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‘Riverdale’ Has Finally Come To Its End In Season 7 – Here’s The Lowdown

Pop’s Diner is closing for good. Six years after CW’s teen drama mystery series Riverdale – the dark, modern spin on the traditionally wholesome Archie Comics – debuted in 2017, it has finally ended its highly unpredictable journey with Season 7. 

The story of Riverdale, created by playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, opened with an eery sequence of the Blossom Twins going for an early morning boat ride. 

The contrast of nature’s blues, brown, and greens against the white and cherry-red ensemble of Cheryl (Madeleine Petsch) and Jason (Trevor Stines), including their red convertible, was definitely a moment. Of course, Johnny Jewel and Saoirse Ronan singing “Tell Me” in the background made the scene even more ethereal. 

Then It Got Dark… Really Fast 

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What happened next set off the macabre series of mysteries: the local golden boy and football captain Jason Bloom was murdered, his body missing, and his twin was found crying, wet, and alone on the rocks by the Sweet Water River. 

Fans were then introduced to the rest of the main characters: Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), who came together to unwrap the secrets of their town, and their impact was nothing short of impressive. They had everyone hooked with the gripping acting and clever plot. 

Riverdale grew weirder, wilder, and more complicated as the seasons progressed. From murder investigation and classic teen romance, it mixed elements of serial killers, mobs and cults, drugs, superpowers and magic, and music. 

It wasn’t way too surprising, though, considering Aguirre-Sacasa recreated the iconic and classic comic (that first appeared in Pep Comics No.22 in 1941) with pop culture references like Twin Peaks, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Breakfast Club, and a number of Broadway musicals. 

Now, They’re in for Their Last Run 

According to CW’s CEO, Mark Pedowitz, in an executive call in May 2022, “I am a big believer in attempting to give series that have had long runs an appropriate sendoff.” 

He continued that the series was ready to say goodbye to him and thought the rest of the production team also felt the same way. Seven years was just the right amount of time, and as a fan, he wanted to do what was right for the show. 

KJ Apa said that a few of the cast members also saw it coming. While he can’t speak for anyone else, he was truly sad to say goodbye to the role of Archie, to Riverdale, and to the whole team who made the show possible. 

At the same time, seeing how much he had grown on the show was exciting. He said, “I’ve got a kid now. I’ve been through so much over the last six years, and I know everyone else has.”

Where We Left Off 

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Season 6 was in continuity from Season 5, where the core four – Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead – went through a seven-year time jump, which catapulted them right into adulthood. They kicked off with a special five-episode set in Rivervale (yes, with a v, and it’s Riverdale’s parallel universe) due to the pushed production schedule amid the pandemic. 

That wasn’t the only surprise: They also made the big swing to go full horror, full supernatural. 

Witching Hour

Here are the major highlights of the past season that’ll help us transition to Season 7. First, Cheryl descended from witches – and her cousin Abigail was accused of being one by Betty, Archie, and Jughead’s ancestors, and they burned her at the stake. This supernatural introduction made way for a very interesting crossover. 

In episode 4, Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) of the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” made her first-ever appearance on Riverdale. She and Cheryl completed a transference magic. They transferred Nana Rose’s (Barbara Wallace) into Cheryl’s body. It also explains how Sabrina was still alive even after supposedly dying in her own series finale. 

That wasn’t the only transference that happened. Apparently, Nana Rose swapped Cheryl’s soul with Abigail’s so they could take over Riverdale. Fortunately, her friends restored the actual Cheryl back into her body. 

Second, Archie was killed in a ritualistic human sacrifice in Rivervale (not in Riverdale) after Cheryl convinced the entire town that they were doomed unless they fed him the “sin pie.” That is the accumulation of all their wrongdoings. 

Deals with the Devil

Third, Kevin Keller (Casey Scott) signed over his soul to the Devil without a second thought with the promise of a successful Broadway career. Reggie Mantle (Charles Melton) also had his own deal with the Devil to ensure that Babylonium, his and Veronica’s joint-owned casino, would prosper. 

Veronica tried to undo it, but she was met with the awful truth that it was actually her soul on the line. However, Veronica managed to turn the tables and send her lover to hell. 

Riverdale Meets Stranger Things Meets Harry Potter

Fourth, Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) bombed Archie’s family home. Archie, Betty, and Jughead, who were all present when it happened, escaped unharmed, but that wasn’t all. 

They also gained superhuman abilities. When Veronica learned that it was her father who was behind the explosion, she put a bounty on his head. However, It didn’t pan out because it was no longer needed. Hiram was discovered dead. 

Fifth and last but not least, there was a new villain in town: Percival Pickens (Chris O’Shea). He had the power of mind control, which made him even more dangerous. 

Riverdale was out to be obliterated for the season finale thanks to Pervical and Bailey’s Comet. There was no way to escape with an invisible forcefield around the town. 

So, the Riverdale High gang came together and combined their powers to send Cheryl and destroy the comet, and it worked. Riverdale survived, but it essentially resets everything. The main cast time jumped again back to high school – only this time it was in 1955. 

Continue Watching 

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“The seventh season goes where no season has dared to go before – the 1950s!” Yes, the era of the original Archie Comics. Nostalgic. 

Riverdale’s 20-episode final season first premiered on CW last March 29, 2023, with its season and series finale airing on August 23, 2023. It went live in its entirety on Netflix in the US on August 31. 

Aguirre-Sacasa first shared a peek of the season’s opener in December 2022, with everyone in their retro attire – except for Jughead. In the background played Bill Haley & His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock.”

The decision to return to the ’50s for the final season was a mix of the team wanting to put a twist and fan service. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said they wanted to return to the high school setting, but they’ve already done that. 

So, to make it different and special, they went for the original comic timeline. That’s because, amid all the divided fandoms in Riverdale, everyone was all for the characters dressing up in their classic fits and styles. 

On March 2, 2023, CW dropped the full trailer, hinting at unexpected pairings – Archie and Cheryl engaged, Betty and Kevin in a relationship, and Jughead and Veronica striking up a romance as well. While all these were happening, Jughead was trying to jog everyone’s memory that they didn’t belong in that era.

Despite another time travel, the executive producer assured fans it wasn’t an alternate universe nor a “hard, complete break” from the previous season. 

For one, Jughead was aware of everything. “And I think our characters, whether they’re conscious or not, have an emotional memory of what they’ve been through… It is still in continuity,” he explained. 

He then added that they wanted to take this sort of blank canvas opportunity to do some mixing and matching as well as adjusting some stories. Of course, they’d be keeping with what they’ve done in the first six seasons. 

One of those keeping in the Riverdale vein is the tradition of a musical episode. The episode titled “Archie the Musical” featured all original songs in the history of the show. According to TVLine, it detailed the events following Principal Featherhead’s decision to let Kevin Keller and Clay Walker (Karl Walcott) pitch him their self-written musical. 

The Final Cast 

Season 7 cast of Riverdale included the main cast members, KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, and Cole Sprouse. Then there were the supporting actors, Madeleine Petsch, Casey Cott, Charles Melton (who replaced Ross Butler as Reggie), Vanessa Morgan (Toni Topaz), and Drew Ray Tanner (Fangs Fogarty), who all became core members as the series progressed. 

Erinn Westbrook, who plays the role of Tabitha Tate, became a series regular in the fifth season and was also set to wrap up her storyline. 

Now, heads up to all Reggie fans: His character was held a bit due to a scheduling conflict, so he wouldn’t be at the beginning of the end of the season. However, that worked since the team was already considering giving him a big entrance later in the season. They wanted to play a big Hoosiers story and School Ties story with the basketball team. 

Aside from the star-studded teen cast, Riverdale was also known for its famed parental crew. Over the six seasons, fans met the late Luke Perry and Molly Ringwald (Fred and Mary Andrews), Mädchen Amick (Alice Cooper), Marisol Nichols and Mark Consuelos (Hermione and Hiram Lodge), and Skeet Ulrich (F). For the final season, we’ll be seeing Amick and Ringwald one last time.

Amick was a series regular while Ringwald was reprising her role. In an interview with the Pretty in Pink actress in May 2022, she shared that she’d be back, though the storylines were kept tightly under wraps, so she couldn’t say anything more.

Then, two new actors were tapped for recurring characters for the final curtain. First was Nicholas Barasch, playing the preppy high school bully Julien Blossom. He has taken on the new antagonist role and is at odds with everyone, especially Archie. 

Second, we have Karl Walcott. He’d be portraying the open-minded army brat Clay Walker, and his character was reported to have an impactful friendship with fellow queer Kevin. 

It’s the End of an Era

Goodbye, Riverdale. Season 7 was definitely a hell of a lot of fun to watch, with all the twists and turns. Despite its meme-ed flaws and ridiculous storylines, the show will surely be missed. As Betty said, “And they have no idea, do they, how special this time is, how quickly it goes by like a blink of an eye?”

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