19 Bonkers Things That Actually Happened On The Final Episode Of "Riverdale"

Well, it happened. After seven seasons of bear maulings, maple syrup waterboarding, sentient dolls, levitating babies, war flashbacks, rocket ships flown by cult leaders, aliens, comets, and — of course — the epic highs and lows of high school football, Riverdale has aired its final episode.

Betty crying

For years, I religiously watched and recapped every bonkers moment on the show, which originated as a dark and gritty high school mystery based on the Archie Comics, but the epic highs and lows of life got in the way for me, and the last episode I watched was the Season 5 finale when Hiram blew up the town and something called "Rivervale" followed.

Archie on the battlefield with the caption me diving back into the riverdale trenches

I vaguely remember reading that an evil sorcerer named Percival, among many other things, killed off a bunch of the characters by bringing his own "10 plagues" to the town at some point. A truly wild ride.


Anyway, as you can imagine, going into the series finale for one last ride was...well, wild. If you're looking for a more straightforward recap of the plot, my coworker Ajani has you covered. But after years of dedication, I owed it to myself to watch it one last time. All that I generally knew going into the series finale was that for some reason (I think a comet???), the entire final season has been set in the 1950s. That's it! That's all I knew.

Cheryl with blue coming out of her fingers

Those are not spirit fingers, THESE are spirit fingers!


So without further ado, here are 19 things that actually happened as recapped by someone who hasn't watched in two seasons:

And of course, if any of the questions I raise have very clear answers or I get anything wrong, please feel free to tell me in the comments!

1.The episode starts with Jughead narrating that we are now "67 years in the future," so we're back in "present day" and Betty Cooper is now 86 years old, because, of course, she is.

Old betty with the caption extreme titanic voice it's been 67 years

My brain will actually explode if I think too much about how we're in present day but not the original present day timeline of the show.


2.It turns out, 86-year-old Betty is the last of our main characters who is still alive. We see her with her granddaughter, and she's reading Jughead's obituary from when he died at age 84.

betty sleeping with the caption me trying to sleep at night and then jughead popping up with the caption my brain reminding me of something horrifically embarrassing I did in the 3rd grade

3.And we're back to the 1950s, baby! Where Archie is now a poet, making that approximately his 45th job.

archie with a list of all his various jobs and the caption he's a poet and i didn't even know it

Here's a closer look at all of Archie's jobs over the years because this list alone truly makes me cackle:

Archie's jobs from musician to community watch leader to volunteer firefighter

4.We learn that Alice Cooper was a flight attendant who ended up having to emergency land a plane flying from Riverdale to Poughkeepsie, which confuses me even further about WHERE Riverdale is supposed to be??? Because the show seemed to hint at Riverdale being in upstate New York, but Poughkeepsie is ALSO in upstate New York. Anyway, much like the timeline, it's always best not to question when or where things are on this show and remember that it's merely a show of immaculate vibes.

alice flying the plane with the caption live footage of the riverdale writers room writing this finale

5.Also, Polly Cooper — who, last I was aware, was murdered by a trucker — is thankfully alive and well in the bizarro 1950s timeline and apparently moonlights as a burlesque dancer named Polly Amorous! (10/10 pun, Riverdale writers.)

Image of polly performing as Polly Amorous

6.And even more shocking than the characters being trapped in the 1950s, Camila Mendes was trapped in this wig for way too long, but that's neither here nor there.

Closeup of Veronica

We find out that Veronica ultimately won Oscars and was buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.


7.Apparently, Betty had the mumps on her last day of high school, but when she goes to relive the day, she doesn't have the mumps anymore. Still, this leads to a great one-liner from Cheryl who is still a legend in this 1950s timeline.

Cheryl says I don't want your mumpy cooties

Cheryl is me every time I saw someone unmasked during the height of the pandemic.


8.We get updates on Fangs and Midge (who I was pleased to learn is ALSO un-murdered in the 1950s, but played by a new actor) who we learn sadly die in a bus crash (the un-murdering unfortunately did not last long), as well as Kevin and Clay who do get to live a happy life together in Harlem.

Screenshots from "Riverdale"

9.But then we get to the most important moment of the episode. At its heart, Riverdale was a show about a love triangle/square between Betty, Archie, Jughead, and Veronica. Fans wondered and battled over who would end up together! And the way the show decided to navigate the epic highs and lows of shipping politics is that they revealed that the foursome was actually a QUAD!!!! As in, Kevin reveals to Betty that they were actually all dating each other! As a foursome! I love it!

Screenshots from "Riverdale"

I will truly never hear the word "quad" the same way again!!!


10.When Reggie finds out about this, he's just mad that he wasn't asked to be part of the quad — or I guess it would be a pentagon at that point? But alas, Vabejugarchereggie was not in the cards.

Reggie with the caption what's one more

11.Now, as an aside, you can imagine how confused I was when everyone in this episode kept referring to "Angel Tabitha" who sent them all to the 1950s in the first place. So I did a quick little googs, and I guess it turns out Tabitha Tate (who could time travel) ACTUALLY became Riverdale's official guardian angel, and she's the one who sent everyone back in time to save them all from the aforementioned comet???

Screenshot from "Riverdale"

Tabitha didn't appear in the finale, but it sounds like she ultimately became the MVP of Riverdale. Love that for her.

Colin Bentley / Colin Bentley/The CW

12.In news that genuinely made me go, "awwwww," Choni does in fact end up together — and they have a son who they name "Dale" after Riverdale, of course.

Screenshot from "Riverdale"

13.At one point, this redheaded man popped up, and I wondered who it was, and when I found out, I truly was NOT disappointed! Because, friends, THIS is Julian Blossom. Ya know, the triplet who Cheryl had once believed that she and Jason absorbed in the womb who was represented only by a sentient doll??? Well, apparently he is alive and rather un-doll-like in the 1950s.

Doll julian side by side with human julian.

I love a then vs. now comparison. Sadly, Jughead reveals that this Julian ultimately dies in Vietnam.


14.We also learn that Riverdale legend Nana Rose was "reincarnated multiple times" which is honestly just a win for the human race.

Nana Rose with the caption surprise bitch i bet you thought you saw the last of me

15.One extremely hilarious and very meta thing that happened in this finale is that Archie wrote a poem for all of his friends that references amazing things that have happened throughout the series, and honestly, it's a very fitting and funny tribute to some of the super bonkers things that have happened on the show including: Betty and her "serial killer gene" and its trigger word "tangerine," Veronica being a human dialysis machine, Cheryl keeping Jason's dead body in her cellar, Jughead's teacher jumping out of a window, Kevin cruising Fox Forest, Fangs stealing organs for a cult leader, and finally, the fact that Reggie was unceremoniously recast between Seasons 1 and 2.

Archie saying a long way from a cult member who stole organs to put in a freezer

I genuinely laughed out loud. We love a self-aware show.


16.Okay, I know that literally the entire premise of the finale is showing us how every single character died, but wow, when they talked about Pop Tate dying in his sleep, I audibly yelped!!!! He is and was the GOAT of Riverdale, and he also deserves to reincarnate forever.

pop tate's grave

17.The episode ends by showing us where Jughead and Betty ended up — they both had careers in journalism alongside Jughead's mutton chops. Betty never married, but adopted a daughter and had a granddaughter. She ultimately dies in the car leaving Riverdale, and we watch as the car drives past all the old Riverdale haunts like Pop's and Riverdale High.

Betty in the car with the caption not just napping driving past pop's

18.We end with one final montage of the whole group at Pop's, aka heaven I think, and I have just one important thing to say upon seeing an absolute icon welcoming Betty:

Jason Blossom with the caption you will always be famous

19.Finally, in all sincerity, Lili Reinhart acted the heck out of this whole episode, and despite all of the Riverdale-esque shenanigans, it was a touching and fitting end to a series for the ages. So let's raise our shakes to an absolutely bonkers, and honestly extremely fun, seven seasons!

the main four doing a toast to milkshakes

So, let's hear it. Did you love the finale? Are you upset about the "endgame" situation? Do you have absolutely NO clue what the heck is going on? PLEASE share your thoughts on all things Riverdale in the comments below!