Is Penny Peabody dead on Riverdale?

13 December 2018, 17:58 | Updated: 14 December 2018, 17:02

By Katie Louise Smith

After attacking Archie in Toledo in episode 8 of Riverdale, Penny Peabody is interrogated by Jughead's mum Gladys Jones and never seen again... Is she dead? Or has she been held captive by the Serpents?

After just 8 episodes, the body count on Riverdale season 3 has almost surpassed that of season 1 and season 2 combined. This season, we've seen the deaths of Dilton Doiley, Ben Button and Joaquin DeSantos to name a few, and it looks like we *might* have just witnessed yet another huge character death in episode 8 ('Outbreak').

In the mid-season finale, we were finally introduced to Jughead's mum Gladys Jones (Gina Gershon) and his little sister Jellybean (Trinity Likins). The episode also saw Archie attacked by Serpent-turned-Ghoulie and Hiram Lodge associate Penny Peabody. But, after being caught on Gladys' scrapyard compound and interrogated by the leader of the Toledo Serpents herself, it was lowkey implied that Gladys killed Penny (Brit Morgan).

While it sure looks like Penny was taken out by Mama Jones once and for all, things aren't what they seem and based on what show-runner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Gina Gershon have said about the potential murder, it looks like the mystery surrounding her whereabouts will last until the end of the season...

Did Penny Peabody die on Riverdale?
Did Penny Peabody die on Riverdale? Picture: The CW

After hauling her ass to Toledo on Hiram's orders to take down the Red Paladin Archie once and for all, Penny is knocked out cold by Jellybean and her slingshot (!!!) and brought to Gladys for an interrogation.

After Jughead reveals that the scar on his arm was all Penny's handiwork, Gladys takes the opportunity to put Penny through a little payback and some intense questioning about Hiram and his big plan. She pulls out a knife and orders everyone to go inside while she deals with "Penny slot".

Later in the episode, Jug and Archie find Gladys washing her blood stained hands with Penny nowhere in sight. When they question her about what happened, she shuts them down. At the end of the episode, she tells FP that they won't "have to worry much about Penny anymore," a statement which now begs the all important question:

Did Gladys Jones kill Penny Peabody?


Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Aguirre-Sacasa has revealed that Penny's status is still very much up for debate.

"I can tell you we’re pretty deep into the rest of the season and there’s been no sign of Penny," he teased. "So, the assumption is, since they’re living in a junkyard, Penny might have been dropped into one of those huge car compactors. But there are lots of clues in episode 8 about who Gladys is and what she’s capable of that we definitely will be building out later in the season."

Gershon also elaborated on the suspicious disappearance of Penny by teasing that we're still not really sure whether or not she killed her. “She could’ve, and then again maybe she just taught her a lesson. Gladys and Penny never really got along from the old days. I think she tried messing with her before, but listen, if they hurt your kid, you’re going to go after someone. That’s unacceptable.”


So, is Penny actually dead? Honestly, knowing Riverdale, probably not. We haven't seen a body and we still need to get to the bottom of that beef between Penny and FP - and now Gladys, apparently.

Maybe Penny was just roughed up, held captive and thrown into an underground pit somewhere on the scrapyard so Gladys can squeeze more information about Hiram out of her when she needs it? Or, you know, Gladys and Penny could be in on something together? Or maybe she actually *is* dead?! Who knows! All we know is, it looks like Gladys has some secrets and motives of her own and things are definitely about to start unravelling.