If you watched last night’s Riverdale season six finale, I assume you’re still reeling from the madness that just went down. If you didn’t, here’s what happened on the show that makes Gotham look like a low-key, down-to-earth drama.
Trying to explain everything that’s happened on Riverdale this season is an impossible task, but to sum it up: Hiram Lodge tried to blow up Archie with a bomb, which instead somehow gave the main cast a variety of superpowers and allowed a dark sorcerer named Percival Pickens to arrive in town from another dimension. Also, Cheryl Blossom became a witch (unrelated). Archie and the gang managed to murder Percival before he was able to take over the town—both time travel and Satan were involved—but not before he was able to redirect Bailey’s Comet (not a typo) to head directly at Riverdale. This is a lot, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s happened in season six, and I won’t even get into how the lance that pierced the side of Jesus while he was on the cross ended up in a Riverdale pawn shop.
So that’s where “Night of the Comet” begins, with the Riverdalians trapped in town by Percival’s magic and one day left before the comet hits. Luckily, Veronica has a hell of an idea: to use her poison powers to, uh, somehow leech Archie’s invulnerability, Betty’s ability to see evil auras, Jughead’s telepathy, and Tabitha’s time-travel ability into herself, and then pass them to Cheryl via a kiss. This works, as we find out when Veronica shoots Cheryl out of goddamned nowhere and the bullet doesn’t pierce her skin.
The hope is that Cheryl will be able to harness the energy of those superpowers to fuel her Phoenix fire magic—she has Phoenix fire magic, by the way, and dresses like Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey from X-Men: The Last Stand to prove it—to melt the comet before it hits, without draining her of the power she needs to keep all the dead people she’s been resurrecting alive. This works, but it also has a very curious side effect, in that suddenly it’s 1955, and Archie and the gang are back in high school and everything seems happy and innocent and pure and Jughead’s wearing his actual hat from the comics, which looks completely bananas in real life (and can be seen above). Basically, Riverdale has rebooted itself to be a show about the actual, classic Archie comics for the seventh and final season, and only Jughead remembers what the past/future was like.
This being Riverdale, I’m sure things will get dark and twisted sooner rather than later, but I am honestly agog at the show writers’ ability to keep topping themselves when it comes to insanity. I’d say the show started going off the rails back in season two, when Betty’s dad was revealed to be a serial killer and Archie formed a squad of masked vigilantes, and then flew so far off the rails that when superpowers were introduced the rails were completely out of sight, but this… this is like Riverdale returned to the rails only to smash through them and shatter them into a million pieces, each of which is shaped like a whoopee cap.
What on earth will season seven be like? Will Mark Consuelos return as Veronica’s dad Hiram? Will Betty’s father not have been a serial killer? Will Cheryl’s famously dead twin brother Jason be alive? Will Riverdale even bother to return to its “normal” timeline before the series finale? We’ll have to wait until the show returns in 2023 to find out. Until then I’ll be staring at the above photo of Jughead.
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