Riverdale is a wicked crime town, and no one is innocent. Not Betty, not Jughead, not Archie, and definitely not Veronica.
“The Red Dahlia,” a term Betty used on Penelope in this episode makes the point that the parents are all to blame for the dysfunction and murder.
Though the plots have become twisted and tangled that it may sometimes become a little difficult to follow along, the point being drive home is that Hermione and Penelope are working together to take over Hiram Lodge’s empire.
Penelope was revealed as not only Clifford’s killer but Daryl and Claudius’ as well. Her storyline is very straightforward — she takes out the bad men.
Clifford was responsible for Jason’s death while Claudius was responsible for poisoning Sweetwater River thus leading to seizures in the high school.
Now, how does Hermione play into all of this?
Her web of lies is a bit more complex.
As we know, Riverdale writers love playing with the structure of an episode and Jughead’s ‘who-dun-it’ film noir vibe gave this town even more, er, charm.
Jughead doesn’t strike me as the type of guy eager to find Hiram Lodge’s shooter, however, when Veronica asks sweetly, his crime-solving and investigative reporter senses began tingling and it was an offer he couldn’t pass up.
Much like the rest of us, Veronica assumed her mother was responsible for shooting her father.
And she was technically wrong.
While Hermione didn’t do the crime, she did place the order.
FP Jones confessed to killing Hermione in exchange for the Sherriff’s position.
Now, admittedly, this wasn’t much of a surprise. Much of the town has a bone to pick with Hiram, but there are two dads in particular that really want revenge for how he’s treated their sons — Fred and FP.
Fred may have threated Hiram in the last episode, but he doesn’t have the guts to carry something like that out.
But FP? Yeah, that dude has it in him.
FP believed the Sheriff position would ensure his safety is Hermione tried to double-cross him, which she definitely attempted, but Jughead was one step ahead of them all.
After meeting with Hermione, he didn’t necessarily trust her and her attempts at steering Juggy in a different direction to Hiram’s mistress didn’t absolve her of anything.
Jughead had his Serpent’s follow her and what they found out had the ability to shake Riverdale to its core: Sheriff Minetta, previously believed to have been beheaded by the Man in Black, was as alive as ever and having an affair with Hermione.
What’s worse? Hermione wanted him to go finish off her husband with a cop’s gun so she could pin the blame on FP.
Look, I underestimated Hermione — that lady is wicked.
Minetta isn’t the first person to turn up alive in Riverdale after believing to be dead, however.
Tallboy resurrected for a bit as the Gargoyle King only to end up dead again this time at the hands of the Sweet Pea and Fangs.
Jughead and FP were presented with the opportunity to frame someone that’s already dead with the attempted attack on Hiram, which evidently angered Madam Mayor.
Another hiccup in Hermione’s plan? Archie Andrews.
Archie’s hatred for the Man in Black actually ended up saving his life which is something neither she, nor we, nor he (Archie) expected.
Archie thought that killing Hiram would somehow put an end to his spiraling. I appreciate the effort, but man Archie, get it together.
Archie was never going to go through with killing Hiram, but at the very least the moment showed us that this isn’t the optimistic and doe-eyed man we met in the first season.
He’s been through a lot and that’s changed him.
However, while sneaking into Hiram’s room in a completely deserted hospital room (seriously, after they mentioned jobs Hiram rarely go unfinished, you’d think the hospital at least be staffed) he botches Minetta’s plans to off Hiram as a favor to Hermione.
Archie is back on the hero train, y’all!
Veronica was grateful, but she still had a lot to take care of.
She was basically upkeeping the family’s mafia status to prevent the vultures from taking over.
Thankfully, she had Smithers and Reggie to help her with it, and you have to admit there’s something intriguing about Reggie posing as the Man in Black. Is this a possible foreshadowing for what’s to come with Ronnie’s relationship?
The main course constituted of dealing with the Fizzle Rocks factory situation.
Both the prison and the Maple Club were pumping out the drugs, which Hermione claimed to know nothing about.
She told Veronica that the quarantine was a smokescreen to cleanly and swiftly dismantle production, however, Hiram lied to her and consolidated everything into the prison.
Hermione is interested in selling the factory off and getting a good chunk of change, but that doesn’t eliminate the problem — drugs would still continue to be pumped out into Riverdale.
Veronica has a much better idea of just destroying the drugs and the factory altogether. It’s a bold choice as it does basically burn all of Hiram’s investments, not to mention screws out a buyer. I wonder how Hiram will react once he finds out.
Outing Tallboy as the Gargoyle King was pretty lame, but I’m wondering if it was a red herring and Hermione is the real master manipulator.
After Minetta failed to kill Hiram and her plans were thwarted by Archie, FP and Jughead, Hermione ruthlessly had to cut looses ends and shot Minetta point-blank.
Who knew she had it in her?
Kelly Ripa’s appearance as Hiram’s mistress was underwhelming.
Her acting wasn’t good at all, and during her scene with Jughead, I couldn’t concentrate on anything but that.
But also adding her into the narrative simply to explain that she faked the water reports so that Hiram could continue operating his drug factory was lame.
Will see more of her?
Penelope may have inadvertently confessed to being a killer, although serial killer is pushing it, Betty isn’t any better.
In fact, lecturing Penelope was very hypocritical of her since she basically sold out Chic to the Black Hood.
And Penelope made sure to let her know if she turned her in, she would turn Betty in.
I still don’t understand the point of Hal and Betty’s meetings unless they are showing us that Betty’s beginning to understand why people become deranged in crime town.
In the end, everyone was at a stalemate.
Penelope made sure Betty wouldn’t turn her in because if she did, she’d turn Betty in for Chic’s death.
Hermione confessed to everything, but Jughead couldn’t report her because she promised to take his father down with him.
And Archie and Hiram may have made up, but where do they go from here?
Hiram was thankful, obviously, and Archie was so stunned by his own actions, he agreed to a truce.
Do I really think that Hiram would just have a change of heart? He searched near and far to get his hands on Archie so it seems unlikely that he’d just let it all go.
The only way Hiram would let his vendetta go is if he’s benefitting from it in some way.
What has Archie agreed to now?
Archie needs a sense of direction because as it stands, he himself isn’t even sure if he loves or loathes Hiram.
Maybe Josie’s interest in him and his excitement to return to “jamming” out will bring back the old Archie?
If Josie is about to be Archie’s new love interest, I’ll stan it as long as it gives her more free time.
However, she’s too sweet and innocent to corrupt so please don’t go that route!
Are we at the end of Hiram Lodge?
What happens now that Hermione has taken the reigns? And where the hell are those weirdos from The Farm?
‘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.”
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