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Riverdale Review Season 7 Episode 16 Stag Riverdale Review Season 7 Episode 16 Stag

Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Archie and Reggie Become Men? (716)

Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Three: Stag” -- Image Number: RVD716a_0013r -- Pictured (L - R): Tiera Skovbye as Polly and Lili Reinhard as Betty Cooper -- Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Riverdale Season 7 is like a fever dream and a passion project all rolled into one–and the point of it has been rapidly slipping away from me the further the season progresses.

Riverdale Season 7 Episode 16, however, introduced the beat culture and the focus on “Howl” and stag movies, which may just be the kickstart needed to return to the present-day timeline (or at least re-visit it as it’s been said Riverdale will not leave the ’50s before the series ends, though we will get closure in different realities and dimensions) as it was deemed the generation that rejected and rebelled against the standard American values and conventions. 

We see that unravel with Archie and Reggie’s sexual awakening (within themselves and with each other), along with Archie’s “expanded horizon” as he truly begins to live. It’s made clear in Betty’s liberation from her mother, while also seeing through Polly that the world extends far beyond the parameters of Riverdale and that freedom is just around the corner for her. 

Cheryl and Toni are also on the verge of taking back their narrative as they are fed up with hiding their true selves and trying to conform to the image expected of them by society, while Jughead and Mr. Fieldstone’s push back against censorship as Werther’s bands with Mayor Blossom and one of the nuns at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy to ban all comic books that don’t agree to their wackadoodle “code.” 

The beat culture, known as a counterculture, became one of the most successful free speech movements in American literature, and infusing that into the ’50s versions of the characters might be the key to cracking this whole thing. 

Up until this episode, I felt as though we’ve gone through 15 episodes of the final season and accomplished nothing that impacts the overall storyline, but I do believe that helping these characters redefine who they are on their own terms and acknowledge what’s important and what matters most to them will help them fight for their reality. 

Or, maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part because I so badly want to understand the purpose of this season aside from the creators/writers wanting to play with the flirty and innocent dynamics the ’50s have to offer, all while dabbling in the complexities of the time period like bans and censorship.

The focus has been solely on sex, and it’s hard to see the substance aside from the creators simply wanting to play with ships and mix and mingle. 

With only five episodes left, we have to be seeing the end of the tunnel as time is almost up, so it would be a shame never to return to the characters that actually mattered—the ones who, in the real timeline, endured plenty of character growth that has been erased with this regression to high school. 

I do, however, cherish Riverdale’s commitment to honoring all the actors and characters that made the show something unique and zany, with Polly getting her moment in the spotlight, along with a storyline that was finally worthy of her greatness. Polly has never been written in a positive light; they never did her character justice, but in this alternate timeline, she’s truly winning. She left Riverdale, she pursued a career she loves, she’s traveling the world, she has a man that loves her, and she’s doing it all without the judgment of her parents. She’s the future and the person that inspires Betty to dream big. Polly’s chosen path in life does put into perspective Betty’s obsession with, as well as Alice’s strict behavior and fearfulness of a sexual and independent woman. 

Next up, the series is dedicating an episode to Josie, who also deserves a proper sendoff that does right by her character. 

There have been plenty of relationship shakeups this season, and that’s putting it mildly. Every single person was, at one point, smitten with the other and involved in some shape, way, or form. I truly think that the only stable couples on the show have been Toni and Cheryl and Kevin and Clay, with the former truly doing the fandoms a service this week with that photoshoot. Also, what did Cheryl actually mean by shutting her parents down? 

And we definitely witnessed Julian inventing home videos… for watching in the privacy of your own home… without even realizing it. Can you imagine such intimate moments being shared with people at a movie theater?

This episode saw the true love between besties Archie and Reggie—who were bonded in more ways than one—and Betty and Archie shippers might be feeling a little jealous that so much of the final season has been focused on the bromance between these two verses establishing an actual endgame for #Barchie, who seem to go one step forward and several steps back. Who knew Reggie and Archie were even in the end game running? They literally had more intimate moments in this one episode than Betty and Archie have this whole season despite all the vague comments made about her “always being sweet on him” and reminders of the PG “burlesque show” they did together. Are the creative forces holding out for the final episode to give us the big #Barchie moment because if so, what a waste! 

It was troubling that Archie and Reggie essentially lost their virginity to an adult woman as it almost repeats the predatory and grooming storyline between Archie and Mrs. Grundy in season 1. Just because she does this for a living, doesn’t make it okay with high school boys. 

Mrs. Gruny reiterated that she has a husband several times throughout the episode, so I don’t think they’ll make us re-live that storyline again, but there was plenty of sexual tension between her and Archie, which was strange and weird and unnecessary, simply adding to the confusion of what this season is aiming to achieve and what it wants to be remembered by. 

However, those who felt cheated by Veronica and Jughead’s brief relationship at the onset of the season were in for a treat as they revived their spark and locked lips in one steamy moment. The thing I like about this pairing is that they didn’t obsess over each other nor were they really on each other’s radar for much of this season; they simply felt a natural connection after discussing business and acted on it like two adults. It felt genuine, though I doubt it will stick as I expect Tabitha to make her way back with a proper solution. (And I guess Betty and Veronica are no longer feeling that cosmic love for each other?) 

And finally, there hasn’t been much momentum on the serial killer of the season—the Milkman—since he was taken out by Ethel Muggs, but I imagine the motive behind his killings has something to do with the committee trying to censor and drive Pep Comics out of business. Why else would this be such a point of contention and loosely correlated all season long?

Even though I’m finally starting to, possibly, piece together the meaning of this season, there’s still so much that needs and deserves to be addressed, so I’m hoping they wrap it all up properly with the five remaining episodes. 

It’s been quite a messy season with no clear path forward, but hopefully, it will all start to make sense soon enough. 

What did you think?

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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‘Riverdale’ Season 7 Hits Netflix—Stream It Now

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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. 

Riverdale Season 7 Hits Netflix

Credit: Netflix

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. 

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Riverdale

Riverdale Series Finale Review – Goodbye to the Town With Pep (720)

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Riverdale Series Finale Season 7 Episode 20 Review Recap Goodbye

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?

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720c_0203r — Pictured (L – R): Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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. 

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720d_0180r — Pictured (L – R): Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, and KJ Apa as Archie Andrews — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.

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Goodbye, Riverdale—Series Finale Photos + Promo Are a Stroll Down Memory Lane

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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: 

https://twitter.com/riverdalenewstv/status/1692233707057213704?s=20

 

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.”

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720fg_0032r — Pictured (L – R): Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom and Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz — Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720fg_0021r — Pictured (L – R): Charles Melton as Reggie Mantle and Emilija Baranac as Midge Klump — Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720fg_0021r — Pictured (L – R): Charles Melton as Reggie Mantle — Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720fg_0013r — Pictured (L – R): Casey Cott as Kevin Keller — Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720fg_0006r — Pictured (L – R): Mӓdchen Amick as Alice Cooper — Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720a_0217r — Pictured (L – R): Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720d_0190r — Pictured (L – R): Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720d_0180r — Pictured (L – R): Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, and KJ Apa as Archie Andrews — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720c_0380r — Pictured (L – R): KJ Apa as Archie Andrews and Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720b_0163r — Pictured (L – R): KJ Apa as Archie Andrews and Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720a_0053r — Pictured (L – R): Molly Ringwald as Mary Andrews and KJ Apa as Archie Andrews — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Riverdale — “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” — Image Number: RVD720a_0008r — Pictured (L – R): Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper — Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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