After coming to an understanding about honesty — and how Jughead (Cole Sprouse) needs to be more forthcoming when it comes to Betty (Lili Reinhart) — you might think it’s going to be smooth sailing for “Riverdale’s” first couple. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. After all, what’s “Riverdale” without the appropriate level of drama?
“Open communication also means a brutal honesty, in the following episodes… Jughead kind of turns away, and fears intimacy a little bit,” Sprouse tells Screener at WonderCon. “It’s not some sort of smooth and perfect thing that goes on — which is kind of funny, because right now the audience sees a kind of perfect iteration of the relationship between the two of them.”
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Sprouse teases that it’s episode 10 where the couple will face their trials. “We explore what exactly the two are doing, and saying and acting… Add a little realism and life to what looks otherwise to be a beautiful thing,” he explains.
What realism will we see added to their union, though? Sprouse previously told us, “I certainly think that Jughead being a woman-hater will eventually come into question.” He mentioned the woman-hating aspect of Jughead’s personality again during the show’s panel at WonderCon.
What, exactly, does that mean, though? While the comics labeled Jughead a woman-hater in their early days, he’s been portrayed as asexual starting with the relaunch of “Archie Comics” in 2015. While it’s unclear whether “Riverdale” will eventually explore the possibility that Jughead is asexual, a version of his woman-hating characteristic doesn’t seem entirely impossible.
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Outside of his friends, Jughead has likely only had one true female role model in his life — his mom. We haven’t seen Jughead’s mom on “Riverdale,” as he’s explained that she took his sister Jellybean and moved away due to his dad FP (Skeet Ulrich). While you can’t blame his mom for getting out of that situation, it meant Jughead was essentially left to fend for himself — and has since taken up residence at the drive-in movie theater, under a staircase at school and Archie’s (KJ Apa) house.
You can’t really blame Jughead if he associates that abandonment with women. After all, he’s just a kid. But given that “Riverdale” has been renewed for a second season, there’s also room for Jughead to learn, and grow. His relationship with Betty could work wonders for his attitudes toward women, and any sort of reconciliation with his mom might do the same.
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It’s reassuring that “Riverdale” looks like it’s wiling to go to uncomfortable places to ensure its characters don’t simply conform to the TV norm. Like Sprouse himself says, it adds realism to the story that “Riverdale” just wouldn’t be the same without.
“Riverdale” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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