Riverdale Recap: With A Murder Mystery Brewing, The Finale Fell Flat​​​​​​​

On Thursday, May 13, the highly anticipated season finale of Riverdale aired on The CW. Aura 32 previously covered the beginning episodes of this fan-favorite show. Leading up to the finale, many questions were still left unanswered. The following article includes an abundance of spoilers, so read on at your own discretion.

Riverdale revolves around the question: Who killed Jason Blossom? This question was finally answered in the penultimate episode. After F.P Jones (Skeet Ulrich) confessed to killing Jason in order to protect his son Jughead (Cole Sprouse), it was revealed that Jason’s own father, Cliff Blossom (Barclay Hope), was the actual murderer. This deathly crime was committed in order to cover Mr. Blossom’s drug dealing scheme.

Following this revelation, the rest of the season finale fell flat. Here are just a few points that led to a lackluster, and rather infuriating, finale.

Can we talk about how Archie announced he’s dating Veronica?

(source: coolbeans4, wordpress)

The first episode of Riverdale opened with Betty (Lili Reinhart) confessing her crush on Archie (KJ Apa) to her best friend Kevin (Casey Cott) just before school started. As the season progressed, this initial topic was forgotten as Betty began dating Jughead, which left just enough room for Archie and Veronica (Camila Mendes) to become “friendly.”

After spending several nights together, Veronica tells Archie it’s time to come clean to Betty about their secret romance. While this seems like the respectable thing to do, Archie couldn’t have handled the situation any worse. Rather than simply saying, “Betty, Veronica and I are dating,” Archie decides to state, “We’ve kissed a couple times.” It may be just me, but personally, I think this is the most obnoxious way to tell your lifelong, childhood friend that you’re suddenly dating her best friend (especially when it was obvious Betty had strong feelings towards Archie). Luckily, Betty took this news like a champ, and was completely okay with her besties dating.

It’s time we appreciate Cheryl Blossom.

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I’ll be the first one to admit that normally Cheryl annoys me every time I see her on screen. Not that Madelaine Petsch isn’t gorgeous and a phenomenal actress, but because Cheryl does everything in her being to shift attention towards her. While this typically is my pet peeve, Cheryl deserved every ounce of attention this episode, and she never receives it.

We first see Cheryl during the finale with tears streaming down her face as she grieves the loss of her father. After everything she’s gone through this season, she deserves a second to process everything and everyone she’s lost. However, in the same scene we see her crying, we also see her mother telling her to pull herself together and move on. Not only has Cheryl lost her beloved brother, Jason, but now she also has to live with her father’s suicide. I think she deserves at least a moment to mourn.

Cheryl has also come a long way in this episode alone. First, she gives her Queen Bee position as head River Vixon to Veronica, with grace and poise. Then, she apologizes to Jughead for previously publicly shaming him because of something his father did. Just after she does this good deed, Veronica and Jughead quickly run to Betty’s side and completely ignore Cheryl even after her heartfelt speech.

Later on in the finale, Cheryl sends Veronica what ends up being a suicide text. Finally, everyone comes to their senses and saves Cheryl from her own destruction. This powerful scene becomes the climax for the episode. While intense and heart wrenching in the moment, this event is soon forgotten by the other characters once Riverdale’s Jubilee begins. Suddenly, all focus shifts to Archie’s song about friendship, while the friend who needs the most love is being left behind.

You’re sophomores, not soulmates.

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If I had a nickel for every time the word “soulmate” was mentioned in the finale, I’d have enough money to pay for my first semester of college. After rescuing Jughead from the horrors of Southside High, Veronica tells Archie that Jughead and Betty are “each other’s soulmates.”

This is common for many TV shows. Actors in their twenties are cast to play high schoolers. This doesn’t sound too out of this ordinary; however, it makes the viewer forget the true age of the characters. While, it’s believable when 24 year old Cole Sprouse tells Lili Reinhart, 20 years old, that he loves her; it raises an eyebrow when one remembers that Betty is actually 15 or 16 in Riverdale, saying these same sacred words.

Even with these complaints, there’s still a lot of questions and things to look forward to in season 2 of Riverdale. For starters:

Will Jughead actually become a Southside Serpent?

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The season finale closes with Jughead putting on a Southside Serpent motorcycle jacket. Throughout the season, the Serpents were known as the gang who wrecked havoc across Riverdale. Jughead’s father, F.P., was a member of this gang. At the end of the episode, Jughead puts on one of the gang’s jackets, which raises the question of whether he actually plans to join the gang or is simply doing it in the moment to please and impress the members currently on his doorstep. This event also asks the question of how Jughead’s decision will affect his current relationship with Betty.

What will happen to Mr. Andrews?

(source: dailycwriverdale

Just when everything seems to be calm in Riverdale for once, Archie’s father, Fred Andrews (Luke Perry), is shot by a mysterious man in Pop’s Diner. The finale closes with Archie covering his father’s bleeding wound while Mr. Andrews is lying on the ground. In season 2, it’ll be interesting to find out if Mr. Andrews survives his injuries. For one, he’s one of the only likeable parents on the show and is a key role model for protagonist Archie, so we’ll see if his story continues.

When’s Polly’s due date?

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Midseason, viewer’s found out that Polly Cooper (Tiera Skovbye), Betty’s older sister, is pregnant with a Blossom lovechild. Polly and Jason were involved in a serious relationship before Jason was found dead. Polly was then forced to go to a coven to hide her pregnancy, even from her sister. Now that all of Riverdale knows Polly is expecting, not one baby but two, it’s only time before two Blossom babies are born to replace the two Blossom’s that recently died. Additionally, after Ms. Cooper (Mädchen Amick) revealed to Betty that she has a secret older brother, maybe he’ll make an appearance to meet his new nieces or nephews.

Finally, what ever happened to Ms. Grundy?

(source: dailycwriverdale

The Fourth of July scandal involving Jason’s death initially had a suspected killer: Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel). Ms. Grundy, a music teacher at Riverdale High turned Archie’s “teacher with benefits,” played a major role in the beginning of the season before disappearing unexpectedly and never returning. Considering she was only in four episodes, Ms. Grundy has been long forgotten despite her crucial role in the beginning.

Episodes 9-13 of Riverdale are currently streaming on The CW’s website and app. Netflix will also be featuring the first season starting tomorrow! Be sure to check out Aura 32’s previous article highlighting the beginning of Riverdale. Stay tuned, the story’s only just beginning.


Photography by Katie Yu/The CW

Lauren Toneatto

Staff Writer

An aspiring artist, avid reader, and Disney princess in training. Commonly found eating Cheerios and creating. She wishes to explore the world and all it has to offer.

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