23 Riverdale Time Jump Moments That Actually Happened

by Buzz Street Times

Pour one out for Jughead Jones who has…*gasp* writer’s block.


Well, kids we finally made it to the future! The big Riverdale seven-year time jump happened, which brings us to the deeply futuristic year of *checks notes* 2021???


I will not be delving into the timeline of Riverdale at this time, please respect my privacy. Which means I will NOT be thinking about how if it’s 2021 now that means we were previously in 2014 before the jump? Except Jughead was born in 2001? Like I said, I will not be exploring this at length because I already have a headache, but on Twitter, Archie Comics replied to my coworker and esteemed Riverdale tweeter, Nora Dominick: “It’s Riverdale” which is honestly enough of an answer for me. As someone who has dedicated my life to watching this show, sometimes you really just gotta say “It’s Riverdale” and let that be.


We open with the “war” that takes place on the Riverdale High football field (as wars do) but also in the 1940s — but, alas, it was actually all a dream.


In reality, Archie is being discharged from the army in order to conveniently run the ROTC program at Riverdale High.


Archie’s dream does end with Hiram pointing a gun at him, and I cannot believe I’m about to sit through yet another season of Hiram being the world’s most annoying villain.


Anyway, Archie returns to Riverdale after seven years away to find that the Riverdale he once knew and loved, the one with serial killers and Gargoyle Kings and booming maple rum businesses and parents murdering their own children — THAT cherished Riverdale of his memory is gone forever, replaced with a ghost town.


Luckily one BIG difference in the new Riverdale is that Toni Topaz is front and center, as she should be at all times. She is now the Serpent Queen and the Whyte Wyrm has officially replaced Le Bonne Nuit as Riverdale’s premiere under-diner drinking establishment.


Also, Toni is pregnant! Which makes sense because Vanessa Morgan was pregnant while filming. We do not know who the father of Toni’s baby is yet though…


The Riverdale writers gave me a freaking panic attack and teased that something horrible has happened to Pop Tate. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, that man must be protected at all costs.


I will not make you suffer the way the writers made us suffer: Pop Tate is SEEMINGLY fine and just retiring? But we have met his granddaughter Tabitha Tate (Erinn Westbrook) who seems to be running things for now. More on that later.


The remainder of the episode is Archie calling up his friends who he hasn’t spoken to or seen for seven years to get them back together to “save” Riverdale, because the place clearly just falls apart without Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Archie.


First we check in with Betty who is now in the FBI. Betty is suffering from trauma because of an incident with a serial killer called the…………..TRASH BAG KILLER, TBK for short. (This! Show!)


Betty says this with the same nonchalance that I would say something like, “I wore UGG boots in high school” or “I took AP Bio in high school.” Normal.


It appears that back while Betty was on the Trash Bag Killer’s trail, she went in too early without backup and ended up getting captured by him and held in his lair for two weeks. This poor girl! Many things have changed on this show, but Betty’s penchant for murder-boarding has remained the same. It’s truly comforting to see.


Another thing that hasn’t changed: Betty now has a cat named Toffee. If you’ll remember, things did NOT work out very well for her old cat Caramel. (Oh, you know, her serial killer father brainwashed her into murdering her cat with a rock…)


Also, Betty’s dating this FBI man who will either never show up again or is secretly the Trash Bag Killer. There’s no in-between. Unfortunately, she has to head back to Riverdale


Next up we check in with Veronica who is living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with her husband (ugh) Chadwick (ugh) who I absolutely LOATHE on sight (ughhhhhh). It literally took one millisecond of screen time for me to declare an endless and undying rage upon him.


Veronica is also apparently the female version of Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems while simultaneously lamenting about wanting to be the “She Wolf of Wall Street.” Not shocking for a woman whose high school resumé alone was “owner and founder of first all-teenage speakeasy” and “co-creator of maple syrup rum.”


Veronica lies to her husband and says she’s working at Lacy’s with Katy Keene (former star of Katy Keene, previously on the CW at 9/8c) and Chadwick gets completely angry? Thanks I hate him!


The other important-ish thing to know about is that Chadwick and Veronica were in a helicopter accident on the way to “Marsha’s Vineyard,” but they clearly both survived.


But the best thing to ever happen to the Lodge family is that Hermione is still thriving as a Real Housewife with an iconic and perfect tagline:


Jughead Jones is hardly tolerable in 2021 at the moment, but I’ll try. Coming off of one extremely successful novel called The Outcasts which somehow landed him a full profile in the New Yorker about his budding career (lolol) Jughead is suffering through something so dire, so tragic, so overwhelmingly dark and bleak, it haunted me…even by Riverdale standards:


Not joking, he literally says this to his present day girlfriend (who dumps him pretty quickly) as though it’s as dire as a terminal illness diagnosis. I mean, he also compared himself to Kerouac, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald in this episode, so…yes, he’s completely insufferable.


After reminding us all that S.E. Hinton did, in fact, write The Outsiders, Jughead has sex with an NYU grad student named Cora who knows exactly how to turn him on.


Joke’s on Jughead: She was just using him to get her own book published. Also, Jughead is running from debt collectors for some reason? And Cora has now blackmailed him into reading her book by threatening to rat him out…


Okay, so now we’re back in Riverdale, and we catch up with Fangs, Sweet Pea, and Kevin who are all still hanging around town — Fangs and Kevin are still together (aw!) and live with Toni on Cloverfield Lane 👀. Unfortunately, things between Cheryl and Toni aren’t great right now. As Kevin says:


Cheryl has not left the house in years with Nana Rose because she’s convinced she’s still under the Blossom family curse. I cry for her.


I just wanna hug her? Cheryl’s now channeling all of her energy into painting pictures, and she paints one of Toni as Serpent Queen that honestly made me emotional. But also Cheryl is now a perfect painting forger (lol!), a skill which Nana Rose has ~encouraged~. We love a fun hobby/scheme.


Once again, Hiram is wreaking havoc on Riverdale and is the reason the town is falling apart. Well, him and his new henchman REGGIE. Ugh, Reggie, I was rooting for you.


I’m exhausted by the scheming, but Hiram’s trying to completely ruin Riverdale so that those stupid SoDale housing developments will raise in value or something…I guess?


For undisclosed reasons, the Ghoulies now rent Archie’s house??? But Archie doesn’t know this because I guess he doesn’t talk to his dang mom? Anyway, this is the state of his house now. Not GREAT, much like the rest of Riverdale which is in ruins.


We also learn that the El Royale still exists and Archie’s staying there. Good for the El Royale. Have to wonder where the rest of the crew is going to stay while they’re in town, unless it’s just one giant sleepover party at the gym.


Well, except for Pop’s which is somehow in pristine condition. The whole group is finally together again to save Riverdale from ruin, but it’s more than a little bit awkward.


The moment where Archie invited Toni to join them was genuinely sweet. Although I’m sure she was like, “very fun 2 chill with these two groups of incestuous exes who haven’t talked in almost a decade…”


In case you were wondering, here is photo proof that Pop Tate is alive and well:


And, well, we end with the ~mystery~ of the season. Tabitha says her goodbyes to a Pop’s employee named Lynette aka Squeaky (a nod to Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, member of the Manson family, surely). Lynette decides to travel to California but, as Jughead says in voiceover…she never makes it. DUN DUN DUNNNN.


I personally would not hitchhike in a truck with a massive skeleton on the bumper, but that is just a me thing.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got other than some quick observations about Jughead’s massive new chest tattoo and that Archie’s hair is approximately 10 shades redder this season. Any theories about Lynette’s death? Or the Trash Bag Killer? I’m personally digging this flash-forward vibe so far, and I’m excited to see where it takes us all on this journey we call Riverdale.

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