In Honor of "Riverdale’s" Final Season, We’d Like to Remind You of the Show’s Craziest Moments
Let’s be honest – Riverdale is a lot of things. It’s suspenseful, haunting, shocking, and at many times…just downright cringe.
The show, entering its seventh and final season tonight, has been a rollercoaster of nonsensical plot lines and completely absurd characters, but TBH we’d be lying if we said we weren’t fans of all this controlled chaos.And we’re not alone. Riverdale actually got a lot of praise when it first hit our screens in 2017… but that quickly changed when it returned for its second season. What was once a clever teen drama turned noir-inspired murder mystery eventually unraveled into a laughable mess of illogical serial killer reveals, unhinged cult worship and even worse – unexpected musical numbers. From the insanely hot cast (Hot Dads of Riverdale, anyone?) to the insanely camp storylines, we still can’t get enough.
If you were one of the many people who gave up on the show following the first season, you don’t even know how far off the deep end Riverdale has plunged. Any sense of reason has been thrown out the window as writers have engrossed the characters into fantastical plot lines and completely irrational behaviors, which has only made the show more fun to watch. By its final season, Riverdale’s utter chaos manifested into a level of cringe in a class of its own, and it made for some, uh, interesting content.
As Riverdale pulls off one of its wackiest stunts yet by time-traveling back to the ‘50s for its seventh season, let’s look back on the truly unhinged moments that made Riverdale a camp classic.
1. When Archie fought a bear, then hallucinated.We’ll never forget this infamous moment in TV history, which came out of nowhere in the middle of Season 3. While Archie is living in the woods outside of Riverdale (which is a whole thing in itself), he’s attacked by a bear. The bear fight is never actually shown on screen, but Archie running with a giant slash on his chest is enough of an indicator. The writers couldn’t leave a somewhat believable plotline in the script, so Archie then started (rather severely) hallucinating.
2. When Cheryl destroyed a meteor.Yes, you read that right. It’s hard to top the Season 6 finale when it comes to absolutely incomprehensible Riverdale moments. After Veronica absorbed all her friends’ superpowers, she transferred them to Cheryl through a kiss, which according to Veronica is “not queer-baiting; it's saving the world.” Cheryl then combined her “Phoenix powers” (which are never fully explained) with the other powers to destroy the massive comet hurtling towards town. Oh, and the resulting explosion sent the whole town back in time to 1955, which is where the story picks up tonight. Any questions?
3. When Chad Michael Murray ran an organ harvesting cult, then tried to escape via rocketship.When Riverdale introduced Chad Michael Murray as the mysterious cult leader Edgar Evernever in Season 3, nobody could’ve ever predicted just how outrageous his story would soon become. The One Tree Hill and A Cinderella Story heartthrob used hypnosis to get people to join his cult, known as “The Farm,” to cut out their organs to sell on the black market. The most hilarious part of Edgar’s story arc was its end, when he quite literally jumped on his rocket to escape repercussions for his cult. Oh and BTW, Betty’s mom Alice joined this cult, only to reveal she was working with the FBI all along.
4. When Jughead was held captive by the Rat King.Jughead’s story somehow got even darker after the Season 5 time jump. As his drug and alcohol addictions intensified, he spent a night in the sewers where he met a shadowy figure he believed was the Rat King. The Rat King (which ended up being a total hallucination, BTW) wanted to keep Jughead underground with him forever. Jughead escaped and made his way to the hospital, where he found out he contracted rabies after snuggling with some sewer rats the night before. Um, ew?
5. When Archie, still in high school, formed a vigilante group called the Red Circle.Watch out, Riverdale. There’s a new band of law enforcement in town…only they’re a bunch of 16 year old kids cosplaying as vigilantes. Archie was on a quest to avenge his father’s death, thus forming the ever-comical Red Circle and giving social media plenty of absurdity to work with.
me: Actually, Riverdale tackles the subject matter of teen dramas with narrative subtlety and stylistic deftness— austin walker (@austin_walker) June 19, 2018
Riverdale, after Archie starts a gang called the Red Circle to hunt down a serial killer named the Black Hood: pic.twitter.com/wkAUvKH8C8
red circle 1: you know whats super threatening?— 💀🦐 calysto (@calystokalysto) October 26, 2017
red circle 2: taking out shirts off
red circle 1: hell yes #Riverdale
6. Whenever “Dark Betty” made an appearance.If only we could go back to the time when we didn’t know anything about this storyline…but alas, the writer’s couldn’t have that. “Dark Betty” was, you guessed it, Betty’s alter ego who possessed all of her deepest, harrowing fantasies. There were a lot of things “wrong” with this character, mainly the sexualization of a teenage girl’s disturbed manifestations, which were likely due to mental health issues that were never fully explored. Lili Reinhart, the actress who plays Betty, talks more about “Dark Betty” below.
7. When Tabitha defeated the *devil* with some help from her angel, Raphael.If you’re not thinking WTF yet, here’s something that will make you really say, “What is HAPPENING!” Turns out, the only thing holy in Riverdale are the very-real angels. Apparently Tabitha Tate, who joins the crew in Season 5, has an actual guardian angel looking out for her named Raphael. And thank goodness she does, because the devil came to town in Season 6, assuming the identity of a man named Lou Cipher. (Very punny, Riverdale.) To save the town, Raphael gave Tabitha a vial of tears shed by the Virgin Mary at Jesus’ Crucifixion, which she used to poison Cipher’s milkshake.
8. When Cheryl was possessed by the spirit of her ancestor and tried to kill Archie via scone.Since it’s absolutely impossible to explain the events of Riverdale’s Season 6 without an ungodly amount of caffeine, just try to stay with us here. Things got exceptionally weird this season, which is saying a lot. As it turns out, Cheryl’s ancestor Abigail — a witch who was burned at the stake in the 1800s — returned as a ghost to possess Cheryl and fulfill a personal vendetta. Once she embodied Cheryl, Abigail gave poisoned scones to both Archie and Jughead as revenge for their ancestors killing her all those years ago. Fortunately for Archie and Jughead, Betty’s superpower picked up on threatening auras and exposed Abigail’s plan, saving the duo.
9. When Betty’s brother escaped prison and forced his mom to officiate his wedding to the guy who pretended to be him.
We’re still not convinced this wasn’t a fever dream. ICYMI: Betty’s brother Charles and his boyfriend Chic (who had originally pretended to be Charles back in Season 2, but that’s a story for another day) were both sent to prison for a variety of crimes we don’t have time to get into.
They escaped, and rather than flee town, they beelined straight to the Cooper house for an impromptu wedding, which Charles forced his mother to officiate. “What about the reception?,” you may be asking yourself. In lieu of a party, the newlyweds made everyone stab Betty’s ex-boyfriend, a guy named Glenn. So romantic!
10. When a literal ALIEN preserved in maple syrup (???) was casually delivered to Jughead at work.Yup, Jughead was (maybe?) abducted by aliens in Season 5. After sitting down to interview Nana Rose about a possible alien sighting 50 years ago, Nana Rose reveals the body of a Mothman (AKA an alien) preserved in a tub of maple syrup. Of course that’s not all, as later Jughead experiences the light phenomenon that Nana Rose spoke about, and when they go to check on the alien they find it's disappeared. Dun, dun, DUN!
11. When Veronica’s dad put a bomb under Archie’s bed that then opened a portal to an alternate dimension.I guess the weird rivalry between teenage Archie and fully-grown-man Hiram Lodge never went away, because Lodge’s obsession with killing his teenage nemesis eventually culminated in a bomb planted in Archie’s room. The explosion didn’t do what it was supposed to do, though. When the bomb went off, the whole universe of the show shifted, transforming Riverdale into a magical, monster-filled town called Rivervale. Eventually, Jughead reversed the bomb’s explosion and returned the town to Riverdale, but in a series of inexplicable developments, the bomb’s next explosion gave everyone superpowers. Ugh. We hate when that happens.
12. When Nana Rose revealed that there are a bunch of secret Blossoms living in the woods.And apparently the Mothmen myth was just that – a myth – devised by the Blossom clan to cover up the half dozen “illegitimate” Blossoms that were sent to live in the woods. So the aliens weren’t real, I guess?
This isn’t even a quarter of all of the craziness that has consumed Riverdale, and we cannot wait to see what bizarre storylines appear in Season 7.
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Featured image via Shane Harvey/The CW
Olivia Taylor is a writer and creative covering pop culture, beauty, style, wellness, health, relationships, lifestyle and basically anything else you can think of. A lifelong creative and self-proclaimed reality TV buff, Olivia spends her time outside of work surfing, skateboarding, attending cool indie concerts and finding the best acai bowls in town. Say hi to her on Instagram @heyitsoliviataylor and on Twitter @inneedofmargs.