‘Riverdale’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 4 “Chapter Ninety-Nine: The Witching Hour(s)”

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Kailey Schwerman/The CW

Sabrina Spellman is taking a trip to Rivervale in this week’s episode of Riverdale! The fourth part of the five-episode event takes us through three different times, involving the same interconnected story told through Abigail, Poppy, and Cheryl Blossom as Bailey’s Comet passes over town. Keep reading to find out what happened in “Chapter Ninety-Nine: The Witching Hour(s).”

“Three Blossom women, one story echoing across time, burning as bright and eternal as a comet’s tail in the night sky.”

Thornhill Today

Kailey Schwerman/The CW

Cheryl tells her girls about Bailey’s Comet that only passes through every 65 years. As they watch it on the North Hill, she will be staying behind to care for Nana Rose and conducting certain rituals to help her transition into the afterlife. Cheryl later tells Nana Rose about the comet and confirms if she wants to go through with it. Before getting started with the ritual, Cheryl must read through the stories of Poppy and Abigail, to know them.

Britta finds Cheryl and admits she’s noticed things. She knows that she and Nana Rose have been planning something in secret. She just doesn’t know what it is, but she’d like to be there for it. Nana Rose convinces Cheryl to stay and Cheryl obliges.

Thornhill 1957

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Poppy’s doing pretty well for herself, giving herbs to townsfolk, mostly wives, so they can “save the day.” During Poppy’s salon, she brings up the topic of Bailey’s Comet and Tammy Tate suggests they have a viewing party at Pop’s. Soon, the topic turns to conspiracy and Poppy admits she’s not a fan of witch hunts. Of any kind.

Following the salon, Bitsy admits to Poppy that she’s not happy in her marriage and that Jack thinks the answer is to have another child. Poppy gives Bitsy some ginger root as a form of birth control. After Bitsy thanks her, the two kiss, which complicates things for them moving forward. Jack later comes knocking on Thornhill’s front doors, with Bitsy by his side. He confronts Poppy about what she did with his wife and Bitsy is forced to tell Poppy she gave her the wrong idea about them. She’s never been happier in her marriage and she would be very lucky to have another child with Jack. Jack tells Poppy to stay out of his marriage, or he will kill her.

The Downfall

As if that threat wasn’t enough, Poppy later finds Jack and other husbands outside of Thornhill. Not happy with what she’s been telling their wives. They want Poppy to leave Rivervale ASAP. The Blossoms have outstayed their welcome. Poppy tells them that Thornhill is her home and she’ll never leave. Kirk Keller threatens her before they all leave.

After going out, Poppy comes back to Thornhill to find men ransacking the place. Kirk tells her that they received an anonymous tip that Poppy is a subversive. A suspected communist sympathizer. Kirk arrests Poppy and takes her in for questioning.

Kirk tries to get a confession out of Poppy, that she’s a communist, but she doesn’t budge. She gets put in a jail cell and Bitsy visits her. She tries to get Poppy to sign the confession. Bitsy thought she cared a little more about them. Poppy says she’s doing it for them, for her, for womankind. For all the free-thinking independent daughters who will come after them. Poppy realizes that Bitsy is pregnant after she stays silent. They will get through it somehow. Bitsy pulls her hand away after Poppy grabs it, and she tells her that this baby is exactly what she and Jack need. Jack was right about her. She’s just a sad, jealous, sexually repressed spinster. Poppy knows she doesn’t mean that, but Bitsy walks away.

Nine months later, Jack comes to Poppy’s cell, pleading for her help. Bitsy has gone into labor and she’s convinced herself that something is wrong. Poppy is the only person that can help. Jack swears that if she does this, she will not return to her cell. Poppy reunites with Bitsy in her hospital room and stays with her throughout the birth, which happens under Bailey’s Comet. Bitsy gives birth to a beautiful baby girl and nothing will hold her back. Before leaving, Poppy gives Bitsy a pouch for when the time is right.

Kirk arrests Poppy after she comes out of the hospital room. She is now under house arrest at Thornhill, indefinitely. She was doomed to spend the rest of her life haunting the halls of Thornhill. Bitsy’s husband died under “mysterious” circumstances just a year after his daughter was born.

Thornhill 1892

Abigail interviews a new teacher, Thomasina Topaz. And just like now, it already seems like the two are getting close. After Thomasina is hired, she says she’s from a nearby town. Greendale. While in the present, Cheryl wanted the girls to study Bailey’s Comet, Abigail is not so much on board when Thomasina brings up the scientific opportunity.

Abigail later finds Thomasina and admits she was right. They are going to teach those young women hard truths, tough knowledge, and prepare them for a world that might not exist yet, but someday will. Thomasina asks what she can do to help and the two kiss. Later, there’s a knock on the door and it’s Constable Keller. He’s looking for a murderess, who goes by Thomasina Topaz. Abigail tells the constable there is no one there by that name, while looking at Thomasina, and mentions that there’s a confirmed case of the pox at Thornhill. After he leaves, Abigail demands the truth from Thomasina.

Thomasina admits that she did once have a husband, an arranged marriage. He was a cruel man who didn’t like her ideas of educating womenkind. He didn’t like her rituals, he just sought to control her with the back of his hand and his belt. So one night, Thomasina looked into his eyes and she knew it was either his life or hers. She chose hers. She chose to live. Abigail tells Thomasina to stay with her at Thornhill forever.

A Dying Wish

A friend of Abigail’s brother, Fen Fogarty, comes with news that James has died in action. And his last dying wish, in the form of a letter, was that his sister marry his best friend. Thomasina tries to talk Abigail out of marrying Fen, as she can feel a darkness inside him. She is certain that man is not who he says he is.

While Fen is out, Abigail and Thomasina search his room, looking for any evidence of his malfeasance. Abigail finds a paper with James’ signature written all over it, but it’s not her brother’s hand. This is someone practicing her brother’s hand. She also finds her family’s seal, the official Blossom crest. Thomasina was right. The letter was forged. Thomasina, meanwhile, finds a pentagram necklace and other objects of the occult. Fen Fogarty is a warlock. Abigail finds death portraits, and she figures he’s a murderer. She finds one of James.

Fen comes back and the two quickly clean up. When he comes into his room, Abigail tells him to leave. Thomasina tries to protect her, but Fen grabs her and threatens to slit her throat unless Abigail obeys him. Abigail promises him she’ll marry him, but they need a vicar to perform the ceremony and bear witness. Fen tells her if she’s not back in one hour with the vicar, Thomasina will be locked in the chapel.

Abigail married Fen, not like she had much of a choice. But she already had an idea of what to do to get rid of him. After the ceremony, Fen is on the bed and Abigail tells him the story of Lizzie Borden, who took an axe to her family. And Abigail does the same thing to Fen. Afterwards she finds Thomasina, but it’s too late. Fen already got to her. Just barely alive, Fen makes his way into the chapel. Bailey’s Comet passes overhead, perfect timing. Just before he dies, Fen curses Abigail with immortality and solitary, loneliness, for all eternity.

An Old Friend Lends a Hand

Kailey Schwerman/The CW

After Cheryl finishes telling the heartbreaking story of Abigail and Poppy, the doorbell rings. She’s finally here. Cheryl opens the door to find young witch Sabrina Spellman, who would do anything to help a fellow witch.

Cheryl introduce Sabrina to Nana Rose and Britta and Sabrina says they have a lot of mutual friends, share a lot of the same interests. And their covens are in the same softball league. Sabrina was the first one to tell Cheryl about performing a transference. Her cousin, Ambrose, taught her how to do it. Britta leaves and the spell casting commences. The transference works, and Abigail is now in Nana Rose’s body. She’s free, at long last. She lets go and is finally at peace.

“Happy-sad endings are the best.”

So exactly what happened? Nana Rose’s body did die, but not her soul. They did a classic body swap. There was no Cheryl, not really. She was also Poppy and before that, she was Abigail Blossom. When Fen Fogarty died, he cursed Abigail with immortality, so to hide that, she created Poppy Blossom, then Cheryl Blossom. However, Abigail was forever haunted by the loss of her first true love, Thomasina. The only way to reunite them was to move Abigail’s soul into a body no longer meant to be in this world. Abigail’s soul has moved on to a peaceful eternity in the sweet hereafter. Now Roseanne Blossom can enjoy her precious youth. Cheryl, Poppy, Abigail is not really dead. Why?

“There is no death for witches. Only a transformation.”

Sabrina died and came back. Abigail and Thomasina were both witches. The two lovers are finally reunited after over a hundred years.

Kailey Schwerman/The CW

It was definitely a treat seeing Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman once again! But that shocking Blossom reveal was something else. Catch the final part of the five-episode “Rivervale” event this Tuesday, December 14 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on The CW! Check out photos from the 100th episode here.

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By Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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