Ever since Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) unofficially broke up again on Riverdale “Chapter Seventy-9: Commencement,” followers of the couple, referred to as Bughead, have been begging the present to convey them again, or not less than have them work together in any important, caring manner. And so they lastly did with a giant flashback on this week’s episode, “Chapter Ninety: The Evening Gallery” — however in fact, there was a Riverdale fashion twist.
Spoilers for Riverdale Season 5, Episode 14 previous this level, however within the (wonderful) hour directed by sequence star Mädchen Amick, the viewing viewers is handled to a few twisted tales courtesy of Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch). The primary one is all about Archie (KJ Apa) coping with PTSD from his time at conflict, whereas hallucinating aliens/CHUDs. The second finds Betty torturing a trucker who could or could not have killed her sister, whereas flashing again to her time in captivity with a monster referred to as the Trash Bag Killer.
It’s the third story we’re most involved with right here, although, as Jughead regales his Alcoholics Nameless (AA) group with the near-complete story of his time within the metaphorical wilderness, from graduating highschool proper up till “now.” The quick model is that Jughead went to the Iowa Author’s Workshop, didn’t make any pals, so spent most of his nights consuming and writing. After nabbing a prime literary agent, Samm Pansky (Peter Kelamis), and promoting his first guide, issues quickly went downhill due to copious quantities of extra consuming, medicine, and a few severe author’s block.
Jughead hit all-time low on the night time of his guide launch celebration, leaving a nasty voicemail for Betty when she didn’t present up and, as we be taught this week, promptly falling in a sinkhole (“Yeah it’s uncommon, however I assume it occurs,” Jughead casually explains). Trapped within the sewers, he varieties himself a makeshift bed room and hallucinates Samm as somebody referred to as The Rat King, who cajoles him into writing tales. In the end, he’s saved by none apart from the angelic determine of Excessive Faculty Betty, who leads him to security. He’s picked up by the cops, taken to a hospital, and represses the entire incident up till now.
Oh, and it seems none of that truly occurred! However he was lined in a writhing pile of rats for an evening, one thing that once more Jughead form of casually tosses off.
Anyway, rats, blah, blah, blah, the purpose right here is Bughead, and in my comparatively temporary description of the episode, I disregarded probably the most essential half: through the time between when Jughead and Betty graduated highschool, and the time she ditched his guide launch celebration (extra on that in a second), they saved in contact.
I do know. Thoughts blown, proper? Apart from ‘shippers of the couple, it is a enormous deal as a result of up till now the implication had been that the duo didn’t discuss for seven years. Which can be a part of the explanation Betty ditching the guide launch celebration, and Jughead leaving her a “poisonous” voicemail was so complicated: in the event that they hadn’t spoken (or hardly ever, at that), why was there any expectation she would present up?
Seems, the seeming breakup second on the finish of “Commencement,” when the 2 stated goodbye to one another whereas Betty headed off to school, won’t have been as closing as followers thought. As a substitute, it’s clear that Betty and Jughead saved in common contact, and had been even nonetheless pals with one another, if not one thing just a little extra. The iciness on show within the closing minutes of “Commencement” appears to have melted a bit, not less than from Jughead’s perspective (extra on that in a second, too). She’s blissful for him when he tells her about his guide deal, and he or she clearly appears to need to come to his guide celebration. Regardless that he’s moved on with a brand new girl, Jessica (Phoebe Miu), he nonetheless thinks about Betty continuously. And no matter whether or not you ‘ship Bughead or not, listening to the long-lasting theme music taking part in behind their scenes is bound to tug in your heartstrings.
However — and it is a massive “however” — this isn’t about Bughead; it’s about Jughead. This whole story is from his perspective, not Betty’s. Even assuming we’re seeing issues that truly occurred in the actual world of Riverdale, the one scenes we get with Reinhart are just about one-liners from Betty telling him how proud she is of him. We don’t see a lot by way of context (in a single scene we all know she’s been sexiled from her dorm room, however that’s it), and we actually don’t discover out something about her time in faculty, concurrent with Jughead’s. And the eventual Dream Betty who exhibits as much as “save” Jughead is his conception of her from highschool, not who she is now — and even again in faculty. It’s additionally the identical imaginative and prescient of Betty, an idyllic angel who saves him from his lowest factors, he’s held onto since highschool.
Like most of what he’s telling to his AA group, and the way he’s lived most of his life, it’s a fictionalized model of the reality. And as we’ve seen on this season, Jughead continues to be holding onto that Dream Betty: he as soon as once more hallucinated her whereas excessive on maple mushrooms within the city’s all-purpose intercourse bunker, earlier than as soon as once more hitting all-time low on skid row.
So regardless of having the Bughead theme taking part in within the background, regardless of the touches of Bughead littered all through this a part of the episode, what we’re lacking right here is Betty’s perspective, and Betty’s emotional journey. The aim of this storyline is to not put Jughead’s eventual therapeutic on Betty Cooper, however as an alternative to maneuver the onus for that again onto Mr. Jones. AA fairly famously has a 12 step program for restoration, and whereas we gained’t record all of them right here, the primary seven steps are all about admitting you might have an issue, then looking out inside your self to personal the errors attributable to that downside. The following steps are all about making an inventory of who you’ve harmed, after which making amends the place doable.
That’s the place Jughead is correct now, about to make the essential soar into the amends stage, and that begins (however doesn’t finish) with Betty Cooper. It’s not on Betty to stroll him by way of his points, or change into this magical being who heals him; that’s solely going to occur with effort and time on his half, one thing that may take the remainder of this fictional character’s life. However speaking to Betty, and discovering her perspective goes to be pivotal to transferring ahead. Jughead wants to grasp the truth of what Betty went by way of; not the fiction.
And although that is solely a hunch, that actuality almost certainly ties into the trauma that Betty has suffered. Maybe the explanation she by no means confirmed as much as Jughead’s guide launch celebration wasn’t as a result of she’s “a chilly, faux, duplicitous bitch,” like Jughead stated in that voicemail, however as a result of she was being held captive in a properly by a killer? We don’t know the precise timeline of when Betty was taken hostage, nevertheless it actually would make sense — and as soon as Jughead finds out the place she was, will most likely have a greater understanding of how the Betty in his head, and the Betty in “actual” life, simply don’t match up.
The place that leads Jughead subsequent, romantically or in any other case, is an open query. However for now, all we all know is Jughead has made the primary massive step in direction of not simply therapeutic, but in addition rising up previous the highschool imaginative and prescient he has of himself and his pals. And that each one begins with Riverdale’s resident creator realizing that he’s been ignoring one other character’s perspective. We’ve heard from Jughead; now it’s time to listen to from Betty.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
https://decider.com/2021/09/01/riverdale-bughead-the-night-gallery-spoilers/ | ‘Riverdale’ Reveals Jughead’s Backstory, Bughead On “The Evening Gallery”