Graduation is so bittersweet.
As Riverdale High’s brightest wrapped up their last day of senior year and walked across the stage, it marked the end of the Riverdale we’ve come to know, love, and even fear at times.
Considering how dark and twisted the town has gotten over the last four years, maybe it’s a good thing that nothing will ever be the same?
The episode was shockingly normal, with the first half jammed with happy and celebratory moments. It didn’t feel entirely on-brand for Riverdale, but it fit the mood.
The final day of high school wasn’t plagued by any bad moments or darkness aside from Archie learning that he would need to repeat senior year in order to graduate high school, but he was still allowed to walk with his friends and celebrate the moment.
I love that the series acknowledged just how much bad stuff has happened in such a small town. Betty’s speech about making the town better for generations to come was inspiring, but considering a “new crisis and mystery” is expected to bring everyone back together in seven years, it doesn’t seem like that happens. In their absence, the curse of Riverdale will likely just take hold of the new generation… in a way, it already has.
Jellybean wasn’t even in town for that long and fell in with the wrong crowd as the auteur tormenting the town with creepy videotapes. It’s probably for the best that FP made the decision to take her back to Toledo. Riverdale clearly has a bad influence on people and makes them do crazy things.
Sadly, putting his family first meant that FP left Alice behind. I wish she could’ve hopped on the bike with him and they could have ridden off into the sunset together. Alice always wanted a big, happy home, but instead, she was left all alone after graduation.
The capsule was the perfect way to say goodbye to the old, especially Jughead’s signature beanie, which he never took off. I’m going to miss that thing. Betty also put in the final edition of the Riverdale Register and the Blue and Gold, Reggie threw in a football signed by the Bulldogs, Ronnie added a Pop’s menu and a matchbook from La Bonne Nuit, Kevin put in programs from his musicals and Josie’s cat ears (hope she’s still living it up in New York), Cheryl put in the “HBIC” shirt since she didn’t find anyone else to give it to, Toni put in her Pretty Poisons jacket, and Archie gave a guitar pic and his dad’s hammer.
And I’d say, all those items are pretty representative of their Riverdale. It’s a snapshot in time that focuses on some of the good things throughout the four years — the times that weren’t plagued by death and heartache.
As everyone geared up for their college adventure, Archie was stuck without a plan, but he felt a calling to join the army. While this isn’t a decision that should be made lightly, Archie was set on joining the Naval Academy prior, so his destiny was always somehow tied to the military.
I wouldn’t say it was a surprising choice for him either, so I don’t know why Veronica flipped out the way she did. Even Archie’s mom was cool with his decision as long as it was what he wanted to do.
I’m glad that Veronica eventually put her fears and anxieties aside and came around to the idea even if she wasn’t completely supportive; it was the moment she realized that since she was no longer his girlfriend, she couldn’t control what he did.
I’m also impressed with how Riverdale handled the whole love square between the foursome. Veronica and Archie knew that their paths were drifting apart, but they didn’t want to ignore the love and admiration between them. Instead, they spent their last night together and embraced the moment for what it was.
Betty also finally came clean to Jughead about her kiss with Archie, but he wasn’t mad at either of them because he knew it wasn’t done out of spite. It was refreshing to see such a level of understanding when it would have been normal to just get angry. And it’s probably because they all knew that regardless of the cheating, they were all about to go their separate ways anyway. They were no longer bound to the drama of the smalltown.
I don’t know why they made it seem like Archie was going off to prison or being held against his will when he was on the U.S. Army bus, but it was sweet to see his best friends send him off on his journey.
If Veronica is going to be married in the time-jump, at least #Varchie fans got a proper goodbye. And while it seems as though Jughead and Betty’s love didn’t conquer the distance, things with Archie may not have sparked either. In fact, when they all confronted the cheating, it seemed like Betty and Archie weren’t even into each other anymore. Sorry, #Barchie fans.
Archie was the glue that held their friendship together. Once he left, the rest were quick to follow. Ronnie jetted off to the Hamptons to be with her mom and Andy Cohen. I still laugh at that every time. Betty then decided to leave early and take a road trip with her mom to get settled at Yale. And before long, Jughead was off to Iowa — the first Jones man to go to college.
Things weren’t better for Toni and Cheryl either as they also went their separate ways. Cheryl sacrificed her college dreams to run the family maple business and rehabilitate the Blossom name and image in hopes of one day being embraced and welcomed by Toni’s family.
Everything that was familiar about Riverdale was suddenly gone in an instant.
Riverdale -- “Chapter Seventy-Nine: Graduation” -- Image Number: RVD503a_0151r -- Pictured (L-R): KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller, Jordan Connor as Sweet Pea and Charles Melton as Reggie Mantle -- Photo: The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
No one was interested in looking back except Jughead, the only one who honored the pact of coming back to their booth at Pop’s every year to catch up and reconnect.
The episode then flashed forward one year where we saw a more mature Jughead sitting at Pops. He said that it would be another six years before he would see his friends again.
This brings us to that highly-anticipated time-jump, which allows Riverdale to introduce a new tone and new versions of the characters we’ve come to love. They’ve all grown up and been changed by their experiences.
I can’t wait to see what the “future Riverdale” is like, what the core four are up to, and what brings them all back together. Is the dynamic still the same? Do they fall into old habits? What are their new “looks?” There’s so much potential here, so while it’s sad to say goodbye, there’s promise in the future.
Other Stray Thoughts
- Archie’s mother sold the house! Jughead stayed in it for a little bit before the lights, gas, and water were eventually shut off. I don’t know why the idea of his house being sold is what triggered me the most, but I think it’s tied to the fact that this was always a reminder of Fred Andrews.
- The graduation footage of Fred saying he “didn’t think he’d live to see this day” was haunting.
- Hiram reinstated Tom Keller as Sheriff, which, well, is probably for the best.
- Penelope Blossom willingly turned herself over to the police, but Hiram promised he’d take care of her in prison. It’s weird, but what about the Blossom family isn’t? Maybe the guilt is finally starting to catch up with her?
- Pops finally has full ownership of Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe. About damn time.
Are you ready to say goodbye to this version of Riverdale? Did you have the time of your life?
Let us know what you thought about the episode in the comments below!
Riverdale Review – La Llorona (6×02)
Did I just watch an episode of Nancy Drew on Riverdale?
It almost felt like “Ghost Stories” was the perfect crossover opportunity to bring our favorite supernatural Horsehoe Bay detective to Rivervale.
But don’t be fooled — Betty, Toni, and Cheryl did a fine job handling La Llorona.
You have to give it up for the series for embracing Latin American culture for this one, while also making a poignant point about the sacrifices of motherhood.
La Llorona was summoned by Darla, a Ghoulie, whose son was accidentally killed by Toni.
The ghostly spirit, who was drowned in Sweetwater River along with her babes, was coming for the soul of Baby Anthony, however, Toni didn’t think her innocent son should pay the price for her mistakes, so she sacrificed herself by taking on La Llorona’s suffering.
As she descended underwater, she handed baby Anthony to Betty and urged her to protect him, which is fitting considering La Llorona erased Betty’s pregnancy.
It’s funny that these women are devoted to finding a murderer when just last week, they willingly sacrificed Archie to make the maple trees more fruitful.
Honestly, this show gets weirder and weirder.
And since it’s set in Rivervale, which I’m guessing is simply an alternative universe of Riverdale, it’s hard to really get invested in any of the storylines.
It seems like a cheat to introduce and get away with the wackiest storylines.
Admittedly, it did feel weird watching an episode without Archie, but the hour was so jam-packed, he was barely missed.
The series claimed its second victim with Toni, so it doesn’t seem like many of our favorites will live to see another day by the time the five-episode event is finished.
Tabitha and Jughead dealt with their own relationship woes as they found out that they were living in the apartment plagued by a couple’s murder-suicide.
When they discovered a hidden room, they seemingly unleashed the couple’s spirits and began turning on each other. Tabitha wanted to bash Jughead’s head in on a few occasions, but thankfully, she stopped herself and realized that their relationship was stronger than murder.
Good for them, I guess?
As for Ronnie and Reggie, well, their storyline felt pretty forced. Reggie bought back the car he had in high school in hopes of reliving the glory days.
That was fine and dandy until Veronica realized that Bella was a tribute to his driver’s ed teacher who was fired for having inappropriate relations with students.
Reggie denied the whole thing, and Ronnie felt terrible for smashing his car considering his father just died.
However, it turns out Reggie lied about the abusive relationship? Or, at least, it seems like it.
It’s unclear why this was such an important storyline to tell, but I’m also at the point where it doesn’t seem like any of these storylines hold any merit at all.
Did Riverdale sell you on its ghost stories? Or do you think it should be left to the professionals?
Riverdale Season Premiere Review – Welcome to Rivervale (6×01)
Curses, babies, and a shadow town — that’s how Riverdale Season 6 kicked off.
Or should I say Rivervale.
Embracing the vibe of the Twilight Zone influence, the season tapped into some folklore horror for the first of its five-episode event that promises to do what Riverdale does best — deliver the most outrageous and outlandish storylines.
We’ve seen it all on this show, and admittedly, I’ve grown to be pretty fond of not knowing how crazy things will get when I tune into an episode.
However, the episode was weird, even by Riverdale standards.
The “shadow world” of Rivervale seems far removed from Riverdale, but the plot also echoes what we’ve already seen set up in Riverdale Season 5.
Jughead kicked things off with a tour that set the scene.
He and Tabitha are taking the next step in their relationship by moving in together, Ronnie and Reggie are the town’s power couple as they plan for the build of their casino, and Betty and Archie are planning to start a family.
Like Betty couldn’t help but emphasize just how much she wanted to have Archie’s baby.
And by the end of the hour, she was, as she put it, “with child.”
Unfortunately, it was all part of Cheryl’s plan to crown Archie as the Maple King and then sacrifice him to appease the ancestor Abigail Blossom so that the maple trees would be fruitful.
Yes, I said sacrifice.
Cheryl somehow managed to convince everyone in town to join in on the ritual by giving them what they wanted.
Baby Anthony has colic and is driving Toni and Fangs bonkers? Cheryl has some herbs for that.
Fred and Alice can’t get to the next step in their relationship? She has a remedy.
And so on, and so forth.
It almost seemed as though Cheryl cursed everyone just so she could swoop in and be the savior.
And in turn, everyone gave her their loyalty.
Archie has always had everyone’s best interests at heart, but in one weak moment, everyone in town turned against him and let him die a grim death as a human sacrifice.
In what may be Riverdale’s craziest scene to date (and again, the series has explored aliens), Cheryl stabbed Archie, who was clad in an antler crown, before pulling out his still-beating heart and holding it up for the town to see.
Rest in peace, Archie. You truly didn’t deserve any of that.
Archie will seemingly remain dead for the remainder of the five episodes, which kind of puts a dent in my theory that Rivervale is just a terrible nightmare he’s having while in a coma following the explosion at his house.
After all, the fifth season ended with Hiram Lodge’s planted bomb exploding under Archie’s bed as he lay with Betty.
The fact that Archie referenced the ticking and the bomb as part of a bad dream makes me think that this is all just part of his imagination while he recovers.
Therefore, it makes sense that the plot echoes what’s already been established — Cheryl’s wrath and removal from Riverdale, the casino, Jughead and Tabitha’s relationship, etc. Archie’s mind is taking what he already knows and exaggerating it as many nightmares tend to do in a way that doesn’t really make sense but leaves you scarred regardless.
It’s also an interesting move on Riverdale’s part to kill off the main character and explore the next few episodes without Archie as the anchor.
Will the other characters thrive without Archie around?
And who else will be added to the body count as the series continues to draw inspiration from classic horror?
Let us know what you about the premiere in the comments below!
Are you digging the revamped Riverdale? Or do you think the series has gone totally off the rails?
Riverdale Season Finale Review – To Cursed New Beginnings (5×19)
Now, that’s how you do a season finale.
Riverdale has been all over the map with its storylines this season, and just when I’d given up hope, the series proved that it can deliver a solid episode when it really wants to.
Riverdale Season 5 Episode 19 brought the wrath of Cheryl, the wrath of Abigail, and the wrath of Hiram Lodge proving that while the small town can turn over a new leaf, it can never escape the sins of its past.
At this point, is the town even worth saving anymore?
The episode kicked off with the final straw in the Hiram Lodge saga. Everyone has turned a blind eye through all of his devious and malicious actions, but setting fire to Pops’ Chocklit Shoppe was the point of no return.
After Toni (who is finally getting her much-deserved storyline) and Fangs got confirmation from a Ghoulie that he was carrying out Hiram’s orders, Ronnie, Archie, and Betty snooped around his office and found out that his plan was to phase out Riverdale with his newly incorporated SoDale.
It took the attack on Pop’s for everyone to realize that they needed to step up to Hiram once and for all.
The exile was a pretty solid plan, I’m not going to lie, but it required some follow-through that they didn’t think of.
Pushing Hiram Lodge out of town is one thing, but when he has so many lackeys to do his dirty work, there’s no guaranteeing he’ll go down without a fight.
And he didn’t. In what seemed like one of his last acts in Riverdale, he decided to plant a bomb under Archie’s bed.
What is it this guy and Archie? At this point, it’s just a weird obsession.
It’s a bold move on Hiram’s part considering there was a 50/50 chance Veronica would be at Archie’s at the time.
I guess his vendetta against Archie is so strong, he doesn’t care if it brings down his own mija.
I’m sure it hurt when she turned her back on him, but what did Hiram expect? He’s pushed everyone in this town so far that they were bound to push back.
Though you have to admit, Hiram did look good walking away!
It’s unclear if there were any casualties from the bomb, but it wasn’t looking good for Archie or Betty, who came back to his place to give their relationship another try.
Will the Barchie fandom’s happiness be short-lived? I haven’t heard of any of the core cast members wanting to leave the series, so maybe they were able to make a run for it after all?
It wouldn’t be fair to toy with Barchie fans so blatantly. But also, is Archie a serial dater? That man cannot be single for a second!
We know the bomb was Hiram’s doing, but it was conveniently timed just as Cheryl enacted the curse to avenge her ancestor Abigail, who was burned at the sake by the descendants of Archie, Betty, and Jughead.
I was not a fan of Cheryl’s parish storyline, but I’m definitely interested in exploring a plot filled with magic. After all, Riverdale borders Greendale, which served as the backdrop for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Magic must run through Riverdale’s veins, and there’s no one better to be involved than the Blossom’s.
The only thing that is troubling about the storyline is that it really pushes Cheryl away from all of her peers even more.
She’s always so caught up in her witchy woo that she has no connection to anyone else.
Also, Archie made a good point — why did they have to atone for the sins of their past when they were trying to move forward and build a better Riverdale?
No one has held the sins of Cheryl’s ancestors against her more than she has. She’s been trying to atone because she thought she was cured, not because anyone actually blamed her for anything.
And well, her direct family members have caused their fair share of havoc in town, so maybe that’s why the Blossom name remains tarnished.
Archie, Jughead, and Betty had nothing to do with their descendant’s decisions in the 1800s!
Even so, they could’ve addressed it at the next town hall. Plus, it didn’t call for a curse to be placed on them. Do they really need any more bad luck coming their way? As Jughead noted at the beginning of the episode, they aren’t thriving, they are simply surviving.
I’d argue that they’ve had curses placed on them this whole time. Archie lost his whole family and came back from a war with severe PTSD. Jughead spiraled into alcoholism after his writing career hit a snag. Veronica has dealt with Hiram Lodge her whole life, plus, she put up with a controlling husband that she ended up killing in self-defense. And Betty spent the whole season working the Lonely Highway to avenge her sister’s death only to be tracked down by the Trash Bag Killer upon graduation from Quantico.
I mean, how much worse can their lives get?
Oh yeah… the bomb. Turns out, they can get worse.
Alice seems to have forgotten all about her anger towards Betty, which is fine, I guess. Not much came of the Trash Bag Killer’s call, but he made it certain that he hasn’t forgotten about “Pretty Betty.” I don’t know what’s to come of this storyline, but he looked scarier than all of Riverdale’s villains and serial killers combined.
Alice will likely be investing all her time in rehabbing Riverdale as part of the City Council, where she’ll work alongside potential future bf Uncle Frank (why does she always go for the men related to Betty’s bfs?), Tabitha Tate, and Toni. Yay, for diversity finally being embraced.
Somehow, the season finale managed to squeeze quite a lot into one hour, so I’ll just bullet point some other notable moments:
- Archie isn’t the only one moving on from his relationship. Veronica seems to have realized that her ambitions and goals align more with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Reggie, so the two are 100% on-again and opening up a casino in Riverdale… illegally, I think?
- Her dreams of returning to NYC were shot down when she was informed she’s no longer the She-Wolf of Wall Street but rather The Black Widow of Wall Street. Rough.
- Tabitha called Pop Tate to inform him about the fire, and he came back rocking his very best “I retired in FL” look. He also realized retirement is pretty boring (and likely missed the thrill of the small-town drama), so he asked her to come back and work at Pops! Pop is back!
- Jughead and Tabitha are dating, and they burned down Hiram’s fake news magazine “Lodge Ledger” with a Molotov cocktail. Who said the Serpents were boring?!
- Jughead also revived and renamed the “Blue & Gold” to “Free Press.”
- Poor Britta has been sucked into Cheryl’s whole situation.
- Fangs and Toni are oddly cute. She’s one bad momma, and at least they have a plan for the Serpents!
- I couldn’t help but laugh at how quickly Reggie confirmed that he was the one that gave them footage of Hiram killing his father’s killer.
What did you think of the season finale of Riverdale?
Did it remind you that much like the small-town, the series has what it takes to be great again?
Sound off in the comments, and see you on November 16 for the 5-episode event!
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