Enough playing around, Riverdale. Spring break is almost upon us and we need to know whether or not Jughead is really dead. Whatever entrepreneurial ventures Veronica and Cheryl are getting up to don’t matter when they flash forward another anxiety-inducing scene of Jug’s alleged demise. Is anyone else starting to suspect that Betty killing Jughead might be a Baxter Brothers plot instead of what actually happened? Because there some receipts, which we will explore RTFN.
You may have heard the theory before that Riverdale is happening in Jughead’s head and/or part of a book he’s written. That’s why the episode titles are chapters, and why Jughead narrates the series. Either Jughead has written a memoir or is essentially writing fanfiction about all of his school friends.
What I’m proposing is a slight variation on that: That these flash-forwards have actually been scenes from Jughead’s Baxter Brothers manuscript. Wednesday’s episode “Quiz Show” introduced the idea that Jug could easily be persuaded into ripping off his girlfriend’s traumatic past in a pitch meeting. Quick sidebar: since when do YA series have executive boards who meet in dark rooms with potential teenage ghost writers and give story notes? I suddenly have a lot of questions about The Babysitter’s Club.
What if he decided that the best twist ending was to kill “himself off? It’s dark, but not outside the realm of possibility for Riverdale. Maybe Jughead felt like he owed it to Betty to write something drastically different from what actually happened.
Alternatively, maybe there’s some kind of nefarious reason that the Baxter Brothers Powers That Be wanted Jughead to write about all of Riverdale’s dark secrets, and faking his own death is he only way he can get out of it. They were absolutely thirsty for Black Hood content in that pitch meeting. These Baxter Brothers books are almost definitely connected to what happens to Jughead. If only some kid detectives could help me solve this mystery.
#Riverdale I still think taht betty didn’t actually kill jughead, it must be his baxter brothers story pic.twitter.com/pP88si05li
Sure, the names haven’t been changed to Baxter Brothers characters in these flash-forwards, and this theory would mean that Riverdale is straight up lying to us with the lower thirds that read “four months later” and stuff like that. But you have to admit that there’s something fishy about this. Even the literary references are suspect this season. There’s the connection between Stonewall student Donna Sweett and Donna Tartt, whose book The Secret History is about teenagers who cover up a murder. There’s also Brett Weston Wallis and Brett Easton Ellis, who wrote American Psycho in which the audience ultimately realizes that the serial killer protagonist may not have killed anyone after all.
All of these clues and references point to Jughead not really being dead — we just don’t know what actually happened instead. Even the fact that Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly that “Hedwig is literally Cole’s favorite musical” doesn’t add up. Why would that matter if Jughead is dead by the musical episode? Clearly he’s not, and I’m ready for Riverdale to admit it.
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