This is the end, Riverdale fans! After many years of milkshakes and mischief, we’ve made it to Riverdale Season 7 Episode 20.
The series finale was a roller coaster of emotions for the characters and us watching at home. There are plenty of sweet endings and sad goodbyes for these beloved characters we’ve known for seven seasons.
It’s a heartbreaking end for the wild and entertaining (yet sometimes frustrating) story that was Riverdale.
“Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” served true to its name.
Riverdale’s series finale was a nostalgic trip down memory lane and a farewell to the characters. If you had any questions about what would happen to the group, we got those answers, albeit sometimes not the answers we hoped for or wanted.
Having the series finale be framed around Betty’s last wish (e.g., reliving one happy day she missed out on) was an excellent choice for the plot structure.
With Riverdale Season 7 Episode 19 being set during junior year, there was still lots of time left in high school. This change bypassed all that extra time and made us the ones left in the dark catching up to the story.
This story tonight is about saying goodbye to a town that was once lost in time.
Something is alluring about connecting the dots and solving the mystery. Since Betty was remembering her life, we got to join her on the journey and eagerly awaited finding out what happened to each of her friends and family.
Seriously, I couldn’t wait until Betty or Jughead revealed each future story!
This tactic made the pacing quick, hooked us in to find out the truth, and didn’t take away from the sadness. We got to bask in our emotions with each scene and goodbye, too.
It’s sad to think that the last day of Riverdale High was the last all the friends were together.
Betty chose this day because she got the mumps and couldn’t get her yearbook signed. But it makes sense why this day because it guaranteed that everyone would be together.
Everyone typically moves on after school. Just look to Riverdale Season 5 Episode 4; the core friends barely talked to each other in the seven years since they left.
Based on the revelations in the new timeline, some characters would never return to Riverdale, let alone be together in the same room again.
For example, Fangs’ ending was so heartbreaking!
He worked hard to be a successful musician to support Midge and their child. Being a musician was his main goal for Riverdale Season 7. It was a cruel joke for him to die because of his music career.
Betty: It didn’t work out like they hoped, did it?
Jughead: No. Four weeks into his tour, Fangs’ bus was heading over the Rocky Mountains when one of his tires blew. There were no survivors.
Betty: He was the first one of us to pass away.
And for Archie to leave Riverdale during his summer away felt out of character for him.
Archie loved the town, even if he wanted to be a writer and go on summer adventures. His never coming back and deprioritizing his writing career felt oddly unsatisfying; he deserved more.
I’m glad he was happy with his life post-Riverdale, but something felt missing. (We’ll get to this later on.)
The Top 3 future reveals came from the Cheryl/Toni, Alice, and Veronica segments.
Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of other reveals that melted my heart and felt satisfying. Like Kevin and Clay’s life together in New York or Jughead becoming a successful magazine writer, but the three above hit all the right notes.
For instance, Alice living her dream as a flight attendant and finding love again was all the makings of a romance novel.
Only Alice could pull it together to save a falling plane. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they eventually made a TV movie in her world about her second chance and love in life.
Veronica becoming a successful movie studio owner was right up her alley.
We’ve known for many years that she had an eye for business, including the movie business. Josie even said it as much during Riverdale Season 7 Episode 17. A fantastic ending for her would be to become the powerful movie mogul she was always meant to be.
It would’ve been perfect had she and Betty kept in touch more, but we can blame this on people naturally drifting apart in the years after high school.
So, if you happen to see that neon sign some lonely night at the end of that long journey, that journey that every one of us is on. Pull over, come on in, take a seat. Know you’ll always be among friends, and that Riverdale will always be your home.
At least we can enjoy the satisfying endgame of Cheryl and Toni ending up together. “Choni” survived and thrived out of Riverdale’s main couples. Hearing they had a long and happy life together melted my heart.
For those who fought the good fight and ‘shipped them since Riverdale Season 2, your moment has come. Congrats on your victory!
Between all the highs, some confusing and unsatisfying moments left me scratching my head. The main issue is that the series finale took the coward’s way out on many big decisions.
For most of Riverdale’s run, the series played with and focused on romantic relationships.
Plots about which couples were endgame, who was dating whom, and the neverending breaking up/getting back together made up much of the teen drama. So, for the finale to not make a long-term choice between any of the main four teens, it failed on the story set up way back on Riverdale Season 1 Episode 1.
The final choices felt like lazy writing.
In the first instance, the “quad” romance between Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica felt like a way not to decide which couples were endgame.
A polyamorous relationship was a great way to showcase representation of something that isn’t shown much on TV. More visibility is always welcome to educate and discuss different types of relationships.
In Riverdale’s case, with romances being such a focal point of the characters and their plots, the decision for the romance came across as a way to appease everyone.
Since some people wouldn’t be happy if their ‘ship weren’t together, it’s better to give everything or nothing instead of one thing and not the other.
And the explanation of Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica being too enthralled by all the good memories from Angel Tabitha didn’t make sense.
Sure, Archie and Veronica had only the good memories of their romances being amazing. However, Jughead and Betty kept the bad; they knew firsthand how toxic and terrible things got between everyone.
Why would they still be down for that?
Plus, this is still 1955. Jumping into a polyamorous relationship would be something too shocking and out of the ordinary for them.
The second instance is that none of the main four ended up together.
As mentioned above, it was the “all or nothing” approach. Since the show gave us a taste of everything, balancing it with none of them being together felt like it was trying to avoid drama, which was very unsatisfying.
Betty: I’m afraid it’s time for me to go.
Archie: Okay. Well, tonight isn’t goodbye anyway. I know we’ll see each other again. Maybe. Maybe we’ll even end up together. You know I’ve always felt that it would be you and me at the end of the road. I mean, it started with us. A boy and girl next door to each other.
Betty: That’s a lovely sentiment, Archie. But that’s not what happens in the future.
I would’ve loved it if Betty and Archie got together because “Barchie” was the strongest pairing out of the four left. And the teasing of Archie saying he thought he and Betty would end up together was so cruel.
Even if it had been a different pairing instead, like Archie & Veronica or Betty & Jughead, it would at least confirm something that had been set before. We had some foundation for why any of the pairings would get together.
Sending all four in opposite directions didn’t fit the buildup and romance plots that came before.
The final scene of the gang reunited at Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe was a touching send-off.
Riverdale has played with the “Sweet Hereafter” themes in previous seasons; it had been mentioned as a calming and glorious place away from the darkness. So, for everyone to reunite in death, it was a sweet beginning to their next phase.
And in some ways, it’s a great answer to the comics.
A neverending story of the teens together at 17. Plenty of milkshakes, sock hops, and drama at Riverdale High for their afterlife. Riverdale will continue, and our favorite characters will always be together.
A sweet note to end their story on.
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
Is Betty a “peaked in high school” person? She lived an exciting life with her family, building magazines and empowering women, but the day she wanted to see again was her last day of high school? Betty, it’s time to move on.
We could hear the sounds of the typewriter as Jughead did his final send-off. Could this entire story be tied back to the narrator plot from Riverdale Season 6?
That wasn’t a poem; it was a roast for the ages. Everyone got served during the party!
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans.
What did you think of “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale”?
Which character’s future reveal was your favorite? Did you love the series finale? Was there an ending you wished happened?
If you missed the series finale of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online to get caught up on the episode and the entire series. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.