The end of Edgar Evernever made room for a new mystery on Riverdale, and you’re going to need a VCR. What’s on that videotape, and who sent it?
First things first, who anticipated the end of The Farm to include Alice and Betty delivering the buddy cop spin-off we deserve, an almost recycled Veronica Mars season 2 school bus crash storyline and a literal rocket? As hasty as the conclusion to the cult subplot may have been, Riverdale doesn’t disappoint when it comes to supplying completely bonkers moments. Enter the videotape.
In the closing seconds of “Dog Day Afternoon,” the third episode of the season, Jughead and Betty lie on the couch downloading their very weird days (though Betty certainly has Jughead beat by a mile), the doorbell rings. It’s late, and they’re naturally confused as to who (or what, knowing Riverdale) could be on the other side. Jughead bends down to find a bag containing a videotape. “Who?” and “What?” are the leading questions.
For the teens who don’t know, a videotape could hold recorded video footage like movies or homemade content from a camcorder or video camera. They were the DVDs and Blu Rays of yesteryear, before Netflix and streaming rendered even those technologies mostly irrelevant. And, for the most part, they were our Instagram Stories before social media digitized the capture of home movies.
It’s necessary to explain the background of a videotape because surely some viewers are young enough to not know, but also because we’re working with someone old school. Whoever made that tape must be doing more than making a reference to the 1989 film Sex, Lies, and Videotape (which could also be the case), among others. The tangibility leaves as big of an impression as a viral video on Twitter.
Being so, the content of the tape is all the more interesting because it’s more than likely incriminating. But who could have an incriminating videotape of Betty or Jughead? Provided we’re going on very little information, as the storyline was introduced as a cliffhanger, we’re not even sure if the desired recipient was Betty or Jughead — or both.
Maybe more of their friends will receive videotapes on their doorsteps. Depending on who was meant to receive and watch that tape, the culprits run the gamut. If the videotape was meant for Jughead, his new Stonewall Prep enemy Brett could very well have concocted this weird outdated scheme. They tangled over their writing styles during the latest workshop, which led to Brett retaliating against Moose. It’s also worth noting Donna, the mystery writing winner, has motive.
If the videotape was meant for Betty, the options get more interesting. Perhaps it’s Charles and we can’t, in fact, trust him. Ethel could have finally snapped, Evelyn Evernever could strike back or Penelope Blossom could be toying with her. There are plenty of skeletons in Betty’s closet, and when you combine them with Jughead’s and the whole town’s the possibilities are quite literally endless.
If more videotapes start popping up around Riverdale to all of their friends, then maybe it’s someone connected to the whole gang trying to pull an I Know What You Did Last Summer on them, like the suspicious new principal Mr. Honey. But the proximity of this new mystery to Jughead, his tepid start at Stonewall Prep and the impending arrival of his long-lost grandfather lends to significant speculation that his trouble has just begun. Better get a VCR, Jug.
Who do you think sent the tape? Who do you think it’s for? What do you think is on it? Leave your best guesses, hot takes and bold predictions in the comments!
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.