Riverdale Season 2 Episode 20 Recap—Did Riverdale Kill Jughead in Judgment Night?


Warning: Spoilers for Riverdale season 2, episode 21, “Judgment Night,” ahead.

Whoa. Okay, let’s take a beat to process. So much happened on tonight’s episode of Riverdale and I’ve come to a very controversial opinion: I think Hiram is right. Yes, I said it. Sorry, Fred, but Riverdale proper is in dire need of a prison—to hold every single character on this show.

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Let me break this episode down as swiftly as possible.

  • Fangs (R.I.P.) getting shot causes a full-on riot between the south and north sides of town. We discover pretty quickly that Midge’s mother is the culprit, but that doesn’t stop Sweet Pea and co. from going after Reggie, Archie, and everyone they feel wronged them. Jughead attempts to calm them down, while Archie races to Reggie’s aid.
  • The Black Hood goes after Cheryl, but she’s apparently the Red Hood from Arrow and shoots him in the shoulder. Oh, and the Black Hood is officially Hal Cooper. He shifts gears and traps Alice and Betty in the house to do the typical Evil Villain Monologue™. Alice distracts him and Betty hits him over the head with a fire iron. He’s put under arrest.
  • Simultaneously, once Archie secures Reggie’s safety, he goes home to make sure his dad is safe. Another man in a black hood shows up to shoot Fred, who’s thankfully wearing a Kevlar vest, before running off.

    The CW/Riverdale

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    • While Hiram is out “patrolling” with the sheriff in his pocket, Papa Poutine’s son Small Fry attempts to murder Hermione and Veronica in the Pembrooke. Hermione manages to get the jump on him and shoots him dead.
    • In the midst of the riots we also learn the Goolies are back with Penny Peabody to enact revenge on the Serpents for getting them arrested. Jughead urges the Serpents to give up their territory (owned by Hiram Lodge now, anyway) instead of possibly losing lives in a throwdown. FP and the rest set up a parlay at dawn.
    • Master conspiracy theorist Jughead realizes Hiram is funding Penny and offers himself up to them in exchange for leaving the Serpents alone. Apparently one teenager is such a danger to Hiram and the Goolies that they take the deal. He goes to meet them and gets absolutely pummeled before Penny cuts off his Serpent tattoo. When Betty receives a voicemail that sounds suspiciously like a goodbye, she rallies FP, Archie, and more to go after him. FP carries him from the field, and it does not look good.

      Can you believe that doesn’t even include the part where Penny kidnapped Toni Topaz, only for her to be rescued by Jughead and Cheryl cosplaying as Little Red Riding Hood? Yeah, that happened.

      Me trying to figure out how this is all happening in one night.

      The CW/Riverdale

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      Here all the questions I need answered in the real season finale next week.

      Hiram’s behind all of this, right?

      When Reggie is on the run from the young Serpents, he calls Hiram, whose response is pretty much “sucks to suck,” with a smirk on his face. That’s when I realized that Hiram has literally no regard for the lives of children. I thought it was bad when Veronica discovered Hiram planned to reveal his own wife’s prior affair as an October surprise to destroy Fred’s campaign, but then he accepts Jughead’s trade of his life for the Serpents. It turns out he really is as evil as they made him out to be.

      What’s the deal with the Black Hood?

      So Hal says he’s the Black Hood, but who’s the guy who showed up to shoot Fred? A copycat? We can safely assume he’s the man who shot up the debate, and I can’t help think Hiram put out the hit to cause unrest and get rid of his biggest competition.

      What’s Hal’s motive?

      Yes, we know that Hal is the Riverdale Reaper’s son and Betty’s speech from the season 1 finale triggered him to pick up where his father left off. But Alice made some compelling points: Why go after Fred when both she and FP are also adulterers? Also, why did the Black Hood wait to go after Chic and why hasn’t he gone after Hiram when it’s so clear they both fit the sinner narrative AND Hal hates them so much?

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      Should any of these people be parents?

      I’m sorry, but at this point three out of the six main fathers have murdered (or had a hand in the murder) of children. Clifford Blossom killed his son Jason, Hal brutally murdered Midge Klump, and Hal instigated Reggie’s shooting of Fangs, left Reggie for dead, and agreed to trade Jughead’s life away. The Riverdale prison in my head is filling up fast.

      Is Jughead dead?!

      I know he’s probably not because he’s core four, but he was beaten pretty badly. FP looked devastated when he carried his body out of Goolie territory, and I can’t help but think how you’re not supposed to move a body like that in case you cause further neck injury. Why didn’t FP wait for an ambulance?

      Next week can’t come fast enough.


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