Now, that’s how you do a season finale.
Riverdale has been all over the map with its storylines this season, and just when I’d given up hope, the series proved that it can deliver a solid episode when it really wants to.
Riverdale Season 5 Episode 19 brought the wrath of Cheryl, the wrath of Abigail, and the wrath of Hiram Lodge proving that while the small town can turn over a new leaf, it can never escape the sins of its past.
At this point, is the town even worth saving anymore?
The episode kicked off with the final straw in the Hiram Lodge saga. Everyone has turned a blind eye through all of his devious and malicious actions, but setting fire to Pops’ Chocklit Shoppe was the point of no return.
After Toni (who is finally getting her much-deserved storyline) and Fangs got confirmation from a Ghoulie that he was carrying out Hiram’s orders, Ronnie, Archie, and Betty snooped around his office and found out that his plan was to phase out Riverdale with his newly incorporated SoDale.
It took the attack on Pop’s for everyone to realize that they needed to step up to Hiram once and for all.
The exile was a pretty solid plan, I’m not going to lie, but it required some follow-through that they didn’t think of.
Pushing Hiram Lodge out of town is one thing, but when he has so many lackeys to do his dirty work, there’s no guaranteeing he’ll go down without a fight.
And he didn’t. In what seemed like one of his last acts in Riverdale, he decided to plant a bomb under Archie’s bed.
What is it this guy and Archie? At this point, it’s just a weird obsession.
It’s a bold move on Hiram’s part considering there was a 50/50 chance Veronica would be at Archie’s at the time.
I guess his vendetta against Archie is so strong, he doesn’t care if it brings down his own mija.
I’m sure it hurt when she turned her back on him, but what did Hiram expect? He’s pushed everyone in this town so far that they were bound to push back.
Though you have to admit, Hiram did look good walking away!
It’s unclear if there were any casualties from the bomb, but it wasn’t looking good for Archie or Betty, who came back to his place to give their relationship another try.
Will the Barchie fandom’s happiness be short-lived? I haven’t heard of any of the core cast members wanting to leave the series, so maybe they were able to make a run for it after all?
It wouldn’t be fair to toy with Barchie fans so blatantly. But also, is Archie a serial dater? That man cannot be single for a second!
We know the bomb was Hiram’s doing, but it was conveniently timed just as Cheryl enacted the curse to avenge her ancestor Abigail, who was burned at the sake by the descendants of Archie, Betty, and Jughead.
I was not a fan of Cheryl’s parish storyline, but I’m definitely interested in exploring a plot filled with magic. After all, Riverdale borders Greendale, which served as the backdrop for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Magic must run through Riverdale’s veins, and there’s no one better to be involved than the Blossom’s.
The only thing that is troubling about the storyline is that it really pushes Cheryl away from all of her peers even more.
She’s always so caught up in her witchy woo that she has no connection to anyone else.
Also, Archie made a good point — why did they have to atone for the sins of their past when they were trying to move forward and build a better Riverdale?
No one has held the sins of Cheryl’s ancestors against her more than she has. She’s been trying to atone because she thought she was cured, not because anyone actually blamed her for anything.
And well, her direct family members have caused their fair share of havoc in town, so maybe that’s why the Blossom name remains tarnished.
Archie, Jughead, and Betty had nothing to do with their descendant’s decisions in the 1800s!
Even so, they could’ve addressed it at the next town hall. Plus, it didn’t call for a curse to be placed on them. Do they really need any more bad luck coming their way? As Jughead noted at the beginning of the episode, they aren’t thriving, they are simply surviving.
I’d argue that they’ve had curses placed on them this whole time. Archie lost his whole family and came back from a war with severe PTSD. Jughead spiraled into alcoholism after his writing career hit a snag. Veronica has dealt with Hiram Lodge her whole life, plus, she put up with a controlling husband that she ended up killing in self-defense. And Betty spent the whole season working the Lonely Highway to avenge her sister’s death only to be tracked down by the Trash Bag Killer upon graduation from Quantico.
I mean, how much worse can their lives get?
Oh yeah… the bomb. Turns out, they can get worse.
Alice seems to have forgotten all about her anger towards Betty, which is fine, I guess. Not much came of the Trash Bag Killer’s call, but he made it certain that he hasn’t forgotten about “Pretty Betty.” I don’t know what’s to come of this storyline, but he looked scarier than all of Riverdale’s villains and serial killers combined.
Alice will likely be investing all her time in rehabbing Riverdale as part of the City Council, where she’ll work alongside potential future bf Uncle Frank (why does she always go for the men related to Betty’s bfs?), Tabitha Tate, and Toni. Yay, for diversity finally being embraced.
Somehow, the season finale managed to squeeze quite a lot into one hour, so I’ll just bullet point some other notable moments:
- Archie isn’t the only one moving on from his relationship. Veronica seems to have realized that her ambitions and goals align more with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Reggie, so the two are 100% on-again and opening up a casino in Riverdale… illegally, I think?
- Her dreams of returning to NYC were shot down when she was informed she’s no longer the She-Wolf of Wall Street but rather The Black Widow of Wall Street. Rough.
- Tabitha called Pop Tate to inform him about the fire, and he came back rocking his very best “I retired in FL” look. He also realized retirement is pretty boring (and likely missed the thrill of the small-town drama), so he asked her to come back and work at Pops! Pop is back!
- Jughead and Tabitha are dating, and they burned down Hiram’s fake news magazine “Lodge Ledger” with a Molotov cocktail. Who said the Serpents were boring?!
- Jughead also revived and renamed the “Blue & Gold” to “Free Press.”
- Poor Britta has been sucked into Cheryl’s whole situation.
- Fangs and Toni are oddly cute. She’s one bad momma, and at least they have a plan for the Serpents!
- I couldn’t help but laugh at how quickly Reggie confirmed that he was the one that gave them footage of Hiram killing his father’s killer.
What did you think of the season finale of Riverdale?
Did it remind you that much like the small-town, the series has what it takes to be great again?
Sound off in the comments, and see you on November 16 for the 5-episode event!