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Now that that the first half of 'Riverdale'’s S4 is in the books, we need to wonder just where the show will go in the back half. Here's what we know.

When does The CW’s ‘Riverdale’ return? All the S4 news

The CW’s Riverdale aired its midseason finale on Wednesday, Dec. 12. With it, there were twists and turns that we have come to expect with Riverdale in all of its insane glory. Now that that the first half of Riverdale’s fourth season is in the books, we need to wonder just where the show will go in the back half. 

Lucky for you Riverdale fans, Film Daily has the news and the theories of just where Riverdale will go in this “grounded” season. Up to including just what exactly is going on with those How to Get Away with Murder-Esque flashforwards. 

Before we get too deep, let’s issue a spoiler warning for the midseason finale of Riverdale, “Chapter Sixty-Six: Tangerine”. 

Jughead Jones: the perfect crime? 

Let’s start with the biggest question on everyone’s mind. Did Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) really kill Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse)? From that murder, did Betty, Archie (K.J. Apa) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) really try to cover up the crime? Based on the flash-forwards that began at the end of season three of Riverdale, it certainly appears that way.

Or does it? 

Riverdale loves a good misdirection. That’s what we think is going on here. In the episode “Chapter Sixty-Five: In Treatment”, the flashforward reveals that Bret (Sean Depner) and Donna (Sarah Desjardins) point the finger at Betty, Archie, and Veronica. Now, is it possible that Jughead’s supposed death at Betty’s hand is really an elaborate trap to take down the Skull and Quill Society, expose whatever Mr. DuPont is doing, and maybe nab the dastardly duo of Charles Smith (Wyatt Nash) and Chic (Hart Denton) in one fell swoop? 

Maybe the plan won’t accomplish all that, but our theory is that Jughead’s death was faked in order to expose whatever is going on Stonewall Prep. There is foreshadowing through the “perfect murder” assignment for The Baxter Brothers novel. Who scored the contract? Jughead. With Jughead in the Skull and Quill Society along with the mysterious deaths related to DuPont (Malcolm Stewart) and Forsythe the First (Timothy Webber) circle of friends, Jughead’s death being an elaborate attempt to reveal the truth makes perfect sense.

DuPont, Bret, and Donna clearly had something to do with the sudden suicide of Mr. Chipping (Sam Witwer). Maybe by staging Jughead’s death, there is the hope that it gets too the truth. 

Riverdale knows how to handle its shocking moments. Revealing the “murder” of Jughead so early in the season? It makes more sense for the true shocking reveal of the faked death to take place later on. If all of us are thinking one thing, then the surprise lands better when the truth is revealed. 

Betty Cooper: divided

In the midseason finale, Betty metaphorically stopped the dark part of herself by being born. How? It involved brainwashing by the Farm, implanted codewords in her and her family, and some pseudo-science time travel that makes no sense. Welcome to Riverdale

Essentially, Betty went back in time to when she was a little girl and, at the behest of Hal (Lochlyn Munro), killed her injured cat, Caramel. By stopping her younger self from killing the cat, Betty was able to prevent the birth of her the dark part of herself.

Yeah, we have no idea if that works in the real world as well. At the end of the episode, Betty used the trigger phrase to see if anything had happened as a result. It ended with her destroying her mirror.

So…maybe Betty didn’t prevent the birth of Dark Betty? Maybe now she has a split personality situation. If they’re really killing off Jughead, then maybe it’s not truly Betty who did it. Maybe it was the dark personality wresting control from her? Either way, it seemed far too neat to just magically handle the whole Dark Betty and Betty divide. We definitely think she’s coming back. 

A return to high school

Sometimes, we think that Riverdale forgets that the characters are supposed to be in high school. To be fair, season four has seen the return of more school-like situations: guidance counselors, college applications, school transfers. According to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, he plans on putting a greater focus on that part of Riverdale.

During SDCC 2019, it was confirmed that there would be an episode focusing on the high school rite of passage: prom. Talking with US Weekly, there were hints at the return of the Betty, Archie, and Veronica comics dynamic as well.

“My hope is that this season we’ll [play in] a lot more of the high school stuff and more of the love triangle stuff.”

Given the popularity of Bughead and Varchie respectively, we have to wonder about the wisdom of that move. If Jughead is truly dead, then who knows how it will play out? 

Musical episodes

Now, this is news straight from San Diego Comic-Con 2019. During the Riverdale panel, the cast confirmed that there will be a musical episode in the fourth season. No one said what musical they would do. Our guess, it would be something a little out there. Riverdale does Carrie, not The Sound of Music. If we had to pick a musical, then we suggest something like Be More Chill or Dear Evan Hansen.

Either way, we know that the musical episode will be a turning point for the end of the season. These musical episodes always represent a turning point for the season:  the death of Midge (Emilija Baranac) during Carrie and the reveal of Edgar Evernever (Chad Michael Murray) following Heathers. Although how that will happen given the reign of Mr. Honey (Kerr Smith), we’re curious to know. 

In addition to the musical episode, there will be a Battle of the Bands episode as well. That’s right. We’re apparently getting the Archies in Riverdale. This was also revealed during the SDCC 2019 panel. Now, of course, plans could have changed for the season. So we’ll have to keep a close eye on things. 

Katy Keene crossover

Away from the madness of Riverdale and the witchy happening of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, there will be Katy Keene. Starring Lucy Hale as the titular character, Katy Keene will follow four friends as they try to make it in New York. Remember the New York scenes from Glee? It sounds like that but without the emphasis on Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), which we’re fine with. 

In a February episode of Riverdale, the day before the Katy Keene premiere, Veronica will travel to New York for a college interview. While there, she will meet up with her old friend Katy Keene and the two will spend the day together.

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