'Riverdale' Season 4 Episode 19: A master criminal in the making, is [spoiler] behind the tapes?
'In this town, we are all monsters. Are we gonna be monsters in college or in jail': Jughead Jones's statement sets the tone for the episode
Spoilers for 'Riverdale' Season 4 Episode 19 'Chapter Seventy-Six: Killing Mr. Honey'
In this episode, the directorial debut of Mädchen Amick, who portrays Alice Smith in 'Riverdale' we see the twisted minds of the gang revealed through a revenge fantasy story of 'Killing Mr. Honey.' While the events unfold on paper as Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) scripts the death of Riverdale High's principal for a story he has to submit to the University of Iowa, the town's cinephile continues to wreak havoc delivering daunting tapes - the haunting death of Midge Klump (Emilija Baranac), was the new one this time around. Throughout the season, many fans were pointing fingers at outsiders that wanted to hurt the gang but could the cinephile be closer than we think?
After Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) delivers the pages for the yearbook two days past the due date, Principal Holden Honey (Kerr Smith) makes the decision to cancel printing the school's yearbook. While most normal highschool seniors would go get a drink or plan a home party, Betty says, "we could kill Mr. Honey" quickly adding "or we could scare him into leaving town." While Jughead used the murder angle to create a snuff script for his story, the gang decides to pull a senior prank that sees Mr Honey stick to his chair - of course, Mr. Honey cancels prom. This sits well with no one and Betty decides to find Mr Honey's "skeletons to exploit". If you think about it, is that not what the cinephile is doing? She finds that in all the schools that Honey was principal at, he has canceled prom for various reasons and the parent troupe is brought into Riverdale High.
Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) is the mayor, Alice Smith is a reporter, Mary Andrews (Molly Ringwald) is a lawyer and FP Jones (Skeet Ulrich) and Tom Keller (Martin Cummins) are heavy muscle - so yes, prom was definitely back on. But, the principal tries again. Honey uses the cinephile's MO to create a tape that shows all the interiors of a school and sends it to the school to create a "threat" that would lead to the prom being canceled, to keep the students safe. While Jughead offered to review the tape, Betty asked him to finish his story for Iowa and ends up reviewing the tape herself and she finds Mr Honey's reflection in the tape. Some criminals don't mind a copycat, but Betty is not that type, is she? She's a "wild card" remember? Only the gang has the privileged information that the cinephile had moved on from tapes that shows the fronts of houses to the recreation of snuff films and events that occurred to the residents in Riverdale. Could the cinephile be one of the gang members?
Mr Honey conveniently said that he was trying to protect the gang from the "murder, mayhem, depravity" because "it wasn't normal" with Betty replying, "it's normal for us" and off Mr Honey went to be the new headmaster of Stonewall Prep (this is interesting, are we going to see Bret and Donna again?). What was he protecting them from? Do they need protection from themselves?
Doris Bell (Marion Eisman) then reveals to the gang all the good things that Mr Honey had done for the school, she gives Jughead a letter that Mr Honey had written to the University of Iowa on Jughead's behalf, giving him the opportunity to go to college. This forced Jughead to completely change the story he was writing - his story went from the gang killing Mr Honey to Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) and Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) taking Mr Honey to the hospital and blowing the gang's cover. Thing is, the Betty in Jughead's story was quite close to the Betty in real life - her ability to pull off the perfect murder and hiding dead bodies is almost commendable.
In the midst of Jughead revealing that he changed the story after reading the letter because he was taken aback at how he was "enjoying the suffering," the duo get another tape delivered to them. This time, the tape showed the shack in which Hermione Lodge (Marisol Nichols) had her affair with Sheriff Michael Minetta (Henderson Wade) (what a throwback) and killed him - there, the duo finds another tape. This time, a recreation of the gang killing Mr Honey and from what this episode revealed, there was only one person who knew the exact story that Jughead was writing, his beloved girlfriend Betty.
After having a serial killer for a father, an undercover FBI agent for a mother, taking down the farm, hallucinating as Dark Betty, faking Jughead's death, being in a trance, being at the mercy of her father criminal mind to solve cases and much much more, Betty has grown up to have a demented view of the world. We might be reaching, when we say that Betty may be behind the tapes, but why not? Yes, the gang did know that Jughead was writing a story on killing Mr Honey, but no one was as adamant about taking revenge on the principal as Betty was, not to mention, she was the only one with specifics. It seems as though while the episode went back and forth from Jughead's fictional story that he was writing to the real events taking place, Betty's character had remained the same - "so we're the monsters," she says after she reads Jughead's story and that isn't too far away from the truth.
Betty's father, the black hood, had gone on a killing spree to show that "the town of Riverdale was full of sinners" - is his daughter continuing his legacy?