After seven wild and unpredictable seasons of insanity, Riverdale says goodbye — see how things ended for Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the rest of the Archie Comics gang.
Who knows what’s real anymore when it comes to the fever dream that has been Riverdale these past seven seasons, but nevertheless the show said goodbye on Wednesday with one last bonkers relationship twist no one saw coming.
This included an epic 67-year time jump, checking in on Betty (Lili Reinhart) at 86 years old and discovering that with the passing of Jughead (Cole Sprouse), she’s the last of the gang alive. This spurs a return to Riverdale.
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This isn’t science fiction, though, as we’re still in the 1950s continuity the gang shifted into with the last season finale. It’s an appropriate enough nod to the origins of the original Archie Comics. Okay, we lied. This is kind of sci-fi, but that was more in the previous episode.
It’s all very confusing and casual fans just checking in for the finale need not really worry about it. But last week, Angel Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) collapsed the Riverdale multiverse we’ve been following all these years into this ’50s timeline while giving the gang their full memories … so it’s kind of closure for the entirety of their existences.
Like we said, it’s kind of weird and confusing. It’s par for the course for Riverdale at this point, but the bottom line is this is the journey of the teens who went to high school in the ’50s through to their deaths before the present day.
Reconnecting with the dead Jughead during her journey, Betty is able to recall what happened to all of her friends in the time since they all graduated and went on into their adults lives. One of those things was certainly groundbreaking.
Hell, a quad relationship would be groundbreaking and shocking today, much less in the ’50s or ’60s. And yet, that’s exactly what Betty recalled, that she enjoyed a four-way romance with Jughead, Archie (KJ Apa) and Veronica (Camila Mendes). It could be that their complete memories of all their lives fed into this, because that’s a pretty unorthodox way to live, too.
That’s definitely one way to say the four leads stayed close!
So what happened to everyone in the end?
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Betty Cooper: Betty found her passion and career in writing, publishing “Betty’s Diary,” an advice column, and a bestseller titled “The Teenage Mystique.” Ultimately, she wound up in New York running her own magazine, She Says. Betty stayed single, but adopted a daughter, Carla, which led to the granddaughter, Alice, who took her back to Riverdale.
Jughead Jones: Also never married, Jughead followed his own literary aspirations in a different direction, founding the satirical Jughead’s Madhouse Magazine.
Archie Andrews: Archie had a more down-to-life story, moving out to California in a nod to his father’s dream of living on the left coast. He worked his way there doing construction on what would become the interstate system. Once there, he had a wife and kids and domestic bliss.
Veronica Lodge: After Riverdale, Veronica ironically went into television by connecting with Peter Roth, the actual former Warner Bros. TV CEO. She moved into the business and wound up head of WB, picking up two Oscars along the way.
Kevin Keller & Clay Walker: Kevin (Casey Cottt) and Clay (Karl Walcott) relocated to Harlem where Kevin started his own Off-Broadway theater company after studying musical theater writing in NYU. Clay became a professor at Columbia. Both lived to a ripe old age, dying within weeks of one another.
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Cheryl Blossom & Toni Topaz: Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) and Toni (Vanessa Morgan) made it work as a couple and took their activism to California. They named their son Dale, in a nod to their childhood home, with Cheryl finding success as a painter.
Reggie Mantle: Reggie (Charles Melton) was able to realize his sports dreams, getting drafted by the Lakers. He returned to Riverdale after his parents died and took over as Riverdale High’s basketball coach. He married and had two sons, who run the local used car dealership.
Julien Blossom: Unfortunately, Cheryl’s brother Julian (Nicholas Barasch)’s life wasn’t as beautiful as his sister’s. He enlisted in the military right out of high school and would go on to die in Vietnam at 28 years old.
Alice Cooper & Polly: Alice (Mädchen Amick) fulfilled her dreams of being a stewardess after divorcing Hal (Lochlyn Munro), but it was short-lived as she fell in love after helping to land a plane when the pilot was incapacitated. Alice and her new husband traveled the world, dropping postcards to Betty for a time. Polly (Tiera Skovbye) reconciled with her mother and ultimately has twins, Juniper and Dagwood, with jason Blossom.
Fangs & Midge: The future was tragic and short for Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner), as he and his band died young in an accident. But it wasn’t before he had charted a single, which was enough for Midge’s (Emilija Baranac) parents to let them marry. Royalties from their music, which blew up after their deaths, helped Midge and his child live well for the rest of their lives.
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Sheriff Tom Keller (Martin Cummins) and Frank Andrews (Ryan Robbins) were heavily suggested to have become lovers, with Jughead revealing that they were murdered by a hustler they’d picked up named Chic (Hart Denton portrayed this character in Season 2, where he pretended to be Betty’s long-lost brother). Principal Weatherbee (Peter James Bryant) and Ms. Thornton (Frances Flanagan) wound up married.
Some character fates were revealed earlier in the season, including Hollywood stardom for Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), as well as Hermione (Mirasol Nichols) and Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos). The latter’s marriage could not survive Hiram’s infidelity, nor could their successful TV show.
Ethel Muggs (Shannon Purser) and Ben Button (Moses Thiessen) also left Riverdale for Hollywood. We know she landed a job, but their story was not otherwise resolved. Penelope (Nathalie Boltt) and Clifford Blossom (Barclay Hope), meanwhile, were previously caught and arrested as Russian spies.
Back to this finale, though, after reliving one magical day of high school with her granddaughter — and spirit Jughead by her side — the episode ended with Betty dying on her way to Pop’s Diner, now abandoned after Pop’s (Alvin Sanders) death in 1956 following the gang’s graduation.
But then, we shifted back to the ’50s as young Betty got out of the car to reunite with her friends and series narrator Jughead said a final goodbye.
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