It really does feel like the end of an era.
On Wednesday, Riverdale will air its final episode, aptly titled "Goodbye, Riverdale," and the series isn't shying away from the difficulty of saying farewell. "I always love it when Riverdale goes vulnerable," executive producer Sarah Schechter tells EW. "[Showrunner] Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa] and I were talking about our favorite episodes of the whole show, and it was the pilot for me, which was really emotional. It was the episode where we processed Luke's [Perry] death. And I think this finale is up there. I really think it's a great finale. It's so powerful."
Justine Yeung/The CW KJ Apa and Camila Mendes on 'Riverdale'
The finale will feature an 86-year-old Betty looking back on her senior year of high school, and the day she said goodbye to her friends. "A lot of times on TV shows, you don't know when something's ending, so it's a privilege to know the end is here and be present in that," Schechter says. "It felt like the end of an era."
As for the show's legacy, Schechter says, "I think it fits in with other iconic coming-of-age shows. It's something we can be proud of and that will continue to be discovered. So many of my friends' kids are watching Gilmore Girls and just love being able to go into that world and spend time with all those characters. And I think that'll be part of the legacy of Riverdale as well. Also, it's a legacy of network television, of making that many episodes, of having the chance to tell that many stories for that many characters."
The Riverdale series finale airs Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.