Betty, Veronica, Jughead on Riverdale season three finale
photo: The CW

Last night's Riverdale answered all of those burning fan questions.

All of the best Riverdale qualities were present. There were snarky one-liners as always from Cheryl, a fistfight from Archie, a sweet Bughead moment fans were waiting practically all season for, and a group hug between the core four. 

After this roller coaster ride of a season, it came as no surprise that the ending of season three would be a major cliffhanger.

The final moments of Riverdale's third season include a disturbing flash forward to the core four's senior year spring break — and one vital member of the group is missing. 

Riverdale season three finale
photo: The CW

Jughead is nowhere to be found in the cliffhanger flash forward at the end of season three. After solving all of the mysteries of the Gargoyle King and most of the mysteries at the Farm, the gang make a pact to have a drama-free senior year (lol, yeah right). 

Flash forward to their following spring break, and the three friends are half-naked, covered in blood, and tossing Jughead's notorious beanie into a bonfire. Betty ominously says, "After tonight we never speak of this ever; not to each other, not to our parents, no one. We finish our senior year, we graduate, and we go our separate ways. That is the only way we won't get caught." 

Without Jughead, some fans threaten to quit watching the show.  

Without Jughead, the show wouldn't be the same. One fan wrote that without the beanie-wearing detective, they'd quit watching altogether, "What is going on with jughead beanie? Season 4 with no jughead im not gonna watch riverdale anymore i swear."

Not only is he Betty's love interest, the mastermind behind the series' mysteries, but also the narrator of the entire show. Odds are, there's another even more dangerous reason Jughead's beanie was thrown into the bonfire. 

Now fans are downright furious that Jughead might be killed off in the upcoming season. 

The murderous tone of the teen drama may have rubbed off a little too strongly on this fan who captioned a photo of a person holding a knife menacingly, "I SWEAR TO THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW, IF JUGHEAD DIES, I'M COMING FOR EVERYBODY AT #Riverdale, Even the cleaning and the kitchen stuff."

Jughead has been a fan-favorite character from the beginning, and the odds of the writers cutting out Cole Sprouse's character is slim. Still, Riverdale has been known to kill prominent characters before. 

This cliffhanger had everyone hard at work prepping their theories.

While the episode did answer most of the questions we had throughout season three, it left an entirely different door wide open to theories. Lili Reinhart tweeted, "So....... what did you think?" following the episode. One fan responded with a meme that depicts "everyone trying to understand the ending."

Even the most dark and twisted theories are feasible. 

One theory circulating the internet is that Jughead isn't dead but on the run. A bloodied beanie means Jughead must have gotten into a major battle, and clearly it didn't end well for someone. Veronica, Betty, and Archie all had to burn their clothes and wash blood off of their bodies so they "wouldn't get caught."

One fan proposed this theory, and an even darker one, "Season finale theories: a) Jughead killed someone and the gang helped him hide it and he ran out of town. b) Archie, Betty, and Veronica killed Jughead. It’s twisted but hey, it’s #Riverdale."

Something tells me this next season changes up the dynamic of their friendships big time. 

Some fans don't believe that Betty would leave Jughead if he ran away. 

Now that Betty has lost all traces of family in Riverdale, it begs the question: What's keeping her there? 

One fan suggested that if Jughead had to flee, Bettty would have joined him, "Thinking about it, the 'Jughead is on the run because he killed somebody' theory doesn’t really make sense because we all know that betty would never let him go by himself and she’d 100% go with him, I mean she has no reason, aside from Archie and Veronica, to stay in Riverdale."

The ending felt familiar to another '90s pop culture classic. 

Betty's ominous message at the end of the episode alluded to another classic horror story, I Know What You Did Last Summer. The 1997 movie follows along a group of friends who are followed by tragedy and stalked by a serial killer — sounds like Riverdale, right? In the film the group accidentally kill someone while driving and dump the body into the river. They make a pact to never speak of it again and follow through until the undead victim comes back to haunt them.

Some fans are theorizing that a plot based on the classic is what we are looking forward to on season four, "I have a theory: I think it will be a similar storyline to I know what you did last summer because the pact Betty makes is similar to what was said in that movie. Conspiracy to cover up murder for an unknown reason where it's believed Jughead is dead, thus burning his beanie."

Hiram Lodge also made a threatening comment, so some theories blame him for Jughead's disappearance. 

At the end of the episode, Hiram Lodge spoke to police at the prison he's kept at. They arrested his wife and evidence was planted in his favor. "Ah, Veronica. You don't even know what's coming Mija," Lodge says under his breath. The threat foreshadows more danger to come. 

One fan suggests the villainous father has something to do with the lack of a core four member, "Ok fan theory: hiram somehow gets out of prison, tries to ruin/end archie and veronica's life, they have enough of it and get jughead and the serpents to help kill hiram for good. Then jughead and the serpents disappear and hide from hirams 'connections.'"

The season didn't wrap up all loose ends, of course. 

While the gang may have narrowly escaped Penelope (the Gargoyle King, kinda), her minions, and Hal Cooper (Black Hood, duh), there was still no answer as to what happens to her. It's unclear if she has finally been caught or if she'll find a way to weasel her way out of it. Nathalie Boltt confirmed that her character will definitely be seen next season in a tweet following the episode, "See you next season folks! #riverdale."

The biggest question left of all is what happened to Alice and the rest of the Farm?

The finale is being praised as one of the best yet and wrapped up almost all of the ups and downs and confusion throughout the season. In a shocking and yet so typical movie for her character, it turns out Alice Cooper was faking her loyalty to the Farm the whole time to protect her children. After she helped Cheryl escape with baby Juniper, she headed back to Edgar Evernever who very quickly began the "ascension."

When the gang rushed back to help their friends escape the clutches of the Farm, the only one left was Kevin, who told the group that Alice, Polly, and everyone else from the Farm were "gone, everyone is. And we'll never see them again." 

Mädchen Amick said a farewell to this season on her Twitter and used the hashtag #findAlice. "Cheers to season 3 of #Riverdale A HUGE thank you to all of our fans for being so passionate See ya’ll for season 4!! #findAlice."