Thoughts on Riverdale Season 1 finale

by Leonie

I have been reeling for a week but I think I’m finally ready to talk about it:

the Riverdale Season Finale (dun dun duuuun).


What a ride it was. Viki and I were fans pretty much from the very beginning…well, no. Viki was a fan. I hated the show initially. I found it silly, pretentious and sometimes pretty cringeworthy. But I never got bored and slowly but surely it grew on me. Don’t get me wrong, I still flinch every time Veronica references a work of ‘classic’ literature but there are certain parts of this show that I am sure would win over even the harshest of critics, like Cheryl mastering the ‘soul-less demon-eyes stare’ that will give you goosebumps for days (no shade to Madelaine Petsch, though. She’s beautiful). Despite what can nowadays without a doubt be considered utterly cliché, I enjoyed myself immensely watching the Archie comics based CW show Riverdale and the episode recap on Screen Junkies News every week.

Sadly, every season has to end. So, after this rollercoaster of 13 episodes, we are left with more questions and fan theories and we have a lot to say about what has been happening in this bombshell of a finale!

The last episode of the season was all about loyalty. Archie being loyal to his friends, F.P. to his crew, Betty to her convictions, Cheryl to her brother and Jughead…well, Jughead doesn’t know anymore.

Although he is the namesake of the comic book series and although he is supposed to be the protagonist, he has a lot less depth and development to his character than the rest of the crew. His relationships, flings and potential romances seem to overlap and yet haven’t collided. I suppose that’s something we can look forward to in the next season (#GrundyReturns maybe? And what is up with the Bughead-related jealousy?). The one moment in which he shined as the heroic hero heroically going about his heroism was when he saved Cheryl from drowning. He f**king PUNCHED through the ice! Not gonna lie, that was badass. Kudos, Archikins! However, after that, did they just drive all the way to the Lodges’ downtown appartment, drop her off and then leave like “Ok, here’s a blanket. Now stop being suicidal. Think happy thoughts. K, bye!”?


But holy mother of plot twists: Fred got shot! I don’t believe for a second that this was planned and that Fred or Archie were the targets of this robbery-gone-lethal (maybe). Cause if that were the case, why would the culprit first threaten Pop and demand his money? Why would he ask Fred for the wallet instead of shooting him point blank? The whole situation only escalated because Archie, no doubt high on Adrenalin from saving Cherly, now thinks he can save everybody just by taking a step to the right. The robber got spooked, shot the first thing in his view and skedaddled on outta there. And of course he would leave the money in that situation. That robber seemed less like a hardend criminal with a plan and more like a nervous first-timer with an over-eager trigger finger. But then again, this is Riverdale we’re talking about. Nothing is that simple there.

Anyway, Fred is on the floor, bleeding out but not yet dead (I don’t think he’ll die but it’ll for sure bring the missus back around) and you hear Betty in the voice-over call it the loss of Riverdale’s last shred of innocence. I had chills down my spine!


Why is her mother so evil all of a sudden? She was dating Fred, working her expert brain to help his company and now she’s all heart-eyes for Hiram? Or is it more like dollar signs appearing in those eyes? Ronnie on the other hand obviously is less than thrilled to see dear old dad again. I’d wager that’s the reason why she’s dating Archie. They were never that close throughout the season except for a few little moments but I never felt a romantic connection brewing. So dating Archie seems more like a ‘crime of opportunity’, as it were. He’s little more than a distraction to her, something to take her mind off of her mother as well as the impending doom that is to come with Mr. Lodge and the no doubt bad reputation he’s bringing with him to Riverdale that’ll affect Veronica.

Also, can we see her be head cheerleader next season?

My, oh my. Elizabeth, dear, you have gone through the most significant character development of them all. Betty started out as a stereotypical good girl with impeccable standing in the community, suffering living quietly within the matriarchy of her family and showing not a single spot on her all-around perfect pastel-colored 40s cardigan of a public life. But she was also a strong character from the beginning, so I won’t accept the explanation that she changed because of outside influences like Veronica or Jughead. No, she changed because she started to little by little see through the lies and deceptions this town has built. And she started to see through her own lies as well.


For me, the moment when I saw all this starting to unfold was when Betty realized she couldn’t pretend to be cool with Archies complete lack of romantic feelings toward her (this happened pretty early on in the season, in case you don’t recall). Since then she has lived more earnestly, more bluntly – the full extent of which we saw in the finale. She took a stand for her own convictions by speaking up about honesty and openness in the community. She stood her ground against her mother by straightforwardly asking some hard-hitting questions. She remained unwavering in the face of bullying. And she stayed true to her values in questioning Jughead’s loyalties even though she loves him – btw the scene where they exchange ‘I love yous’ was so sweet, I watched it 3 times. #noshame
I am 100% certain that we will see her have a complete mental breakdown in season 2 and it will be known throughout the town that she is a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait!!

Sweet Cheryl with fire in her words and ice in her heart. She lost her twin brother, her father, her reputation, social status and last but not least her sanity. Bullied by her mother and more or less ignored by Jughead when she tried to apologize, are we really surprised all of this drove her to the point of utter despair? There is noone left. She is completely alone at this point. So she reached out for help in the only way she thought would actually wake people up, would make them see beyond their own issues and maybe even lead them to reach out to someone in need. It is also no wonder she chose to text Veronica as her last connection to life. After all, Ronnie is the least involved in the decade-long town-wide intrigue that has caused Cheryl to lose everything dear. But she was saved. And then she saved herself. She put on that ruby lipstick and burned her old life down to the very ground – you know, Phoenix, ashes and all that jazz. Suuuuper subtle with the symbolism there. Next season I want to see her reclaim the throne of Riverdale High and destroy everything and everyone that dares to stand in her way.


Come on. Of course I was going to save the best for last. Juggy is so confused right now. He’s trying to figure out where he belongs. After having lived his entire life as an outsider at Riverdale High, not ‘normal’ enough, not preppy enough to be part of the North Side but still holding on to the goodness in his heart too much to want a South Side life, he finds himself with a foot on either side. Does he stay at Riverdale High with his life-long friend Archie and the lady of his heart Betty? Or does he accept his status as the prince of the South Side, to finally be where everyone has told him he belongs? He seems uncannily comfortable with his new peers and is not just accepted but welcomed by the South Side Serpents. F.P. was loyal to a fault and that sort of thing is respected among his crew. And Mr. F.P. Junior fits the mold so perfectly, that for a second his entire perspective on life seems to shift. His position in the grand scheme of things could be an entirely new – and perhaps better – one. He feels that he could become ‘one of us’ instead of always being typecast as the opposition, the cautionary tale. It is but a fleeting moment (although the slow-motion made it that much cooler) when Betty suddenly and harshly reminds us that Jughead has always been the Montague to her Capulet, even if they didn’t realize it.

So. What am I excited to see in the next season?

Cheryl being a boss, Veronica opposing her father, Archie becoming more interesting, Betty flipping out, Juggy choosing a side, Fred surviving, F.P. staying loyal, Alice leaving that fucknut of a husband, learning more about Jason’s past, Kevin becoming a regular and grandma Blossom turning up the badass.


Yes, there are a few characters and archs that I left out. But I’m honestly not that intersted in the whole Polly-preggers-with-twins-born-out-of-incest storyline. And Alice’s confession that Betty has an older brother (who may or may not be Joaquin, according to internet fan theories) needs to delve just a little deeper. So come on season 2, hurry up with your pretty 22 episode long self!


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