Three generations of Blossom women all in one body? Check.
A resurrected powerful witch from Greendale that goes by the name of Sabrina Spellman? Check.
Plenty of Choni — or should we say Thomasina and Abigail — moments? Check.
A passionate liplock between Betty and Cheryl, er, Bitsy and Poppy? Check, check, check.
What a loaded episode of Rivervale it was.
“The Witching Hour” (Riverdale Season 5 Episode 4) gave Madeline Petsch a chance to shine as three different Blossom women — Abigail, Poppy, and Cheryl.
As Nana Blossom took her last remaining breaths, Cheryl told the story of her ancestors, who were harshly persecuted in the alternate universe/paradox town of Rivervale.
And it all happened under the cosmic event of Bailey’s Comet, which was used for a transference spell (that’s where our very-much-alive girl, Sabrina, came into the picture) to put Abigail’s cursed soul into Nana’s body.
Sabrina, who gave a brief explanation as to how she’s alive — witches never die (though, my guess is that her aunties and Ambrose on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina found a way to bring her back) — explained that Abigail, who was cursed with immortality, lived on for centuries as alter egos Poppy and eventually, Cheryl.
It has all been the same person, and she finally found a loophole to end her cursed life and reunite with her beloved Thomasina (aka Tony), who was waiting for her in the afterlife.
It was fun to see Petsch embrace these women from three varying time periods and their stories.
The hair, the outfits, the love stories — they were all riveting while also giving a deeper understanding of Thornhill.
In short, Abigail lived in the 1800s and hired Thomasina, a harlot accused of murdering her abusive husband, as a school teacher. Their professional relationship blossomed until Fen (Fangs), a dark warlock, showed up claiming to be Abigail’s twin brother’s buddy from the war. He delivered a letter that suggested James’s dying wish was for Abigail to marry his beloved friend.
Thomasina wasn’t convinced, so they went snooping through his things and found the evidence that proved Fen was a dangerous man. He caught them and threatened to kill Thomasina if Abigail didn’t marry him immediately.
After the wedding, when it was time to “do her wifely duties,” Abigail went all Lizzie Borden on him and chopped him up. She then saw that he killed Thomasina, and in his final moments, he cursed her to an immortal life of loneliness.
Fast-forward to the 1900s and Poppy, an empowered woman, was hosting secret book club meetings where she gave advice to the housewives that often included herbs from her garden.
She gave TamTam the herbs to land her a job at Pops, she helped Velma (Veronica) spice it up in the bedroom, and she helped Bitsy (Betty), the love of her life, get contraceptives so that she didn’t have to have another child with her husband Jack (Jughead).
And in the heart of the moment, Bitsy and Poppy shared a kiss. When Jack found out, he came to Poppy’s flinging death threat’s. Oh, the fragile male ego riddled with insecurities.
The men, who liked their women meek, silent, and at home, ambushed Thornhill demanding Poppy stand down and leave their wives alone. When she didn’t, they framed her as a commie.
She was jailed and refused to tarnish her name and reputation to get out. Nine months later, she assisted in the birth of Bitsy’s child and gave her the untraceable poison to kill Jack.
In the present-day, Sabrina helped Abigail/Poppy/Cheryl siphon the power of the comet to do a soul-swap a la Freaky Friday.
Never a dull moment at Thornhill, right?
Though, I will say, Sabrina’s arrival in Riverdale was a bit of a letdown.
It was great to see her, and it gives me hope that there’s potential for a spinoff. Madeline and Kiernan Shipka have fantastic chemistry, but it wasn’t much of a crossover with Shipka only showing up at the tail end of the episode.
We didn’t even see the poor girl grab a burger at Pop’s!
Exploring the world of Rivervale has been quite a trip, but the upcoming 100th episode seemingly aims to put this wackiness into focus.
For starters, Archie is alive and well. And Jughead seems to be having some kind of visions that blend Riverdale and Rivervale into one entity.
It’s unclear what it all means for now, but maybe it’s the inspiration for his next novel?
What did you think of the episode?
Are you happy that Cheryl got a whole episode dedicated to her? Are you glad the series finally acknowledged that she’s a witch? And did you enoy Sabrina’s visit?
And where will Riverdale go from here? Can we unsee all that we’ve seen here?
Riverdale 100th Episode Review – The Jughead Paradox (6×05)
Riverdale went all out as it celebrated its milestone 100th episode titled “The Jughead Paradox,” which also wrapped up a pretty wild 5-episode event.
I find myself saying this a lot, but the episode was bonkers, even by Riverdale standards.
Anything goes in Riverdale, and once you learn to accept that fact, it becomes a lot easier to digest the ridiculousness that pans out on the screen.
Paradoxes, parallel universes, and comic books — oh my. They all had a hand in crafting the narrative for the finale, which found Riverdale’s fate up in the air.
The same goes for Jughead Jones, the only character to pick up on the fact that Riverdale and Rivervale were twin-versus that were headed for implosion.
Honestly, that storyline wasn’t totally insane considering we’ve seen something similar pan out on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. In the final season of the Netflix series, Sabrina and her friends navigated the parallel cosmos and saved the prime one while letting the other one fade into oblivion. CAOS also dealt with paradoxes, so again, it’s been done before.
The events of Riverdale and its pocket universe, Rivervale, seemed to mirror those plots. Turns out Riverdale isn’t much different than Greendale at the end of the day.
A mysterious corpse was found by the town’s limits that was later identified as Jughead Jones. Except that was impossible because Jughead was very much alive. However, his memory of events was skewed by flashbacks of simpler high school memories. He also had no recollection of Betty and Archie’s (he’s alive) upcoming nuptials and couldn’t shake this feeling of utter doom.
His gut turned out to be right. When he fetched Jughead’s personal effects, he found the Archie comics in which his life — and the lives of his friends — were documented on the pages.
He began to investigate these two parallel universes that were seemingly bleeding into each other, and realized that he probably needed to stop it immediately.
His quest for answers brought him to Dilton Doiley (also alive) and his teaching assistant Ethel Muggs. Dilton told Jughead to chill out and stop looking for the answers of the universe, but honestly, does he know who he’s talking to? Eventually, it was revealed that Dilton knew all about the two universes imploding and let it happen because, you know, science. Ethel wasn’t about that, however, so she poisoned Dilton and suggested that they recreate the events that ended Riverdale and created Rivervale: the bomb at Archie’s house.
That was the moment when the the normalcy (a strange way to describe Riverdale, I know) ended.
Of course, since Betty and Archie were otherwise occupied with their wedding, Jughead sought out Veronica to help him recreate the moments prior to the explosion. Surprisingly, Veronica was more than happy to assist, exclaiming: “Let’s make out to save the universe… Here’s to ‘Vughead’ becoming canon.” The saying “in another universe” comes to mind.
Fans hoping for a #Vughead moment sadly never got it. Before Ronnie could come and assist Jughead, she was killed by Rivervale’s big bad — not Hiram Lodge but Archie Andrews.
Although, I’ll be quite honest that Archie, even in his murderous shape, doesn’t hold a candle to Hiram. Archie may have been strangling people left and right, but he knew the rules of the universe, so he knew that their death wasn’t permanent. It’s grim, but it’s not exactly villain-material when you’ve dealt with the the likes of the Black Hood, the Gargoyle King, murderous nuns — all of which Jughead was too eager to remind his friends in Rivervale about.
Speaking of the Black Hood, he was alive and well in Rivervale, but it wasn’t Hal under the mask, it was Clifford Blossom. It’s not entirely clear why the change, but maybe it’s because Hal was busy being a husband and father and giving some heartwarming toast at Betty and Archie’s wedding rehearsal?
Also, Jason Blossom was very much alive in Rivervale despite the yearbook dedication mourning his death. And honestly, good for Trevor Stines for finally get some screentime! Though, since Cheryl’s life has been defined by her brother’s death, it would’ve been nice to see them include Jason’s existence a bit more so that we could see if her character would’ve been different had her brother never suffered a grim fate.
Elsewhere, Ronnie — prior to her death — found out that two Reggies were definitely not better than one. After Jughead informed her and Reggie of the parallel universe, Veronica opened the door to find the OG Reggie (played by Ross Butler very briefly in season one before Charles Melton took the reigns) at the door.
There wasn’t much of a point to this storyline, but it was a fun and silly nod to the recasting. Veronica embraced it fully by suggesting a threesome (Veronica!) before she dumped them both because they couldn’t learn how to share. They took her advice to “figure it out” to heart and off’ed each other in a duel. Bye, Reggies!
But back to the whole saving Riverdale from Rivervale situation. Archie, determined to preserve Rivervale so that his father, Fred, could possibly come back to life (how heartbreaking?!), was shot dead by Betty in a wedding dress who wasn’t all that thrilled to be stood up at the altar. In shooting Archie, she saved Jughead’s life and the two of them decided to detonate the bomb while recreating her makeout sesh with Archie.
And boy, Bughead fans — this was your moment. Jughead embracing Betty in a wedding dress while they save the world? This is what dreams are made of!
It’s proof that it’s always these two against the world.
Their romantic moment was interrupted by… Jughead Jones. Yep, Archie wasn’t lying when he said his victims come back to life.
It seems as though this was the Parallel Jughead, who informed the duo that there was definitely another way to save Riverdale aside from destruction.
Parallel Jughead explained that he was enlightened while visiting the Pops Chocklit Shoppe in the sky, which obviously had all you can eat burgers.
The heavenly Pops also embraced a 50s retro vibe that allowed the series to celebrate the origins of the Archie Comics including the iconic outfits!
That’s where PJ picked up a comic about Riverdale and Rivervale and found that the former could be fueled with a new power source: imagination.
Honestly, it all gets a bit hazy and complex here, but essentially, Jughead could save Riverdale by writing in an isolated room in a bunker.
Betty wasn’t convinced, but Jughead assured her that he needed to save the universe, and thus, took his place in the bunker writing away. I guess it makes sense why Riverdale always feels like it’s Jughead’s novel, and why he’s always serving as the narrator.
Meanwhile, Betty and Parallel Jughead (I think?) recreated the bomb scene… except that the bomb never went off once it hit zero.
Instead, Betty and Jughead walked downstairs to find their friends waiting for them. They couldn’t remember a thing, but it does seem like everything went back to how it was prior to Rivervale’s creation as Jughead embraced Tabitha and Betty kissed Archie.
We got another glimpse of Jughead’s time in the bunker, and it’s revealed he isn’t alone as Ethel is down there feeding him burgers, which admittedly, is very strange.
And then… we see Archie and Betty in bed together. He hears ticking as she picks up a call that warns her to get out of the house because there’s a bomb under the bed.
At that very moment, we see Jughead typing in the garage as a bomb goes off.
Jughead said that Riverdale would stay the prime universe as long as no one in Rivervale messed with the narrative, but it doesn’t seem like this bomb explosion was supposed to happen.
Plus, if the real Jughead is trapped in an isolated bunker, does that mean that Parallel Jughead is out there living it up with his friends?
Is that why Betty and Jughead aren’t getting back together? Because it isn’t her Jughead?
Or will these two worlds somehow merge in the future?
It was a bonkers episode, but the unknown of it all is even more confusing. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t anymore, so while it might be fun to play with these characters and put them into random situations, it’s becoming very difficult for the audience to keep up and keep track.
What did you think of Riverdale’s 100th episode? Did you enjoy seeing familiar faces like OG Reggie, Jason Blossom, Clifford Blossom, Ethel Muggs, and Hal Cooper? Who else would you have liked to see?
Did you like seeing Archie in the role of a villain rather than a hero?
How do you think the series will continue in 2022? Will Riverdale and Rivervale collide? Will everyone survive the explosion? Who warned Betty?
Share all your thoughts, concerns, and critiques in the comments below! Till next year, Cravers!
Rivervale Review – Deal with the Devil (6×03)
The devil came to Rivervale on Riverdale Season 6 Episode 3… and he was acquiring souls left and right.
Going by the clever name of Lou Cypher — Lucifer — the devil had his sights set on Kevin Keller, Jughead Jones, the Tate’s, Betty Cooper, and Veronica Lodge.
And through his manipulation, he was pretty much able to cash in on all the souls he required, and then some.
The thing about the devil is that he’s an intriguing figure.
Everyone wants to know more about such a dark and devious presence.
And Rivervale hasn’t been spared of its own darkness. All those residents have darkness living inside of them — a sense of unfulfillment and insecurity t that the devil easily preyed on.
Inspired by the folk lore “The Devil’s Holiday,” the episode also set the ground for a battle between good and evil right in the heart of the weirdest small town.
I mean, seriously. First serial killers and now the literal devil?
It’s shocking that Rivervale, Riverdale, or whatever the town is calling itself these days still has any residents.
Mr. Cypher targeted Kevin by promising to give him Broadway and Vegas all wrapped up in one. And if there’s anyone who feels stifled by small-town living on this series, it’s Kevin. He jumped at the opportunity almost immediately.
And the series, well, they jumped at the opportunity for a musical number. I wish the devil put an end to that, to be honest.
Next up on the list was Pop Tate, who suffered some kind of cardiac arrest. At the hospital, Tabitha learned that the Tate family made a deal with the devil, but Pop wanted to spare his father, so he offered up his soul instead.
However, the devil was in the mood for negotiations and offered her a deal — he’d give up Pop’s soul for the diner instead.
While it seemed like a no-brainer, Pop immediately told Tabitha not to sign the diner over as it’s much more than walls and concrete.
Pop’s explained that the diner is the soul of Rivervale offering refuge and comfort to all those in need. It’s this crazy town’s safe haven, and without it, who knows what might happen.
Well, where there’s the devil, there’s also an angel by the name of Rafael, who offered up Tabitha and Pop the Virgin Mary’s tears from the crucifixion to slip into the devil’s drink.
Once he took a sip, he was banished, they were protected, and Pop’s was consecrated and blessed.
Is it a stretch? Yes. But really, I’m just glad Pop’s is safe and sound to welcome in anyone else who needs a place to seek out shelter.
Also, word is that it will serve as the battleground for what’s to come… whatever that means.
Jughead was intrigued by the devil’s arrival that he reached out to snag an exclusive interview.
Always the writer.
The devil made him a compelling deal: publish the tell-all and never write again or hear the secrets of the universe but keep them to yourself.
Obviously, the wise decision was to get the scoop and lock it up, but Jughead needed the world to hear the story, so he hit upload on that bad boy and relished in the glory.
That is until he put fingers to his typewriter keys and found that the devil wasn’t joking when he said he’d never be able to write again.
And without being a writer, Jughead was…. no one.
He signed his soul over to the devil in a jiffy and accepted eternal damnation in exchange for the freedom to write.
Honestly, the devil was probably laughing at how easy it was to just snatch up souls for any old reason in this town.
Jughead walked right into his plan and didn’t even know it!
Betty’s face-to-face meeting with the devil came as a brush with TBK, the Trash Bag Killer.
It didn’t really make all that much sense, but Betty was triggered by it. And when she called Glen, she realized that she wasn’t actually talking to the serial killer who tortured her, she was confronting the actual devil.
When she heard the screams of her father, Hal, and Polly suffering in hell, she ended it by stabbing TBK only to realize it was Glen under that mask.
Betty dove headfirst into the darkness and murdered someone… and there’s no coming back from that. Well, I guess that’s the second person she’s killed because Archie’s blood is still on her hands.
Either way… Soul = gone.
The funny thing that no one seemed to realize is that the devil is a master of illusions. He could’ve told Jughead any grand ole’ story and he would’ve believed it. Same with Betty — the devil clearly manipulated Glen, so he could’ve been lying about Hal and Polly also.
And finally, there was Reggie and Veronica.
After hearing that the devil was a silent investor who had come to collect a soul, she confronted Reggie, who asked her to outsmart the devil.
So, she invited Nick St. Clair over for a glass of fizzy, and as he began to confess all his misdeeds and crimes, he basically handed himself over to the big red guy.
However, that’s when Veronica found out that Reggie actually sold out her soul instead.
Rather than get mad — although, she did initially — she got even.
Veronica beat the devil by offering him a deal from her skimmed profits and one soul from the casino monthly. And the first one was… well, Reggie.
Sorry bud, you kind of deserved that one!
In this five-episode event, Rivervale has killed Archie, Toni, Reggie, and Glen. Ouch.
It’s interesting to see these characters really give themselves over to the folklore because it makes for some ridiculous television and storytelling, but it also feels like a pointless season.
What’s the point of all of this?
It’s so bizarre that it’s hard to make sense of it in Riverdale context.
Next week’s episode brings the arrival of Sabrina Spellman from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, though, from the looks of it, Kiernan Shipka is not going to be tapping into the half-witch, half-mortal character after all.
How will she play into the narrative?
What did you think of the devilish episode? Sound off 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?
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