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Who's Gaslighting Cheryl With Julian On 'Riverdale'? There Are 2 Suspects

Cheryl Blossom has been through the ringer on Riverdale. Not only did she have to watch as her whole family either died or revealed themselves to be monsters, but she also survived conversion therapy, an organ-harvesting cult, and multiple serial killers. Somehow, though, Season 4 is shaping up to be Cheryl's toughest season yet, and the latest episode revealed she has an enemy much closer to home than she realized. The big question now is who might be gaslighting Cheryl by "haunting" her with that creepy Julian doll, and why they're doing it. It seems clear that there are two main suspects, but their motives are anyone's guess.

Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from Riverdale Season 4, Episode 8, "In Treatment." Cheryl has been struggling with death for the entirety of Season 4 so far. At the end of Season 3, she brought her brother Jason's corpse home from The Farm and began talking to it. Shortly afterward, Nana Rose informed Cheryl that she had absorbed the embryo of a potential triplet named Julian in utero, and then a creepy doll (named Julian, of course) began popping up out of nowhere around Thistlehouse. After trying to get rid of the doll in various ways, Cheryl finally just gave up and accepted the haunting... until she uncovered a bit of truth about what was really going on.

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In the Dec. 4 episode, Cheryl opened up about her troubles to the guidance counselor Mrs. Burble (she had missed almost a full month of school, after all). Burble was able to talk some sense into Cheryl, flatly explaining that ghosts are not real, and instead suggesting someone may be moving the Julian doll around to make her believe she's being haunted.

Burble went on to suggest Cheryl take a genetics test to find out if Nana Rose's story about Cheryl and Julian was true. The testing confirmed Mrs. Burble's suspicions: Cheryl had not actually absorbed Julian in the womb, so clearly someone was messing with Cheryl's mind to make her believe in ghosts. These results convinced Cheryl that the doll was not actually haunted, and she immediately declared she would find and destroy whoever was moving the doll to trick her. Luckily for Cheryl, that list of suspects is incredibly short.

Aside from the Blossom cousins who only briefly came and went, there have only been two people besides Cheryl in Thistlehouse during this whole Julian haunting: Nana Rose and Toni Topaz. Of these two, Nana Rose seems like the obvious suspect, given that she was the one to wrongly state that Cheryl had absorbed Julian in the first place. Plus, Cheryl and Toni have noted how Nana Rose is wont to wander around the house at night, giving her ample opportunity to move the doll around.

The more shocking reveal, though, would be if Toni was the one behind the Julian scheme. Of course, Cheryl and Toni are going strong, but Toni has clearly been worried about how much time Cheryl has been spending at home this season. Maybe she thought that inventing a possessed doll would scare Cheryl out of the house and back to school.

Honestly, the Nana Rose option seems much more likely at this point, although you never know where Riverdale is going to go with these stories. Knowing Cheryl, though, she will get to the bottom of it soon enough, so keep tuning into Riverdale on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW to see what happens.