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 Midseason Finale Review – The Pincushion Man (5×10)
I wish I had some maple mushrooms cause maybe then I’d be able to make sense of what transpired on the midseason finale of Riverdale.
Things just keep getting weirder and weirder on this series for absolutely no reason, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t tune in solely to see how absurd things get.
Everyone made some pretty questionable choices during “The Pincushion Man,” which, much to my surprise, is not the name of a new serial killer in town.
Honestly, the only one who made any reasonable decisions was Archie, who stood up against his General and refused to follow a direct order opting to go with his instinct instead.
It helped that a reporter for the New York Times made him aware that the mission, which General Taylor wanted to celebrate him for, may have been dirty.
Once he informed Taylor that he would not accept the Silver Eagle medal, Taylor’s true colors came to the surface as he threatened to make Archie a scapegoat.
Archie stood his ground and said that he was at peace with his decision, even if it meant he had to go in front of a judge and relive the experience.
Archie has faced off against Hiram Lodge on several occasions, so he’s definitely not intimidated by a General.
In fact, they’re still dealing with Hiram’s wrath as he purposefully freed all of his inmates to cause havoc in Riverdale. He really just cannot let it go.
At least now we know why Hiram is so hellbent on destroying his former hometown (aside from the fact that he just enjoys it) — he’s after palladium, a precious rare metal that’s more than gold.
Releasing the inmates interrupted parent-teacher night, and it’s shocking that Riverdale High still has any students enrolled. Then again, Professor Weatherbee said wanted to show the parents that they could protect the kids, and Archie delivered by singlehandedly taking on the inmates.
Two unexpected visitors from the prison — Charles and Chic — also crashed Juniper and Dagwood’s birthday party for absolutely no reason, and the whole thing was kind of bizarre.
Betty and Alice didn’t call the police because, in case you forgot, Riverdale only has a Sheriff who was nowhere to be found while the town was being overrun by criminals, but that’s beside the point.
The weirdest part was that Alice was accommodating of her guests and still seems to care about Charles despite all the pain he’s caused the family. Plus, she was devastated when she shot him in self-defense. Why? I understand that he’s her son, but stop being naive and putting your family in danger, Alice! What a blindspot!
I think Chic is finally dead, but I can’t confirm that.
And the twins definitely have some kind of serial killer gene coursing through their veins. They didn’t even feel remorse for hurting their classmate. The smiles on their faces were beyond creepy.
I’m glad Betty stood up for them and didn’t allow Juniper to stab Glen because it could’ve triggered something.
I don’t really understand why Betty gave Glen another chance, almost as much as I can’t comprehend why Veronica would allow herself to get wooed by Chad one last time, but I guess the heart wants what it wants?
They both realized the error of their ways almost immediately. Glen revealed that he was more into examining Betty’s family and their predisposition to murder than actually solving Polly’s disappearance and the case of the missing girls along the Lonely Highway.
This man didn’t see an issue with using his girlfriend’s toxic family for his dissertation!
I hope this is the last we’ve seen of him.
Betty connected her father Hal aka the Black Hood to “Nedslist,” which is how women and truckers get hooked up on the Lonely Highway. Do the murders have something to do with him? Or was that just Glen’s attempt at learning more about her family history?
As for Veronica, she fell into the “one last night” magic when she visited Chad only to learn the next morning that he wasn’t interested in giving her a divorce and used her jewelry business for some bad investments that caused them to go into debt.
Additionally, he threatened to testify against her if they divorced and blame her for all the dirty deals, which basically backed Veronica into a corner.
Again, why would Veronica trust a man who openly blackmailed her with photos of her and Archie? He’s clearly a master manipulator and was never going to let her off the hook that easily.
Ladies, get it together!
Even worse than hooking up with the husband that you plan on divorcing is cheating on your current boyfriend.
And Jughead… well, he was on quite a trip with those psychedelic mushrooms.
Though Tabitha was initially hesitant to babysit him while he took them, she eventually agreed to do it when she realized he wouldn’t change his mind.
However, she probably should’ve stuck around the whole time.
Jughead successfully wrote his novel, which was the goal all along, but everything that transpired while he was high was quite a mess.
He hallucinated his ex Jess before having an intense experience with Betty who kept apologizing for the pain she caused him senior year. That paired with Jughead’s confession to Tabitha that he isn’t ready for a relationship cause he never moved on from his breakup with Betty was definitely enough to give Bughead fans hope for the future. And I can’t say I’m not happy that the series won’t be using Tabitha as a tool to reunite Jughead and Betty.
That is if Jughead survives. When Tabitha returned at some point during his drug-induced trip, she found the bunker covered in blood and Jughead nowhere to be found.
It’s unclear what, if anything, Jughead hallucinated was real, but there was a whirring sound that indicated he had an encounter with the mothmen.
Did they abduct him? Did he try to search for them?
Moral of the story: drugs are bad kids.
Hiram didn’t just stir up trouble at Riverdale High, he also tasked Reggie with getting the maple groves from the Blossom family. Apparently, the palladium is nestled right under the trees.
Nana Rose was all too willing to sell because of the Blossom curse, but Cheryl basically said: “over my dead body.”
So, Reggie went to the extremes and set the groves on fire. We thought Reggie was on the right path when he turned on Hiram and supported the Bulldogs in the previous episode, but he’s right back at being Hiram’s lackey again.
Penelope, who also broke out of prison, explained that they needed to call upon the wind to redirect the fire, and after they prayed to their satanic altar, a windstorm appeared and spared at least half of the groves.
Riverdale always does this weird thing where it tries to dabble in the supernatural but never fully crosses the line into that world. It’s annoying. Either you’re embracing the magic or you aren’t. You can’t have it both ways!
Other Midseason Musings
- Min-Min and Cheryl are definitely over, right? Minerva had the right idea when she made a break for it because I have no doubt Nana Blossom would try to sacrifice her.
- Kevin Keller with a blade? It was a look.
- Toni’s absence was explained as bed rest due to pregnancy. I’ll let it slide simply because the series has made it a priority to integrate her into more episodes, and we know she was actually pregnant so maybe she really needed the break.
- Betty is now taking Polly’s case into her own hands, but what’s her plan? Is she going to drive the truck and look for clues?
What did you think of the midseason finale of Riverdale? Let us know in the comments below!
Riverdale Review – Destroyer (5×09)
And we’re back to the old Riverdale.
You know, the one where weird, unexplainable things happen as Betty and Jughead work a case together.
There was a rush of endorphins as the former couple teamed up to get some much-needed answers. In my previous Riverdale reviews, I said that it was only a matter of time before the duo’s cases crossed paths.
There’s too much overlap when it comes to the mothmen/mothman (I really can’t tell if it’s one entity or multiple anymore) and Polly’s disappearance. The main connection is the Lonely Highway, which is where the mothmen seem to be located, where Polly and other girls have gone missing, and now, where Lerman, Jughead’s student, was drawn to while sleepwalking.
Lerman’s story was very similar to what Old Man Dreyfus told Jughead previously, so while it seems unlikely that aliens would be inhabiting this small town, all signs are pointing in that direction.
He wouldn’t recount being operated on in a spaceship unless it happened… and why did Principal Weatherbee get so upset that Jughead questioned whether a student was in distress? Isn’t that a teacher’s job?
Though, I’d likely agree that these aliens are sort of like the Gargoyle King where it’s someone dressed up as supernatural entities.
It’s unfortunate that Lerman’s parents moved him out of Riverdale before Jughead and Betty had a chance to ask him any concrete questions.
I don’t think Polly is dead. She could’ve been injured, which would explain why her blood was smeared all over the telephone booth, but if she was dead, they likely would have found her body right next to it. I kept thinking Betty would walk into the house and Polly would be there with no recollection of what happened.
Betty’s decision not to tell Alice the truth about Polly was partially because she didn’t want her mom to crack, and partially because she’s holding out hope and still believes Polly is out there somewhere.
Also, who missed Dark Betty? She almost killed John for preying on these innocent girls. Thankfully, she was saved by the bell.
Now, Glen… that dude is a problem.
He didn’t care enough to get involved in the case before, but after Betty chewed him out, he took it upon himself to come to Riverdale, tell her mom, and remove Betty from the case.
He clearly doesn’t know her as well as he thinks he does.
Also, can Alice ever learn from previous mistakes of trusting “agents” over her own family?
She barely knows Glen, so why isn’t she wearier about his sudden involvement?
Betty and Jughead worked well together, even if she did think his alien-theory was a little too far out there at first. And who could blame her? In Jughead’s defense, weirder things have happened in this small town.
What’s problematic is the teaser for next week showing Jughead and Tabitha getting close as she’ll likely only be a plot device to bring Jughead and Betty back.
If that’s the case, Tabitha deserves better.
As usual, while Betty and Jughead were dealing with the oddities in Riverdale, Archie and Veronica were hoping to inspire a little town spirit in a place that had absolutely none.
The Bulldogs, despite Archie’s best attempts, weren’t winning games, which meant that the town wasn’t rallying behind them.
If they stood any chance at saving Riverdale from Hiram’s grasp, they needed the team to step it up.
Veronica did plenty to incentivize the team including offering $10,000 to the first person to score and bringing a professional football player to give them a pep-talk. She also organized a pancake breakfast at Pops. Meanwhile, Cheryl came out of retirement to entertain the masses.
I’m never a fan of musical numbers on Riverdale, but Cheryl’s still got it. Also, where was Toni? I hate when shows don’t explain a character’s absence.
With a little help from Archie’s Friday Night Lights approach, the Bulldogs managed to score once during the game, which was more than enough to inspire confidence in the team and the town.
You can just see that Archie has his students’/players’ best interests at heart, while Hiram is just out there for himself.
Archie didn’t get mad at Derek for switching to Stonewall Prep’s team because he understood that it was better for college applications. Though, you better believe Derek would’ve probably have benefitted from staying on the Bulldogs and having a coach who cares about him.
Hiram only cares about himself and his own interest. Look how quickly he turned on Reggie, who, in turn, threw in his support behind the Bulldogs.
It just goes to show how weak alliances are when they’re only superficial and surface-level.
Also, why is Hiram such a toddler? He’s a grown man who literally picks on children. Even Reggie realized there was a line he wouldn’t cross.
Kevin dealt with the fallout of calling it quits with Fangs, which meant that he had to get very honest with himself.
While he couldn’t talk about his issues with Fangs, after hitting on a man in the steam room and getting beat up, he finally confided in his father about being ashamed to be gay.
It was a heartbreaking talk, especially as he blamed his mothers’ offhand comments about his sexual orientation for his desire to cruise.
Kevin has hidden his emotions for quite some time, but until he really confronts them and deals with them, he’s probably right in putting off the wedding and having a baby.
And while I think these storylines are important to address, Kevin does feel a bit forced simply to break up a couple that was standing on solid ground.
Personally, I think it would be awesome to see Kevin, Fangs, and Toni raise a modern, unconventional family, so I’m hoping Kevin eventually arrives at a place where he feels comfortable and secure.
What did you think of tonight’s episode?
Sound off in the comments below, Cravers!
Riverdale Review – Lock & Key Party (5×08)
Cheryl was responsible for a little chaos on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 8 that put into question plenty of relationships.
While a lot can change in seven years, a lot can also stay the same.
At the top of the hour, Kevin and Fangs made a huge announcement – they were engaged. And not only that, but they were also expecting a baby with Toni as part of their nontraditional family.
The fact that Kevin and Fangs turned out to be Toni’s baby daddies was probably the least surprising thing about the episode. The trio has formed such a close-knit bond that it only makes sense.
When Cheryl found out about it, she was furious and decided to throw a “Lock and Key” party to meddle in the relationship.
And everyone was down for one last hurrah where they get a free pass to do whatever they want.
However, the party turned out to be quite the dud. Cheryl tried to make amends with Toni by showing her a nursery at Thornhill, but Toni has matured past this type of behavior.
She didn’t want to be manipulated by Cheryl again, and after so much time apart, she saw how toxic things with Cheryl were when they were younger.
Look, I’m always going to be a #Choni fan, but I have to admit, Cheryl is not okay these days. She’s cooped up in Thornhill with absolutely no sense of reality, while Toni is out there in the real world thriving. She has a career, she’s helping women, she’s running a bar, and she’s about to become a mother.
Her priority now is to protect her baby at all costs, and a life locked up in Thornhill is not the life she wants for her child.
The series has done quite an overhaul with this time jump, and I wish they would have picked a better path for Cheryl.
After being rejected by Toni, Cheryl found solace in the arms of Minerva, who is sticking around cause she wants a Cheryl Blossom original after figuring out that she’s been selling forgeries as the real deal.
Personally, I don’t trust Minerva, but I’m also not quite sure what her angle truly is.
Betty and Archie delivered a rollercoaster of emotions. As she experienced night terrors connected to the TBK, she called her hook-up buddy Archie for comfort.
But sadly, #Barchie fans had to give up on that dream by the end of the hour because Archie was developing feelings for Veronica again. And Betty was scared that the closer she and Archie got, the more her darkness would consume him.
In blatant terms: the clock was running out on being friends with benefits, and they decided it was better to just be friends.
I know it’s upsetting for many fans, but at least their short-lived romance was smoking hot while it lasted.
By the end of the hour, Ronnie and Chadwick agreed to a divorce and she was back in Archie’s arms… just like the good old days.
Does it seem too easy? Absolutely. Chadwick was a manipulative and jealous husband, so the chances of him just surrendering and agreeing to a divorce are slim.
And bringing Veronica and Archie back together feels like the show is falling back on its crutches and undoing all the progress it tried to make with a time jump.
Maybe it would’ve made sense if Archie and Ronnie remained friends for at least half a season before giving in to their feelings.
The good thing is it doesn’t seem like Betty and Jughead are going to get back together anytime soon as they’re both battling their inner demons.
Betty’s dealing with the trauma of the TBK, which she kind of pushed aside by coming back to her hometown, but it’s resurfacing as she deals with another serial killer/ kidnapper who has taken hold of Polly.
Something tells me, however, that Betty and Jughead’s paths will cross as they are dealing with the same monsters.
Polly’s frantic phone call gave Alice hope as it means her daughter is still alive, but Polly’s description of her captor and her surroundings don’t give off the vibe that she’s dealing with something human.
Firstly, she said “they’re coming” as in a plural suspect. Secondly, Alice mentioned that the place she was being held captive sounded like a spaceship.
I wouldn’t think twice of it if Jughead wasn’t seeing aliens and contemplating whether or not he’s going “crazy.”
Maybe Polly has been captured by the Mothman, the rumored legend in Riverdale.
After Jughead had his “encounter,” he’s been haunted by images of aliens. Sure, it could be repressed trauma, but where’s the fun in that?
And it would just make sense for Betty and Jughead’s paths to cross as they both investigate these eerie cases.
After all, they always did some solid detective work.
Tabitha makes for a good sidekick, but she’s no Betty. Though, I’m not opposed to Jughead pursuing a relationship with Tabitha for now because she seems good for him.
Veronica and Chadwick and Archie and Betty weren’t the only couples/friends with benefits to call it quits. Following Cheryl’s party, Kevin, who was clearly having doubts about this next step in his life, informed Fangs that he wasn’t ready to get married. As Fangs said, he basically imploded their relationship of eight years because he got cold feet. I’m not pleased with this decision considering Fangs and Kevin always made it work in a way that worked for them. Fangs was even willing to remain in an open relationship if that would make Kevin happy! What happened?
Though, I guess it’s better to be honest about your feelings than pretending everything is okay and leading someone on. Good on Kevin for doing the right thing even if it hurt like hell.
- That Reggie and Fangs kiss almost knocked me off the couch!
- We finally got a quick peek at Juniper and Dagwood!
- Katy Keene lives to see another day! While I’d rather see Lucy Hale reprise her character, it was great to hear her voice on the other end of the line!
- Are Betty and Veronica even friends anymore? I miss the B&V bond!
What did you think of the episode? Is Riverdale headed in the right direction?
Are you into the Mothman storyline?
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