Spoilers ahead for Riverdale Season 3, Episode 12. Jughead's family is back together in Riverdale, and he seems thrilled that his mother and little sister are staying for a while. But he may not be so happy when he finds out what his mom Gladys Jones is planning on Riverdale. She rolled into town looking to collect a big payout from the Lodges, but she seems to be sticking around for some other reason entirely.
Originally, Gladys was going to buy Hiram's stash of drugs and equipment, which is shady enough all on its own. The last time fans saw Jughead's mom, she was running a slightly illicit chop shop in her salvage yard. How'd she decide to jump from that to selling drugs? In any case, she won't get the chance now that Veronica and Reggie burned the stash. Instead, Gladys is settling for getting her money back, and she's not leaving town until she's been paid in full.
However, it seems that staying was Gladys' plan all along — even before Veronica came up short with the cash. At the end of the Feb. 6 episode, Jellybean tells her mom, "Everything's going just how you said, Mom. I've got dad wrapped around my pinky." Gladys replies, "You're his weakness, baby, which means we've got the whole town, JB. Your old man's the sheriff, the mayor owes us serious cash, hell, even her daughter's working for me now. Oh yeah, we moved to the right place at the right time."
The right time for what? There's not a lot to go on right now, but we do know that Gladys has a history of being a shady businesswoman. She tried to tell Jughead that her salvage yard was above board, but it was immediately clear that there was some illegal action going on. Plus, she was willing to buy and make drugs with Hiram's equipment. Now it seems like whatever Gladys has planned involves using her high-up connections to impact the whole town, and whatever she's doing could spell trouble for one of your favorite Riverdale couples.
Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told The Wrap that Gladys could come between Betty and Jughead. "[Jughead and Betty] are going to continue working together as the investigators that they are and they are going to have these big, you know, a problem rolls into town in the character of Gladys Jones."
Betty is not one to let illegal behavior slide, but Gladys is family to Jughead and he may want to drop any investigations into his mom. And as Gina Gershon, who plays Gladys, told TV Insider, no one wants her character as an enemy, so Betty better watch out. "You don’t want to mess with Gladys," Gershon said. "She's very protective of her family, extremely protective. You don't want to get on her bad side."
But even though it's clear that Gladys is up to no good, Gershon told Entertainment Weekly that she does have some ethical guidelines, which is more than you can say for other Riverdale parents like Penelope Blossom and Hiram Lodge.
"She's got her own moral code. It could be a dodgy one — as we know, people can have their own codes and they can be really terrible. But I don't think she’s terrible. She's a survivor," Gershon said of her character. "She has her own agenda. At the same time, she's a very, very protective mama and you definitely don't want to be one her bad side. She has a strong sense of revenge and protection. She was a Serpent, after all. She has a real code of loyalty."
So fans probably don't have to worry about Jughead or FP, since they're family to Gladys. But everyone else in Riverdale better watch out, because Gladys has something nefarious planned and it can't be good.