Spoilers for the May 9 episode of Riverdale. There are a lot of close calls on Riverdale. While the show's heroes often get themselves into danger, things always seem to turn out relatively well by the end of the episode — but a major cliffhanger in the penultimate episode of Season 2 left the fate of the show's most beloved writer/gang leader in question. These theories about Jughead's Riverdale fate after his beating could provide a glimmer of hope in one of the series' darkest cliffhangers — or they could mean fans have seen the last of Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones.
Whether it's Fred Andrews surviving a shot from the Black Hood or having a school principal burst into Riverdale High School wielding a baseball bat to make sure the school's rival gangs don't burn down the building, more often than not, things tend to take a turn for the best at the last possible moment in Riverdale. (Unless, you're a women being targeted by the Black Hood, who luck tends to forget.) However, FP didn't manage to find Jughead until he was already left to die in the forest after being subjected to a vicious brutalizing by Penny Peabody and the Ghoulies.
So what will become of Jughead in the Riverdale Season 2 finale, airing May 16 on The CW? Here are some guesses.
Jughead Could Be Dead
Fans looking to Sprouse's twitter feed for a hopeful message that his character will be surviving were instead met with what appears to be a goodbye message. If Jughead really is dead, it would upset the entire dynamic of the show — but that may be exactly what the show wants to do. A major character death would have a huge effect on the entire town and further escalate the conflict between the Southside and the Northside. Plus, he did get beaten up very badly by over a dozen men — and unless the Serpents have a great benefits package, Jughead may not be able to get the treatment he'd need if the Ghoulies did a lot of damage to him. It'll be a difficult loss, but could provide an interesting starting point for Season 3.
Jughead Could Be Fine!
Fred Andrews took a bullet at the beginning of Season 2, but you'd never have guess judging from how well he was doing just a few episodes later. Certain injuries tend to heal quickly in Riverdale, especially if you're a main character, and Jughead is one of the most crucial characters in the show. While FP didn't find him until after his beating, Jughead was still found, and could possibly make it if taken to the hospital in time.
Jughead Could Live, But Quit The Serpents Forever
Jughead spent all of Season 1 looking for purpose and community, and the Southside Serpents eventually gave that to him. But at his core, Jughead's still weird. He's still a weirdo. He doesn't fit in with the Serpents, and that is probably for the best. His dissenting vote to go to avoid a battle with the Ghoulies, in addition to the beating he suffered in an attempt to save the Serpents, may have finally shown Jughead that he's just not meant to be a gang leader. He may manage to survive the beating, but when he comes to we could be seeing a whole new Jughead — or just a Jughead who goes back to writing about his friends and is less interested in managing gang politics.
Whatever happens to Jughead, his beating is going to have an impact on all of the characters around him, especially his girlfriend Betty. Jughead has been the connective tissue between the two sides of town, and his ordeal could be the factor that unites the two sides of the town against the real threats: Hiram Lodge, Penny Peabody, and the Ghoulies. If this is that last of Jughead, then it's safe to say that Archie, Betty, and Veronica will certainly not let his death be in vain.