Riverdale went all out as it celebrated its milestone 100th episode titled “The Jughead Paradox,” which also wrapped up a pretty wild 5-episode event.
I find myself saying this a lot, but the episode was bonkers, even by Riverdale standards.
Anything goes in Riverdale, and once you learn to accept that fact, it becomes a lot easier to digest the ridiculousness that pans out on the screen.
Paradoxes, parallel universes, and comic books — oh my. They all had a hand in crafting the narrative for the finale, which found Riverdale’s fate up in the air.
The same goes for Jughead Jones, the only character to pick up on the fact that Riverdale and Rivervale were twin-versus that were headed for implosion.
Honestly, that storyline wasn’t totally insane considering we’ve seen something similar pan out on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. In the final season of the Netflix series, Sabrina and her friends navigated the parallel cosmos and saved the prime one while letting the other one fade into oblivion. CAOS also dealt with paradoxes, so again, it’s been done before.
The events of Riverdale and its pocket universe, Rivervale, seemed to mirror those plots. Turns out Riverdale isn’t much different than Greendale at the end of the day.
A mysterious corpse was found by the town’s limits that was later identified as Jughead Jones. Except that was impossible because Jughead was very much alive. However, his memory of events was skewed by flashbacks of simpler high school memories. He also had no recollection of Betty and Archie’s (he’s alive) upcoming nuptials and couldn’t shake this feeling of utter doom.
His gut turned out to be right. When he fetched Jughead’s personal effects, he found the Archie comics in which his life — and the lives of his friends — were documented on the pages.
He began to investigate these two parallel universes that were seemingly bleeding into each other, and realized that he probably needed to stop it immediately.
His quest for answers brought him to Dilton Doiley (also alive) and his teaching assistant Ethel Muggs. Dilton told Jughead to chill out and stop looking for the answers of the universe, but honestly, does he know who he’s talking to? Eventually, it was revealed that Dilton knew all about the two universes imploding and let it happen because, you know, science. Ethel wasn’t about that, however, so she poisoned Dilton and suggested that they recreate the events that ended Riverdale and created Rivervale: the bomb at Archie’s house.
That was the moment when the the normalcy (a strange way to describe Riverdale, I know) ended.
Of course, since Betty and Archie were otherwise occupied with their wedding, Jughead sought out Veronica to help him recreate the moments prior to the explosion. Surprisingly, Veronica was more than happy to assist, exclaiming: “Let’s make out to save the universe… Here’s to ‘Vughead’ becoming canon.” The saying “in another universe” comes to mind.
Fans hoping for a #Vughead moment sadly never got it. Before Ronnie could come and assist Jughead, she was killed by Rivervale’s big bad — not Hiram Lodge but Archie Andrews.
Although, I’ll be quite honest that Archie, even in his murderous shape, doesn’t hold a candle to Hiram. Archie may have been strangling people left and right, but he knew the rules of the universe, so he knew that their death wasn’t permanent. It’s grim, but it’s not exactly villain-material when you’ve dealt with the the likes of the Black Hood, the Gargoyle King, murderous nuns — all of which Jughead was too eager to remind his friends in Rivervale about.
Speaking of the Black Hood, he was alive and well in Rivervale, but it wasn’t Hal under the mask, it was Clifford Blossom. It’s not entirely clear why the change, but maybe it’s because Hal was busy being a husband and father and giving some heartwarming toast at Betty and Archie’s wedding rehearsal?
Also, Jason Blossom was very much alive in Rivervale despite the yearbook dedication mourning his death. And honestly, good for Trevor Stines for finally get some screentime! Though, since Cheryl’s life has been defined by her brother’s death, it would’ve been nice to see them include Jason’s existence a bit more so that we could see if her character would’ve been different had her brother never suffered a grim fate.
Elsewhere, Ronnie — prior to her death — found out that two Reggies were definitely not better than one. After Jughead informed her and Reggie of the parallel universe, Veronica opened the door to find the OG Reggie (played by Ross Butler very briefly in season one before Charles Melton took the reigns) at the door.
There wasn’t much of a point to this storyline, but it was a fun and silly nod to the recasting. Veronica embraced it fully by suggesting a threesome (Veronica!) before she dumped them both because they couldn’t learn how to share. They took her advice to “figure it out” to heart and off’ed each other in a duel. Bye, Reggies!
But back to the whole saving Riverdale from Rivervale situation. Archie, determined to preserve Rivervale so that his father, Fred, could possibly come back to life (how heartbreaking?!), was shot dead by Betty in a wedding dress who wasn’t all that thrilled to be stood up at the altar. In shooting Archie, she saved Jughead’s life and the two of them decided to detonate the bomb while recreating her makeout sesh with Archie.
And boy, Bughead fans — this was your moment. Jughead embracing Betty in a wedding dress while they save the world? This is what dreams are made of!
It’s proof that it’s always these two against the world.
Their romantic moment was interrupted by… Jughead Jones. Yep, Archie wasn’t lying when he said his victims come back to life.
It seems as though this was the Parallel Jughead, who informed the duo that there was definitely another way to save Riverdale aside from destruction.
Parallel Jughead explained that he was enlightened while visiting the Pops Chocklit Shoppe in the sky, which obviously had all you can eat burgers.
The heavenly Pops also embraced a 50s retro vibe that allowed the series to celebrate the origins of the Archie Comics including the iconic outfits!
That’s where PJ picked up a comic about Riverdale and Rivervale and found that the former could be fueled with a new power source: imagination.
Honestly, it all gets a bit hazy and complex here, but essentially, Jughead could save Riverdale by writing in an isolated room in a bunker.
Betty wasn’t convinced, but Jughead assured her that he needed to save the universe, and thus, took his place in the bunker writing away. I guess it makes sense why Riverdale always feels like it’s Jughead’s novel, and why he’s always serving as the narrator.
Meanwhile, Betty and Parallel Jughead (I think?) recreated the bomb scene… except that the bomb never went off once it hit zero.
Instead, Betty and Jughead walked downstairs to find their friends waiting for them. They couldn’t remember a thing, but it does seem like everything went back to how it was prior to Rivervale’s creation as Jughead embraced Tabitha and Betty kissed Archie.
We got another glimpse of Jughead’s time in the bunker, and it’s revealed he isn’t alone as Ethel is down there feeding him burgers, which admittedly, is very strange.
And then… we see Archie and Betty in bed together. He hears ticking as she picks up a call that warns her to get out of the house because there’s a bomb under the bed.
At that very moment, we see Jughead typing in the garage as a bomb goes off.
Jughead said that Riverdale would stay the prime universe as long as no one in Rivervale messed with the narrative, but it doesn’t seem like this bomb explosion was supposed to happen.
Plus, if the real Jughead is trapped in an isolated bunker, does that mean that Parallel Jughead is out there living it up with his friends?
Is that why Betty and Jughead aren’t getting back together? Because it isn’t her Jughead?
Or will these two worlds somehow merge in the future?
It was a bonkers episode, but the unknown of it all is even more confusing. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t anymore, so while it might be fun to play with these characters and put them into random situations, it’s becoming very difficult for the audience to keep up and keep track.
What did you think of Riverdale’s 100th episode? Did you enjoy seeing familiar faces like OG Reggie, Jason Blossom, Clifford Blossom, Ethel Muggs, and Hal Cooper? Who else would you have liked to see?
Did you like seeing Archie in the role of a villain rather than a hero?
How do you think the series will continue in 2022? Will Riverdale and Rivervale collide? Will everyone survive the explosion? Who warned Betty?
Share all your thoughts, concerns, and critiques in the comments below! Till next year, Cravers!
‘Riverdale’ Season 7 Hits Netflix—Stream It Now
Riverdale’s seventh and final season is now available to stream on Netflix in the U.S.!
Merely a week after the long-running CW series aired its final episode ever, the streaming giant has added the series in its entirety.
All the episodes are available for fans all over the world to binge-watch on September 1, and going into a long weekend, that gives you plenty of time to catch up on all the shenanigans happening in the Town with Pep.
Many fans weren’t interested in the weekly release model as it wasn’t ideal having to wait for new episodes to drop every week, but having them available all at once on Netflix allows you to catch up with ease.
And if you’ve never seen Riverdale and are curious about all the nutty twists and turns that eventually get all of our characters to—spoiler—the 1950s, well, all seven seasons are on the streamer for your viewing pleasure.
You can rewatch those previous seasons and relive the series in all its glory (including anything you may have missed/forgotten about), or you can just tune in for the final season—it’s up to you!
As mentioned before, the final season hit the reset button of sorts as Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), and Veronica (Camilla Mendes), along with many of their loved ones and friends, went back in time to 1955 and found themselves reliving their high school days all over again.
Of course, as you rewatch any and all episodes, you can read all our reviews of the series that we’ve covered since its inception in 2017!
Enjoy your Labor Day travels to Riverdale—just remember that before it was redubbed the “Town With Pep” it was known as “Murder Town of the World.” You’ve been warned.
Riverdale Series Finale Review – Goodbye to the Town With Pep (720)
Riverdale was never the show that played it safe, always surprising us with its kooky, outlandish storylines. There was no telling where the plot would go, but it was always the journey and not the destination that kept fans hooked. And that journey ended tonight, so despite the ending—whether it was what you wanted or not—let’s raise a milkshake to those characters and the memories that we’ve created with them.
One major takeaway from the finale is that it was always about the core four and their friendship that drove the series, right down to the very end as they met in the “sweet hereafter,” a time frozen in place where they were all 17, young, beautiful, and full of hope, just like we’ve always known them and will always remember them.
The foursome, sitting at a booth in Pop’s, eating burgers and sipping on milkshakes while sharing a laugh is how Riverdale started—and through every timeline and wacky storyline—it’s where they ended up. It’s a full-circle moment, right down to Jughead Jones, the narrator, delivering the first and final lines of the series. Also, was Riverdale just a fictional story written by him all along? He’s wearing his modern-day clothes (the Serpent shirt), addressing the camera, and you can hear his typewriter going off in the background as if he’d finally concluded his story… possibly the story he was writing when the Comet went off?
It’s truly been one heck of a run, and my condolences to those fans who didn’t get the endgame they were hoping for, but let’s take comfort in the fact that this is just one universe, one timeline, and the beauty of Riverdale, as they’ve shown us, is that it exists throughout multiverses. I’m willing to bet there’s a timeline where Archie and Betty do end up together with a family as they have existed as endgame in at least 2 timelines.
It seemed as though for once, the creator/writers took no chances, appeasing all of the ships at once (and letting them all down simultaneously by not committing to any) by giving us a quad/foursome with Betty, Jughead, Archie, and Veronica all in a romantic relationship together throughout their senior year of high school. After getting their memories back from Tabitha Tate, they couldn’t just shake the feelings that they had previously or the new ones that developed now, so they simply chose to love without boundaries. Why choose when you don’t have to seems like a pretty free approach for the ’50s, but they were living within the constraints of the time period with modern values, so it’s fitting and shocking all in the same breath.
There were, however, plenty of special moments to honor the ships that formed, including Betty and Archie’s final romantic kiss where he suggested that he thought it was going to be them in the end (because it started with them, a boy and girl living next door to each other), which has to count for something, right? The love was always there up until the end. Betty told Angel Jughead/Narrator Jughead that she never regretted not getting married, but I would say the photo on her nightstand of Archie so many years later, along with the excitement of seeing him through her bedroom window once again was proof that things would’ve been different had Archie returned from his trip out West. She even hinted that they were endgame as she didn’t need Jughead to remind her of how Archie’s story played out as she fully remembered it because she loved him her whole life.
In some way, this is one of Riverdale’s most realistic and normal storylines (and also quite grim and dark, even by their standards, when you factor in that the whole episode was just about getting old and dying)—saying goodbye to the life you once had, a life that slips away so quickly and in the blink of an eye that you barely notice. It dug into human emotions that everyone understands. The people who watched Riverdale from the moment it landed on The CW in 2017 were likely in high school/starting college at the time, but now, they are young adults with families who are starting to realize just how quickly things change and memories fade. Before you know it, the good moments have passed you by, and you’ll never get them back. We’re the adults now who are harboring so much nostalgia, and this realization hits very close to home.
In addition to that one final scene with Archie and Betty, there was plenty for Bughead fans to work with. The hero of the series was always Archie, and yet, he had one of the smallest roles this season and in this finale, with Betty and Jughead obviously taking center stage for one last walk through the Town with Pep. And I have to admit that when Jughead grabbed Betty’s hand after saying he “sometimes” regrets not getting married, I got chills. She may have always loved Archie, but I think his love for her never withered away.
There was always such a deep connection between them, and in a way, I was seeing Lily Reinhart and Cole Sprouse appreciate all that’s transpired between them up until this moment—the good times and the heartbreak.
In a perfect world, you stay friends with all of the people you went to high school with, but more often than not, that isn’t the case. People embark on different paths and go their separate ways. It’s unfortunate that it happened in the case of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead as they were all soulmates, but they all pursued different interests in search of their legacy.
The episode took a huge time-jump, bringing the series into the present day, with sweet old Betty as an 86-year-old reading the Jughead’s obituary with her granddaughter Alice next to her. She’s reminiscing on her life—the good old days, as the adults would often say—when Jughead’s ghost appears and gives her one last day in high school, which allows her to get some closure as to what happened to all her classmates indicating that she didn’t keep in touch with any of them. The unique approach to the storytelling also allowed the series to give fans an update on how everyone’s life played out in a quick and succinct way, while also sending each one of them off with a proper goodbye.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Betty became a magazine publisher of She Says Magazine, which women are still reading in the present, before adopting her daughter, Carla, and becoming a grandmother to Alice, which she says was her true legacy.
- Archie moved to Modesto, California where he settled down with a sweet, strong girl who makes him laugh. He has a beautiful family and works as as professional construction worker and amateur writer who requests to be buried in Riverdale next to his late father upon his death.
- Jughead becomes the Editor-in-Chief of Jughead’s Madhouse Magazine which produces juvenile satire comics. He never gets married.
- Veronica makes it big in Hollywood. She’s the top dog, producing the most iconic movies of their time and winning two Oscars.
- Cheryl and Toni stay together, making their way out west at a Craftsman house where they work alongside artists and activists. Cheryl becomes an incredible painter whose work is shown in galleries and museums across the country and Europe. They also have a sweet boy named Dale, named after Riverdale, and played by Vanessa Morgan’s real-life son, River. Congrats on your acting debut, little one.
- Kevin and Clay also get the ending they deserve, living a spirited life in Harlen together. Clay is a tenured professor at Columbia, while Kevin runs an off-Broadway theater company. Kevin died at 82 in his sleep, while Clay passed a few weeks later peacefully on a park bench. Soulmate stuff.
- Reggie made it to the pros, drafted by the Lakers, working off-seasons at his family farm. When his folks passed away, he sold the land and began coaching at Riverdale High. He was buried in Duck Creek next to his wife and parents. His two sons took up the torch on Mantle Motors.
- Alice ended up not only being a flight attendant but also stepping in during a time of crisis and landing a plane before marrying a grateful passenger who showed her the world. As for Polly, she welcomed two twins, Juniper and Dagwood, and lived a fulfilled and happy life, though she never returned to performing. The mother-daughter duo also made amends, which was nice to see. No mention of what happened to Hal, but we also don’t care.
- Fangs and Midge unfortunately didn’t get their happily ever after. Fangs did make it big, but his stardom was shortlived following an accident on the Rocky Mountains that left no survivors. His fame and fortune did, however, provide a good life for Midge and their daughter. It’s an unfortunate outcome, but it’s also a realistic one—not everyone is lucky enough to grow old.
- Mrs. Andrews bought the dress shop and connected with Brooke, who moved into the Andrews household shortly after and stayed till the end. If any of the parents in town deserved a happy ending, it was Archie’s mother.
- Pop Tate passed away in 1956 as their senior year began, though he was still serving burgers and milkshakes in eternity… it was a nice touch for Betty to make it a point to visit his grave since he was so crucial to the series and the town of Riverdale.
While some ships definitely got their perfect (and much deserved!) endgame, it’s fair for those who wanted a little more for Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica, particularly when it came to the love lives that we’ve been so invested in. I’d say that I’d rather the series adopted the endings that they had back in the 2023 timeline, but alas.
It’s strange that the memories of what came before and the ones they created in this current timeline weren’t enough to keep everyone connected and in each other’s orbit. Trauma usually bonds people, so it would have made sense for them to gravitate toward each other more than ever after realizing that they existed in a different life before this one. The scene at Pop’s once Betty died would’ve made slightly more sense had they all remained friends, but I guess it also stands as a reunion of sorts, when you try to get back to the glory days before life got too busy, things got in the way, and time slipped away.
Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the genuine excitement that teen Betty exhibited upon seeing all of her friends and family members once again. It had been 67 years for her, but for them, not a moment had passed. It serves as a reminder that we take the present for granted all too often, but it doesn’t last very long, and one day, we’ll be dreaming of a time when we can see certain loved ones just one more time. I thought the sentiment was beautifully executed.
And finally, there was Archie’s poem, which addressed the day one fans. It honestly read more like a roast of everything that’s happened over the course of seven seasons and was way funnier than it should have been (who knew Archie had it in him?). It also felt like a brief moment when we were back with the original versions of the characters one last time—with references to the cult, multiple Reggie’s, Jughead’s teacher jumping out of a window, Cheryl locking Jason up in a basement, Veronica’s magical powers, the Serpents, and even Betty’s tangerine serial killer gene. These were the storylines that meant so much to audiences—as crazy as they were— so while these characters may have embraced their destinies in the ’50s (and how were they just so content knowing the internet would eventually exist but not having it? You’d think since they knew about the invention of the internet and modern technology, they’d find a way to keep in touch better than anyone), it was nice to see a glimpse of what once was, knowing that all of those moments weren’t entirely ignored and overlooked.
Some have questioned how Riverdale lost the plot so badly, but I think they just wanted to deliver something more heartfelt and thought-provoking than focusing on relationships, bringing back the focus on friendships that change you for the better and shape your life.
The bottom line is that Riverdale will always be home—as will these characters, whichever iteration of them you connected with, which I think is the main point of the finale. Live in the moment, appreciate your loved ones, and never take anything for granted.
Goodbye, Riverdale—Series Finale Photos + Promo Are a Stroll Down Memory Lane
Riverdale is hoping that you’ll be in your feels watching the series finale next week.
And it’s hard not to considering this show has been on the air since 2017—we’ve practically grown up with these characters, though, considering Angel Tabitha’s recent visit to 1955, they aren’t exactly the ones we’ve come to adore and love.
In the penultimate episode, it was revealed that the 2023 timeline no longer exists, and everyone is now stuck in the ’50s indefinitely, though as a parting gift, Tabitha was able to return the memories of their former life, with Jughead and Betty the only two characters who opted to remember both the good and bad moments for a full picture of who they once were.
And that leads us into the synopsis for the upcoming series finale, Riverdale Season 7 Episode 20:
NOW LEAVING RIVERDALE — Back in present day and longing for her former life in Riverdale, 86-year-old Betty (Lili Reinhart) turns to a special friend to help her relive her last day of senior year with her friends as they were, their memories restored. KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Madchen Amick, Casey Cott, Charles Melton, Vanessa Morgan and Drew Ray Tanner also star. The episode was written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (#720).
The present-day, from my understanding, in 2023, though instead of being young adults, they are now in their mid-80s and taking a trip down memory lane, going back to their last day of high school one final time. The trailer and the extended trailer are filled with plenty of heartwarming moments between the cast, including a final milkshake between the core four at Pops, and even a sweet moment between #Barchie that will seemingly finally give fans exactly what they’ve been waiting for all season!
And hopefully, audiences will get to see how things panned out for all of the characters after finding out that, despite growing up in an era where technology existed, they had to start over as teens in the ’50s.
Check out the promo below:
— Riverdale After Dark: A Riverdale Podcast (@RiverdaleDark) August 17, 2023
There are also a handful of pictures from the final episode that will hopefully provide fans with plenty of closure, along with some insight into which ships are going to get a happy ending and which ones will fade away along with a town “once lost in time.”
- Featured3 weeks ago
Pat Sajak Kicks Off Final Run on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Season 41
- Virgin River3 weeks ago
What Happens to Mel and Jack’s Baby on ‘Virgin River’ Season 5?
- Featured3 weeks ago
2023 Fall TV Schedule—Here are the 17 Shows That Need to Be on Your Radar
- What to Watch2 weeks ago
2023 Fall TV Schedule—16 Reality TV and Game Shows That Are a Must-Watch
- Wilderness2 weeks ago
Who Dies on Prime Video’s ‘Wilderness’?
- What to Watch2 weeks ago
‘Sullivan’s Crossing’ Is The CW’s Most Promising New Show—And It Stars Chad Michael Murray
- Only Murders in the Building1 week ago
Will There Be a Season 4 of ‘Only Murders in the Building’?
- Coffee Table News2 weeks ago
When Will ‘The Drew Barrymore’ Show Return for Season 4?