“Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter”
Warning Contains Spoilers
Wow, that’s what I call a finale! They had teased a shocking finale and they delivered on that promise. I was a little scared, since Jason’s killer had already been revealed in episode 12; what could they possibly have left to shock us with? Let’s see.
The episode begins with explaining the cliffhanger. They wrap up the murder case quickly, which I was happy about because it’s time for the falling action! That story is done with; we know the killer, no need to drag it on. Time to set up for season two.
We thought we had the last Cooper secret revealed last week, but we were wrong. Alice Cooper reveals to Betty that she got pregnant in high school and gave the baby up for adoption. Betty has a secret brother running around somewhere! He would be in his twenties now, so he’ll probably come into play next season. Alice Cooper was at her most vulnerable, I feel, when she was telling this all to Betty. You could tell that this had been weighing on her for quite sometime. I really enjoyed Alice Cooper’s character arc this season. We hated her, loved to hate her, hated we love her, then loved to love her! She took quite the journey and I’m excited to see what they do with her character in season two.
Hermione, on the other hand, is just all over the place. I don’t know what to think about her. With Hiram coming home she’s making sure everything is picture perfect and that all his affairs are in order. She’s stopped listening to what Veronica wants or needs and is only thinking about Hiram. Veronica calls her Lady Macbeth and I think that’s the perfect comparison. She’s basically lost her humanity. Once Hiram shows up in season two and inevitably messes with everything, she’ll see the error of her ways–hopefully. I miss the dynamic duo that was Hermione and Veronica.
Cheryl has taken the death of her father pretty hard. Understandably since she lost her brother and father in the same year and her mother isn’t any help. She basically tells Cheryl that they should kill themselves. What is Cheryl to do? She has no responsible adult in her life to help her and she doesn’t have real friends; she’s basically alone. There were so many warning signs that she was going to hurt herself: she gives Veronica the cheerleading squad, she gives Jughead a prized possession of hers to sell and she lays out the white dress she wore the day Jason went missing. I kept yelling for Veronica or someone to notice these signs, but no one did until it was almost too late. Cheryl sends Veronica a goodbye text, that sends the gang racing to the river.
When they get there they try to get her to stop and come to them, but she falls through the ice. Archie pounds on the ice with his hands and all I could think of was “man, he’s not going to be able to play guitar anymore!” This was quite the emotional scene because I knew they wouldn’t kill off Cheryl, but then again did I? The stakes are pretty high on Riverdale. Through the blood and breaking of bones, Archie is able to rescue Cheryl and saves her with CPR (which apparently also cures her hypothermia because she’s magically just all okay afterwards; no hospital needed). Cheryl wraps up her season by literally burning her house down. In a way I feel like this needed to happen so Cheryl could start over and rise from the ashes, so to speak.
After beating his hand to a bloody pulp on the ice, Archie’s immediately able to play guitar. I call complete shenanigans, his hand would be way more damaged; both of his hands would! Maybe he would heal in a few weeks or months, but not the same day! He had to be able to play the song he wrote about how much his friends mean to him at the Jubilee.
The Jubilee celebrates 75 years of Riverdale and is kind of in poor taste so soon after Mr. Blossom’s suicide. The mayor wants the town to move on from the murder like nothing happened, but it isn’t that simple. She tasks Betty with making a speech at the event because she’s the safe choice. Instead, Betty recites a speech about how Riverdale has failed its residents and can do better, to a rounding applause. The mayor wasn’t too happy, about that. .
We saw Josie for maybe two seconds this episode. I hope in season two she gets utilized more; there’s so much more to explore of her character. She and Kevin deserve more screen time.
It’s the season finale so I guess they have to push Jughead down one last time. He ends up having to go to foster care because his dad is still in jail and Fred is deemed unsuitable. He is moved to a whole new school district in the south side and has to leave Riverdale High. I was so frustrated with this! He actually acclimates pretty quickly, making friends the first day, but Betty and the gang still try to rescue him from himself. Jughead feels like this is his true self and his path to become a serpent like his dad. His dad is going to be in jail for the perceivable future, so they are able to share one last moment together. I’m glad they had the time to say what they needed to say. They are my favorite parent-child relationship in the show, so I hope in season two we’ll see more of these moments.
Betty tells Jughead that she’s not giving up on FP getting out of jail and they exchange I love yous for the first time. I could have sworn they had said it earlier, but maybe it was because they were so intense from the start. This relationship won’t have much life in season two though. The executive producers said that they put them together because Betty is Archie’s girl best friend and Jughead is Archie’s guy best friend and it provides an interesting dynamic. It revolves around Archie too much. I’m still pulling for Jughead to be asexual, but we shall see. The serpent’s show up at his door and tell him they have his back and give him his own Serpents jacket. He puts it on and looks really content and at peace. He is a Serpent now and I assume his affiliation with the gang will tear him and Betty a part in season two.
Archie and Veronica made their relationship official this week when they told Betty, “they’ve kissed a few times”. What a high school way to put it, I love it! After Archie tells Betty, though, he can’t help but stare at her longingly and look jealous of Jughead and Betty. Betty is the last girl he hasn’t gone for on Riverdale so I guess it’s time to move on to her. The love triangle (square?) is definitely going to be alive in season two. Veronica is calling Jughead and Betty soulmates and that they could work to be that for each other. You are all in high school, stop moving so fast! Also Archie is the worst boyfriend, run Veronica!
Instead they run to bed together at the exact same time that Jughead and Betty are. It was interesting that they had these scenes simultaneously, one is love, the other lust. There has been a lack of sex scenes for a CW show, so they had to throw two in at the last moment. Jughead and Betty are interrupted by the Serpents so it’s unclear if they actually go through with it, but Veronica and Archie definitely do.
In the morning Archie meets his father for breakfast and things take a turn for the worst. Well first, immediately after arriving to Pop’s, Archie says he has to wash his hands. Ew! When he returns from the bathroom there is a gunman holding up Pop. Archie moves to stop it and Fred moves to stop Archie and the gun goes off. We are left with Fred laying on the ground with a gunshot wound.
I really hope he’s not dead! I didn’t see this coming at all and I don’t know how anyone could. I thought once again that the shocking part of the episode was Betty’s secret brother and then I thought it was Cheryl burning her house down. That’s what Riverdale does: throws you bait and then switches it up at the last moment.
Something that was subtly set up during this episode was Sabrina the Teenage Witch coming next season! Betty said, “Something wicked this way comes” and Veronica followed with “witch” and FP was reading a Sabrina comic in his cell. So all signs point to Sabrina! I hope Melissa Joan Hart plays one of her aunts–how cool would that be? It’s not that far out there of an idea. Especially since the adults in the show mostly came from shows/movies of the 80s/90s; Melissa Joan Hart would fit right in! Make it happen producers!!!
Thank you for a breakout hit of a first season, Riverdale! I didn’t know what to expect from this show and it completely blew me away! I hope the next is just as great if not better! They will have more episodes to work with so they’ll have more time to flesh out storylines and characters. They have a lot to live up to, so I hope they don’t disappoint; with these writers and this cast, I don’t think they will!
Who do you think the shooter is? It’s probably someone we know. Was he hired by Hiram? Is it Betty’s brother? Was it just a wrong place wrong time situation? We won’t have these answers until the fall unfortunately. Until season two, Riverdale!