Wow, what a Riverdale episode title. Also wow that we’ve watched 95 episodes of Riverdale. I don’t want to think too hard on that one, or I might start judging myself.
What’s new? Reggie (Charles Melton) failed his Series 7. For those that don’t know, that’s the test you need to pass in order to sell financial securities. Instead of retaking the test, he pitches opening a casino in Riverdale to Veronica (Camila Mendes). But Veronica’s plan is head back to New York City once the school year finishes out. When Reggie asks about her and Archie, and Veronica says they’re no more, Reggie meets that answer with an ear to ear smile, a smile that Veronica returns.
Archie (KJ Apa), meanwhile is day drinking. So is Betty (Lili Reinhart). Archie lets Betty know that Veronica and he broke up. He’s reopening Andrews Construction. Betty was promoted to special agent in the FBI and will be reopening the Riverdale FBI office. I know she’s been hunting serial killers since high school, but this seems like a big jump. Also, reopening the Riverdale FBI office? This suburban town used to house a FBI office?
Principal Weatherbee asks Jughead (Cole Sprouse) to teach again and be the faculty advisor for the newly returning Riverdale High Blue and Gold newspaper. Jughead quickly accepts the role.
Veronica gets bad news from her old boss in New York City that puts her plans to move back in jeopardy. After killing her ex-husband Chad, no firm wants to hire her. It’s a bad look, even if it was self-defense. He nicknames her “The Black Widow of Wall St.”
Cheryl’s (Madelaine Petsch) mining operation is now just Britta? That can’t be legal. But Britta seems happy. Cheryl is convinced that palladium will give her some divine connection between the spiritual and real worlds, with power over both.
Archie has a surprise for Betty. It’s a surprise party for her recent promotion! It’s nice to see Alice smiling. Kevin (Casey Cott) got her cake with her FBI ID on it. Whoever eats the eyes from the cake is next season’s villain. Jughead and Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) get to enjoy a date night; Delores is watching Pop’s. They skip out on the party to get dinner together.
Uncle Frank spends the party making the moves on Alice. First Hermione and Fred while Archie and Veronica were a couple. Now Uncle Frank wants to make the moves on Alice while we’re heading towards Archie and Betty coupling back up? What’s up with Riverdale and this cross-generational inter-family coupling theme?
Outside of Pop’s, some guy in Chapel makeup pounds some Jingle Jangle in his car and then heads ominously towards the diner.
At dinner, Jughead tells Tabitha that Weatherbee offered him his job back. Tabitha suggests they move in together. However the call is interrupted by Dolores. Over at the fire house alarm blares! Pop’s is on fire. Problem – somebody sliced the fire truck’s tires. Tabitha and Jughead arrive just in time to see fire shoot out of Pop’s windows.
The next day, Pop’s the diner still stands, but badly damaged. Tabitha dreads having to call her grandfather, Pop’s the person, to break the news to him.
Sheriff Keller says it was a ghoulie who threw the cocktail. Remember them? Veronica thinks he was working for her dad. Archie kicks in Hiram’s door and throws him against a table. Betty arrests him. Hiram isn’t fussed though.
Jughead oversees his first Riverdale High newspaper meeting. They already have a bigger staff than they did in Jughead’s day.
Betty wants to search Hiram’s SoDale office. I don’t think she has a warrant or even cares.
Toni and Fangs find the Ghoulie and rough him up badly. He quickly admits to it being Hiram Lodge who hired him. Toni is taking this personally, since Riverdale is Serpents territory. The Ghoulie calls the Serpents a joke, “driving trucks and having babies.” This sets Toni off. It’s kept off camera, but I’m imagining she’s going Mr. Blonde on him.
Veronica, Betty and Archie break into Hiram’s SoDale office. Veronica finds a document saying Hiram has legally incorporated SoDale, even though it’s still only a muddy field. She thinks his next step will be to absorb Riverdale into SoDale and grab the palladium mines for himself. Betty wants to take this info to the FBI, but how is she going to tell them she obtained it?
Veronica pitches the idea to Archie that they make Hiram go missing. Who would search for him? Reggie then knocks on their window and gives them a thumb drive that he claims is a smoking gun. How come he didn’t mention this before?
Betty gets a call from The Trash Bag Killer, who is calling from a rotary phone. He congratulates her on her new role, and wants to make a deal with her that neither goes after the other. After she declines, he hangs up.
Good news: the kitchen at Pop’s still works. Bad news: Tabitha’s insurance company isn’t covering her claim. She was behind on paying her premiums. To add insult to arson, the Ledger, the town paper that Hiram owns, runs an editorial celebrating Pop’s burning down. Jughead has an idea for getting back at Hiram.
Veronica and Archie visit Hiram in jail. Veronica brought a gun. Archie throws a hood over Hiram’s head.
Jughead’s idea: literally fight fire with fire. He lights a Molotov cocktail and Tabitha throw’s it through the Ledger’s window.
Toni can’t get over the comment the Ghoulie made about the serpents being weak. She wants to bring the Serpents back to power with Fangs as the Serpent King.
The whole gang shows up to exile Hiram Lodge. The thumb drive? Security footage of Hiram killing that old mafia boss. Veronica says in an hour Betty will turn over that video to the FBI, and then tells Hiram to walk out of town. Why warn him? Hiram walks but then turns around. But what’s this? The whole gang came armed. He gets back to walking.
Sheriff Keller offers Kevin the spot of Deputy, but Kevin plans on giving Broadway another shot after the school year ends. Is Casey Cott leaving Riverdale?!?
Archie wants Toni to run for mayor, but she says she doesn’t have the bandwidth.
Cheryl does her own mining for a change and comes across a human skull. Britta found one too! There are more. Nana Rose knows all about them. She calls them “The Forgotten.” She goes into a Blossom family story about Abigail Blossom, a Blossom ancestor from the 1890s. Thornhill was an all girls academy at the time. Townsfolk wanted the palladium underneath and took it by force, calling Abigail a witch, and burning her at the stake. But who are those bodies, Nana? Cheryl is more concerned with who the killers were, to which Nana Rose tells her they were the ancestors of her friends. Sure enough, one looks like Archie and another looks like Betty and another, Jughead. Abigail cursed them all. The dead bodies? The townsfolk who tried mining afterwards. How’s grandma know this? She read it in Abigail’s journal and offers it to Cheryl.
Pop is back! Yay! He offers to put money back into Pop’s. He misses being there. He’ll pay, but wants to come back and work full time. Retired life it’s for him.
Cheryl being Cheryl works herself up into a frenzy after reading Abigail’s journal, and storms into a planning meeting between Archie, Jughead, Veronica, and Betty. They of course, are all confused by her accusations. After reading through it, Veronica points out none of her ancestors were involved. Cheryl is pissed, and wants public apologies from all of them. Weirdly, they’re worried this will get in the way of reincorporating the town. Just apologize guys. She storms out, leaving them just as confused as when she arrived.
Jughead has two front pages ready to go, depending on the vote on he town’s future. It’s weird that the major newspaper in town is the school newspaper, right? They’re no longer the Blue and Gold. They’re now the Riverdale Choice, which sounds like a Pennysaver knockoff. This is basically Jughead using underage labor to start a town paper.
Veronica has a proposition for Reggie: neither moves to New York, and they both stay in Riverdale and take over.
Archie proposes the to the assembled town that instead of getting a mayor, they get a city council of four, who will guide them forward. Cheryl immediately interrupts the proceedings. She guesses that Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead plan on nominating themselves, but Archie says she’s wrong. His four choices are Tabitha, Toni, Alice and Uncle Frank. Cheryl wants her apology. When Archie doesn’t offer one, Cheryl announces that Thornhill is seceding from Riverdale. Is that something a property owner can just do?
Archie calls for anyone to run against them. No one does, and he gets a unanimous vote to reincorporate with those four in charge.
Veronica and Reggie pitch their idea: a casino! Reggie says “Our town could be the next…Atlantic City.” Reggie, have you been to Atlantic City? Or even listened to the Springsteen store? It’s not the loftiest of goals. Three of the council of four immediately shoot down the idea, but Toni gives them an olive branch telling them to bring a proposal to next month’s meeting.
Cheryl asks Nana Rose “Will Riverdale ever learn?” That’s something I wonder every week, Cheryl. Nana Rose hands Cheryl a parchment with Abigail’s curse. Cheryl tells Nana Rose and Britta that Thornhill will once become a school for girls and then reads Abigail’s final words. Who wrote all this down? Obviously not Abigail. It’s not a nice message, full of “bathing in the blood of your sons and daughters.” After reading it, the windows of Thornhill burst open with a howling wind. That’s not good.
Archie proudly hangs a new town sign at the outskirts of town. Riverdale is back! Cheryl’s haunting wind comes through town, giving everyone a chill.
Veronica’s got a full boiler room set up, manned with her high school students. Betty, I think the FBI needs to investigate all this misuse of teen labor. Veronica and Reggie have a small casino gaming room opened in the front. All this day trading turns them both on as they share a passionate kiss. What will Archie think?
Just kidding, Archie is asking Betty out while Veronica and Reggie make out. Betty likes it. And of course, KJ Apa takes off his shirt. Because how would you know you were watching Riverdale if he didn’t? Archie hears something ticking. Betty asks if it’s the clock. But Archie has a digital clock. Uh oh, it’s a bomb under his bed! So much for a happy ending season finale.
On the edge of town, Hiram counts down the bomb’s counter in his car before driving off. I guess he’s not worried about that thumb drive video?
And that’s it on this season of Riverdale! Archie and Betty had about 6 seconds to get out of that room, and by the time Archie said “Betty…” it was probably closer to 3. I’m guessing they’re alive but in what state will they be in when Season 6 starts?
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Season 5 ends on an explosive cliffhanger!
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