Betty and Donna love playing mind games with each other.
Both know the truth about what happened to Jughead, but their moves to get the truth matched wit for wit. Their game of cat-and-mouse felt like a tennis match going back and forth on Riverdale Season 4 Episode 14.
Betty was right about Donna: she is the mastermind of it all. Donna is no villain to underestimate, especially after how she controlled the situation from start to finish.
"Chapter Seventy-One: How to Get Away with Murder" confirmed that the main trio, especially the highly organized and intelligent Betty Cooper, are still reckless teens.
Veronica, Betty, and Archie made one bad decision after another trying to clean up their messes. When one lie avoided one problem, that lie dug them deeper into the hole with even more problems. The troubles just kept coming.
The trio has captured serial killers, solved murders, defeated a board game, and fought a bear to name a few successes. But, now that they're on the other side without the control, they were downright sloppy.
Clearly, they didn't watch Veronica Mars Season 3 Episode 9 and learned nothing about planning the perfect murder.
DNA evidence everywhere. Conflicting alibis. Decisions made at a moment's notice. Come on, did they miss re-run episodes of CSI too?
Betty's behavior surprised me the most. She balanced this eerie mix of malevolent control and short-sightedness.
So much of her time went into the grander moves, like crafting a fake script while talking to FP and planting a bug in Brett's room. However, she kept treating Quill & Skull like they were reckless teens that could be easily defeated.
That's not the case after everything that has happened on Riverdale Season 4.
Betty: You drugged me, Donna You put a bloody rock in my hand, but it was you or one of your demented chums that killed my boyfriend.
Donna: Fascinating theory, but here is what I think you did. Rather than try to explore to the authorities what you were doing with a bloody rock standing over Jughead’s corpse, you hid or got rid of the body. Archie and Veronica helped you, am I right? No need to answer me, I know that’s what happened, just like how I know Jughead’s body will never be found.
Betty: Yeah, why’s that?
Donna: Because if it was, all of the forensic evidence would lead to you, Betty. The crazy girlfriend with the history of mental illness. The perfect murder! No body, no crime.
Brett, Donna, Joan, and Jonathan are the smartest villains the trio has ever faced. Donna, in particular, is a sociopath who has made this complex web of lies and schemes.
It's disappointing that Betty kept trying the same tactics thinking that Donna and the others would slip up, or that she underestimated their planning, like when Joan dropped the phone in her pocket.
Quill & Skull are three steps ahead of her. Betty already tried the reasoning approach and the conversations; she should've learned from her past mistakes during this time of desperation.
Charles is a good brother to Betty, but he's digging himself deep into this crime.
He'll be lucky if FP doesn't mention the rock again. If someone discovers he disposed of real evidence, his career with the FBI will be in danger!
Though, you gotta love his vast knowledge of hypnosis and mind tricks. His powers with the mind answered the biggest question about whether Betty had the power to kill Jughead or not.
Devil's Breath wraps that answer up in a nice bow.
The reveal, thankfully, cuts through all the second-guessing if Betty was involved and just focuses on the truth. The progression is pushing on forward and I love it!
Betty and Donna's final confrontation in the woods is another amazing scene! You could cut the tension with a knife.
Much of Riverdale Season 4 Episode 14 focused on defensive tactics and the trio cleaning up their mess, but this scene was their offensive strike.
I’m sorry, Donna, but I’m the ultimate wild card. I am the daughter of The Black Hood. The nightmare from next door. I’m training with the FBI and I’m coming for you, you psycho b****! Not Joan, not Jonathan, not even Brett. Just you.Betty
Betty was direct, cutthroat, and showed Donna who the real boss was on Riverdale. Donna may be an emotionless mastermind, but that realization was slowly appearing on her hearing about The Black Hood's daughter destroying her life.
This might be the first time someone matched Donna's level and made her afraid.
Plus, the camera angles focused on their POV added a nice touch to the seriousness of Betty's words. It was a powerful scene!
Veronica had every right to be angry and upset when Hiram brought up the will. How have they gone this far without him telling her the truth of his illness?
She's not oblivious to what's going on in her family. Besides, wouldn't Hermosa and Hermione have told Hiram that Veronica knew?
Hiram's pride knows no bounds. (That is unless he's been faking this whole time and it's a scheme. The theories are strong here!)
Hiram: I didn’t want the pity. I didn’t want you to see me as weak. Ever.
Veronica: Daddy, all I want is to be a source of strength for you. I love you. And, we’re going to fight our way through this. Together.
Their heart-to-heart about his illness was long overdue and a must. Neither could move forward until they were honest with one another. The plot dragged on too much to get to this point.
I loved that Hiram dropped his guard and opened up.
He stopped being the evil villain and acted like Veronica's father for once. This Hiram should stick around while he can until his farewell.
If Archie gets the opportunity to go to the naval academy, he should jump on it. Second chances don't come around often!
He nearly blew his first attempt after collapsing in the ring. And while going to the academy isn't his first choice, it's an amazing opportunity that could set him up for his future career, boxing, or attending a university.
This is his foot in the door. If he wants to go to school, it's either this or staying behind a year to majorly improve his grades.
Now that Mary knows the truth of what happened to Jughead, how will she play a part in helping the trio?
Betty, Veronica, and Archie have Charles helping them cover-up evidence, but Mary is a moral-focused archetype. Let's not forget she's the one who jumped in to defend Archie during his trial on Riverdale Season 3 Episode 1, and every subsequent time someone needed legal help.
Mary will do whatever she can to help her son, so we know she won't let him get too much into trouble. However, there is a moral line for what she can do.
She could be their lawyer once the cops close in on the trio due to Brett and Donna's witness testimony?
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
Poor Kevin. His only plot purpose is to get kicked out of a booth and discuss the school musical.
We need all the tea on Mary's new relationship with Brooke. Stat!
- Did Veronica not expect any blowback from running an illegal club? She's lucky Barnard College didn't rescind the opportunity.
Betty: Go to hell, Evelyn
Evelyn: Oh, I’m already in hell, Betty. This is hell. And soon you’re going to be here too because they’re saving a cell for you on Murderer’s Row, down the hall from Old Sparky where they keep all the killer.
- Why didn't Betty come clean to Alice and FP about the framing attempt? They've all hidden a dead body together; they would've helped her figure it out.
I don't trust Charles. He's getting too involved in the schemes that I'm now waiting for Riverdale to reveal he's the one working with Stonewall Prep to frame Betty.
- Do we now need to give up all the theories that Jughead is alive and faking his death? They did find a dead body in the woods and the Devil's Breath didn't force Betty to kill Jughead...
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans!
What did you think of "Chapter Seventy-One: How to Get Away with Murder"?
How will Quill & Skull slip up during their lies? Will Veronica lose her acceptance to Barnard College? Will Archie get accepted into the naval academy?
If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments!
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.