In the wise words of Cheryl Blossom, Riverdale Season 6 Episode 19 is “cuckoo bananas.”
While Sabrina Spellman’s arrival was a pure delight, as was the update on the realms, the dark magic just hits different in Greendale.
In Riverdale, however, it still feels out of place no matter how bonkers this season has been thus far.
Sabrina arrived in town to help Cheryl, Betty, Veronica, Tabitha, and Heather resurrect the fallen following Toni and Fangs’ wedding.
There’s strength in numbers, and they need everyone on board to defeat Percival if the final battle.
Before they began doing anything, Sabrina explained that she needed a coven of six witches, which meant that Betty, Veronica, and Tabitha had to cross over to the dark side. The plan included signing their names in the dark book, pledging allegiance to Hecate, a dance party (which was cute but questionable), and shots of Veronica’s absinthe (liquid courage, duh).
Once that was accomplished, Sabrina was able to move forward with Plan A, which involved attempting to lure back one soul from the Sweet Hereafter. She chose Jughead as the first test subject, but the comic book lovin’ hero wasn’t interested in returning to Earth. He seemed to understand, more than anyone, that he was living in a false reality but the allure of his perfect Riverdale — with all the hamburgers he could eat — was enough for him. He wasn’t even swayed when Sabrina informed him that Tabitha missed him because he knew he’d “see her soon.” Obviously, his hopes for his friends winning the battle against Percival were rather slim. And truthfully, who would want to go back to a world where they were stuck in an underground bunker with no hearing and a losing battle staring them in the face? You can’t really blame Jughead. Did I mention all the hamburgers from Pop?
Sabrina realized two things: she wasn’t strong enough to bring back the loved ones because she has no emotional pull with them. And secondly, with Jughead’s permission, she resurrected Nick Scratch in Jughead’s body. The decision was partially selfish and partially to do with her first realization because in order to convince these souls to return to Earth, she needed Nick’s powers of necromancy to help temporarily kill Cheryl, Veronica, and Tabitha before bringing them back to life along with all the others. Betty was going to be Archie’s anchor, but Sabrina picked up a darkness in her energy because of the whole “Harlot of Babylon” thing, which may prove that what happened in Rivervale is affecting them in Riverdale.
This was also a good time for Sabrina to fill in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina friends about what was going on in Greendale. Sabrina may specialize in necromancy, but those who watched the Netflix show know she died at the end, so how is she still here able to help the witches of Riverdale (also, if they made this into a show, I would absolutely watch it). Well, the secret is that Sabrina was resurrected. Remember when Nick Scratch sacrificed himself and met Sabrina in the Sweet Hereafter? It was only so to take her place while she was sent back to earth to be there for her aunties, the covens, her friends, etc.
So, naturally, when Sabrina stumbled upon the opportunity to reunite with her lover for a brief moment, she jumped at it. Cole Sprouse does a hell of a job as Jughead (in all the iterations of the character) but he’s no match for Nick Scratch. He attempted to give off the effortlessly cool vibe but Gavin Leatherwood simply worked miracles to bring that warlock to life. The duo had a mini-date while the trio of newly anointed witches stepped into the afterlife to find their loved ones.
Veronica took one for the team, briefly dying in hopes of saving her ex-boyfriend, Archie, whose perfect world was living a simple life with Betty and their children, little Polly and little Fred. I mean, I thought it couldn’t get cuter, but then I saw them both wearing wedding rings as Archie informed Ronnie that he was never going to leave this utopia to go back to a lesser version of Riverdale. That poor man just wants peace and love, can everyone just leave him alone?!
Cheryl ventured in for her T.T and Fangs (she had no choice, okay?) who also weren’t easily convinced as they were living up the married life along with an adult baby Anthony, which was odd considering Fangs and Toni barely aged. Cheryl then went to find Nana Rose, but stumbled upon a bustling Thornhill with Jason Blossom, Polly, and the twins. The happy couple, who finally got their shot at a real relationship, were also expecting triplets. The genes in that family, right!?
It was easy for Cheryl and Veronica to understand why their loved ones didn’t want to return. Even Tabitha didn’t have the heart to pull Jughead away from his adoring fans as he signed comic books at Pops. She did, however, have an interesting heart-to-heart with Raphael, her angel, and though we weren’t privy to the full conversation, she did reveal some of the most notable things to Toni and Fangs later on. For starters, baby Anthony did not die when all the first born’s did because he’s immortal. The “how” and “why” is still out on that one. Secondly, Tabitha is Riverdale’s guardian angel, which is sweet, but part of me thinks it should have been Heather, who blew into town and has been aiding in the fight against Percival despite having no stake in the battle. She hasn’t even flinched when Cheryl has made it abundantly clear that there’s residual feelings for Toni there.
When all the three witches returned home empty-handed, Sabrina moved into plan C, which was informing Cheryl that she’s a Phoenix who can tap into her own powers of necromancy to help the deceased rise from the ashes. Again, it’s far-fetched, but at this point, why not? It’s weird that Sabrina, who knew that they were running out of time, didn’t just try plan C to begin with. I know it’s risky since the subjects might return incomplete, but it would’ve saved them all so much time and energy.
By the time Cheryl unleashed her Phoenix powers, those in the Sweet Hereafter seemed to be on board with returning to Riverdale. Archie, clad in uniform for battle because he’s the purest of hearts, kissed faux Betty goodbye and told her he has to heed Veronica’s warning, while Toni found no pictures past her and Fangs’ wedding, alluding to the fact that Cheryl was likely telling the truth.
Cheryl was a natural reciting the spell and bringing home those who died too soon, but she also may have upset the delicate balance between life and death when she chose to resurrect Polly, Jason, and their children — both born and unborn. It’s not entirely clear how Cheryl was able to complete the spell without their bodies (if it was possible, don’t you think Sabrina would do it?), but it’s also Cheryl, the woman who visited her brother’s corpse that she kept in her house, so are we really that surprised?
For now, Cheryl lives in a delusion thinking she gave herself and her family a second chance, but I’m going to assume this is going to turn rotten rather quickly. At the very least, it’s a fun way to incorporate the C-level characters and allow Cheryl to finally get a chance to exist alongside her brother. Maybe she’ll finally be whole if she gets a proper goodbye.
Sabrina’s warning about death not taking kindly to being cheated came a bit too late, but hopefully, it won’t cost them the final battle.
Because as it stands, Percival has no clue that the witches have managed to resurrect their army, which is giving them the upper hand.
Not only that but Jughead returned with his hearing in-tact alongside the ability to hear a person’s inner thoughts. Archie has something to fight for if he ever wants to make his perfect life with Betty a reality. Tabitha has been given some fun-facts that will aide in their efforts, and even Veronica is likely rejuvenated by the revelation that Archie’s “endgame” is up for grabs. Personally, I’d be deterred that he chose a future with Betty as his heaven, but there was once a time where Archie only loved Veronica, so anything is possible. Could we see #Varchie resurrect once again before the final battle? Especially if the teaser alludes to Betty being “bad” and “dark” against her wishes.
There’s also the “other Jughead” in the bunker that will likely give them even more ammunition.
And Percival may have his old, powerful trinkets, but he doesn’t have that many allies in town. Aside from Tom Keller and Frank, both of whom seem to be under his spell still, he lost the devotion of Reggie Mantle, his final right-hand man. Reggie was the last person that was being mind controlled, but when Percival ordered him to behead Kevin for betraying him, no money, power, or even a new heart for his dying father could convince Reggie to go through with it. At the end of the day, free-thinking and a conscience forced Reggie to plan an escape, which was unsuccessful. Reggie, his father, and Kevin are all locked up at the moment, but I think they’ll be just fine!
What did you think of the episode? Is all the magic and colliding world’s, realities, and realms just a bit too much to keep up with?
I’m hoping that the upcoming final season hits reset and we get back to the odd Riverdale that also just makes sense. Like maybe we’ll just go back to right before that bomb went off and this season will become a distant memory?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
‘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.”
- The Buccaneers3 weeks ago
The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 4 Recap – Homecoming
- The Santa Clauses2 weeks ago
The Santa Clauses Season 2 Episode 4 Recap – Miracle on Dead Creek
- Found3 weeks ago
Found Season 1 Episode 7 Recap – Missing While Indigenous
- The Santa Clauses3 weeks ago
The Santa Clauses Season 2 Episode 3 Review – No Magic at the Dinner Table!
- Sullivan's Crossing3 weeks ago
Sullivan’s Crossing Season 1 Episode 7 Review – Second Chances
- Sullivan's Crossing2 weeks ago
Sullivan’s Crossing Season 1 Episode 8 Review – Aftershock
- Holidays4 days ago
Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 5 Episode 11 and 12 Review – Father Christmas
- Chicago P.D2 weeks ago
One Chicago Shows Announce 2024 Premiere Dates