Riverdale: 20 most shocking moments during the first three seasons

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Riverdale — “Chapter Thirty-Seven: Fortune and Men’s Eyes” — Image Number: RVD302b_0501.jpg — Pictured (far right): — Rob Raco as Joaquin — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

16. Joaquin Is Found Dead By The Serpents

Episode: “Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter” (Season 3, Episode 6)

The death of Joaquin DeSantos may have gotten lost in a season overcrowded by teenage slayings, but that doesn’t mean that it should be overlooked. The character played a major role in the show’s first season and, although he committed some questionable deeds during his resurgence in Season 3, it was still incredibly hard to see the demise of such a beloved character.

Showing up at the beginning of Season 3 as one of Archie’s fellow prisoners at the juvenile detention center, the long-haired Serpent wasn’t exactly thrilled to see a familiar face. Despite that, they managed to work their way back to the semi-friendship they once had – thanks to no small part to Archie’s idealistic outlook on their sentences. Unfortunately, Joaquin had fallen victim to the charms of Gryphons & Gargoyles and, in following orders from Warden Norton, kissed Archie on the lips to signify an impending betrayal before he stabbed him in the abdomen.

Though both men would escape the detention center, Joaquin’s actions soon caught up with him. After being interrogated by Jughead and his old Serpent buddies about the sacrifice mark branded into Archie’s hip, he was shocked to discover that the chosen sacrifice wasn’t, well, sacrificed. And that look of bewilderment was the last time we saw him alive because, later in the episode, Jughead and the Serpents would return to find their former friend dead in the trailer park, with that very symbol carved into his forehead. He was simply a pawn in a much larger game.

Joaquin was no angel, but he did have plenty of redeeming qualities and, thanks to his relationship with Kevin Keller, he was one of the show’s most adored characters. Naturally, this made his footnote of a death hard to comprehend and, quite frankly, all the more upsetting.