Riverdale finale recap and review: We were wrong about (almost) everything

Lawrence Kim
May 13, 2017

But it was Jughead (Cole Sprouse) who had the most on his plate.

The season 1 finale, "The Sweet Hereafter", is everything that a Riverdale finale should have had- love triangles, teenage angst and some super-heavy drama.

In many ways, the episode was an information overload. After the shocking revelation that it was Clifford Blossom who killed Jason (his own damn son!), it feels like nearly anything is possible in the once calm and sedate town of Riverdale. Veronica (Camila Mendes) didn't have long to enjoy the splendor of finally having sex with Archie before having to prepare for her felon father's return from prison and Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) burned down her house after a failed attempt to kill herself to "be with Jason".

Given the fact that the live-action show just turned 20, it wouldn't be totally unreasonable to guess that The CW might seek out Melissa Joan Hart to play one of Sabrina's aunts, if indeed she were to make an appearance.

Aguirre-Sacasa points to Marvel and DC heroes Spider-Man and Batman, each of whom evolved into a symbol of hope, after watching their family members murdered by criminals.

"It's Riverdale, there's never not going to be a massive mystery to be solved", Nichols said. Archie's fleeting, but longing glances at Betty, which make an appearance only after he and Veronica tell her they're going out.

Given Aguirre-Sacasa's history with Archie Comics and his deep affection for horror, the zombie theory of Riverdale is a seductive one, and he entertains it at length in interviews like this one-talking about what sort of zombies he'd use (the Evil Dead kind) and how he's set up the world of Riverdale to allow for the supernatural (he says Greendale, the town across the river, is haunted). And given what happened earlier in the season, this is understandable. Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she's not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. So he's forced to move in with a foster family in the South Side and transfer to another high school. Riverdale definitely exists in the present based on its pop culture references, but it still wants to maintain a connection to the past, whether it's through the '50s retro aesthetics or Jughead's nostalgia for more innocent times. Jughead's development has been the most distinct this season and its progression leading up to his final scene made a lot of sense. What implications does that have and what kind of barriers is that going to create between him and Betty as well as the rest of his friends? Marc is such a sexy, strong, charming and charismatic guy that I want to see them be a sexy, strong couple together. With Fred shunning the buyout, Hermione was left in a precarious situation. He refuses, but I'm not convinced Hermione was just trying to get the company. She knows if Fred still owns it and she continues working with him, it's going to cause problems in her marriage.

In other news, it was also revealed in the finale that Betty has a secret brother who is in his 20s.

And is there a chance we've already met him? Looking ahead to season 2, Fred is likely to come out of this dilemma though a more pressing question is whether it was an accident or something staged. The question that will haunt me until season two is: Who is the robber?! The fallout from the reveal is nearly completely neglected and given a few throwaway lines in the beginning to explain what happened; the only person who has some great emotional payoff is Jughead. Although we're not sure anything will ever beat this moment in Riverdale history. And after a wonderful penultimate episode last week, the finale was a bit too lackluster.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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