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Riverdale Recap: Season 1 Finale – The Sweet Hereafter

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Riverdale’s freshman season has come to an end. “The Sweet Hereafter,” written by series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, serviced to prepare us for season 2, featured an abundance of character and relationship moments, and left the fate of a main character hanging in the balance. As entertaining and jaw dropping murder mysteries can be, sometimes it’s nice to dial it back and focus on the smaller moments. They jammed a lot into our final 43 minutes with the Riverdale gang so let’s dive in.

Riverdale Recap: Chapter 13 – The Sweet Hereafter
Airdate: May 11, 2017

The opening sequence juxtaposes Alice writing for The Register and Jughead finishing off his novel, while both narrate the events that occurred the week following Clifford Blossom hanging himself. We learn that Clifford was a Kingpin, transporting heroin from Montreal; Jason learned the truth and threatened to expose his father, which is what lead Clifford to hire Mustang to kidnap Jason and ultimately murder his own son. Clifford orchestrated Mustang’s death and planted the money from Hiram to implicate him in the crime. FP, still in lock up, must answer for tampering with the crime scene and moving the body. Sheriff Keller proposes that FP give them the names of the people responsible for running the drugs and the Mayor and DA will push for a lighter sentence. “Serpents don’t get into the hard stuff” FP tells Keller and refuses to snitch on his friends, who, he maintains, are innocent.

From here, the scene cuts to Fred standing in his kitchen, weight of the world on his shoulders, shadowed in darkness, gazing out the window. Archie is concerned about his friends and how this is all still affecting them. Fred and Archie share several moments like this throughout the episode and we are finally privy to that sweet guy underneath Archie’s often dumb exterior.

Betty is still self-digging her nails in until she bleeds over her family’s insistence on pretending as if nothing happened the past few weeks and months. She vents about this to Archie as they walk to school together. Archie listens intently in between longing gazes, but immediately meets up with Veronica in the hall once at school. The duo decides they need to tell their friends about their coupledom and Archie is worried because “the last time I had this conversation with Betty, it didn’t go well”. Before they can discuss further, Archie and Betty are called to Weatherbee’s office for a chat with the Mayor. The 75th Jubilee is coming and Mayor McCoy wants Archie and Betty to participate, being they are now heroes and all. They’re both all “what about Jughead” and the Mayor is all “yeah no.”

Jughead updates the gang on FP’s current situation during lunch while Kevin is freaking out about all the drug activity amping up in Riverdale. Veronica takes this opportunity to share her and Archie’s newfound love with the crew; Betty is unfazed “I’m with Jughead now. If you guys wanna be together, I’m happy for you”. That answer wasn’t sufficient for Archie so he seeks Betty out alone, just to check she’s really ok with it all. “Veronica’s amazing, but a little part of me always thought..”, Betty cuts him off waxing poetic about how they’re found their soulmates and isn’t that wonderful; which of course means, heavy relationship drama to come in Season 2.

The Blossom moments seemed sandwiched in throughout the episode in a sort of jarring way. First we see Penelope and Cheryl in the Maple Syrup Barn post funeral, where Penelope prattles on about the family being cursed and “who will the grim reaper take next?”. I have to take pause here to discuss this sort of plot line that always vexes me, on any show. The wife is married in to said family. Technically, it’s not her family. I am always scratching my head over wives taking on the trials and tribulations of their husband’s family as if they never knew anything before that. It’s an odd plot device. But, I digress. Next time we see Cheryl, she’s handing over her HBIC t-shirt and the Captain-ship of the RiverVixens to Veronica, apologizing to Jughead and gifting him with her brooch… does anyone else think it’s weird Cheryl seems to be giving her things away? Did these kids watch 13 Reasons Why? They should have, Reggie was absent from school all season to go film it. They dropped a dubious amount of anvils pointing to Cheryl attempting to take her life, so when Veronica received a perfectly timed text from her saying “Thanks for trying. I’m going to be with Jason now”, I was not shocked. Not to mention the finale promo poster featured Cheryl standing on cracked ice.

Over at the Andrews house, Jughead’s social worker shows up to inform him that he can no longer stay with Fred (because of a DUI he got when Mary left and money issues, mumble, plot), his mother is “over extended and out of state” (more plot); so he has to go live with a foster family on the Southside and transfer schools. Archie visits with FP, worried about Jughead being in that school and away from his friends; he pleads with FP to take the deal. I love that Archie feels comfortable going to FP the way Jughead turns to Fred. It’s nice to see the way these friends are there for one another.  FP tells Archie how important it is that he and Betty stick with Jughead, he’s got darkness in him and he’ll try to pull away (foreshadowing much?). He also tells Archie he won’t rat out the Serpents, “When the time comes, they’ll step up”. They’ve driven home these past few episodes that FP is inherently a good person, fixing his earlier characterization as a somewhat villain.

Michele Curran
Michele Curran is the newest addition to the TV Source Magazine team! She is a proud New Yorker with a passion for all things television, movies, and music. Follow her on Twitter @MimiC1019.

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