To answer my burning question from last week, yes, Cheryl is locked up in the creepiest place known to Riverdale – the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.
However, things aren’t as bleak as they seem because if you remember, Polly was once a Sister’s prisoner and she made it out just fine. By the end, Cheryl also makes it out just fine, but is she herself fine?
It’s cockamamie that there is still a place that practices gay version, even in a town as peculiar as Riverdale.
When Penelope told Toni that Cheryl was away at boarding school it raised a couple of red flags especially for Veronica who knew, for certain, that there were only a few boarding schools in Switzerland and it was impossible as she wasn’t maniacally updating her social media with all the #views.
You would think that someone as mean-spirited as Cheryl wouldn’t have any ally’s in her corner, but she has a few good friends that care about her deeply, specifically Toni Topaz, who she’s developed a real connection with.
Honestly, we all need friends like Toni and Veronica who will pull through for you when your psychotic mother tries to beat the gay out of you. I think Penelope missed the memo — that’s not how any of this works in 2018.
Unfortunately, Josie showed her stripes and proved she’s not worthy of this friendship or of the student council seat.Did you see how quickly she bolted because of a drawing? Seriously girl, maybe this isn’t the town for you.
Toni in her Serpent jacket and Roni in her Britney Spears toxic-inspired getup marched through the underground tunnels, snuck into the church/convent/ insane asylum and raised hell.
It wasn’t long before Toni found Cheryl at movie night and they embraced in front of all the other poor souls trapped against their will. How romantic.
The symbolism of the red light as they ran down the stairs and into the dark night was not lost on me.
In fact, it added to the chilling visual of nuns running at you from all sides. What a terrifying sight.
Almost as scary as seeing poor Nana Rose crawl across the floor to phone a friend for help and then realize her own son, Claudius, cut the cord and was planning some form of excruciating punishment.
What is wrong with this family?
Can the ladies go save Nana next? She doesn’t deserve any of this.
Cheryl returned to school without even missing a beat, but I have to wonder where she’s staying nowadays. I hope she didn’t return to Thistle House like “hey, I’m back, did you miss me?” Did she sleep with one eye open hoping her mother didn’t send her away again? How is she going to make them pay for this? How will she ensure her safety going forward?
In the realm of Riverdale, Cheryl’s rescue was realistic and almost expected. In the real world, well, this was way too easy. How convenient was it that there was a tunnel that led right to Cheryl and the nuns didn’t even know about it?
And this wasn’t even the most exaggerated part of the episode.
We had Archie threatening a bunch of mobsters to “have Hiram’s” back. Yes, this zit-faced kid thought he stood a chance against a group of corrupt me. How laughable. Archie couldn’t intimidate a piece of toast. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he’s toughening up but really? Trying to mess with the mafia? Come on!
I can’t seem to understand why Hiram is asking a high school kid to do his dirty work in the first place. If he’s supposed to be this villainous character, how does he not know how to handle his own men and enemies? Why is his only fighting chance Archie and a football team who call themselves the “Dark Army.” Also, yeah, we’re back to this crusade.
I would blame Archie’s obsession with impressing Hiram on daddy issues, but it seems like Fred has always been a good and protective father. I think after the Black Hood shooting, he began to see his father as someone that’s “weak” and wanted to align himself with someone more alpha, and he found that in Hiram. He wants to be strong and powerful and fearless just like Roni’s father, so he’s trying to align with him and learn from him.
Unfortunately, it’s ruining his relationship with his father. He didn’t even show up for his mayoral announcement, which really disappointed Fred. I like Fred so it really sucks to see him be pushed to the side for someone “better.” There will be a moment where Archie will definitely regret this. On the plus side, it seems like Fred and Mary are connecting again and they’ll likely rekindle their relationship.
Mary definitely comes down harder on Archie than Fred does and she’s not afraid to confront him when he gets out of line.
She’s also right about Archie being a completely different person before he started dating Veronica. He played sports, he had friends, he smiled, and he wanted to be a musician. What went wrong? How did he get swallowed up whole by this little town and criminal Hiram? And no, I don’t believe Mr. Lodge is trying to come out on the straight and narrow.
The writers keep teasing the return of Black Hood but each time, it doesn’t seem like the actual villain from earlier seasons is returning, it’s just someone wearing a mask and committing crimes. And maybe, that’s the point. The realization that the “Black Hood” will never die because there will always be another guy doing bad things.
Personally, I’m over any story arc that has to do with Hiram and Archie, especially if it has to do with him buying love and loyalty through material objects. I expect that crap to work on Veronica but not Archie.
Far more interesting is the drama involving the Cooper and Jones families. Remember when Jughead and Betty stupidly dumped a car into a shallow swamp thinking no one would ever find it or the body of the man that Alice killed?
Well, Junkyard Steve found said car when he was draining the swamp!
A cumulative freak-out ensued, but FP assured them everything would be just fine if they stayed calm and laid low, two things Betty and Jughead aren’t known for.
They began sniffing around about the car and Kevin eventually revealed that the owner came to Riverdale and scooped it up.
For some reason, they trusted Chic enough to bring him into discussions about how to proceed and he stupidly reached out to the owner, Darla. For what exactly? I don’t know.
Why wouldn’t he just leave it alone?
When Darla tried to extort 10K from the Cooper’s, I thought maybe this was Chic’s plan all along. Maybe he was working with Darla and once she got the money, would disappear from Betty and Alice’s life forever. Honestly, they probably wouldn’t even care after all he’s put them through.
Unfortunately, Chic was more terrified by the situation than Betty and Alice combined, which just speaks to how useless he really is.
All he’s done since his arrival at the house is create problems and put them his mother and sister in danger. Not once has he offered up an actual solution to the problems he’s created either. In fact, it’s always been little Betty taking “care” of the situation.
Archie’s “hero” moment may have fallen flat and garnered a few chuckles from his enemies, but Jughead’s intimidation tactics are on point. He gets it from his papa, I’m sure.
When Betty called, he came to the rescue kicking down the door, looking all threatening and hot alongside his posse. That’s one thing I like about the Serpent’s; it’s a brotherhood. Even though Alice Cooper is Serpent enemy number one, they still came through for her when she needed help.
And turns out, that’s all Alice needed to finally “hear” what Betty’s been telling her all along. She apologized to the Serpent’s in person, put on some dark lipstick and made her way over to FP’s place, probably to rekindle that teenage romance. Did you see how happy he was when she arrived at his place?
I’m actually surprised Jughead didn’t bring FP along to handle something this serious but you know, shifts at Pop’s are aplenty.
Usually, I’d be disturbed by a mother-daughter duo dating a father-son duo but in this case, they all do make a pretty cute and badass family.
Although, I have to point out that this town needs to stop relying so much on high school students and get some more police. Sheriff Keller is trying, I’m sure, but he’s also busy doing the former Mayor. Priorities.
Jughead has really grown into a character that commands a room and wants to be the voice for those who can’t yet speak up for themselves. I truly hope he and Betty win the student council race. Maybe Betty’s future tattoo will help convince the Serpent’s to give them the vote. I mean, she’s practically an honorary serpent at this point.
Cheryl’s storyline may have felt aimless at times, but it served its purpose, leading us right into Kevin’s Carrie musical. And yes, Cheryl really does make the perfect Carrie White, a girl who was made a victim by her own unstable religious fanatic mother. Sound familiar?
‘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.”
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