‘Riverdale’: How the Auteur Reveal May Have Set up FP’s Exit (RECAP)

Riverdale Coopers Jones Season 5 Episode 2 Videotapes Auteur
Spoiler Alert
The CW

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 2 of Riverdale, “Chapter Seventy-Eight: The Preppy Murders.”]

The auteur has been closer than Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) could have imagined.

Riverdale unmasks the person behind those creepy videotapes of everyone’s houses and criminal recreations in its second to last high school-set episode—but not before the auteur steps up the game. The Coopers and Jones receive a tape of the auteur inside their house, going upstairs, watching Betty and Jughead sleeping in their bedroom, and running a knife down Jellybean’s (Trinity Likins) face.

After the three kids and Betty’s mother, Alice (Mädchen Amick), and Jughead’s father, FP (Skeet Ulrich), move over to the Five Seasons hotel, the teen sleuths ponder who could have been listening in to know the “privileged information” necessary to stage those past violent acts: Charles (Wyatt Nash). After all, the FBI agent likes to bug phones and has the resources to kill people inside (Sean Depner’s Bret) and outside (Doralynn Mui’s Joan) of prison.

Charles confesses pretty much as soon as Betty calls him out after she and Jughead lure him to their house. Those prep-school kids “committed a heinous act and got away with it,” Charles says. “It didn’t sit well with me.” Plus, Bret was going to spill that he and boyfriend Chic (Hart Denton), a.k.a. the guy who pretended to be Charles originally, were still together. “I only kill people who deserve it, horrible people who hurt those that I love,” Charles insists.

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But while it may make sense that he’s the auteur, too, he insists he’s not. So who is? “He bugged the house. He would’ve overheard everything he needed to make those recreations,” Jughead points out. “I don’t even know who else could have had access to all that information who could have possibly—” Then he realizes who’s behind the videotapes: Jellybean. Yes, she and her friends recreated all those dark moments from over the past few seasons, and really, given everything else that has happened on this show—let’s not forget there was an organ-harvesting cult led by a guy who built a rocket—is it at all surprising?

But why? As Jughead reminds their father, the first tape came after he went to Stonewall Prep. “She wanted me to stay,” Jughead explains to FP. “The big brother she had just gotten to know was already leaving to Stonewall and then to college. She had figured the best way to keep me in town was a mystery.”

Skeet Ulrich Riverdale Season 5 Episode 2 FP Jones

(The CW)

Considering Betty and Jughead are the ones to investigate all the crimes in Riverdale—Archie’s (KJ Apa) mother, Mary (Molly Ringwald), even suggests he bring the tape he received to them, not the police—Jellybean wasn’t wrong to think that.

Jughead doesn’t believe Jellybean and her friends realize what they’re doing is more than a game. And while his sister told him she did it to keep him in town, “I don’t think she understands the enormity and the darkness in what she did,” Jughead tells FP.

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The logline for the next episode, “Graduation,” teases “FP makes a difficult decision about his and Jellybean’s future.” Might he decide he and his daughter have to leave Riverdale behind because of that “darkness”?

Riverdale, Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW