Saying goodbye to Archie and the rest of the group becomes a deeply moving moment.
After a remarkable seven-season journey, Riverdale has wrapped up its series, airing the final episode on August 23rd.
Entitled “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye Riverdale,” this episode catapults us an astonishing 67 years ahead, firmly into the present day. The episode begins with an 86-year-old Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), sitting with her granddaughter Alice, engrossed in perusing obituaries. Through these pages, she discovers the passing of Jughead Jones (played by Cole Sprouse).
With a blend of acceptance and sentiment, Betty confides in her granddaughter, sharing, “This marks the end of that era.” She solemnly acknowledges that she stands as the final remnant of their once tightly-knit circle.
During a heartfelt conversation, Betty expresses her wish to revisit Riverdale one last time before it becomes too late. Alice readily agrees to join her on this expedition. However, an unexpected event unfolds that very night as Jughead appears in Betty’s room, extending an invitation to journey back in time to any specific moment. After contemplation, Betty decides to relive the day when they received their senior year yearbooks – a day she had missed due to illness.
Following Jughead’s guidance, Betty steps through a nearby door and is immediately transported back in time.
Throughout the episode, viewers gain insight into the futures of the cherished characters. Archie (K.J. Apa) articulates his desire to move west and engage in construction work in a conversation with his mother. Upon Betty’s return to Riverdale High, she catches a glimpse of Fangs Fogarty (Drew Ray Tanner) preparing for a tour, only to later learn of his tragic demise in a bus accident. Jughead reveals that Fangs’ music provided solace to his beloved Midge and their daughter.
Betty’s interactions further include a lunch outing with Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) and his partner Clay Walker (Karl Walcott). Jughead narrates the vibrant lives they led in Harlem, with Clay becoming a professor at Columbia University and Kevin establishing an off-Broadway theatre company. Their narratives culminate in their passing at a ripe old age.
In an unexpected disclosure, it’s Kevin who reveals the hidden truth that Betty shared a deep bond with Archie, Jughead, and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) over the past year. Betty confirms the unique dynamics of their relationship, reflecting on its evolution from innocent double dates to a more intricate intertwining of emotions.
Betty’s journey further uncovers the post-Riverdale lives of her friends. Reggie Mantle (Charles Melton) transitions from basketball at Kansas State to becoming an LA Laker before venturing into coaching. Veronica establishes herself in California, overseeing a prominent Hollywood film studio. Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) remain devoted partners, flourishing as artists and activists out west.
As the episode nears its conclusion, Betty and Jughead share a final emotional moment with their companions. Jughead reveals Betty’s achievement as the editor of “She Says Magazine,” a bastion of feminist and progressive causes, while he takes the helm of “Jughead Madhouse Magazine.” Although they never marry, Betty finds fulfillment in adopting a daughter.
Returning to the present day, Betty and Alice embark on a contemplative drive through Riverdale. A subtly profound exchange occurs, hinting at a deeper connection between generations. Betty’s presence in Pop’s diner reunites her with cherished friends, and Archie’s words, “Perfect timing, Betty,” capture the poignant reunion. The glow of the diner’s sign becomes a guiding light as Jughead imparts his farewell.
Jughead’s parting words resonate with universal truth: “Should you chance upon that neon sign on a solitary night at the culmination of your personal journey—the journey each of us undertakes—pause. Step inside. Find a seat. Recognize that camaraderie awaits, and that Riverdale will forever extend its hospitality. Until that moment arrives, may your nights be tranquil.”