, which was stolen from them. While the Serpents couldn't bring them back, they could at the very least honor them. Looking to calm the crowd, Hiram Lodge got on stage to applaud the Serpents for standing up for justice, though his actions were far from sincere, which was not lost on Jughead, who attempted to confront him but was instructed otherwise by Thomas.
Later that night, Jughead sat in a booth at Pop's, adding another entry to his novel as Pickens Day had come to an end.
Exposing Hiram Lodge
Jughead observed from the front counter at Pop's as Archie retrieved Mr. Lodge's order in what he described as being a classic trope of Mob movies. A rich, high-rolling, gangster taking a small town kid under his wing.
At the trailer park, Jughead and FP welcomed Sheriff Keller into their trailer, only to tell him that they didn't have General Pickens' head nor did they know who stole it, which is the same thing they told him the last four times he came by to ask them and their neighbors. With the visits from the Sheriff increasing at an alarming rate, Jughead began to suspect that they were being harassed since there wasn't an ounce of evidence to indicate that the Southside Serpents had any involvement in the taking of General Pickens' head. Though the Sheriff recalled Jughead's rather scathing article about the General's legacy, which promoted the Serpents to protest Pickens Day. Countering his argument, Jughead told the Sheriff how he was writing a new article about how the Sheriff seemed to care more about catching a vandal than he did the Black Hood.
In the student lounge, having already invited Archie, Veronica invited Jughead, Betty and Kevin to her confirmation ceremony. Usually, those kinds of events were family only, but since they were her chosen family, she managed to pull a few strings and reserve them a pew. Jughead and Betty were then called down to the Principal's office by Mr. Weatherbee, who confronted them about Jughead's article attacking General Pickens. There had been a steady stream of outrage since the publishing of the article, most recently, Hiram Lodge's lawyer, Paul Sowerberry. He called to alert them that they were considering taking legal actions against the Blue and Gold on the grounds of defamation of character. Effective immediately, both Jughead and Betty were suspended from the newspaper staff. They were given a day to clean out their things.
In the Blue and Gold offices, Jughead apologized to Betty for getting her suspended from the newspaper While he didn't care if they harassed him at home or school, he never meant to drag her into it. When Betty asked who was harassing him at home, Jughead replied Sheriff Keller. He had no proof but he suspected that one or more of the Serpents, probably Jughead, decapitated General Pickens' statue. Betty asked Jughead if he did in fact taken the statue's head, but he denied any involvement. Though Betty reasoned that he could've done it for the same reason he had written the article, to avenge Thomas Topaz, Toni's grandfather, since they were close. Betty then revealed that she saw Jughead and Toni at Pop's early one morning, in the middle of the Black Hood attacks. They were having breakfast, and to Betty, it seemed like they were more than friends. While it wasn't her place to ask, she felt compelled to question if anything had ever happened between him and Toni. Jughead admitted that on the night of the gauntlet, after Betty sent Archie to break up with him, Toni stayed over. She gave Jughead a tattoo and they did some stuff, but they didn't have sex. However, since they were on the topic, Jughead asked if Betty had been with anyone else since their breakup, which she hadn't.
Jughead returned home to find Sheriff Keller posting an eviction notice on his door. Everyone in the trailer park was given a two-week notice to evacuate the premises. Jughead suspected that the evictions were a result of General Pickens' statue being decapitated. Just as before, he assured the Sheriff that they had no hand in the matter. Furthermore, he couldn't use that as a trumped-up excuse to evict them. Sheriff Keller explained that he was merely the messenger as the order came down from the Mayor's office. Apparently, there was a lot of back rent owed at the trailer park. While they were packing, Sheriff Keller suspected that they might come across General Pickens' head in the process, which may calm the waters.
At the Whyte Wyrm, Jughead, Toni, Sweet Pea and the other Serpents gathered around as FP got on stage to announce that in spite of the eviction notices, they weren't going anywhere. The heat had been on them since Pickens Day and they were using Pickens' statue as an excuse to turn it up. But if they were going to fix their current dilemma, FP had to ask if anyone in the bar was responsible for cutting off Pickens' head. Tall Boy suggested that FP ask Jughead what he had to say since he wrote the article that started it all. And he and his posse only made it worst by firing the first shot at Pickens Day. Though as Toni pointed out, it was a peaceful protest. Tall Boy suspected that maybe Jughead and Toni went back with a ladder and hacksaw to take the head. Enraged by Tall Boy's accusations, Jughead pointed the blame back at him, stating that Tall Boy wouldn't even need a ladder to remove the head given his size. As tension rose, FP separated the two of them, stating that the last thing they need at the moment was to turn on each other.
Jughead headed over to the Mayor's office the following day to confront Mayor McCoy on her witch-hunt. The Serpents had nothing to do with the beheading. She knew that, but in the meantime, she'd been tightening the screws and sending Sheriff Keller to sow seeds of unrest by threatening to take their homes away. Since when did she care about the statue of a murderer, Jughead wondered. Mayor McCoy replied that Governor Dooley called and read her the riot act. That statue cost him a lot of money and he was furious. Regardless, Mayor McCoy was supposed to be an ally. So he couldn't figure out why she was doing what she was doing. It was then that Jughead realized that someone was pulling the Mayor's strings. He suspected that Hiram Lodge was the puppet master. Admittedly, Jughead was a bright kid who she's always liked. So the Mayor warned him to back down before he uncovered something that he shouldn't.
Jughead met up with Betty at Pop's, where he told her about the evictions and how Mayor McCoy suspected the Serpents of vandalizing the statue. Technically, the trailer park was on town property and not everyone had paid their rent, making the eviction perfectly legal. Jughead went on to tell Betty how Mayor McCoy was making the entire thing about the beheaded statue when in actuality, it was just a pretense to shut them up and get them out. If the statue is what was fueling the fire, then Betty wanted to take away the gas by finding the head. She suggested that they treat it like a missing person case. Someone, somewhere, saw something. So they could canvas the town with reward flyers for anyone who had information. Find the head, save the trailer park.
Jughead entered the Whyte Wyrm to find that the Snake Charmer had returned. Tall Boy had brought her in to help combat the two-week eviction notice. Jughead exclaimed that they didn't need Penny's kind of help, though his word meant nothing since he broke Serpent law by hurting one of his own. The Serpents gathered around Penny as she showed them how Jughead slice a chunk out of her arm where her Serpent tattoo used to be. He left her bleeding in a ditch in Greendale. Nonetheless, Penny was still willing to help the Serpents. While the eviction notices that Tall Boy had shown her were legitimate, she could think of many ways that would stall the process by years. Her price, however, was blood for blood. An eye for an eye. She wanted her membership with the Serpents reinstated and she wanted Jughead to be kicked out in her place. More than that, for her final demand in exchange for her services, she wanted to carve off Jughead's tattoo with a dirty knife.
Jughead waited in the trailer for his father to return with the verdict. When FP did return, he revealed that the Serpents were putting it to a vote, Jughead vs Penny. While she was a cobra, mutilating her was the kind of thing that you don't come back from, FP explained. Much like stuffing a teenager's body in a freezer, Jughead remarked. FP jacked him up against the wall and told him to keep his mouth shut. Furthermore, Tall Boy was right in saying that Jughead brought the Northside down on them. Serpents are losing their dens because of his article. Jughead told his father not to kid himself given that they were simply using his article and what happened to the statue of General Pickens as an excuse to justify what they had already been doing. Between cutting up women and bringing the temple down upon them, FP surmised that Jughead would be the death of the Serpents.
A couple of days later, Jughead attended Veronica's confirmation ceremony. He sat alongside Betty, Kevin, and Archie as Veronica was confirmed. Afterward, during the post-ceremony celebration, he told Betty about the Serpents' meeting to determine whether or not he would be kicked out. He told her that he broke a code and that in doing so, he messed up badly. Jughead went on to tell Betty about the Snake Charmer and how she suckered him and his dad into delivery drugs, which forced him and the younger Serpents to find her, grab her and cut her. The worst part was that none of it even matter because she was back. Every decision he had made since they broke up, including their breakup, only made things worse. Betty then got a call about the flyers they up regarding the head of General Pickens' statue.
Jughead and Betty met with Junkyard Steve in the junkyard who called them to reveal that he had General Pickens' head. He had nearly ten acres of scrap and he came across weird stuff all the time, but for the first time ever, he found a bronze head stashed in an old refrigerator. Jughead questioned who dumped the head at the junkyard, asking Junkyard Steve if anyone suspicious had been around recently. Disregarding the regular scavengers, Steve told them that a stranger came in last week claiming that he was in search of bike parts, though he didn't buy anything. According to Junkyard Steve, he was a tall, low-life type, who happened to be wearing a Serpents jacket. Jughead concluded that it was Tall Boy who decapitated the statue.
With Betty and his father behind him, Jughead returned to the Wyrm with the head to General Pickens' statue in hand. FP demanded that they stop the vote in light of recent developments. They sat Tall Boy down to ask him what he was doing at the dump last week. When Tall Boy questioned why Betty was in the bar, Jughead stated that she was one of them. Tall Boy then revealed that he stole the head because he was tired of seeing the Serpents go soft under FP's rule. Hiram Lodge came by, wanting to stir up trouble. He told Tall Boy that if he took the head, he'd get Mayor McCoy and the cops to swarm all over them, causing chaos in the process. Tall Boy essentially helped Hiram Lodge start a mutiny, and Jughead wanted to know why. Tall Boy explained that he did so in an attempt to get rid of Jughead, which would get rid of FP as well, leaving the Serpents under the leadership of him and Penny. In doing this, Tall Boy betrayed his own kind and broke Serpent law. His punishment was being stripped of his jacket and exiled.
Jughead and Betty sat on the couch at the trailer, wondering what Hiram Lodge had planned for the Southside. Maybe they could ask Veronica on Monday, Betty suggested. Though, Jughead proposed that they investigate quietly until they knew more. They hadn't saved the trailer park yet and he was on probation with the Serpents because if what he did to Penny. But at least they stopped her from coming back and got rid of Tall Boy in process. Betty then noted how it was nice to hear Jughead speak of the two of them working together again. He'd be apologizing for it for the rest of his life, but he was sorry for feeling like he had to shield Betty from what he was going through with the Serpents or his darkness since they both knew that she could handle it. Betty then prepared to head home, but Jughead asked her to stay, placing his hand on her leg, which resulted in the two of them kissing as Betty got on top of him. As Jughead began to undress Betty, she told him that she needed to tell him something. Betty looked Jughead in his eyes and told him that she wanted all of him. The two of them then proceeded to have sex.
Shortly after consummating his relationship with Betty, Jughead called her from the trailer to say goodnight and that he loved her. Unfortunately, Betty's response was not one that he had hoped for. Instead of her reciprocating that love, she abruptly hung up the phone after telling him that she'd see him tomorrow. His father returned home soon thereafter, after just having exiled Tall Boy, who Jughead identified as a coward. On his way back, FP had been considering whether or not he should have a sit down with Mayor McCoy, taking a page from Jughead's playbook so to speak. With proof that Hiram Lodge was responsible for General Pickens' statue being decapitated, FP sought to appeal to her sense of justice. However, Jughead had already sent the head to the Lodges as a message.
First thing the next morning, Jughead headed over to Betty's house to walk her to school. He wished to talk to her about the night before when the two of them had sex and how Betty later hung up on him. This left him unnerved and worried that maybe Betty was having regrets because it wasn't enjoyable or that she thought they were moving too fast. Betty assured him that this wasn't the case and that she had an amazing night. Unfortunately, per usual, there was no shortage of drama at the Cooper house upon her arrival. Jughead infers that the aforementioned drama was "Chic centric". Betty confirmed his inference, stating that everything will be fine after a while.
At school, friction between Jughead and Veronica was apparent as her father's pursuit to take over the Southside continued. Jughead questioned if Veronica was trying to manage him. When she asked him to define manage, he moved on to the Southsiders who were in danger of losing their homes. Hoping to end the war before it can truly begin, Veronica suggested that both their fathers meet to settle this dilemma face-to-face. Jughead would only agree on one condition, that Veronica's father come to Sunnyside Trailer Park so that he can see the people that he was going to be displacing. Veronica agreed. Though, she assured Jughead that no one was being displaced. Kevin then entered the lounge to tell them about a dead body that the police had found that morning, leaving Jughead to wonder if the Black Hood had risen from the grave. While the investigation was ongoing, it was supposedly a gruesome, gangland-style execution at the motel.
Jughead approached the Mayor at her office with a map of the Southside to ask what did Sunnyside Trailer Park, Twilight Drive-In and Southside High all have in common. They were or are town land, he explained. Mayor McCoy controlled all three of them. The drive-in and Southside High were shutdown. Now the trailer park was in jeopardy. Jughead could feel the invisible hand of Hiram Lodge all over it. With this, he was insinuating that Mayor McCoy had been accepting donations from the Lodges in exchange for favors such as the land developments. If this was the case, now was her chance to come clean to the public.
The next day, Jughead and FP welcomed Hiram and Veronica into their home to discuss the fate of the trailer park. They revealed that Tall Boy told them that he had been paid by Hiram to decapitate the Pickens Statue as an excuse to turn up the heat on the Southside Serpents. This act had a lot of nervous people scared that they were going to lose their homes. Hiram had heard about that and though it supposedly had nothing to do with him, he had spoken to Mayor McCoy. As a gesture of goodwill to the Southside community, Hiram offered to settle any back rent that they or their neighbors may owe the town. In return, Hiram claimed that he only wanted peace. However, his true intentions were to bribe Jughead so that he wouldn't be mentioned in the upcoming exposé that Jughead was writing. Unfortunately for the Lodges, Jughead refused to be compromised so he and his father turned down their deal.
That night, Jughead got a call from Betty to meet her at her house. He arrived outside the Cooper residence to find Betty sitting on the front steps. She told him that Chic had killed a man in self-defense. However, instead of calling the police, out of fear for what would happen to Chic, Betty and her mother cleaned up the mess and disposed of the body in the older sewar pipes. While Betty was stressing out, her mother, on the other hand, was acting as if nothing had happened. Despite their attempt to dispose of the body, Jughead believed that they could still call the police. A parking enforcer then pulled up to ask if either of them knew the owner of the car parked right across from Betty's house, which belonged to the dead man though neither Betty nor her mother had noticed it before that moment. Hoping to cover their tracks, Jughead told the parking enforcer that the car belonged to him and that he couldn't find his keys. With the street being clean, the enforcer gave him five minutes to move the car. In that time, he and Betty hot-wired the vehicle and drove off. The two of them drove the car out into the woods, pushed it into the river and held each other closely as they watched as it slowly became submerged in the water.
The following night, shortly after telling his father everything from Chic's killing of the shady man to him and Betty dumping the car in the river, Betty and Alice arrived at the trailer for help. Jughead, Betty, and Alice sat in a booth at Pop's as his father got rid of the body. FP covered the man in sodium hydroxide before burying him. Within a week's time, there would be nothing left of him, not even his teeth. Alice then thanked FP for his assistance. She was sorry for pulling Betty in, who then pulled Jughead in. Though, the circle ended with them. All loose ends had been taken care of.
At the trailer, Jughead and his father got into an argument regarding the trailer park and the two-week eviction notices that still stands. With his father only source of employment being at Pop's, they were left with few options. Given Hiram Lodge's recent actions, Jughead had cause to believe that Hiram was planning something bad that would drastically impact them all, forcing Jughead to take a step back and look at the predicament from a different angle.
Upon his arrival at school, Jughead and Betty were invited to join Archie and Veronica at the Lodge's lake house. While hesitant, Jughead agreed. Reasoning that it would offer a chance for him to work on his novel though Veronica made sure to remind him that the point of the weekend was to relax and unwind.
Betty pulled Jughead away to the Blue and Gold offices to confront him over her suspicions that he was up to something. Jughead revealed that he needed a new source of intel for his article on Hiram Lodge and he was hoping that it would be Veronica since she was on the inside of her family's business. However, Betty asked that he refrain from investigating Veronica considering that she was kind enough to invite them to her lake house. Betty then confessed that ever since the night of the killing, she began feeling suffocated by Chic. So she was hoping to use the weekend as an escape. Hearing this, Jughead agreed to postpone his investigation for the weekend.
After school, at the Cooper house, Jughead was startled by Chic as he waited for Betty to join him downstairs for their weekend get-away. Chic asked Jughead if he knew about the killing of the shady man. And while Jughead assured Chic that he was to be trusted, Chic threatened the safety of Betty and Mrs. Cooper should Jughead tell anyone. Before Jughead could sum up an appropriate response, Betty joined the two of them downstairs and headed out the front door with Jughead, completely oblivious to the conversation that had just transpired.
Later that day, Andre drove them out to the lakehouse. Upon exiting the vehicle, Jughead referenced the cabin being the last house on the left. Shortly after entering the cabin, Jughead got a call from Cheryl who told him that Archie and Betty kissed outside of Thistlehouse just before Christmas. After hanging up with Cheryl, Jughead confronted Archie and Betty with Cheryl's story.
In their bedroom, Jughead explained that while he wasn't upset about the kiss, he was wondering why Betty didn't tell him the truth about it when he was truthful about his night with Toni. Betty told him that she wanted to but she thought that Archie was his third rail. Admittedly, Archie and Betty growing up together and living directly across from one another used to bother Jughead, but after everything they had recently been through, he wasn't intimidated by a Black Hood-prompted kiss. Just as the two of them made up, Jughead and Betty could hear Archie and Veronica having sex in the next bedroom. Can't they just have a conversation, Jughead wondered.
Jughead and Betty joined Archie and Veronica downstairs a little while later to ensure them that everything was fine. That night, while drinking margaritas, Jughead proposed a toast to the Lodges' hospitality and to putting the past behind them. Despite earlier agreeing to Betty's request to postpone his investigation, Jughead began questioning Veronica, asking her about her parents and the SoDale project. Jughead then pointed out that as they were driving up to the cabin, he noticed that none of the houses had mailboxes or numbers. Veronica replied that Shadow Lake was a private community. Which led Jughead to wonder if they were hiding something. However, before Veronica could respond, Betty confronted him on his intrusive line of questioning, leading Veronica to conclude that they were actually still fighting over the kiss between Betty and Archie. Understanding the reason for the tension in the room, Veronica instructed them to change into their swimsuits.
In the hot tub, Veronica revealed that when Archie told her about the kiss, she absorbed and processed it. In the end, she bore no ill will towards Betty or Archie. But the thought of it has haunted her a bit for the past few weeks. Now, as it seemed to Veronica, Jughead and Betty were caught in the aftermath. To clear the air amongst the four of them, Veronica suggested that they kiss. While Betty and Archie were hesitant, Jughead agreed to Veronica's sentiment to ease the tension as it would level the playing field. He reasoned that a "Vughead" kiss might be precisely what it takes to save future "Bughead" from imploding. With Archie and Betty in agreement, Jughead and Veronica shared a kiss in the hot tub as Betty and Archie watched.
Later that night, after showering, Betty pointed out to Jughead that out of the four of them, only he and Archie hadn't kissed. Jughead realized that this meant at some point, Betty and Veronica had shared a kiss. While getting dressed in the bathroom, Betty asked Jughead if kissing Veronica made him feel better. Jughead replied that watching Archie's face made him feel better. She then asked if he enjoyed kissing Veronica. Knowing entrapment when he saw it, Jughead chose not to answer. Betty then exited the bathroom in black lingerie and a black bob-cut wig, and told Jughead that she would have to punish him if he did enjoy his kiss with Veronica. Betty packed the outfit in case he needed a distraction from sleuthing. So she proceeds to push Jughead on to the bed and climb on top of him as the two of them had sex.
The next day, in the woods, Jughead told Archie about the kiss between Betty and Veronica. It happened during the first week of school, during River Vixens try-outs. Betty tried to explain to him why they kissed but the rationale still eluded Jughead. Archie took that opportunity to apologize for kissing Betty. While there was no good excuse, he was apologetic. Jughead forgave Archie as their situation was far more complicated than any of them could've planned. After a poor attempt to explain to Archie the miracle of their friendship, Jughead simplified it to the fact that it should be amazing that they were all such close friends. But sometimes it terrified him. It was as if the four of them were in a powder keg. All it would take was one match and they would all blow up.
Back at the cabin, Jughead got a call from his dad who told him that everyone was over at the trailer celebrating because the eviction notices for the back rent were gone. Paid in full. His father told him that his article shamed Hiram Lodge into buying the trailer park and allowing everyone to stay. After the call with his father, Jughead confronted Veronica as his suspicions had been confirmed, that Veronica's father was gobbling up the Southside, piece by piece, starting with the Twilight Drive-In, and now the trailer park. With the Southsiders' debt cleared and eviction notices revoked, Archie, Veronica, and Betty wondered why he was outraged. Jughead explained that Hiram's move with buying the trailer park was tactic. Archie, Betty, and Veronica insisted that he was merely being paranoid and that Hiram was trying to make amends.
A game of Monopoly was brought to a stop that night as Betty headed off to take a call from her mother. While she was gone, Jughead told Archie and Veronica that he met Chic, who he described as being kind of creepy. Betty returned from the call with her mother to announce that Hiram Lodge just bought the Register. Veronica insisted that she had no idea her father was buying the Register although this only confirmed Jughead's suspicions that Hiram Lodge was making big plays. In wake of recent events, Betty began to question if Veronica's reasons for bringing them up to the cabin weren't as sincere as they initially believed. Their suspicions were warranted given that Lodge Industries was buying property all over the Southside and now the one newspaper in town so that people couldn't report on what he was doing. The means to silence the free press and keep Mrs. Cooper from coming after him. As the two couples went back and forth, glass breaking could be heard from inside the house. Four men wearing black ski-masks then entered the lakehouse with weapons in hand, demanding their valuables. After taking Veronica's wallet, one of the intruders demanded that they get down on their knees. As he grabbed a baseball bat, the phone rang as Veronica had triggered the silent alarm. With guards on their way, the intruders exited the house. However, Archie chased after them though he returned empty-handed.
In a booth a Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe later that night, Jughead, Betty, Archie, and Veronica joined hands and came together as no one was hurt and they had each other. Jughead later saw Betty home. As they entered her house, he told her that there was more than one kind of home invasion. It's not always fast and violent. Sometimes they open the door and let the intruders in themselves. In this, Jughead was warning Betty to be careful around Chic as he had gotten an odd vibe from him during their first encounter. They then shared a kiss before Jughead left.
With time running out, Jughead struggled to produce physical evidence to indicate Hiram Lodge of any criminal behavior, forcing him to theorize over Hiram's master plan for Riverdale. He gazed upon his wall of clues (photos, newspaper clippings, etc) as his father returned to the trailer. Although Jughead explained that he was hoping to formulate an article that would help in his take down of Hiram Lodge, FP would rather he desist with his pursuit of Hiram considering that he bought the trailer park and forgave their debts. However, Jughead went onto explain that Hiram bought the Register in order to silence the reporting voices as he was afraid of exposure.
The next day at school, Jughead was approached by Archie who asked if his pursuit of Hiram Lodge was still ongoing, which it was. From Archie, Jughead learned of the special election to replace Josie's mother, and Hiram wanted Archie's dad to run. But Archie didn't want his father any deeper with the Lodges than he already was. So Archie offered Jughead information in hopes that he would write an article about it, forcing his dad to abstain from the election. Archie revealed that Hiram Lodge secretly bought Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe from Pop Tate. Hearing that he bought the diner, Jughead pulled out his map, compared Hiram to Dracula and accused him of snapping up all of Riverdale in order to expand his empire and feed.
After figuring out Hiram's methodology, Jughead headed over to Betty's house. He explained to Betty and Mrs. Cooper that Hiram acquired devalued land at a criminal discount. Twilight Drive-In, Sunnyside Trailer Park, Southside High and now Pop's. While most didn't care about Hiram's other acquisitions due to them being located on the Southside, Pop's was the heart of Riverdale, meaning people would care about Hiram buying it.
Later that day at Pop's, Jughead asked Pop Tate about Hiram's secret purchasing of the diner. Pop Tate told him about how the Tate family has owned the diner for over 80 years. When his mother gave him the keys, she made him promise that no matter what, he'd always keep the shop in the family. While Pop Tate did what he needed to do in selling the diner, his mother would be devastated to learn that he had gone against her wishes. So Pop Tate asked that Jughead keep this information to himself. At least while his mother was still alive.
The following day, at the trailer, Jughead told Archie that Pop Tate confirmed that Hiram Lodge purchased the diner. Unfortunately, he couldn't publish the article out of respect for Pop Tate. While Jughead refused to give up, he had talked to every possible suspect connected to the Lodges, Mayor McCoy included. But they all refused to talk. Archie suspected that Jughead had spoke to the wrong McCoy. Instead of Sierra, Archie went to speak with Josie.
Jughead and FP sat in the trailer, contemplating their next move as Hiram was going to beat the clock. It felt as if every decision Jughead made, Hiram was ahead of him, though Jughead credited this to Hiram "rigging the game". Not to mention that everyone was too afraid to come out and speak against him. However, FP pointed out that Jughead hadn't yet asked him to go on the record. His father revealed to him that not too long ago, Hiram hired the Southside Serpents to trash the drive-in so that he could buy it at a cheaper price. FP was willing to own up to his wrongdoing on record if it meant that Jughead could stop Hiram. However, it appeared as if this was no longer necessary as Jughead got a call from a mysterious caller who claimed to have information on Hiram's plans.
Jughead met up with the mysterious caller at the Riverdale Bus Station. The caller was Smithers. The Lodges' former doorman. Smithers explained that he was privy to Hiram Lodge's personal affairs such as coordinating transportation to Shankshaw Prison. Hiram also received mail from the warden of the prison. Before parting ways, Smithers asked how Veronica was fairing in the midst of it all.
Afterward, Jughead went down to Pop's to inform FP that Hiram's plans somehow involved the prison in which his father was imprisoned. Jughead tried calling the warden a dozen times, but he never got a response. Fortunately, FP had a contact on the inside who knew everything.
At Shankshaw state prison, Jughead and FP asked War Baby if he had heard anything major behind the scenes about Hiram Lodge. War Baby had, so, from the prisoner, Jughead and FP learned the entirety of Hiram's plan.
The next day, at the Blue and Gold offices, Jughead showed his latest article to Betty, entailing everything he had learned from War Baby. Betty told him that it was the best thing he had ever written and that Mr. Weatherbee needed to print it immediately. Unfortunately, Mr. Weatherbee refused to publish Jughead's article as he didn't condone the malicious take down of a fellow students' parents i.e. Veronica.
That evening, Jughead and FP stood outside Town Hall along with the rest of the town as the Lodges held a press conference to announce their plans for SoDale and that Hermione Lodge would be running for Mayor.
At school, Jughead asked Veronica if she knew that Southside High was closed down for the sole purpose of building a prison where it once stood. Veronica, Betty and Archie assured him that it was all her parents' doing. Nonetheless, Jughead planned to go on a hunger strike to protest Southside High closing and he had his friends' support in doing so. Ethel then approached the table and poured a milkshake from Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe onto Veronica in retaliation for her parents' misdeeds.
The next day in the student lounge, much to his dismay, Jughead, Betty and Archie learned that Veronica was running for student council president against Reggie. Jughead surmised that she was simply doing her parents' bidding in trying to take over the school. However, Veronica claimed that her parents would rather she avoid the spotlight though she had other plans in mind. To make matters worse, she asked Betty to her running mate.
That night at Pop's with Archie, Jughead discovered that Hiram Lodge was preparing to demolish Southside High that week despite the fact that he was supposed to give the neighborhood a six-week notice. When Jughead began to wonder who Hiram paid off to have demolition underway so quickly, Archie reminded him of all the bad that had taken place in Riverdale, such as the Black Hood shooting his father. If Hiram's plan could make the town more secure for them and their families, then Archie saw no reason not to follow along. He then questioned why Jughead cared for Southside High so much when he attended for such a short amount of time. Jughead explained that he was raised on the Southside with his mom, dad and Jellybean. The Southside was the last tangible thing he had of them. Much to Jughead's surprise, Archie's dad was also against Hiram's plans as he had pulled out of his deal with the Lodges.
At school the next day, Jughead held a meeting of the Swords and Serpents to discuss the demolition of Southside High. He believed that Hiram Lodge planned to take over everything that made the Southside their home, like the Whyte Wyrm. He explained to Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty and the other Serpents that Southside High was the soul of the Southside. The Uktena fought and died trying to protect the land. Their parents fought to keep it safe during the riots. Now, it was their turn to protect it. Jughead was ready to go to war. As were the others.
Later that night, Jughead and the Serpents chained themselves to Southside High despite High's plan to tear it down in two days time. Unless Hiram wanted the blood of eight young Serpents on his hands, Jughead had no intent on leaving.
Jughead was joined outside Southside High by Betty who was concerned that he would be arrested for trespassing or protesting without a permit. However, that was the beauty in Jughead's predicament. It would look bad if Sheriff Keller tried to manhandle a group of teens who were peacefully trying to save their school. Not to mention it would probably go viral, which was publicity Jughead would welcome.
That night, Jughead sat alone outside Southside High as the others went to warm up. He was joined by his father, who came offering burgers from Pop's despite his hunger strike. Several burgers later, Jughead learned that his dad got a call from Hiram Lodge, who offered them a penthouse upon SoDale's completion should Jughead desist with his protest. However, Jughead could hardly imagine himself standing on a penthouse balcony, looking over a prison where he and his friends once attended school. And then there was Jellybean, who'd grow up in a town where her best hope, other than leaving Riverdale, would be to work in a prison. He couldn't see that for them.
The following morning, with the demolition just a day away, Jughead and the Serpents were joined at Southside High by a crowd of Southsiders, all demanding that Southside High be reopened. Surprisingly, their peaceful protest was interrupted by the wrestling team, allow of who held bolt cutters and were led by Archie, who Jughead had no intent on fighting. All around them were residents of Riverdale with their phones out and recording. While it may have taken a couple days, now people knew what Hiram was doing. So no matter what happened, Jughead would continue to fight. With that being said, he told Archie to cut their chains as he wanted the whole crowd to see them do it. Shockingly, Archie and the wrestling team did just that. Cutting the Serpents from their chains one-by-one.
At the trailer with Betty, Jughead wondered if his protest had made a difference. Betty was sure it had, reasoning that every revolution had a starting point. Having lost Southside High, Jughead didn't want to lose Riverdale High as well. So he had decided to run for student body president and he wanted Betty to be his co-president. She accepted his offer while also asking that Jughead allow her to stay at the trailer because she couldn't be around Chic any longer. Jughead agreed and they shared a kiss.
Determined to become student body president and save Riverdale High, Jughead and Betty squared off with Archie, Veronica, Reggie and Josie at the school hall meeting. The first question of the night came from Sweet Pea and Fogarty who were concerned about the Southsiders and their treatment since being transferred to Riverdale High. Jughead and Betty assured them that they would be looked after though Sweet Pea and Fogarty were far from convinced. Afterward, Jughead and Betty hastily left the school hoping to avoid an encounter with Betty's mother.
Back at the trailer, Jughead, Betty and FP made a startling discovery while watching the news, that the dead man's car which Jughead and Betty had sunk in the river had been uncovered by local law enforcement.
Jughead, Betty, FP and Alice convened in a booth at Pop's the very next morning to discuss their next course of action. Jughead blamed himself for the discovery of the vehicle, claiming he should've known better, but there was no way he could've known that Junkyard Steve drained the swamp for people's cast offs. It was Jones luck, Jughead noted. Luckily, they wiped the car clean of prints before dumping it. As Sheriff Keller entered the diner, Jughead and Betty were told to keep their mouths shut and act normal. In the unlikely event that something happened, they were to batten down the hatches. Until then, life was to go on and they were to stay away from the car.
Jughead called a meeting of the Swords of Serpents where he was verbally attacked by Sweet Pea for going back on his promise of going to war with the Lodges, and instead, running for student body president. Jughead explained that they needed those votes because it was the only way to affect change. Whoever was elected got a seat on the school board, gaining them access to the inside which meant they couldn't be silenced. However, Fogarty and Sweet Pea were still untrusting of Betty who they predicted would bail on them just as her mother did. Her legacy was Betty's legacy as far as they were concerned, making her an enemy of the Serpents. Sweet Pea and Fogarty had grown tired of the shots she had been taking at the Serpents for years from the Register. Even blaming them for crimes they did not commit. For that reason alone, Jughead would not be getting the Serpent vote.
At the trailer that night, Jughead and Betty discussed what it would take for her to gain Sweet Pea and Fangs' trust. To be fair, Jughead pointed out, Alice was Serpent enemy #1. Meanwhile, the shady man's car had been discovered and they had no idea what was going on with it. Jughead had been thinking about that. He asked Betty what was their normal, which was investigating something when the entire world was telling them they shouldn't. With that in mind, Jughead and Betty met up with Kevin at Pop's to gain intel of the shady man's car. They claimed that they were writing an article on how people use Swedlow Swamp as a dumping ground. According to the Sheriff, the car was claimed by its owner earlier that morning and they were trying to figure out who stole it in the first place.
The next day, they were scolded by Alice and FP for questioning Kevin despite being told to lay low. However, Jughead and Betty reasoned that they had to in order to figure out what was going on with the car. Furthermore, Kevin didn't suspect a thing. They had learned that Chic's drug dealer, Dwayne, stole his girlfriends' car. Unfortunately, Chic couldn't tell them much about Darla. On to more pressing matters, Betty was ordered to return home by her mother.
Later that night, Jughead headed over to the Andrews house to help Fred with his announcement address. Though it was still awkward between him and Archie after the protest that Archie had interrupted.
The following day, Jughead learned from Betty that she and her mother were being blackmailed and harassed by Darla, the shady man's girlfriend, and Marcel, the manager of the hostel that Chic used to stay at in Centerville. They had discovered Dwayne's death and was demanding $10,000 in exchange for their silence. Jughead rallied the younger Serpents and together, they kicked in the Coopers' front door and threatened Darla and Marcel with knives, demanding that they leave or else the situation would get a lot worse. Heading their warning, Darla and Marcel took the money and left. Once they were gone, Jughead apologized for the front door but Alice wasn't concerned. She merely wanted to thank Jughead and the Serpents for their intervention.
The next day, the younger Serpents gathered around as Betty's mother personally thanked them for intervening the day before when her family was in trouble. Furthermore, she was done attacking and disavowing the Southside.
Jughead agreed to meet with Kevin before school per his request so that he could ask him to be the videographer for the behind the scenes documentary that will follow their production of "Carrie: The Musical". Jughead agreed to do it.
As the videographer, Jughead began his behind the scenes interview of the cast and crew, starting with Chuck. Jughead wondered why he chose to join the school musical. Chuck was trying to reform his image. It may be counter-intuitive to be playing the villain, but someone had to do it and Chuck wanted to do it right by showing up, putting in the work, and being a member of the team. He hoped by the end of it, people would start to change their minds about him.
Archie remarked that it is weird for him and Betty to be playing boyfriend and girlfriend. Hearing this, Jughead advised him to take it easy as Big Brother is watching. Archie acknowledged that their relationship (Archie, Betty, Jughead and Veronica) was strained at the moment. But they were there for Kevin and to do the play. So, Archie hoped that they could do it as painless as possible. However, it was not that easy for Betty considering that Veronica lied to all of them by conspiring with her parents against the entire school. Betty added that it's fine that Archie was doing exactly what Tommy Ross would do by standing by Veronica's side. However, where Betty's standing, Veronica was just as much of a privileged, selfish, spiteful mean girl as the part she's playing.
Cheryl interrupted rehearsal after hearing whisperings that some of them, mainly Ethel and Josie, didn't think she's fit to play the role of Carrie White. So to settle the matter, she began to sing "Carrie" to prove them wrong. Her singing removed all doubt as Jughead, Archie, Veronica, Betty, Ethel, Josie, Alice, Toni, Midge, Moose, Kevin, Fangs, Chuck give Cheryl a round of applaud. As Cheryl headed back to her seat, a heavy sandbag fell from above and nearly crushed her.
Kevin made a dark confession with Jughead for the behind the scenes documentary. After Cheryl's brush with death that morning, he found a letter in his locker from someone claiming to be the Black Hood. Kevin wrote it off as a prank. He couldn't fathom why the Black Hood, who was shot dead by the Sheriff, would be demanding that the role of Carrie be recasted. Jughead agreed that it seemed pretty small in comparison to the Black Hood's past priorities and demands. Still, Kevin told Jughead that he can't tell anyone about the letter. As the official documentarian, he's sworn to secrecy. Also, the show, as they say, must go on.
Back in the auditorium, Jughead recorded as Betty and Veronica sang "Do Me A Favor" and dance with Archie and Chuck.
Despite being told not to, Jughead shared the letter with Betty in the Blue and Gold offices. Much like Jughead and Kevin, Betty believed the letter to be a hoax. It was a legit threat, but it wasn't from the real Black Hood, Jughead stated. Classic Phantom of the Opera tactic. Mystery man sends menacing note demanding a certain diva soprano gets recast or else. "Who's to say this letter came from a mystery man at all?" Betty asked. Jughead admitted that this was a good point as the letter may have come from a woman.
Suspect #1 was Ethel. Betty found her in the student lounge and tried to bait her. Betty accused Cheryl of always taking things she shouldn't, like the role of Carrie, to see if Ethel would agree. Jughead filmed from just outside the lounge as this unfolded. However, Ethel did not bash Cheryl, instead, she thanked Betty for the compliment of considering her to be a better fit for the lead role. Betty continued. For Kevin to cast Cheryl as Carrie without even letting Ethel audition, Betty wondered if that made Ethel angry. Ethel replied that she was born to play Carrie White. So to not be given a shot at it makes her angry. Unfortunately, Ethel noticed Jughead by the window and realized that she was being filmed and interrogated. She told them that she's not a violent person and that she would never harm anyone for her own benefit.
Jughead later recorded Veronica, Toni, Ethel, Betty and Chuck's rehearsal in the auditorium, where they sang and performed "The World According to Chris". This led to a fall out between Betty and Veronica, which he also got on camera. Afterward, he recorded Betty and Archie's run of Tommy and Sue's ballad.
Jughead is approached by Kevin after he received another letter. While the sandbag falling and the initial letter may have seemed like an accident and a prank, this second letter told a different story. This letter acted as a final warning to replace Cheryl. The Black Hood claimed that the sandbag won't miss next time.
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, Kevin informed Jughead, Betty, Archie, Veronica, Fangs, Toni, Ethel, Alice, Moose, Midge, Chuck and Josie that Cheryl will no longer be playing Carrie. When they asked why, Kevin simply replied that Penelope Blossom wasn't much of a stage mom. In the meantime, Cheryl's understudy would assume the role, that being Midge, who Kevin appointed after the sandbag incident.
As part of the behind the scenes documentary, Betty told Jughead that while her mother has always been a woman on the verge, this was something else. Betty wanted to do something that'll make her feel less alone and abandoned after Alice's breakdown on stage in fear that Betty would leave her as everyone else had.
Archie confessed on camera to Jughead that when Kevin came to him about Carrie, The Musical, he said Archie was the literal embodiment of Tommy Ross. Loyal, selfless, a hero, a force for good. But Archie believed that he's none of those things. He's not the hero of any story. Lately, he had been going down this dark path, ignoring how much it hurt his dad.
Opening night, Jughead recorded as Archie, Betty, Veronica, Kevin, Midge, Moose, Kevin, Alice, Chuck, Toni and Ethel sing "A Night We'll Never Forget". He then went looking for Ethel to do his final interviews, but she wasn't in her dressing room. What Jughead did find in her dressing room was cut-out magazines, with letters missing, which Jughead surmised was used for the Black Hood's letters. Jughead concluded that Ethel was behind the threats as initially suspected, but Ethel returned to her dressing room and ensured him that he had it all wrong. She cut the letters out the magazines for her vision board so she claimed. After kicking him out, Jughead ran into Moose, who seemed to be in a bad mood, pushing Jughead out of his way.
The crowd was packed when the play began, and Alice started to sing "Evening Prayers". Jughead recorded from the crowd, sitting alongside Kevin and Cheryl. When Alice cued Midge, the curtains raised only to reveal that Midge had been murdered by the Black Hood. She had been stabbed with knives and scissors and pinned to the wall. On the wall, written in blood was a message. "I Am Back From The Dead. All Those Who Escaped Me Before Will Die... B.H" When Alice screamed in fear, the crowd realized that this was not part of the play and the auditorium erupted in panic and chaos.
The town gathers for Midge's funeral to pay respect. Cheryl sings a song in Midge's honor. She and the rest of the River Vixens are dressed in an all-black cheerleader uniform. Midge's death has seemingly taken a great toll on Riverdale, Mrs. Klump and Moose especially. As the service ends, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Archie watch as Cheryl consoles Mrs. Klump. When Sheriff Keller approached to offer his condolences, Mrs. Klump slaps him as he was supposed to be protecting them all from danger.
Afterward, Sheriff Keller begins his investigation into Midge's murder, starting with interrogating everyone involved in the play. He questions Jughead first about the behind the scenes documentary that he was shooting. Though, Jughead has already given the Sheriff all his footage so he has no more to offer. He tells the Sheriff that everything was completely fine until Kevin got those threatening letters that were supposedly written by the Black Hood to recast the role of Carrie White.
At Pop's, Jughead theorizes that the latest killing is the work of a copycat. And Chic coincidentally showed up in Riverdale just after Svenson was killed. That along with the fact that he's creepy with a temper places suspicion on him in Jughead's mind. However, Betty corrects Jughead. Chic is only in Riverdale because she went searching for him. Admittedly, he is weird. But he didn't know Midge. So Betty wants to move on to a different suspect. Archie explains why he doesn't think Svenson was the Black Hood. While they were there when he died and he was wearing a hood that night, it doesn't mean he's the same guy who shot Fred and killed Midge. Betty reminds Archie that Svenson forced her to bury him alive. Not to mention that he cut off his own finger. Archie argues that maybe the real Black Hood cut Svenson's finger off because he was working with him. All Archie knows for sure is that when he looked into the Black Hood's eyes, they weren't Svenson's eyes.
While leaving the diner with Betty, Jughead questions how could they possibly know with certainty that Chic isn't the killer. Jughead recalls that he's killed someone before, the Shady Man, Dwayne. Betty explains that Chic acted in self-defense when killing Dwayne. Midge, however, he never even knew. So there is no motive. Given Chic's violent past and his association with equally violent people (Darla and Marcel), Jughead can't help but suspect him.
The next day, at school, Betty tells Jughead that maybe they should look further into Chic. While there is still no motive on why he would want to kill Midge, there might be something that connects him to Svenson since they both spent time at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Taking a moment to reconsider Archie's theory about there being multiple Black Hoods, Jughead notes that Svenson and Chic could've been in cahoots. While it's a long-shot since Svenson is older than Chic, he did, however, worked at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy for years as a groundskeeper, meaning they might've crossed paths.
At the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, Jughead and Betty speak to Sister Woodhouse about information regarding Chic. They ask if Chic's time at the group-home ever overlapped with Svenson's. Betty wants to check Chic's files to see if the time matches up. When Sister Woodhouse asks for a court order, Betty informs her of her family relation to Cheryl, who recently escaped the Sisters' secret, gay, re-education camp. So unless Sister Woodhouse cooperates, Betty threatens to return with a court order, as well as the F.B.I to shut them down. Out of fear that Betty will follow through with her threats, Sister Woodhouse provides them with the files. They discover that Chic ran away nine years ago. That means he would've overlapped with Svenson for two years. In the file, they find a photo of Charles Smith. Although, he looks nothing like Chic.
Jughead and Betty return to Betty's house frustrated at themselves for not figuring out sooner that Chic isn't really Betty's brother. Much to their surprise, Chic is in the kitchen with Alice. After taking him down to the Sheriff's station for questioning, she invited him back to the house for dinner. Jughead and Betty reveal that they paid the Sisters of Quiet Mercy a visit. While there, they discovered that Chic is an impostor. Betty shows her mother a pic of the real Charles Smith. Chic attempts to play it off, claiming that Betty's been out to get him from the start and that she never wanted a brother. When that fails and suspicion of Chic grows, he grabs a large kitchen knife, unintentionally cutting Alice's hand as he attempts to attack Jughead. Betty manages to disarm Chic before knocking him unconscious with a rolling pin.
In the Coopers' basement Jughead, Betty, and Alice tie Chic up to a chair. He wakes up not long after. They have grown tired of his games. They want answers, starting with Chic's real name. He insists that he is Chic and then calls out to Alice again for help, but she does not respond. Betty surmises that Chic must've known her real brother. When she and Alice went to the hostel and asked for Charles Smith, they were sent to Chic's room. So Betty asks why Chic was impersonating him. Chic explains that he never said he was "Charles Smith". He said he was "Chic", during their first encounter. Chic reveals that he met Charles out on the street. They then moved into the hostel together. That's where Charles told him about the Coopers. A perfect family a Riverdale who gave him up for adoption and never even came looking for him. One day, he knocked at the Coopers' door. Alice answered. She told him that they weren't interested, before slamming the door in his face. Charles went on a bender that night and overdosed on Jingle Jangle. Alice runs upstairs in tears with Betty not far behind her.
Jughead joins Betty in the kitchen and asks who she was talking to. She tells him it was her dad. Betty then tells Jughead that they need to go back to the hostel because she doesn't think Chic's telling the truth about what happened to Charles.
Jughead and Betty arrive at the hostel. They head up to the second floor to see if they can figure out what happened to Charles by talking to his neighbors. They have no such luck with the first neighbor, who tells them to go away. However, they do come across another one of Charles' neighbors, who is a bit more willing to talk. Betty shows the woman a photo of Charles. She recognizes him. She said that he was the nice one. He always spoke to her and even carried her groceries. May he rest in peace, she comments. Jughead asks did Charles have a Jingle Jangle addiction. The woman knows nothing of any addiction but Charles and Chic were constantly fighting. And then one day there was only one. "The bad one" i.e. Chic. Later, when she took her trash out, she saw bloody sheets and pillows in the dumpster.
Jughead and Betty confront Chic with the information they gained from his and Charles' neighbor. However, Chic refuses to admit anything other than the fact that Charles was a junkie. Jughead punches Chic and he begins to bleed. Despite all the blood, Chic seems rather unaffected. He tells Jughead to keep at it. They're not going to kill him because they're scared and they won't let him go because they're worried that he'll tell about the shady guy. Betty grabs Chic by his throats and demands the truth about her brother, but Chic continues one with his games.
While trying to get Chic to talk, Jughead is dragged out of the Cooper house by his father. FP scolds Jughead. What goes on in the Coopers' house is none of their business. But Jughead can't just leave Alice and Betty alone in the house with a potential murderer. After what FP did to Jason Blossom, he won't have Jughead near that. It's not their house. It's not their place. Alice and Betty need to decide what they want to do with Chic, then they will help.
Jughead and Betty walk to school. Jughead asks if Betty has heard back from Chic. He too, like everyone else, is under the impression that Betty took Chic to the bus station, when in actuality, she set him up to be killed by the Black Hood. Nonetheless, Betty hasn't heard from him since that night. She hopes that he's gone for good. The silver lining to all this is that it can't get any worse by Jughead's account. Betty states that her dad could be the Black Hood, which would, in fact, make things worse. Jughead takes it as a joke, but she couldn't be more serious.
Jughead calls a meeting of the Swords & Serpents to reveal that their old adversaries, the Ghoulies, had been released from Shankshaw Prison. He informs Sweet Pea, Fangs, Toni and the other Serpents that word on the street is that they want Serpent blood. They want war. Their meeting is interrupted by Reggie, Archie, Kevin, Moose and the rest of the Bulldogs. They've come for answers to who was hooking up with Midge. Reggie immediately points his finger at Sweet Pea, who does not take the allegation lightly. He claims that while he didn't know Midge, he completely understands why she wouldn't want flees from the mangy Bulldogs. Reggie is angered by Sweet Pea's insult and pushes him. This nearly leads to a fight. Thankfully, Jughead and Archie are there to keep their respective sides at bay.
At Sunnyside Trailer Park, Fangs tells Jughead that on the opening night of "Carrie: the Musical", when Jughead was filming his documentary and found him in Midge's dressing room, he wasn't just giving her notes. They were hooking up and to make matters worse, Fangs hid this from Sheriff Keller. Fangs is visibly shaken. He knows how guilty this makes him look, but it wasn't him who killed Midge. When Fangs asks Jughead to delete the footage off his camera, Jughead explains that he already gave the video over to Sheriff Keller as evidence. Fangs is now to lay low until further notice. The Serpents have his back should anything arise.
Jughead arrives at school to find Dark Circle posters taped to all the lockers. Jughead confronts Archie with what he refers to as forceful branding. Archie claims that Reggie made them, not him. Jughead asks Archie that he call the Circle off the Serpents even though they were right about one of them hooking up with Midge. But he didn't kill her and Jughead refuses to give Archie Fangs' name. Rest assured, none of Jughead's guys are the Black Hood. Hearing this, Archie agrees to talk to Reggie about backing down. In the meantime, Jughead needs to get back some possibly incriminating footage from the new Sheriff. While Archie has yet to meet him, he asks Jughead to come with him.
Jughead and Archie arrive at the Sheriff Station. They are greeted by Sheriff Minetta and Hiram Lodge. Hiram had already told the Sheriff all about Jughead and Archie. Jughead explains that he stopped by to ask about the documentary footage that he lent to Sheriff Keller before he stepped down.
At Pop's, Jughead tells his father that Sheriff Minetta won't give him back his footage as he wants to go through it frame-by-frame. FP worries that it'll only be a matter of time before he puts the pieces together and brings Fangs in. If Fangs runs, he'll look guilty, if he gets caught withholding the truth, he'll look like the killer. It's the perfect storm. The Lodge's endorse Sheriff Minetta and they want Midge's killer caught. If it's a Southsider, so much the better. So the Serpents have no choice but to prepare for a fight.
The next day, at school, Toni shows Jughead the leaked behind the scenes documentary footage of Fangs in Midge's dressing room. According to Toni, it was posted on the Registers' website. Jughead and Toni set out to find Fangs as Mr. Weatherbee announces over the intercom that he's looking for him. Luckily, they find him fairly quickly. However, so does Reggie, Kevin, Moose and the rest of the Dark Circle. On one end of the hallway stands the Dark Circle, on the other ends stands Sheriff Minetta and his deputies. Fangs insists that he didn't do anything, but when he tries to run, Sheriff Minetta wrestles him to a wall as he resists arrest. In doing so, a switchblade falls out of Fangs' pocket. Seeing this, Sheriff Minetta slams Fangs onto the ground before cuffing him.
Jughead calls Archie with news of the Dark Circle's attack on the Southside, which initially unbeknownst to Jughead, Archie was not involved in. Supposedly, the Dark Circle set a dumpster on fire and slashed everyone's tires. After learning that Archie played no parts in the attack, Jughead meets up with Attorney McCoy outside the Sheriff Station. Jughead and Attorney McCoy bring an end to the interrogation, telling Fangs not to say another word and stating that McCoy will be representing him from here on out.
Jughead gets a call from Betty, informing him of a shooting at the Mayoral debate. Apparently, the Black Hood showed up with a rifle and was firing down from the balcony though no one was hurt. Jughead relays this to Attorney McCoy and wonders why Fangs is still in lockup. Attorney McCoy explains that what happened at the debate and what happened to Midge are being treated as separate incidences, but if they don't charge Fangs within the next hour, he'll be released. However, there are lots of protesters outside. Fangs' release is going to make a lot of people in town very unhappy.
Jughead returns to the trailer to inform his father that Fangs is getting out. Much to Jughead's surprise, Joaquin is also in the trailer. FP called him back to Riverdale to help Fangs disappear. Joaquin explains that he has a place in San Junipero that he can sneak Fangs out to. First, they need to get Fangs out of the station in one piece as there is an angry mob outside waiting for his head.
Jughead calls Archie from the Sheriff Station to inform him that the Dark Circle is out of control. He needs Archie's help as the mob has grown restless and they want to rip Fangs apart. Jughead tells Sheriff Minetta that the can't take Fangs out front and that they should take the side exit. However, a crowd has formed out there as well, meaning the station is surrounded. Jughead, Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fangs are left to wonder what move they have left to make. Fangs begins to panic as he doesn't wish to die. Jughead assures him that he won't. They'll stand together so that none of them fall. Together, they recite that "In unity, there is strength". Jughead, Toni, and Sweet Pea shield Fangs from the crowd as they escort him out. FP joins them, though the crowd is massive. Archie arrives at the station just as they're making their way through the crowd. As does Reggie. However, he has a gun and he's come to see to it that Fangs doesn't get away with Midge's murder. Archie spots the gun and before Reggie can use it, Archie tackles him to the ground. They fight on the ground over the gun, which unintentionally goes off, shooting Fangs in the abdomen. FP, Jughead, Sweet Pea and Toni tends to Fangs as he lays on the ground bleeding. While Jughead yells out for help, Sweet Pea looks to Archie and Reggie as his hate for them builds.
Jughead and FP carry a wounded Fangs into Riverdale General Hospital. When the nurse dismisses him, Jughead demands that Fangs receive medical attention, and that he does as Dr. Masters takes over. After putting Fangs on a gurney and seeing him off, Jughead sets his sights on finding Fangs' shooter. However, his father convinces him otherwise. While he too wants justice for Fangs, they first have to talk to his family as that's part of being a leader. Not to mention the rioting occurring within town. However, given Fangs' condition, Jughead begins to question his leadership.
Back at Riverdale General, Jughead learns that Fangs is still in surgery. Sheriff Minetta explains that he'd like to talk to Fangs when he wakes up. Jughead questions why the Sheriff isn't searching the streets for Fangs' shooter, to which the Sheriff replies that he has already issued a manhunt. However, the Serpents aren't making things easy with their rioting and terrorizing of the neighborhood. A few of them have already been arrested. FP interjects that the Serpents wouldn't be rioting and Fangs would've have been shot if the Sheriff had done his job in the first place. While Sheriff Minetta doesn't know the details of his father's parole, he remarks that harassing an officer would certainly violate it.
Jughead gets a call from Archie that the Serpents are rioting. Jughead is well aware. He surmises this is due to Reggie shooting Fangs. However, as Archie explains, Reggie didn't shoot Fangs. So Jughead needs to call off the Serpents. They just came from Reggie's house, but he wasn't there. Archie, Kevin and Moose are now headed to Riverdale High School as that's where Reggie's mother said he was going. Jughead arranges to meet them.
When Jughead finally arrives to meet with Archie, Kevin and Moose, Archie informs him that he's too late as Weatherbee has already shut them down and kicked everyone out the school. After that, the Serpents took off, possibly to trash Midge's house after learning that Mrs. Klump shot Fangs. Archie looks to Jughead to coax the Serpents off the ledge. He then asks if Jughead has spoken to Betty, which he has, via text. Betty is supposedly with her mom. Jughead does eventually find the Serpents and brings them back to the Wyrm. However, his problems don't end there as the Ghoulies has just arrived outside of Pop's, trapping, Archie, Reggie, Moose and Kevin inside.
At the Whyte Wyrm, Sweet Pea and Jughead disagree on how best to handle the Ghoulies. While Sweet Pea wishes to take the fight to them, Jughead would rather they stay back at the bar. He assures Sweet Pea that the Ghoulies will be dealt with, but only when FP returns. Sweet Pea questions if Jughead no longer leads the younger Serpents. He then accuses Jughead of getting Fangs shot, which he may not recover from. To make matters worse, the Ghoulies are back and out for Serpent blood because of a drag race Jughead started. Jughead asks for an hour before they make any further decisions. And so Sweet Pea stands down.
While watching over Sweet Pea and Serpents at the Whyte Wyrm, Jughead gets a call from Penny. She sarcastically remarks that Riverdale burning to the ground is tragic. She suggests that they meet up to talk about it at his hangout by the docks. Should he refuse to meet up, Penny threatens to carve up Toni's, who she has captured and restrained. When Toni tells Penny to go to hell, Penny threatens to cut out her tongue.
Jughead meets with Penny at his old hangout as planned. Toni, who is tied to the couch with rope, informs Jughead that Penny's not alone. She has apparently joined Malachai and the Ghoulies. She never goes anywhere with out back up now, not after what Jughead did to her. Besides, Penny and Malachai want to talk, but Jughead sees no reason to continue the conversation. He pulls out his knife and tells them that he's taking Toni. However, Malachai won't allow for it. With a taser in hand, he tells Jughead that he's been waiting to see him again for a long time. It seems that much like Penny, Jughead did not come alone. He called Cheryl, who armed with her bow and arrows, tells Malachai to stand down and requests that Toni be untied. Penny and Malachai comply, but Penny tells Jughead to remember that when his friends are dead, she tried to give him a chance to stop it. Jughead asks what Penny wants. She replies that she wants the Southside. There's money to be made in Riverdale. So, she partnered with the Ghoulies to sell drugs on the Southside. She makes Jughead one final offer. The Serpents leave Riverdale tonight or there will be a showdown at Pickens Park at dawn with the Ghoulies.
At the Whyte Wyrm, the Serpents gather to discuss Penny's offer. Sweet Pea wants to end the Ghoulies along with Penny. However, Jughead would rather they avoid going to war with the Ghoulies, especially over territory that they don't even control anymore. Jughead explains that this is Hiram Lodge's problem. Toni speaks out against Jughead's notion to just give up the Southside, Sunnyside Trailer Park included. Jughead explains that they will die in a fight against the Ghoulies. While it may be a suicide run, Sweet Pea would rather that than a coward's death. FP arrives and brings an end to the back and forth. He just got a call from the sheriff's office that Fangs in dead. They will mourn his death, but first they will honor him. So, FP wants to put Penny's offer to a vote. Jughead is the only Serpent against going to war with the Ghoulies. The rest of the Serpents and Cheryl are for going to war, as they raise their hands and bend their fingers to simulate snake fangs.
At the trailer, Jughead tells his father that going to war with the Ghoulies is a mistake. For all they know, the Ghoulies outnumber them one hundred to one. FP exclaims that he is well aware of their chances. He's been a Serpent a lot longer than Jughead has. They voted and Jughead lost. That's the end of that. So if the Serpents are going down, they'll do so fighting. As far as being outnumbered, FP plans to rally the reserves. Jughead looks up to his wall clippings, tracking Hiram Lodge's take over of Riverdale and comes to a realization. He calls Hiram. Fangs getting arrested, the riot, the Ghoulies showing up the night of the riot, with Penny in tow. None of this is happenstance, Jughead realizes. It was all orchestrated by Hiram, who claims to have no idea what Jughead is talking about. Hiram's been buying up everything he could, but he couldn't buy the Serpents. So instead, he paid Penny and the Ghoulies to go to war with the Serpents to get rid of them. Jughead wonders how much this is costing Hiram as he has a counter offer. Hiram agrees to hear him out as he meets up with Penny.
Jughead then calls Betty tell her that he loves her and that he'll never stop loving her. Betty asks him where he is at, but he doesn't answer, only saying that he'll see her later.
Jughead meets with Penny, Malachai and the Ghoulies. He reminds them of his deal with their boss, Hiram Lodge. If he hands himself over to them, then there will be no bloodshed tomorrow. Penny doesn't quite understand why getting Jughead out of the way is so important to Hiram than an all-out Serpent annihilation. Jughead is vastly outnumbered. He questions if Malachai needed that much backup because he's afraid of him. Malachai replies that the only thing scary is what they're going to do to Betty when they find her. Jughead punches Malachai in the face. The Ghoules then jump him. Penny watches as the Ghoulies brutally attack Jughead. She remarks that while he is a true hero, his sacrifice was for nothing because come morning, Riverdale as Jughead knows it will cease to exist. The Ghoulies then hold Jughead down as Penny gets her pound of flesh by cutting off his Serpent tattoo. He is later carried out the woods by his father. He has been beaten bloody and senseless, and his Serpent tattoo removed.
A New Serpent King is Crowned
Jughead wakes up in a hospital bed. He calls out to his father, who sleeps in the chair next to his bedside. FP jumps to his seat at the sound of Jughead's voice. It would seem that some days have passed since Jughead was attacked and left for dead by Penny, Malachai and the Ghoulies. What Jughead did brought every Serpent his father had ever known out of the woodwork and Jughead would've been proud of them. It looked like they were going to win the war with the Ghoulies, but in the end, there were just too many of them. The Serpents went to war with the Ghoulies because they wanted to avenge him and Fangs. Even though Fangs is in fact alive. FP reveals that the deputy only told him that Fangs had died as a ploy to rile them up for war. His father then reveals that Sunnyside Trailer Park fell, and while their trailer is still standing, most of them burned. After the rumble, some of the Serpents defected. They joined the Ghoulies, others were arrested. More went into hiding, and the rest left town. The Serpents don't exist anymore. Nothing for Jughead to do but get better. And to be there for Betty, FP adds.
Betty visits Jughead in the hospital after learning that he has awaken. Jughead now knows that her father was the Black Hood. He consoles Betty as she lays alongside him in his hospital bed. He's sorry that he wasn't there to see her through it. Betty tells him not to worry as she never wishes to see her father again. Her only concerns are Jughead, her mother and atoning for her father's sins. This means that she and Jughead are no longer running for student council. She then kisses him. They are then joined by Archie and Veronica. Jughead informs them that he'll be released from the hospital tomorrow. Until then, there's still another mystery to be solved, the identity of the second Black Hood. Jughead believes that the attacks perpetrated by the second Black Hood have a political motive, which suggests that Hiram is actually behind the attacks. They have to stop Hiram now because once he has control of the mayor's office, the Lodges will be untouchable. While they're positive that Hiram is the mastermind, none of them believe he is the man behind the hood. They're thinking that the second Black Hood could be a Serpent or Ghoulie. But Jughead suspects that Sheriff Minetta could be the second Black Hood.
The next day, after being released from the hospital, Jughead calls Betty shortly after returning to the trailer. He offers to skip school and join Betty over at her house if she is in need of support. However, Betty declines his offer as her mother isn't in the mood for company. At least not until the neighbors desist. Betty tells Jughead that she loves him and that she and her mother will have to work their way through this ordeal.
Jughead calls a meeting of the Sword & Serpents, though Toni and Sweet Pea are the only Serpents left. He called the meeting to discuss the memo that was sent out by Mr. Weatherbee, which claims that Riverdale High is overcrowded, resulting in the transfer of all Southside High students to Seaside High, which is two hours away, meaning Weatherbee blames the Southsiders for trashing the school during riot night. To be fair, Sweet Pea and the Serpents did in fact trash the school. Realizing that it is his fault, Sweet Pea looks to Jughead for their next move. However, Jughead doesn't know if they even have a move. They can't keep fighting for a gang that no longer exists i.e. the Serpents. Toni asks what will come of her and Sweet Pea, along with all the other Serpents at the Whyte Wyrm. However, Jughead had no knowledge of any Serpents at the Wyrm.
Jughead, Sweet Pea and Toni arrive at the Wyrm. Jughead is disgusted to see what has come of the Serpents, sleeping on the old sofas and eating out of cans. They're almost unrecognizable. The Ghoulies destroyed most of Sunnyside, and a lot of Serpents couldn't afford to leave Riverdale, so they came to the Wrym. Jughead asks if his dad knows about this.
Jughead returns home to find his father drunk on the couch. It seems that FP has taken back up drinking. As for why he's drinking, he's been fired from Pop's by Hiram. Regardless, they have more important matters to attend to, like the fact that FP lied about the Serpents no longer existing when in actuality, they need help as they have been forced into living at the Wyrm. FP counters that what the Serpents actually need is to get out of town as fast as they can. He wasn't lying when he said that it was over. FP informs Jughead that it is time for them to skip town and move to Toledo, with his mother, however, Jughead refuses to leave, as Betty and the Serpents need him. His father refuses to see what happened to him at the hands of Penny and the Ghoulies happen again. So they're leaving town, but he tells Jughead to pack light as they're only taking the motorcycles.
Jughead learns from Archie, who learned from Sheriff Minetta that Tall Boy was the second Black Hood and that he was murdered in a shootout with law enforcement. This revelation comes as no surprise to Jughead. He's actually frustrated with himself for not figuring it out since Tall Boy has done Hiram's dirty work before. He confessed to it, which now that Jughead thinks about it, explains why he died suddenly in a firefight. There's no loose ends and he can't implicate Hiram. And now Sheriff Minetta can say the case of the copycat Black Hood is closed, meaning Hiram is going get away with it. Jughead then tells Archie about how his father wants them to move to Toledo. To make matters worse, Weatherbee wants to kick all Southsiders out of Riverdale High. Cheryl barges then into the trailer to inform them that Sheriff Minetta is raiding the Wyte Wyrm tonight. And if things turn violent and some Serpents end up shot, so much the better.
Jughead, Archie, and Cheryl arrive at the Wyrm not long after. They coordinate with Sweet Pea, Toni and the other Serpents. Jughead tells them to only take the necessities and what they can carry with them. They need to move quickly and quietly. Sheriff Minetta's forces are all over the Southside and they're looking for Serpent blood. If they want their skulls to remain uncracked, they have to go undetected, Jughead states. When Sweet Pea questions where they are headed as there is no place safe for them, Jughead informs them that they've been offered asylum on the Northside. Archie, Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and the Serpents exit the Wyrm. They creep throughout the quiet streets of Riverdale, avoiding police detection.
The asylum on the Northside that Jughead spoke of turns out to be the Andrews house, as Fred feeds the Serpents the following morning. FP enters the house, pleased with Jughead's determination to save the Serpents, so much so that he decides to hold off on leaving for Toledo given that the Bulldogs have gone out of their way in helping Serpents and Fred is even offering shelter. Jughead then thanks Archie for helping him. However, Archie isn't done there. He has an idea, asking Jughead how many Serpent jackets he can borrow. With that, the school comes together in a show support of the Southside students who are being wrongly transferred. Archie, Jughead, Josie, Veronica, Reggie, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, Moose, Kevin and many other students put on Serpent jackets and confront principal Weatherbee. Archie explains that everyone is ready to walk out. Mr. Weatherbee threatens to expel any student that does, though Archie calls his bluff. He knows that Weatherbee is a good man who doesn't discriminate, and if he isn't, Archie tells Weatherbee to expel him as he doesn't wish to be apart of that. With that being said, Weatherbee tells everyone to get to class.
As they head back to class, Jughead is approached by Veronica, who informs him of insider information, which is that her father is making a play to buy the Whyte Wyrm. Veronica then learns from Jughead that FP was fired from Pop's. This saddens her as they won't be eating there anymore. Veronica explains to Jughead that she was going make a play to buy the Wyrm in order to torpedo her father's monopolizing of the Southside, but now she's thinking there's a better, smarter play here if Jughead trust her, and they move fast.
Jughead arrives at the Cooper house to babysit Juniper and Dagwood with Betty. During which time, Betty asks Jughead if he believes that evil can be past down. Her great-grandfather, grandfather and father were all evil murderers. Jughead claims that this was merely circumstance, but Betty begs to differ. She worries that the twins might even grow up to be murderers, much like her father. Jughead tells Betty that neither she nor the babies are evil, but Betty feels that being evil may be her destiny; something she can't control or understand. Jughead assures Betty that she's a good person.
Both the mayoral election and student body election are held in the gymnasium of Riverdale High. Jughead approaches Archie, who's worried about his father's chances of winning. In the meantime, Jughead tells Archie that Betty is voting for him through Jughead. While he is concerned for Betty, Jughead thinks she's going to be alright.
Jughead, Archie, Veronica, Sweet Pea, Toni, Cheryl, Reggie, Kevin and Moose are in the student lounge when Mr. Weatherbee announces that the student council election votes are in. The new student body president of Riverdale High is Archie Andrews. The entire student body applauds his election. In unrelated news, Weatherbee also announces that for the foreseeable future, all former Southside High students will remain at Riverdale High. The entire student body applauds once more in celebration.
Later that evening, a Serpent meeting is called by the lake side. Jughead, FP, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Toni and Cheryl are all in attendance. Along with all the remaining Serpents. More than 60 years ago, the very first Serpent meeting took place on the very same riverbanks in which they stand, FP explains. So it seems fitting that this is where they gather for his father's goodbye. He calls Jughead up onstage to announce that he's retiring from the Serpents, but that Jughead will take his place considering that he's never stopped fighting for the Serpents and almost died for them. Jughead tells FP that he loves him and that the Serpents won't die out while under his leadership. As his first official duty as Serpent King, Jughead is to grant Cheryl membership into the Serpents. He even gifts her with a custom red Serpent jacket. Cheryl puts on the jacket and is welcomed with open arms into the Serpents.
Betty, Jughead, Archie, and Veronica, meet at Pop's, Veronica's newest acquisition. According to Pop Tate, the basement of the diner used to be a secret speakeasy, back in the days of flapper dresses and cigarette girls. So, Veronica wants to reopen that speakeasy. A cabaret space for world-class entertainment and the most decadent cocktails. A place for North and Southsiders alike. In fact, she is hoping that FP might want to manage it to make sure the Serpents feel welcome and at home. As for Veronica's father, he's probably plotting some sort of revenge.
Later that night, Jughead books a room for himself and Betty at the Five Seasons. They lay in bed together unclothed. Betty wonders what's the special occasion. There is none, but Jughead feels that after everything that has happened, a night at the Five Seasons might be something that she would enjoy. He also wants to ask her to be the Serpent Queen to his Serpent King. He's essentially asking her to join the Southside Serpents, though he tells her that she doesn't have to give an immediate answer. He jokes that she can take her time and tell him tomorrow at lunch. They then proceed to have sex.
The following day, Jughead, Veronica, and Betty watch proudly from the stands as Archie prepares to be inaugurated in the school gymnasium. However, the event goes awry when Sheriff Minetta and two deputies enter the gym to arrest Archie for the murder of Shadow Lake resident, Cassidy Bullick.
Three months have passed since that fateful evening in the school gymnasium where Archie was framed by Hiram Lodge and arrested for the murder of Cassidy Bullock. It's now the summer before the gang's junior year of high school, during which time, each of them spent the summer invested in their own activities.
Archie's trial is now in session. He sits alongside his mother, Mary, and Attorney McCoy, both of whom are acting as his counsel. Jughead, Betty and Veronica are all in attendance. Archie is being prosecuted by District Attorney, Ms. Wright. The evidence and testimony presented during court supposed tells a dark tale, that Archie has a history of violent behavior. She attempts to paint Archie as a bad person in her closing argument as Mary attempts to shed light on all the good deeds Archie has done, such as helping solve the murder of Jason Blossom, providing the Southside Serpents with refuge as they hid from the police, and punching through a layer of ice in order to save Cheryl from drowning. With that in mind, Mary takes the opportunity to remind the jury that there were no witnesses, murder weapon or motive to the killing of Cassidy Bullock. After hearing from both the prosecution and the defense, the jury begins to deliberate.
While the jury deliberates, Jughead, Betty and Fred praise Mary for her defense, to which Mary thanks Betty for her assistance over the summer. Veronica then arrives to ask if anyone had seen Archie. When they explain that they haven't, Jughead, Betty and Veronica set out to find him. They find him sitting on the courtroom steps alone. Archie reminds Jughead and Betty how much fun they had together every summer at the swimming hole. Coincidentally, Jughead and Betty has also been thinking about it. However, they stopped going after they got covered in leeches one summer. Unfortunately, Veronica had never been and would like to go in fact. However, that would have to wait as Kevin interrupts to inform them that it's time to return to the courtroom.
As Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Mary, Archie and Fred leave the courtroom, Hiram makes a remark towards Archie, resulting in Fred punching him in face. The two are then separated before the incident can escalate.
Jughead passes Ben and Dilton Doiley in a booth at Pop's. He stops by to say hi and ask what they're playing but before Dilton can respond, Ben tells him to shut up. And so, Jughead moves on, joining Archie, Betty and Veronica in their booth. Betty thinks they can vindicate Archie if they find the gun that Andre used to kill Cassidy, however, Veronica tore the Pembrooke apart in search of the murder weapon but failed to find it. According to Veronica, after the riots, her father erased all traces of Andre. Jughead concludes that Andre most likely ditched the weapon at Shadow Lake. They contemplate returning to Shadow woods with metal detectors in search of the gun, but Archie doesn't want to spend what could be his last weekend looking for evidence that isn't there. They see it as three extra days to save Archie from going to prison, but he would rather follow the Judge's advice by spending time with them. Enter Cheryl, who invites them to her epic End-of-Summer pool party at Thornhill. Cheryl warns them that while they're welcome to invite whom ever they please, she's in the mood for some hell raising.
The following day, Jughead convenes with Sweet Pea and Fangs. While they know that Hiram Lodge has taken over the south side as he's been colluding with the Ghoulies, they set out to figure out what exactly Hiram is up to. Jughead orders Fangs to find the Ghoulies' new lair. Jughead tells him not to engage if he sees them as this is just a recon mission, and they can't risk another gang war. They only need a confirmation of whatever Hiram's up to, that it has nothing to do with the Serpents or Riverdale High. FP then calls Jughead over to get a look at the Serpent tattoo that he just tattooed onto Archie, who is now an honorary Serpent. The first thing Jughead learned at Southside High was that you need to roll with a crew to survive. There are gonna be Serpents in juvenile detention. Archie needs to find them. That tattoo is going to get Archie in and offer protection. While Jughead's right, up to a point, FP explains that the Serpent ink will only help keep Archie's body safe. He still has worry about protecting his mind as it is the first thing that goes when you're locked up.
Just as planned, Jughead attends Cheryl's End-of-Summer pool party at Thornhill. Jughead briefly makes awkward eye contact with Dilton at the pool party before being rushed by Fangs, who claims that the Ghoulies have Hot Dog. In light of this, they rally the other young Serpents. Fangs is positive that it was Hot Dog. He suspects that the Ghoulies snatched him on riot night. He looked very skinny. Fangs doubts they're feeding him enough. Given the savage nature of Ghoulies, Sweet Pea believes that they're lucky the Ghoulies aren't eating Hot Dog. Toni looks to Jughead for their next move. They'd be going behind enemy lines, outnumbered, open to attack from all directions and risking another gang-war. However, no Serpent left behind. That includes their spirit animal. They're going to deploy after dark. It's going to be a quick stealth mission. Betty reminds Jughead that the last time he went into Ghoulie territory, he was beaten to within an inch of his life. However, he'll have backup this time. With that being said, Betty wants to come along. The Serpent Queen is a warrior queen. So if Jughead's on the frontlines, then so is she.
Jughead, Betty, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs steak out the Ghoulies' lair, where they are holding Hot Dog. An hour goes by and nothing happens. So, Jughead instructs Sweet Pea and the others to be lookouts as he goes to retrieve Hot Dog. Armed with a set of bolt cutters, Jughead cuts Hot Dog's chain. Immediately after doing so, lights flash from nearby cars and he is surrounded by Penny, Malachai and the Ghoulies. As it turns out, taking Hot Dog was merely a ploy to get Jughead to come to her. Penny wants to talk, specifically about the spies he had been sending all summer, trying to get into their business. Penny warns him to back off unless he wants to replay riot night, where they almost killed him.
Jughead admits to sending scouts, but lies and says that it was only to retrieve Hot Dog. As he begins to walk away, Penny notices his Serpent jacket. It says "South Side Serpents" despite the fact that the south side no longer belongs to the Serpents, meaning that Penny wants his jacket. Penny had heard about Betty joining the Serpents and contemplates going after her next. With that in mind, Jughead agrees to give up the jacket so long as the Ghoulies stay out of the north side. As Malachai approaches Jughead, he is shot in the shoulder with an arrow by Cheryl, much to Jughead's dismay. When Penny orders the others to just kill the young Serpents, Jughead orders Cheryl to aim her next arrow at Penny, forcing Penny to call off her men. She lets Jughead go, but not before telling him that he just made the north side fair game.
The next day, At Sunnyside Trailer Park, Jughead tells FP that Hot Dog's sleeping under the trailer, but he's bouncing back. As for how Jughead's doing, he's worried. Penny's got the north side in her sights. Cheryl's a loose canon. Betty's a target. And they're not even Southside Serpents anymore. Screw the south side, FP says. Jughead's a Serpent by blood, and no one can take that from him. Archie then arrives outside to pick Jughead up.
Jughead, Betty, Archie and Veronica drive down to Sweetwater Swimming Hole in Archie's jalopy. They get undressed and jump into the water. Afterwards, the four of them sit around a campfire. No matter what happens in court, Archie informs them that this is the best last day of summer a guy could ask for. In a one last-ditch effort to keep Archie out of prison, Jughead suggests that he make a break for it. Past that treeline, there's a road that goes through the mountains to Quebec. There are Serpents north of the border that will keep him supplied. Betty says that he doesn't deserve it, but Archie questions if he does. He's guilty. He didn't kill Cassidy, but he left him alone with Andre. Had Archie stayed, he might still be alive. More than just that, Archie blames himself for everything that went wrong last year. And he has to take responsibility for that.
Jughead and Betty have split off from Archie and Veronica. Betty reveals that she isn't ready for summer to end. This summer, she hasn't stopped or slept, because of working on Archie's case. She's barely looked up since May, and her mom and Polly think that she's been hiding and avoiding, which she admittedly has been. Betty thinks that she should stop taking Adderall and start seeing an actual therapist. Either way, come Tuesday, it'll all be over. And she'll have to face everything that has happened, everything that will happen. All these things that she doesn't have control over, they terrify her. Jughead assures Betty that they're gonna get through it. From now on, they're partners. In Serpents, in life, all of it. Betty and Jughead then begin to kiss.
Labor Day weekend is over and Archie's trial is about to begin, but before he and FP can leave, Dilton stops by the trailer to warn Jughead of the Gargoyle King and a role playing game that he and Ben were playing that turned out to be real.
Jughead, Betty, Veronica as well as the rest of Archie's friends and family are in attendance for the trial, as well as his enemies. However, the jury could not reach a verdict. They're deadlocked. Six-to-six. With that, the jury is dismissed. Archie wonders what will happen next. Mary explains that the judge will declare a mistrial and they'll have to do it all again. In lieu of another trial, the State is prepared to offer a deal for a lesser sentence, Ms. Wright says. Instead of prison, time served plus two years in juvenile detention, if Archie will plead guilty to the crime of manslaughter. Despite his mother's counsel, Archie takes the deal, much to the court's surprise. Archie explains that he can't put all the people he cares about through this again. The court accepts Archie's guilty plea and he is taken directly from the courthouse to the Leopold and Loeb Juvenile Detention Center, where he will serve out his sentence beginning immediately.
Jughead returns to the trailer, but Dilton is nowhere in sight. However, Dilton left behind a map of Riverdale for Jughead to follow. Jughead follows the map into the woods, where he finds a totem of sorts, an exact sculpture of the picture drawn on the back of the map left behind by Dilton. As Jughead gets closer, he finds Dilton and Ben, unconscious, stripped of their clothes, with markings etched into their backs. Also on site are candles and some kind of blue liquid. It would seem a ceremony of some kind was taking place. Ben wakes up, but he is unresponsive and foaming from the mouth. So, Jughead screams out for help.
Investigating the Gargoyle King
Jughead and Betty meet up in the Blue and Gold offices, where Jughead informs her that Dilton Doiley is dead. And Ben from the Twilight Drive-In is barely hanging on. Doctors don't know when or if he's ever going to wake up. Sheriff Minetta asked Jughead to keep what he saw to himself for the family's sake, but what Jughead saw was horrendous. He describes it as being a ritual site. Dilton and Ben's lips were blue. There were these chalices with what was likely poison and even animal bones surrounding the site. Even the tree had markings on it. Not to mention the winged totem with a skull and branches. And there's no way to determine whether it was a murder or suicide pact gone wrong. Jughead first recalls seeing Ben and Dilton at Pop's and then Dilton later coming to his trailer raving about the Gargoyle King. With that in mind, Betty and Jughead decide to investigate the case together. At least until they catch another lead with Archie's case.
Jughead and Betty meet with Dr. Curdle Jr., who took over his father's coroner business after his passing. The toxicology report revealed lethal levels of cyanide in Dilton's blood. Dr. Curdle surmises that Ben only survived because he didn't drink enough to finish the job. Betty looks to Dr. Curdle, hoping he can determine whether this was a murder or suicide. He replies that the body did show signs of stress and there are three symbols carved out on Dilton's back. He guesses they're Runic. Jughead proceeds to take a photo of the symbols. As for what caused their lips to turn blue, the cyanide was mixed into a sugary drink called "Fresh-Aid". Blueberry flavored. There's something dimly familiar about this case to Dr. Curdle. Still, he's not quite sure if it's a murder or suicide.
Jughead and Betty arrive at Riverdale General, and after slipping past a Sheriff's deputy, they enter Ben's room. Ben is still unconscious, though his mother is at his side. Jughead and Betty introduces themselves, stating that they know him from school. Ben's stabilized, but he hasn't woken up yet. While Mrs. Button doesn't know what exactly Ben was doing in the woods, she notes that he's always been odd. Kept to himself. Especially after his piano teacher was murdered. But this summer, he became friends with Dilton Doiley. When that happened, he became a different person. Secretive, sneaking out at all hours and having horrible nightmares. Hanging on the door of Ben's hospital room, Jughead finds a twig doll. Mrs. Button believes that it was left behind by a girl whose name she has forgotten, but was wearing a bow in her hair. Sheriff Minetta then bust Jughead and Betty. He refuses to allow a couple of teenagers to compromise an active murder investigation. Jughead retorts that if this is an active murder investigation, he might want to start by letting the rest of the town know. Betty and Jughead then overhear Sheriff Minetta's conversation with another deputy, who reveals that an Adventure Scout's parents called. They haven't seen him in two days, and he was a part of Dilton Doiley's troop.
In the student lounge, Jughead confronts Ethel with the twig doll he found in Ben's hospital room. Ethel questions where he got it from, but when Jughead asks what she was doing in Ben's hospital room, Ethel tries to leave. However, Betty pleads with her to cooperated as they're only trying to figure out what happened to Ben, Dilton and the missing scout. Jughead wonders if the twig doll is the Gargoyle King, but it's not. According to Ethel, it's the opposite. She made that talisman to protect Ben. When Betty asks how Ethel and Ben knew each other, Ethel replies that he's her boyfriend. They just started dating that summer and spend most of their time in Dilton's secret bunker in the woods. Given this, Jughead and Betty present Ethel with a ultimatum; either she show them where the bunker is located or they go to Sheriff Minetta with this information. Ethel caves, telling them that they'll meet up at Fox Footbridge after dark.
Jughead and Betty are confronted by their parents as they arrive at the house after receiving a call from Sheriff Minetta that Jughead and Betty were snooping around Ben's hospital room. Jughead believes that something strange is in the works. Dilton even came to him for help, which FP was present for. Jughead feels as if he owes Dilton but FP exclaims that Jughead doesn't owe him anything. As for Betty, Alice reminds her that this is exactly what Dr. Patel was referring to. If she keeps up this stressful behavior, she'll likely have another seizure, which neither FP nor Jughead were aware of. Alice blames Jughead for dragging Betty into murder investigations. As Betty takes off upstairs, FP and Jughead exit the Cooper house.
On their way to Fox Footbridge to meet with Ethel, Jughead asks about the seizure. One moment Betty was fine and the next she was hallucinating some insane, horror movie-like stuff. Then she woke up in the emergency room, embarrassed, which is why she didn't say anything. Besides, Dr. Patel said it was just stress. Jughead now blames himself for getting Betty involved in a murder investigation in the midst of her own problems. However, being in the middle of the woods with Jughead, investigation a potential murder/suicide is the least stressful thing she can think of. It reminds her of when they first started dating. As they near Fox Footbridge, Jughead and Betty have their first encounter with the Gargoyle King, a giant imposing creature with a bloody, snout-shaped face and branches for wings. Jughead and Betty run away in terror.
Once the coast is clear, they grab a booth at Pop's, where Jughead shows Betty what they suspect to be Dilton's drawing of the Gargoyle King. Betty notes that it was too tall to be Ethel, unless she was on stilts, which is a possibility because she's not answering her phone. As for Dilton's map, Jughead points to the marked off location where he found Ben and Dilton. And he then points to the footbridge where Ethel wanted them to meet. There's a symbol written on the map that Jughead and Betty don't recognize, even after researching runic symbols. Jughead suspects that it's not a symbol at all, but a drawing for the hatch that leads to the underground bunker. Assuming the map is halfway accurate, right around the deadfall in Fox Forest.
Having followed the map, Jughead and Betty locate Dilton's underground bunker. It is filled with odd objects and decoration. Betty and Jughead quickly discover the pieces to the game Ben and Dilton were playing, Gryphons and Gargoyles. Betty finds a large drawing of the Gargoyle King on the wall, who is also featured prominently on a copper coin Jughead just found. They then find a poster with chalices that read "drink from the correct cup and ascend to the kingdom". As well as a blue Fresh-Aid packet and cyanide. Jughead realizes that it was a challenge from the game. As he takes photos of the bunker, Betty looks under the bed, where she is startled by the missing adventure scout.
Jughead tries to explain to the scout just how worried his parents are, but he doesn't seem to care. The adventure scout tells Jughead that he's supposed to stay hidden in the bunker until "Master Doiley" comes back. It is then that Betty and Jughead realize that the scout has no idea that Dilton is dead, forcing the difficult task on them of having to reveal that Dilton isn't coming back. The adventure scout was Dilton's apprentice in Gryphons and Gargoyles. Dilton was teaching him how to play so that he could eventually join the game. When Jughead brings up Ben and Ethel, the scout reveals that "Princess Etheline" isn't dating been in real life. Only in the game. And she warned him that Jughead and Betty might invade the bunker. Having gathered all they could, Jughead and Betty take the scout home.
Jughead and Betty confront Ethel after she not only blew them off but withheld the location of the missing adventure scout. Also, she and Ben aren't really dating, but Ethel insists that they are in love. Betty attempts to explain that they were simply role playing, but to Ethel, it was real. Jughead and Betty are trying to help her but she first has to stop lying to them. When Ethel maintains that she's not lying, Jughead threatens to take her to the Sheriff Station, where she can repeat her truth on record to Sheriff Minetta. Ethel explains that if any of them talk to the adults, the Gargoyle King will get angry. Dilton tried to talk to Jughead and look what happened. Before Ethel can continue, she begins to have a seizure mid-sentence. Jughead yells out to Weatherbee before calling an ambulance. All the while, Evelyn watches from the doorway as this unfolds.
At Riverdale General, Jughead and Betty learn that Ethel is fine and that she is resting. Given that seizures aren't contagious, Betty is certain that her seizure and Ethel's isn't a coincidence. Sounds like another mystery for them to solve, which both Jughead and Betty are up for. Betty suspects that maybe there's even a connection between the seizures and whatever happened to Dilton. They then decide to check on Ben. When they enter his room, they find him sitting in the window. Ben says that he's going to be with Dilton now. They both flipped the coin but Dilton was scared to ascend. Ben isn't however. What about Princess Etheline, Betty asks. Ben replies that they'll all be reunited in the kingdom and that it's all part of his plan. Ben then jumps out the window onto the street below, killing himself.
Betty and Jughead are cuddled up on Dilton’s bunker. Betty’s uncomfortable in the bunker, however, it’s the only place in town they can get a modicum of privacy. Ben’s death still haunts Betty, as he didn’t scream, forcing her to wonder why. She and Jughead begin to question the rules behind Gryphons & Gargoyles. Perhaps it’s the key to solving everything. Ben, Ethel and Dilton talk of it as if it’s a religion or cult. And every cult has its king.
At school, Jughead is informed by Betty of the strict dress code for Veronica’s speakeasy . They then notice Ethel across the hall with Evelyn Evernever, much to Betty’s dismay. Betty suspects that Gryphons & Gargoyles may have some kind of connection to the Farm. Ben, Dilton and Ethel started playing the game that summer, which is the same time the Farm and the Evernevers moved to Riverdale. Betty tells Jughead that Evelyn’s father is their leader and her mother won’t stop talking about him. They compare Edgar to a king. Unfortunately, Betty doesn’t know much about him. They continue to watch Ethel and Evelyn’s exchange from across the hall, deciding then to continue their investigation with Ethel.
Betty and Jughead enter the classroom, where they find Ethel sitting alone. This is the first time they’ve spoken since the incident in the student lounge and so she informs them that she’s been given medication to prevent the seizures. She’s been having them multiple times a day. Betty asks if Ethel had any visions when she collapsed. Unfortunately, Ethel can’t recall. Betty then inquires about her friendship with Evelyn Evernever, to which Ethel replies that Evelyn’s been helping her get better so that she can titrate down her meds. Betty questions whose idea this was, Evelyn’s or her dad’s. Before Ethel can respond, Betty asks if Ethel has ever met Edgar Evernever. She doesn’t answer the question directly but instead suggests that Betty look into Evelyn’s peer support group if she’s so curious. She has started a student chapter of the Farm at Riverdale High. Jughead tells Ethel that before Ben killed himself, he mentioned reuniting with Dilton in the Kingdom, leading him to his question, if Gryphons & Gargoyles has a rule book or player’s manual. Ethel admits that one does exist though they refer to it as the scripture. However, she isn’t allowed to reveal to Jughead whether or not she owns a copy as he is not worthy of the King’s scripture. Jughead replies that he wants to be worthy and that he would like for Ethel to show him how. Ethel agrees to show Jughead, but him alone as Betty will never be worthy. They arrange a meeting for tomorrow night in Dilton’s bunker.
As planned, Jughead meets up with Ethel in Dilton’s bunker. She welcomes him to his first game, his entry point to the realm of Gryphons & Gargoyles. The magical kingdom of Eldervair. First things first, Jughead must pick his character. He’s given the choices of the Radiant Knight, Arcane Invoker and Hellcaster. Jughead chooses Hellcaster, which was also Ben’s avatar. Ethel was supposed to ascend with him but he betrayed her and finished the game with Dilton instead. Jughead then picks a quest card and they proceed with the game.
Jughead and Ethel continue their game of Gryphons & Gargoyles. Jughead crosses the old footbridge to find two doors. One is made of shimmering gold and the other is just maple wood. Jughead chooses door number two, which proves to be a wise choice. He enters a secret chamber and is now standing in the middle of a circle composed of gryphon bones. Two chalices sit before him. Ethel then unveils two real chalices. In order to prove his worthiness, he must drink from one of the Sacred Goblets, which Jughead is adamantly against as one of the chalices contains poison or as the game refers to it, gargoyle blood. Jughead must flip a coin to determine which cup he drinks from. He reluctantly agrees, but only if Ethel hands over the scripture afterwards. Jughead flips the coin and is forced to drink from the gryphon marked chalice. He guzzles it down and is seemingly fine, with nothing more than blue coloring on his lips to show for his life threatening decision. Before handing over the rule book, Ethel tells Jughead that he must kiss her first according to the scripture. The Hellcaster kisses the princess or he doesn’t get the treasure, it decrees. Jughead kisses Ethel and takes the book. While Jughead’s reading the rule book, Ethel chugs the chalice filled with poison. Jughead attempts to stop her but she has already consumed it.
Jughead has taken Ethel to Riverdale General Hospital. He continues to read the rule book as she sleeps. When she wakes, Jughead reveals that she’ll be fine as she was given the antidote in time. Ethel finds herself locked to the bed. It’s protocol for anyone on suicide watch. When her parents arrive, Jughead wants Ethel to tell them everything about the game, but Ethel refuses. She won’t tell them and neither will Jughead because if he does, she’ll lie and say he mixed the fresh-aid. Jughead tells her that the game is over, but Ethel retorts that it’s only just beginning. Jughead has proven himself much to Ethel’s pleasure. She told the Gargoyle King that Jughead was worthy enough to spread his gospel. Jughead states that the King won’t hurt anyone else and that he’ll see to it that the scripture doesn’t end up in anyone else’s hands. Ethel grabs Jughead’s hand and thanks him for helping her to finish the game.
As Jughead and Betty arrive at opening night, Jughead informs Betty that he hid the rule book in the trailer and will show Betty at a later time. Betty then asks about Ethel, who is physically alright, but she’s going to need a bit of deprogramming Jughead states. Betty remarks that Ethel can keep her mom company as the Farm has gotten way deeper into her head than initially presumed. Betty is certain that her mom knows something about Gryphons & Gargoyles, but she refuses to speak on it. Betty then attempts to wipe away the blue fresh-aid on Jughead’s lips.
Betty and Jughead return to the trailer to find it in complete disorder. Their parents demand to know where Jughead got the rule book from. FP is especially enraged as he can still see the blue on Jughead’s lips. Betty questions what her and Jughead's parents are hiding and she instructs Jughead to not answer any of their questions until they start telling the truth about what they know about Gryphons & Gargoyles. FP explains that the game is pure evil and that no one else will ever play it again. Jughead begs his father not to destroy the scripture. While they don’t intend to play it, the book may be the only chance they have of figuring out what happened to Ben and Dilton. Nevertheless, with this being the only known copy, FP and Alice decide it’s best to destroy the scripture by throwing it into the fire.
Betty and Jughead are once again in Dilton bunker, laying in bed. Jughead begins to thinking that maybe destroying the rule book was for the best because as he was flipping through the manual, he felt as if he was reading evil. Betty states that both of their parents played the game, which is why they were so adamant against them investigating Ben and Dilton’s deaths, and why they freaked out over the rule book. If what Ethel said about that being the only rule book is true, then it doesn’t matter anymore as it’s all over.
Jughead arrives at school the following morning to find Cheryl with a copy of the rule book. She explains that it was in her locker. The same with everyone else. As it would turn out, everyone in school now has a copy of the Gryphons & Gargoyles manual. By next weekend, almost every student at Riverdale High would be playing the game. Jughead suspects that Ethel must’ve done it before their rendezvous in the bunker and that maybe she has someone helping her.
Given the growing dangers that the teens of Riverdale are facing, the town Mayor, Hermione Lodge, decides to personally visit Riverdale High to provide clarity on the dangers they face. Jughead, Betty, Cheryl, Veronica, Reggie, Josie and Kevin are all in attendance. Hermione explains that Dilton Doiley and Ben Button have already taken their lives, and Ethel Muggs attempted to. All three victims are linked through playing Gryphons and Gargoyles. Jughead questions if Hermione is admitting that Ben and Dilton were killed by the game, which she is. From what little they do know about it, the game seems to be targeted at impressionable developing minds. Hermione elaborates that the game’s quests and role-playing scenarios are specifically designed to foster delusions, paranoia, and violence. As mayor, Hermione officially bans Gryphons and Gargoyles. On top of that, Mrs. Burble is going to be holding extended office hours and Hermione has set up a 24-hour crisis hotline overseen by Kevin.
Jughead, Fangs, Sweet Pea, Toni and Cheryl begin playing Gryphons and Gargoyles in Dilton's bunker. They are eventually joined by Betty, who questions what Jughead is doing but he is clearly too far gone, rambling on about having it all figured out and beating the Gargoyle King.
In Dilton’s bunker sits Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs around a table, playing Gryphons and Gargoyles. Their mission is unsuccessful and everyone dies. Betty then enters, shocked by the sight of Jughead and the others playing the game. Jughead explains that he’s made sense of it all. Once he ascends, he will meet the Gargoyle King. Betty sits Jughead down and informs him of the story she learned from her mother, how all their parents played Gryphons and Gargoyles during their junior year of high school. Betty continues to reveal that while they were playing, one of them killed their then principal, Felix Featherhead, as he also had blue lips, which is why Betty thinks Jughead should stop playing. However, he sees this as confirmation that they’ve been playing this game off board for a lot longer than they realized. The Hot Dog rescue mission, for instance, he believes was a quest. The Serpents and Ghoulies, if nothing else, are warring tribes, such as the orcs and goblins.
Betty stops Jughead, as he isn’t making sense. They have nine suspects, meaning one of their parents could be a murderer. So, Betty wants to investigate them alongside Jughead, but he continues to ramble on about Eldervair, the realm of Gryphons and Gargoyles, which Jughead concludes is an anagram and analog for Riverdale. This is why the game only exists in Riverdale and why there’s no online trace of it. Betty states that this is merely a coincidence, but he thinks it’s one big narrative that’s still being written and played. The more Jughead plays the game, the more familiar he becomes with Eldervair and its rules. The more he sees the patterns. And the more he understands the Gargoyle King. The game is the Gargoyle King’s imagination and psychology. How they view Riverdale. How do you catch a Game Master, Jughead asks. To that he replies that you become a Game Master. And that’s exactly what he’s doing. Once he proves that he’s at the Gargoyle King’s level, he’ll come face-to-face with him. Betty grows tired of Jughead ramblings and decides to investigate on her own.
Toni and Cheryl barge into the trailer as Jughead struggles to come up with their latest quest. They inform him that Sweet Pea and Fangs are off the deep-end and managed to get into the arsenal, from where they took Cheryl’s bow and arrows. Fangs launches a projectile into the air and Sweet Pea shoots it down. They are then confronted by Cheryl, Toni and Jughead. Cheryl and Toni were having a rendezvous in the tent when an arrow shot by Sweet Pea and Fangs went right through it. Sweet Pea and Fangs explain that they were practicing their aim for the next quest as they now want to go off board and take G&G into the real world. While other groups may be doing it, Jughead has no desire to and what he says goes as he is the Game Master. Jughead is already the Serpent King, Sweet Pea asks if that isn’t already enough. He and Fangs are foot soldiers in life and now they have to be the same in the game. Jughead has no desire to go back and forth with Sweet Pea, so he instructs Cheryl to grab her bow and notch an arrow. Jughead then proceeds to place an empty can on his head and tells her to fire, which she does, hitting the can dead center. Jughead then tells Sweet Pea that if he has something to prove, he can get against the tree and let Cheryl shoot a can off his head. However, Sweet Pea opts not to. Jughead explains one last time that he’s Game Master, meaning it’s his game and his rules.
Jughead is confronted by his father after discovering that he is playing G&G. Jughead reveals that he knows that his father played too while in high school and that he knows all about what happened to Principal Featherhead during the ascension party. FP concludes that Jughead gathered this information from Betty, who must’ve gotten it from Alice. FP tells Jughead that whatever story he heard was merely Alice’s version of the events that took place. Not his. So, Jughead asks that his father share his side of the story, but FP chooses not to. However, he has been through every scenario about that night. FP suspects that other people could’ve been sneaking into the school or that Featherhead had his own game of G&G. Jughead admits that there are infinite possibilities, but the most likely one is that the Game Master killed Featherhead. Whoever planned ascension night. Betty thinks it was someone from the Midnight Club, but Jughead isn’t so sure. He thinks it’s someone who has been playing a much longer game, and whoever it is, Jughead intends to catch them.
Jughead exits his trailer to find Sweet Pea, Fangs, Toni and Cheryl sitting around a fire. He tells them that they will return to Eldervair tomorrow.
Betty returns to Dilton’s bunker to find that Jughead is about to set forth on a new quest. She’s about to help Veronica break Archie out of juvie and she’s hoping Jughead will help. Jughead notes that this is perfect. The quest he’s been working on lacked heart and humanity until Betty just gave him the missing piece; a rescue mission, to save their friend. Betty exclaims that this is not a game. It’s real life. But since he refuses to recognize that, she’ll just take Jughead’s bike and do this without him.
Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs begin their quest. Strange, dark times are upon them. The realm of Eldervair is in disorder, inflicted by evil, as its heart and soul, the Red Paladin has been captured by the Mad Emperor and has been twisted into a beast of war. Their quest starts with a Judas kiss. A dastardly act of betrayal. A traitor has wounded the Paladin, severely weakening his defenses. With his life in peril, it’s now up to the Dream Warriors to save the Paladin and to restore peace and order to the realm. With every second that passes, the Paladin’s fate dims, Jughead says to Toni, Cheryl, Sweet Pea and Fangs.
The young Serpent come upon a similar obstacle. Jughead reads the quest aloud to Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs. Deadeye (Cheryl), is at the entrance of the Mad Emperor’s dungeon. But she’s been blocked by a bridge troll, so she must roll the dice for an intimidation spell. And her efforts prove successful. Pantera (Fangs) is now up. Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs have found the entrance to the Mad Emperor’s tunnel. But, the Mad Emperor has placed a bano protection spell over the barrier. Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs are faced with a curve ball. They’re about to come face-to-face with the Dark Dragon. It’s the most evil-tempered, vile creature in the land with a forked tongue and snarling black slime, it reeks of rotting flesh. However, Deadeye, impales the dragon with her concealed dagger.
Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs have freed the Paladin from the dungeon but they’re not free of the Mad Emperor just yet. In fact, he sends a ruthless calvary in pursuit. Their noble steed is no match for the calvary’s mighty stallions. However, they continue on their quest nonetheless. A quick peek back reveals the Emperor’s nightmares galloping at supernatural speed. It’s like hell itself is chasing them and it’s gaining ground. One loose rock, one loose root can send them toppling at this lethal speed, but they force those thoughts out their minds and feel the battle-fury of their forefathers rise within them. Just as it seems they have beaten them, they find themselves at barreling towards the edge of a cliff, forcing them to stop. However, their deception gambit has paid off and they’ve outsmarted the Emperor’s calvary. Sweet Pea and Fangs cheer while Cheryl and Toni share a kiss.
Sweet Pea, Fangs, Toni and Cheryl look to Game Master Jughead for an answer, as to whether or not they saved the Red Paladin. Jughead doesn’t know as he made a last-minute change to the quest. He was hoping to have the answer by the time they got to the end. Just as Cheryl asks what happened to the Red Paladin, Archie drops down into the bunker, much to Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs’ surprise.
After Betty, Veronica, Josie, Kevin and Reggie arrive at Dilton’s bunker to regroup with the others, Toni patches Archie up and tells him not to make any sudden movements. Archie reveals that it was Joaquin who stabbed him though Archie thinks the Warden made him do it. He then asks where are they, to which Betty explains Dilton’s bunker. The only people who know about it are in the room and it is the safest place in Riverdale. Veronica then notices the branding on Archie’s side, courtesy of Warden Norton. Jughead, Betty, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Toni and Cheryl seem particularly intrigued by the brand. Veronica then calls for everyone’s attention to announce someone needs to stay with Archie at all times. Betty and Jughead volunteer to take the first shift. Equally important, Veronica announces that everyone in the room, herself, Betty, Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Josie, Reggie and Kevin, are all part of a pact. From this moment on, no one is to know where the bunker is. No one was involved with the breakout and no one knows where Archie is. They are all expected to take this to the grave.
As planned, Jughead and Betty take the first watch. They note that Archie’s brand looks a lot like a runic symbol from Gryphons and Gargoyles. Betty also recalls the Warden calling Archie a Red Paladin. This means he too was playing G&G. They begin to suspect that maybe Warden Norton is the Gargoyle King. Before jumping back in, Betty suggests that Jughead go home and get some sleep. Before leaving, he tells Archie to sleep well as his troubles are likely only beginning.
While on his way home from Dilton’s bunker, Jughead crosses paths with the Gargoyle King in the woods and bows before him.
Jughead returns to the bunker to inform Betty of his run-in with the Gargoyle King. Jughead followed it through a clearing only to learn that the Gargoyle King is not alone. He was accompanied by ten of his disciples around a bonfire. They were all wearing mask, and Jughead describes them as being a gang of gargoyles. Betty wants to go after them, but Jughead would rather not take the chance. When they begin to wonder who the disciples might be, Archie utters Joaquin's name. He recalls Kevin telling him that Joaquin spoke of joining a new gang. Given what they now know about Warden Norton playing G&G and Joaquin doing his bidding, this only further confirms Betty and Jughead’s suspicion that Warden Norton might be the Gargoyle King.
Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, Josie, Kevin, Reggie, Sweet Pea, Fangs, and Evelyn sit as Sheriff Minetta confronts them with his suspicion that Archie had help in escaping Leopold and Loeb Juvenile Detention Center. Sheriff Minetta informs them that hiding a convict and information from the law is a felony offense. So, whoever aided and abetted Archie is just as much a criminal as he is. A few students in particular catches the sheriff's attention. When he asks where Josie was during the time of the breakout, she struggles to come up with an alibi, eventually settling with her being alone in the music room. Sheriff Minetta will be looking into all their alibis. As he continues to antagonize Josie, she suddenly has a seizure. Cheryl rushes to her aid, catching Josie and telling the sheriff to back off.
Jughead convenes with Betty in the Blue and Gold, where she informs him of Josie’s seizure. First Betty, then Ethel, and now Josie. They wonder what the connection could be. Just as Jughead was ready to write off Warden Norton’s connection to the Midnight Club and the Gargoyle King, Betty makes a discovery. Warden Norton was the RROTC instructor of Riverdale High twenty five years ago. This proves that their parents have only continued to lie to them. Featherhead was the first blue lip death on record. Somehow, Betty has to figure out how to force their parents into telling the truth, though this will involve Veronica’s speakeasy. In the meantime, Jughead will rally the Serpents as they have to find Joaquin. He was the Warden’s accomplice, making him their best chance at figuring out what was going on in the Warden's mind.
At Sunnyside Trailer Park, Sweet Pea and Fangs inform Jughead that Sheriff Minetta is trashing tent city in search of Archie. Much like the manhunt for Archie, Jughead orders every Serpent to be on the lookout for Joaquin. Serpents just don’t shiv other Serpents, Sweet Pea remarks. However, according to Archie, Joaquin did it because of Warden Norton, and when the Warden confronted Betty, he called Archie the Red Paladin. Plus, the Warden poisoned himself with cyanide and blueberry fresh-aid. Not to mention he worked at Riverdale High before the detention center. The question they must now ask is if he was playing G&G with someone or for someone. And since he’s dead, Joaquin is the only one who can know the answer. Jughead warns Sweet Pea and Fangs that Joaquin may not be alone, as he suspect that Joaquin’s one of the Gargoyle King’s disciples.
Jughead gets a call from Fangs, who tells him that the Centerville Serpents saw Joaquin at the last resort youth hostel. He and Sweet Pea are on their way to retrieve him. When they do, Jughead wants Fangs and Sweet Pea to take him into Fox Forest. FP returns to the trailer just as Jughead plans to meet with the others. FP takes him by surprise and handcuffs him to the refrigerator. He claims that Jughead’s addicted to G&G. Jughead disagrees, claiming that he simply needs to ascend in order to find the Gargoyle King. FP then takes Jughead’s phone away, tossing it out of his reach, on the table, before leaving.
Some time later, Betty enters the trailer to find Jughead handcuffed to the refrigerator. Fortunately, she has a bobby-pin and is able to free him. Jughead informs Betty that his father did it as he doesn’t like Jughead playing G&G, which Betty takes fault for as she unintentionally revealed this to FP during their sit down. Speaking of which, Jughead wonders how that went. Betty informs him that Penelope Blossom claims Darryl Doiley poisoned the chalices, which is pretty convenient given that he’s dead. Neither Jughead nor Betty are buying this story, which is why Betty has already contacted Dr. Curdle Jr to ask if he can pull Darryl Doiley’s autopsy report. Betty will have to handle this on her own as Jughead is off to meet with Sweet Pea and Fangs.
Jughead catches up with Sweet Pea and Fangs, who have captured Joaquin. They’ve tied him up and in the process of doing so discovered a gargoyle mask on his person, meaning he is one of the Gargoyle King’s disciples. Jughead has a lot of questions, but he starts with why Joaquin shivved Archie instead of protecting him. The Warden said Joaquin had no other choice. Joaquin explains that in juvie, you’ll do anything to survive, even if that means being the Warden’s pawn. However, in some ways, the Warden was a pawn too. Joaquin saw him with game cards that told him what to do. Whoever sent the cards wanted Archie dead. From the moment he was locked up, he was marked. Jughead asks if by marked, Joaquin is referring to the symbol that Warden Norton branded on Archie’s hip. However, Joaquin is not. He reveals the brand in which Jughead is referring to means sacrifice. It means that Archie had to die. Joaquin is seemingly under the impression that Archie died. Jughead informs him this is not the case. When Jughead asks who was giving the Warden his orders, Joaquin refuses to answer. Jughead pulls out his knife as Sweet Pea and Fangs hold Joaquin up. They threaten him. With no other choice, Joaquin tells Jughead that he saw Warden Norton meet with him once. Joaquin says that Jughead knows him. The man in the black suit, he says.
With the information gained from Joaquin, Jughead confronts Hiram at the Pembrooke, under the suspicion that Hiram is the Gargoyle King. Jughead believes that Hiram met Norton in high school and all this time, he’s been sending him cards on how to torture and then kill Archie. Jughead states that the Ghoulies and the new gang of gargoyles are his soldiers and the south side is his kingdom. The game is how Hiram’s been communicating with Norton. Jughead then accuses him of killing Featherhead. Hiram denies all allegations. But if homicidal parents is what Jughead is looking for, Hiram directs him to Clifford Blossom, Hal Cooper and even Jughead’s dad, FP.
When Jughead arrives at the trailer, Sweet Pea and Fangs inform him that someone is sending them a message. Under a plastic tarp lays Joaquin’s body. His lips are blue and he has the sacrifice symbol on his forehead. They have not the slightest clue who the culprit might be. Possibly the gargoyle gang or Hiram, but not even that is a certainty. Recalling that Archie has the same mark on his ribs, Jughead rushes off to find him, leaving Sweet Pea and Fangs with the body.
Despite Archie now being a free man through the help of Veronica and attorney McCoy, he has decided to leave town as he will never be safe so long as Hiram is free. Jughead decides to join him. They packed bags containing money, a change of clothes, and food. Jughead questions if Archie is sure about this, which he is. Leaving is Archie’s best option, which both he and Jughead agree on. Jughead then reveals that Joaquin is dead and that the symbol Archie has branded on his hip, was also on Joaquin’s forehead. It means sacrifice. While they don’t know who is behind all of this, they’re sure Hiram is somehow involved. As they proceed down the train tracks, destination unknown, Jughead asks if Archie’s ever hopped a train before, which he hasn’t. Jughead comments that he’ll figure it out.
Jughead and Archie pass over a train track. The two of them have been walking for days since leaving Riverdale. Jughead takes photos of the scenery as they pass through. They stop at a pay phone long enough for Jughead to make a call to Betty, though she does not answer. Archie becomes concerned, so much so that he wants Jughead to go back. However, Jughead refuses, reminding Archie that Betty can take care of herself given that she took down a serial killer last year. While Archie on the other hand can’t go five minutes without getting kidnapped or beaten up. And that was before he was marked for death by Hiram Lodge. For now, it’s just the two of them looking for some place to settle.
It isn’t long before Jughead and Archie catch sight of a farm house. Archie wants to stop but Jughead is hesitant. Nonetheless, the boys approach the farm house. They don’t make it far before being held at gun point by the owners of the farm house. With a gun pointed at their backs, Jughead and Archie turn around slowly to the sight of two young women. One much younger than the other. When asked who they are, Jughead lies, telling the women that he is Cal and that Archie is Biff. The older woman sees straight through Jughead, instructing the younger one to shoot them both. Archie then fabricates a story, claiming that they got robbed for their money on the train and that they’ve been walking for days. He explains that they’re just looking for food and water and then they will leave. Fortunately for Jughead and Archie, the women buys into their story, at least the older sister, who introduces herself as Laurie Lake. Her younger sister, Gracie, then lowers her rifle, though she still does not trust them.
Laurie invites Jughead and Archie to stay for dinner. They eat stew, during which time Archie asks where everyone else is. Laurie informs him that a lot of the men in town are working a job down the river. Laurie and Gracie’s father and brother went with them, but they come back every now and then. While Jughead would rather be on their way, Archie prefers to stay the night. So when Laurie offers them shelter in the barn, Archie eagerly accepts. As for repayment, she hopes they’ll be willing to help around the farm. Much like Jughead, Gracie doesn’t want them there either, telling Jughead and Archie to stay out the main house.
After dinner, Jughead and Archie enter the barn, though for Jughead nothing has changed. He still wants to pass on. Something about the farm doesn't sit well with him. He remarks that it’s too American Gothic. Jughead also suspects that Laurie is lying to them about where her brother and father are. Laurie then interrupts, only to bring them more blankets. She and Archie share a longing stare before she leaves. Jughead notices this, telling Archie that they can’t afford any distractions.
First thing the next morning, Archie makes good on his promise with helping around the farm as he begins moving bales of hay. Instead of helping Archie with the farm work, Jughead decides to head into town to take some pictures before they leave. The town in question is like a ghost town. Very few people around. Jughead immediately notices the runic symbols from Gryphons and Gargoyles painted on the building surfaces and the surrounding area. He takes pictures of the symbols. Jughead then approaches an elderly woman sitting alone at the abandoned gas station. He asks her about the symbols. She replies that the town wasn't always like this. At first it was the Jingle Jangle, but now they’re back to Fizzle Rocks, candy laced with drugs. As for the symbols, they started showing up around town at the same time Fizzle Rocks did.
Jughead continues his tour of the town. He finds a painting of the Gargoyle King on a building wall, so he snaps a photo of it. He then notices a group of girls on the back of a truck playing Gryphons and Gargoyles and eating Fizzle Rocks. He informs them that he’s a level three Game Master who stared out as a Hellcaster. Almost level four. He wonders where the girls learned to play. They learned from their older brothers who used to play before they left town. Speaking of which, Jughead noticed that there weren’t any men in town. He wonders why. The girls explain that they’ve all gone to work to help build a prison. However, it doubles as a drug lab for Fizzle Rocks. When the girls ask where he’s staying, Jughead replies Lake Farm. The girls used to be friends with Gracie, but they fell out. Supposedly over Gracie acting as if she was better than them despite the fact that her father works for the Man in Black just like everyone else’s. Apparently, the town belongs to him. Jughead quickly realizes they’re talking about Hiram.
Jughead rushes back to Lake Farm just as Hiram is arriving. Jughead watches from afar as Hiram greets Laurie and Gracie. Jughead then finds Archie tied up in the barn. He unties Archie, explaining that Hiram owns the town and that Laurie’s brother and father work for Hiram, making drugs inside the prison, which all the kids take when they play G&G. Everything is connected. Hiram owns this town and probably many like it. Jughead wants to make a run for it, but Archie wants to stay and fight. He sees this as their only chance to end this. Hiram’s going to walk in thinking Archie’s tied up. Archie’s wants to take advantage of that and sneak attack him. Jughead is very much against this plan. However, Archie seems determined to rid himself of Hiram once and for all. Archie is persistent. He wants to kill Hiram and he knows he can. Jughead agrees that he can, but they have to leave while they still have time. With Hiram approaching the barn, Jughead makes one last attempt to reason with Archie. Asking him that if he does kill Hiram, does he think Veronica will ever forgive him. Archie gives this plan a second thought before deciding to run away with Jughead.
Jughead and Archie make it out to the road. For a second, Jughead didn’t think Archie was going to listen to him. Neither did Archie. Archie was right about one thing though. Hiram is going to follow them wherever they go and they’re always going to be outnumbered and outgunned. So the plan now is to see Jughead’s mom in Toledo.
Jughead and Archie arrive at a junk yard with Jones Yard written across the front gate. As they approach, they are greeted by a stranger. Jughead reveals that they’re looking for his mother Gladys Jones, lifting his sleeve to reveal his Southside Serpents tattoo. Instead of his mother, he finds his younger sister Jellybean first. She remarks that she thought she smelled something rotten and they give each other a hug.
Jughead reunites with his mom after such a long time apart. She gives him a hug, remarking that he feels like a bag of tire irons, then sarcastically asking if he’s been eating and if he’s now a vegetarian. She then looks over to Archie, almost immediately recognizing him, giving him a hug as well. Under the impression that Jughead and Archie are romantically involved, she comments that she always knew there was something going on between the two of them. Jughead and Archie quickly corrects her, adding that they’re simply on the road together. Gladys then asks what brought them by. She’s asks Jughead why he didn’t call to tell her he was coming, but the last time he called, she told him not to come. Gladys states that was a different time. Now, she has her GED and has has since started a salvage yard of her own, claiming that she is now a legit business woman. However, this alleged legitimate business woman appears to be nothing more than a fictitious claim as Lugnut approaches with stolen tailpipes, asking Gladys where she would like them. She quickly dismisses him, but not before telling him to get the crew together as they celebrate Jughead and Archie’s arrival.
Jughead and Archie reveal to Gladys and Jellybean the reason why they left Riverdale; they’re running from Hiram Lodge. Gladys always knew he was trouble, but she questions what his vendetta is with Archie. They reveal that Archie was the only one who stood up to him. Not to mention that Archie also dated his daughter. Jellybean is pleased to hear that Archie is no longer dating and single. When Jughead tells Jellybean to relax with her excitement, she reminds him that she now goes by JB. Gladys asks if Archie’s spoken with his dad during any of this, which he hasn’t. Archie wishes he could, but it’s too risky. Archie and Jellybean then take off to eat.
Once Jughead is alone with his mother, she inquires further about G&G and just how far invested Jughead and Archie are. Jughead explains that it’s more than just a game. It’s got large implications for all of Riverdale. He’s just trying to figure out who is behind it all. From the sounds of it, Hiram is behind it all, Gladys believes. She then asks about the scar on Jughead’s arm, though it’s not from Hiram. Jughead reveals it’s from Penny Peabody, who Gladys is very familiar with. She recalls Penny always having a beef with her and FP. Gladys never wanted any of this for Jughead. She never wanted him to become a Serpent, let alone a Serpent King. Jughead tells her not to act all high and mighty. She claims to have left Riverdale to get away from criminal life, yet she’s chopping cars and lifting their parts. Gladys admits this is true. But she’s doing so in order to feed all the kids around the junkyard who have no place to go. She couldn’t just leave them high and dry. However, as Jughead recalls, that’s precisely what she did to him.
After Jellybean thwarts Penny's plan to claim the bounty on Archie, they tie her to a chair and begin interrogating her. Gladys isn’t at all surprised that Penny is working with Hiram since she always had unfixed allegiances. She is however surprised that Penny isn't ratting Hiram out yet, leading Gladys to suspect that Hiram must have something on her. While Penny isn’t a snitch, she will say this; Hiram won’t stop until he gets Archie. And there’s nothing anyone can do. Gladys then addresses the fact that Penny carved off Jughead’s Serpent tattoo. Penny states that was business between her and Jughead. Gladys retorts that she’s Jughead’s mother, also making it her business. Gladys grabs a large hunting knife and tells everyone to go inside. Before doing so, Jughead tells Gladys to ask Penny about Gryphons and Gargoyles and how Hiram fits into it all.
Jughead and Archie approach Gladys as she cleans her hands of Penny’s blood. Jughead asks what she gathered from Penny, but Gladys needs a moment to think. Jughead continues to push nonetheless, asking if Penny talked about the game. They know she was tracking Archie for Hiram, but what they don’t know is if it was a quest from her master. Is Hiram more then just the Man in Black. Maybe he is the Gargoyle King. Jughead is so caught up in the game that he can’t see three feet ahead of himself, Gladys says. The big prize isn’t Archie’s head. It’s Riverdale. Hiram chased Jughead out of town just to get him out the way, so that Jughead would be far away when he made his play. It’s not about ascending to the Kingdom, it’s about claiming it. And if Hiram is the Gargoyle King, then he’s responsible for introducing G&G to Riverdale. Archie looks to Gladys for their next move, but not even she has the answer to that. However, at least for the time being, Archie is safe there.
Jughead is awakened from his sleep by his mother to speak with him alone. As it turns out, Penny had a lot to say. The bounty on Archie is also on anyone who is with him or helping him, meaning there’s now a target on Jughead. It’s the same for Archie if returns to Riverdale. He’d be putting his dad and all friends in danger, which is why Gladys wants Jughead to cut Archie loose, for his own safety. Jughead refuses, though little do they know, Archie is listening from the doorway. Surprisingly, he is in agreement with Gladys. Archie doesn’t want Jughead or anyone else getting hurt because of him. Jughead has already done more for him than anyone else. Still, he refuses to abandon Archie. However, given that they were almost captured at the farm and how close Penny came to claiming the bounty, Archie can’t put anyone else at risk, so wherever he goes next, he goes alone. Jughead reluctantly accepts this. Gladys offers to get Archie to the border as she knows a guy who can help. Jughead she says can stay as long as he wants. However, he plans on returning to Riverdale as he has to stop Hiram.
That morning, Jughead and Archie both prepare to leave, but to different destinations; Archie to the border and Jughead to Riverdale. There’s a knock at the door. It’s Fred. He gives Archie a hug and the two head for the boarder. Jughead heads outside to find his father waiting for him. FP hands him his Serpent jacket and the two share a hug. FP heard Penny was around causing trouble, but Gladys assures him that Penny was dealt with. She hugs Jughead goodbye and FP then sends him to warm up the bikes.
As Jughead and FP arrive at the town boarder, their path is blocked off by armed officials. The town sign now reads "Official Quarantine Site. No Trespassing". The town is officially under quarantine. The governor’s orders. No one in or out. As Jughead and FP approach, the officers draw their weapons and demand that they turn around and leave.
Jughead spends the night over at Betty's, sleeping in hr bed alongside her. He and Betty awake to the sound of panicked screaming. It’s Hannah, one of the girls Betty rescued from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. From the kids, Betty learns that an unnamed Serpent is supplying them with Fizzle Rocks, which she relays to Jughead, who blames himself for the Serpents dealing Hiram Lodge’s drugs as he was gone too long. He left both Betty and the Serpents without a leader even though his reason for doing so was to protect Archie. Fizzle Rocks are now everywhere because Jughead wasn’t in Riverdale to stop Hiram when he made his play. On top of all that, they still don’t have a sheriff. Jughead and Betty question the reason behind the quarantine. Betty recalls that Hiram was paying the Sisters to test his drugs on the patients. So, she doesn’t see him getting away with that. However, she and attorney McCoy must first convince Sister Woodhouse and the rest of the nuns to turn on Hiram. In doing so, Archie could finally come back, Betty says.
With his father and Betty at his side, Jughead calls a meeting of the Serpents at Sunnyside Trailer Park after it came to his attention that at least one of them has been selling Fizzle Rocks, which is not what Serpents do. Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fangs are in attendance, among others. Starting that moment, there will be no selling or doing of drugs. And no crime of any kind will be tolerated. Anyone that breaks the Serpent code will be exiled permanently. Cheryl, for one, is outraged. She calls into question Jughead's latest decision. He vanished for a month, only to return to lecture them about responsibilities. Also unreleased by Jughead’s decree is Fangs. With no money coming in, he wonders what they’re supposed to do to survive. FP replies that they’ll figure it out, but in the mean time, he recites Serpent law #6 — "In unity there is strength."
Having learned from Betty that Fangs is dealing Fizzle Rocks, Jughead and FP confront him in the trailer. Jughead wonders why Fangs didn’t come to him. Fangs explained that when the quarantine happened, he needed money and Jughead was gone. When FP asks what he needed the money for, Fangs reveals that his mother is sick and that she has treatments that he can’t afford. With Fangs being like a brother to Jughead, he would’ve helped him, however, Fangs was ashamed, so he started dealing Fizzle Rocks, which he got from the Gargoyle gang. Jughead reminds Fangs that the punishment for breaking this code is immediate exile, though considering that Fangs had a rougher year than most, eluding to him being locked up for Midge Klump’s murder and him being shot outside the Sheriff station, Jughead is willing to look the other way just this once, but if he catches Fangs dealing again then he is out the Serpents.
Jughead gets an unexpected visit from Veronica, demanding that he retrieve a stolen Glamoure egg from Cheryl, who’s been ignoring Veronica’s calls. Jughead questions when Veronica decided to align herself with her father. She explains that this isn’t the case. He’s squeezing her and her business. Now, not only does he have her paying protection, but he’s made her responsible for getting the egg back. Having learned that Veronica is paying Hiram for protection against his own gang, Jughead has a solution to both of their problems. He offers the Serpents’ protection. Veronica gets real protection and the Serpents get a steady income. Veronica agrees, but only if Jughead gets her the egg back.
Jughead calls for another meeting at Sunnyside with the Serpents. He announces the deal he made with Veronica. They’ll be working security detail for her, her speakeasy and her employees. The Serpents cheer in excitement. However, Jughead’s also gathered them for less celebratory reasons. Jughead calls Cheryl and Toni up as they burglarized the Pembrooke. More than that, Cheryl left her calling card, attaching herself and by extension all the Serpents to her crime. However, Cheryl isn’t afraid of Hiram. Nevertheless, she broke the code, and so Jughead demands that both Cheryl and Toni turn in their jackets. Toni can’t believe this is happening, reminding Jughead that she is a Serpent by blood and that this isn’t something he can take from her.
Cheryl then calls Jughead out on being a hypocrite, having learned that Fangs was selling Fizzle Rocks and that Jughead gave him a pass. They know because Fangs told Sweet Pea, who told Toni, who told Cheryl. She adds that since Jughead is asking for her and Toni jackets, he should be asking for Fangs’ as well. In fairness, Jughead does just that, which Sweet Pea does no respond well to, grabbing Jughead. Fangs tells Sweet Pea to relax and angrily hands over his jacket. Sweet Pea attempts to follow Fangs but FP stops him. Jughead then turns his attention towards Cheryl and Toni, who agree to leave but refuse to give up their jackets, which is fine by Jughead, but he also asks that Cheryl give him the egg back or else Veronica won’t agree to the protection contract. Jughead explains that he believes that Cheryl still has honor, and it's getting cold out. And unlike Cheryl, the rest of them don’t get to go back to Thistlehouse.
Jughead meets with Veronica and Reggie at Pop’s to return the egg. From there, Veronica and Reggie gives Jughead and the Serpents their first assignment, asking if he’d ever heard of the Gargoyle gang.
Jughead, along with Betty and Veronica briefly appear in Archie's dream/hallucination. Betty asks if he’s been working on any new songs. However, Archie isn’t that person anymore, he says while teary-eyed. Archie doesn’t want to play, but it’s his only way back to Eldervair, Riverdale and innocence. They then guide him through his finale quest.
FP is concerned over Jughead’s deal with Veronica. While she may be his friend, she is also a Lodge, but as Jughead recalls, his father also worked for the Lodges once by trashing the Twilight Drive-In. FP wants Jughead to be a better King than he was, making them players instead of pawns. His father then tells him to put him in as he’s not made to be sitting on the sideline.
Jughead, FP, Sweet Pea and the Serpents hide in the back of La Bonne Nuit's cargo truck as Reggie crosses back over the boarder. While on his way back to town, Reggie comes across another set of road spikes just as before, except this time he sees them and stops. Reggie exits the truck and is immediately surrounded. As they head towards the back of the truck to trash the cargo, the Serpents attack, jumping out he back of the truck with weapons in hand. One Gargoyle is knocked to the ground as the others flee. Sweet Pea and FP hold him up as Jughead uses him to send a message to Hiram. He informs the Gargoyle that Veronica is now under the protection of the Serpents and that Riverdale has not fallen. The Serpents then proceed to let the Gargoyle go to deliver the message.
Jughead, FP, and Sweet Pea meet with Fangs in the woods. They’d talked it over and want to give him a shot at redemption. They want Fangs to go undercover, join the Gargoyle gang, to be the man on the inside of Hiram’s drug operation in order to take him down. Honored by the opportunity for redemption, Fangs agrees to be their inside man.
Jughead and Betty meet with Veronica and Archie at Pop's after his surprise return to Riverdale. Jughead notes the dramatic changes with Archie both inside and out. As for what he missed while he was gone, Veronica informs him of the town quarantine orchestrated by her father, which resulted in Pop’s being shut down and just recently re-opening. Hiram’s also been attacking shipments to the speakeasy, but thankfully, Veronica’s hired the Serpents as her full-time protection. And that service extends to Archie. Jughead assures Archie he has no need to worry about Hiram as he has the Serpents looking out for Archie 24/7. Also, Jughead has a possible lead that may bring an end to it all. He had Fangs go undercover in the Gargoyle Gang. While he hasn’t met the Gargoyle King yet, when he does, they are going to take the him down. Jughead is certain that Hiram is the man under the mask, which would come as no surprise to Veronica. Betty then mentions the SATs, which has completely slipped Archie’s mind, and they are coming up Saturday. Betty assures Archie that they will all help him study. Pop Tate then returns to their table to inform Betty that her card has been declined, and so Veronica steps in to take care of the bill.
Jughead and Betty help Archie study for the SATs as promised. Unfortunately, Archie performed terribly on the practice test, scoring in the bottom ten percentile. Jughead then gets a message from Fangs, warranting his immediate attention, and so Archie and Betty stay behind to finish studying. However, Archie is starting to feel hopeless. But Betty reminds him that he said the same thing in the 2nd grade when he couldn’t read, and eventually Betty got him caught up. Archie contemplates on whether Weatherbee was right and that he has changed too much. In one respect, that may be true, but Betty knows that the Archie she knew still exists.
Jughead meets with Fangs in the bunker, where Fangs reveals that he’s successfully infiltrated the Gargoyle Gang. The Gargoyle King is impressed by Fangs’ Fizzle Rocks sales and wants to invite him into the Inner Circle. They’re having a ceremony tomorrow night in Fox Forest and the Gargoyle King will be there. Jughead wants Fangs to attend the ceremony, but he does make a point to reassure him that he’ll have back up.
Jughead attends Archie's welcome home party at La Bonne Nuit. Archie, Betty, and Jughead take a seat as Veronica sings on stage for Archie. Not far away, Reggie sits visibly annoyed, though this goes unnoticed by all. As Veronica continues to sing, Archie seems to become overwhelmed by all his grief and suffering, taking off right in the middle of Veronica’s performance.
The Serpents move forward with their plan to stop the ceremony and catch the Gargoyle King. As Fangs is about to be branded, Jughead and FP take out two armed guards. Moments away from being branded, Fangs is saved by the Serpents. While the Gargoyle Gang manage to escape, the Serpents do manage to capture the Gargoyle King. The man under the mask is revealed to be Tall Boy, much to Jughead, FP, Sweet Pea, and Fangs’ surprise.
Jughead, FP, Sweet Pea, and Fangs take Tall Boy to the bunker, where they tie him to a chair and torture him for answers as they were all under the impression that he was dead. FP asks where he’s been hiding. Tall Boy replies that he’s been held up in a small town called Athens. When Tall Boy reveals that it was him who broke into Betty’s house, Jughead punches him in the face. They know that he’s been working for Hiram, parading around in the Gargoyle King costume. Simply to gain a reaction, Tall Boy goes onto reveal that he took great pleasure in carving that symbol into Joaquin’s head after killing him, which deeply angers Fangs and Sweet Pea, though Jughead and FP hold them at bay. However, Jughead isn’t willing to do so much longer, threatening to turn Sweet Pea and Fangs loose should Tall Boy refuse to help them get to Hiram. Tall Boy explains that Hiram would never agree to meet with him, not unless he had something that he really wanted.
Jughead finds Archie at his home to ask for his help in taking down Hiram Lodge. Jughead tells Archie that Tall Boy is the Gargoyle King and that they have him locked down in the bunker. This is their shot to finally smoke out Hiram, but they need bait, that being Archie, who agrees to play his role.
Jughead, Archie, FP, Sweet Pea, and Fangs hold Tall Boy at gun point and force him to make contact with Hiram. During which time, Tall Boy claims to have captured Archie. They schedule for Hiram to pick Archie up at the usual meeting place at 9 PM.
That night, dressed in the Gargoyle King suit, FP awaits Hiram’s arrival with Archie at his side and Jughead crouched behind the railing, waiting to make his move. However, they’re disappointed when it’s Claudius who has arrived to pick Archie up. Claudius attempts to make a run for it, but Jughead and Archie restrain him long enough for FP to make a citizens arrest.
Saturday has finally arrived and the gang must now take their SATs, this includes Jughead, Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, and Kevin. Archie immediately begins to struggle with his test, so much so that he ups and leaves class without so much as a word. Veronica attempts to go check on him, but if she does, it’s an automatic zero. Archie rushes into the bathroom, hoping to regain a sense of reality. However, the more he thinks about all Hiram put him through, the angrier he becomes, to the point where Archie shatters the bathroom mirror with a single punch.
Jughead returns to the bunker to find Tall Boy dead and Sweet Pea and Fangs in a panicked state. Fangs explains that Tall Boy tried to escape and he accidentally shot him. And now they don’t know what to do. Jughead tells them both to shut up long enough for him to think. He comes up with an idea to throw a party.
As planned, Jughead, Sweet Pea, and Fangs throw a party at Sunnyside Trailer Park for the Serpents. Jughead instructs them to remain composed. As far as anyone knows, Tall Boy was exiled. Jughead then makes an announcement as they have a lot to celebrate. They finally unmasked the Gargoyle King and Hiram Lodge is down for the count. Lastly, they’re welcoming back one of their own, Fangs. Their celebratory partying is interrupted by the sound of police sirens sounding. Again, Sweet Pea and Fangs become concerned. However, much to their surprise the law enforcer is actually Jughead's father, FP, who has been appointed the new sheriff of Riverdale.
In the Blue and Gold offices sits Jughead, typing away on his typewriter, documenting the sinister turn of events, one after another, that lead from Riverdale being a once decent and innocent place, to a noir town. A town of lost souls, each of them with a secret of their own that they’re trying to desperately keep. Jughead for instance, along with Sweet Pea and Fangs, are hiding Tall Boy’s death from his father. Unbeknownst to him, Tall Boy’s body lays under the bed as Jughead, Sweet Pea and Fangs fabricate a story, claiming that they drove Tall Boy to a bus station at gunpoint and forced him out of town. However, FP isn’t buying it considering Tall Boy murdered Joaquin. However, the boys stick to their stories. And with FP’s hands already full in search of Hiram’s would-be assassin, he lets it go, at least for the time being.
Jughead’s writing is interrupted as Veronica enters the Blue and Gold with a job for him. She wants him to find out who shot her father. She pays him half the money upfront and assures him he’ll get the other half when he provides the name of the shooter. Veronica even gives him his first suspect, that being her own mother. Veronica recalls an argument between her parents just a few weeks ago that happened just before the quarantine, when she had her seizure. She walked in on her mother berating her father on breaking a promise.
Following Veronica’s directions, Jughead goes down to Town Hall to question the mayor, immediately asking if she shot Hiram, which Hermione claims to have had no involvement in. As records and witnesses will attest, she was on the phone with Hiram when he was shot. Jughead then asks what she and Hiram were arguing about when Veronica had her seizure. Hermione claims that Hiram was having an affair. She had become suspicious a while back and had Minetta follow him. He gave Hermione multiple photos of Hiram with a mysterious blonde woman. Apparently, Hiram was meeting her regularly at the Five Seasons. Hermione then asked him to end the affair and he supposedly did. She is sharing all this with Jughead because she has nothing to hide. She allows Jughead to keep the photos, alluding to the fact that maybe it was Hiram’s mistress that shot him, bitter after the break up.
Sweet Pea and Fangs calls Jughead back into the bunker to inform him that the Gargoyle Gang is riled up and looking for Tall Boy. And as long as his body is in the bunker, they’re all in danger. Unfortunately, it’s too risky to move him at the moment. Jughead orders Fangs to stay back with Tall Boy and lock the bunker down as he’ll need Sweet Pea to tail Hermione Lodge.
Together, Jughead and Betty pick up the trail on Hiram’s mysterious blonde mistress. Starting at the Five Seasons. She may have wanted revenge after Hiram broke it off with her. Betty’s investigation into Claudius’ death is on hold until she hears back from Dr. Curdle Jr. Turns out there wasn’t an autopsy on Claudius. Penelope had him cremated, but Betty is hopeful that there’s something of use in Clifford’s autopsy report. The two of them come cross a room with a glowing red emblem on the door. They knock, and when no one answers, they decide to let themselves in. They seem to have stumbled onto some kind of sex club. They meet a young lady named Laura. She explains they’ve entered what is know as the Maple Club. Jughead shows her a picture of Hiram’s mistress, and while initially reluctant, after Jughead bribes her with money, Laura reveals that she’s seen the woman before, telling them to try room 311. As they’re on their way out, Jughead and Betty bump into Penelope, who demands that they both leave. Betty and Jughead confront Penelope over her brothel, threatening to inform his dad should she not cooperate. In hopes of keeping Jughead and Betty quiet, Penelope agrees to answer their questions.