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???
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.”
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TV and Movies
Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.