Before ‘Riverdale‘ hit our screens in 2017, it wanted to make something very clear: it wasn’t going to be your usual teen drama. This CW series wholeheartedly embraced its weirdness and distinctiveness right from the beginning. It strived to be exceptional, sometimes over-the-top, and often downright strange. In the realm of teen TV, ‘Riverdale‘ was a refreshing departure, offering viewers a wholly unique experience. Now, let’s explore why this show became such a sensation.
Riverdale Finale Review: Unforgettable Quirkiness
Throughout its seven-season run, ‘Riverdale‘ took viewers on a rollercoaster ride filled with musical episodes, cults, and a mysterious game called “Gryphons and Gargoyles.” We’ve witnessed Betty Cooper discovering she had the “serial killer gene,” Archie Andrews surviving a bear attack only to show up for his SATs a few days later, and the gang gaining superpowers in season 6. In the final season, they embarked on an unexpected journey through time, landing in the 1950s.
But how do you provide an emotionally satisfying conclusion to such a whirlwind of chaos? Surprisingly, it wasn’t as challenging as it might seem. ‘Riverdale’s‘ series finale seamlessly blends fan service with genuine emotion. Lili Reinhart, the emotional core of the show, takes center stage as an 86-year-old Betty Cooper. She discovers Jughead’s passing, making her the last surviving member of their group.
In a twist only ‘Riverdale‘ could deliver, Jughead, now an angel-like entity, offers Betty one last night with her friends. Betty, in her elderly state in real life, goes back to her teenage years, guided by Angel Jughead, who transforms her into her younger self.
Riverdale Finale Review: A Journey to the 1950s
The gang’s unexpected visit to the 1950s was caused by glitches in the multiverse, a complex phenomenon that only Jughead fully understood. Dead relatives miraculously returned to life, and once-feared serial killer parents became unfaithful spouses. All of this was part of a multiverse crisis that required Angel Tabitha’s intervention to set things right.
In the previous episode, the teens were faced with a choice: retain memories of their old lives (in 2023) or choose to forget them. There was no way to return to their original timeline, so they had to accept living their lives from the 1950s onwards. Betty and Jughead were the only ones who chose to preserve all their memories, while the rest decided to remember only the happier moments, given the immense challenges they had faced.
Riverdale Finale Review: An Emotional Farewell
With all the major plot arcs neatly resolved, ‘Riverdale‘ could have easily ended on its penultimate episode. Instead, the series finale focuses on emotion, particularly the connection between the audience and the core characters.
Lili Reinhart’s poignant performance is a standout, as she portrays a woman 60 years her senior, revisiting the people she cherished as a teenager while inhabiting her younger body. Throughout the episode, she seems slightly out of sync with the others, like she’s unstuck in time. It’s a portrayal that invokes a sense of gratitude rather than sadness, encapsulating the overarching theme of this farewell.
Before its debut, ‘Riverdale‘ was marketed as a kind of Twin Peaks-inspired drama for Generation Z. Thus, its relationship with sincerity has always been a bit complex. However, the show’s stars have always shone brightly. Cole Sprouse amplifies Jughead’s unique charm, KJ Apa adds a lovable goofiness to Archie, and Camila Mendes infuses Betty with a commanding presence and impeccable comedic timing.
Riverdale Finale Review: A Tribute to Fans
The finale of ‘Riverdale‘ also pays tribute to its dedicated fanbase. Through a multiverse memory twist, it’s revealed that Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead were romantically involved as a “foursome.” In light of their shared memories, they decided, “Why not just date each other?” Archie, now known as Archie the Poet, playfully roasts everyone in rhyme, cleverly referencing the show’s quirkiest moments and even a Season 2 recast.
‘Riverdale‘ takes a moment to update fans on the characters’ futures. Veronica becomes an Oscar-winning studio mogul, Archie contributes to building the U.S. highway system before settling in Modesto as a writer, and Jughead becomes a key figure at Mad magazine. Betty, after self-publishing her book “Teenage Mystique,” becomes a renowned writer and the founder of the Ms.-esque “She Says” magazine.
Riverdale Finale Review: A Joyful Farewell
Betty’s final moments with Angel Jughead are filled with a sense of readiness for whatever lies ahead. This echoes her real-life journey to Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe, a transition to the afterlife where she and her friends can enjoy milkshakes together forever.
While Jughead delivers one last heartfelt monologue, it’s the sheer joy that Betty shares with her friends that will be etched in the memories of ‘Riverdale‘ fans.
Riverdale Finale Review: The Final Verdict
‘Riverdale’ finale beautifully captures what made the show special – its uniqueness, emotional depth, and strong connection with its fans. As the series concludes and bids farewell to its beloved characters, it leaves us with a mix of fond memories and satisfaction. ‘Riverdale‘ was indeed filled with the unusual, but what truly distinguishes it are the authentic emotions it stirred and the memorable characters it introduced. It’s more than just a wild TV ride; it’s a legacy built on genuine feelings and unforgettable personas.