Season 4 of Riverdale may not have the Gargoyle King or Black Hood looming in the background, but it does have one crazy mystery involving Jughead (Cole Sprouse), who is apparently missing in a flashforward to the Riverdale gang’s spring break. That break is still many months away, with Archie (KJ Apa), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and Betty (Lili Reinhart) just starting senior year at Riverdale High. The Archie squad’s resident Truman Capote is no longer a student there: Jughead was recruited to Stonewall Prep, a private boarding school with major Elite vibes... and quite possibly, lots of secrets.
In season 4, episode 2 “Fast Times At Riverdale High,” Jughead learns he was selected to attend Stonewall Prep after an essay he wrote for a contest impressed one of the teachers there. Jughead’s girlfriend Betty, who accompanies him on a tour of the school, isn’t totally in love with the students’ elitist attitudes or their enthusiastic discussions of Moby Dick. However, when she realizes that the subpar English class at Riverdale High isn’t doing anything to stimulate Jughead’s literary sensibility, she changes her mind. With Betty’s blessing, Jughead decides to button up a blazer and attend Stonewall Prep.
If you were wondering what would happen to the Southside Serpents now that Jughead is attending boarding school, well, don’t, because the show hasn’t even blinked once at that plot hole. Besides, Jughead’s dad F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) is totally onboard with the Stonewall Prep life, and even mentions that his own father was briefly a student there. This was before Grandpa Forsyth dropped out, turned to the bottle, and left his family while on a cigarette run. Hmm...
Thus far, there’s not too much to be suspicious of over at Stonewall Prep. It seems sort of culty, but in a Gossip Girl-esque elitist way, not in the “we’re secretly an organ farm” way. Still, F.P.’s story about his dad is particularly intriguing, if for no other reason than timing. He tells Jughead this anecdote just before the flashforward at the end of the episode reveals a search party looking for the missing writer.
We already know that there’s something weird at Stonewall Prep, thanks to one big spoiler. Sam Witwer plays Mr. Chipping, a teacher who takes Jughead under his wing at Stonewall. According to TVLine, Mr. Chipping has “a darkness hidden far beneath the surface.” Sure, everyone does on Riverdale, but that, coupled with a missing Jughead, does not bode well for the next few months at the posh school.
Then there’s the fact that Jughead’s recruitment does seem a little convenient. I mean, he didn’t even win the essay contest that got him into Stonewall, seemingly free of charge. Could whatever happened with Jughead’s grandfather be the reason he was asked to spend his senior year at this posh establishment? And if so, what dangers could lurk in those hallowed halls?
They may not be the Gargoyle King, but Stonewall Prep could very well have its own monsters — and these ones wear blazers.