It’s hard to believe that this week, Riverdale aired its 100th episode! The milestone episode served as a tribute to Archie Comics as well as the fifth and final part of the “Rivervale” event. Jughead is figuring out that Rivervale is not what it seems, so keep reading to find out what happened and who returned in “Chapter One Hundred: The Jughead Paradox.”
We begin with our favorite characters, all seemingly alive and well for some reason. Betty tells Archie she had a nightmare about the whole town sacrificing him; Fangs tells Toni he had this crazy dream that she was drowning and she came back as a ghost; Veronica tells Reggie she had the craziest dream and he asks if he got dragged to Hell in it; Nana Rose comes into Cheryl’s room and she tells her that she had the most frightful dream and Cheryl says the two of them swapped bodies for some reason; and Jughead hears a ticking clock under his bed but nothing is there. He walks down the stairs and there’s an explosion and he wakes up in Archie’s garage.
While in the lounge at Rivervale High with everyone discussing hers and Archie’s (surprise) wedding plans, Betty gets a call from Dr. Curdle who breaks the news that Jughead Jones is dead. Betty is looking at Jughead who is very much alive. What is going on?
Jughead goes down to the morgue to see for himself and the corpse is definitely him. Dr. Curdle figures it’s a paradox. That Jughead was strangled along the Lonely Highway by the sign.
Veronica and Reggie are at the Pembrooke when there’s a knock at the door. When Veronica opens it, it’s Reggie, but it’s season 1 Reggie aka Ross Butler. Veronica tries to explain that, according to Jughead’s visit, there are two parallel universes and two Reggies. She basically grounds the two of them since they can’t have two Reggies running around, but Reggie Prime wants to crash the bachelorette party while Current Reggie doesn’t want to miss Archie’s bachelor party.
Veronica comes back to the Pembrooke to find the two Reggies fighting with each other. Until they both start acting like adults, she grounds them. She later finds out her decision was ultimately the wrong one, as they are both found dead when she comes home from the rehearsal dinner. They literally fought to the death.
Riverdale or Rivervale?
While checking out the scene of where the other Jughead was found, Jughead takes a look at the town sign. Rivervale on one side, while the other clearly says Riverdale, albeit backwards. Jughead looks through his doppelganger’s personal items, coming across a Rivervale comic book. He starts to look through his own comic book collection, noticing all of them are about him and his friends. He sits down and begins to read them from the beginning.
As he’s reading the comics, Jughead’s remembering things that happened. He tells Tabitha about his hallucinations and shows her the comics. The first 95 are called Riverdale set in a town called Riverdale. There’s an explosion and suddenly it’s Rivervale. Jughead thinks Rivervale is a parallel universe to Riverdale.
“First comes Riverdale. And then there’s Rivervale, which is a lot like Riverdale, except it’s darker, nastier.”
A warped reflection of Riverdale and it keeps getting more twisted, Jughead tries to explain. Tabitha reads them for herself and she has the same experience as Jughead. He remembered recent events clearly but going back further in his memory was hazier. Tabitha remembers those things happening in Rivervale, not Riverdale.
Comics vs. Reality
Jughead meets with Archie and Betty about the comics to ask them about the explosion but Archie says it was just a dream. He goes to Veronica and Reggie next. While the comics depict Hiram as terrorizing Riverdale for years, Veronica says her father died the night before her quinceañera. She was so distraught they had to cancel the Jonas Brothers performance. If Rivervale is the dark twin-verse to Riverdale, who is their Big Bad?
Jughead then meets with Cheryl to have her read about Jason’s death and discovery. She tells Jughead that her brother is not dead, he is still very alive. Jughead tries to wrap around his head the fact that she had a funeral for him and talked to his corpse for months. As if on cue, Jay Jay, in a tennis uniform, comes around the corner. After Jason leaves to wait for Cheryl in the car, Jughead tells her they had an in-memoriam page for him in their yearbook. At school, Jughead looks through the yearbook and sure enough, there was an in-memoriam page for one Jason Blossom.
“Though Riverdale and Rivervale diverged in ways minor and major, they were analogous.”
A Parallel Universe
Jughead tries to check out a book on parallel universes but it’s found out it was checked out by Dilton Doiley years ago and never returned. That’s also when it’s found out that he is not dead, in fact he teaches Physics at Rivervale High. He goes into Dilton’s classroom, where Ethel Muggs is also a teaching assistant. Jughead shared his theories with Dilton, who believes him. He admits that he thinks the explosion at the end of issue 95 is what created Rivervale, like the Big Bang. And he has this impending sense of doom. Like something bad is going to happen. Dilton says they should do nothing, to forget it. Jughead became aware for a reason, conscious of the two universes. Why?
The Big Bad
Cheryl gets a letter from the Black Hood that Jason’s been kidnapped. Remembering where Jason was held before Clifford killed him, Jughead suggests he’s at the Whyte Wyrm. Jughead, Archie and Sheriff Keller find Jason, alive, at the Whyte Wyrm. Sheriff Keller shoots the Black Hood before he shoots them. It’s not Hiram Lodge, but Clifford Blossom.
During Archie and Betty’s rehearsal dinner. as Hal Cooper (alive and not evil) is talking, Toni comes in, devastated. Cheryl’s dead, she was strangled.
“It was as if Riverdale’s reality was trying to reassert itself on Rivervale.”
The Truth About Rivervale
Jughead figures that Dilton Doiley is behind it all, and he finds him trying to leave his classroom. Dilton had to see what would happen if the universes remained conjoined. They become unstable, and eventually, they will both implode. Both universes are expanding, but they are still linked at the point of creation, according to Ethel. They’re going to expand into each other. All Dilton cares about is getting a front row seat. He starts choking and soon, dies. Ethel poisoned him, because he was willing to let everyone in two universes die. She knows how to save the prime one, Riverdale.
Theoretically, if they can create the same circumstances of the birth of the pocket universe, the same energy that conjoined them could also separate them. Jughead knows the moment. The bomb under Archie’s bedroom. A confluence of good and evil. Archie and Betty’s love, Hiram’s hate. Creation: Jughead was writing and destruction: the explosion. Science: Palladium on Archie’s desk and magic: Cheryl put a curse on the town. If they recreate the events in Archie’s bedroom as closely as they can, it should work and Rivervale will cease to exist.
Not wanting to risk Archie and Betty’s lives since they’re getting married, Jughead figures he and Veronica can set the events, since they are the counterparts. Veronica is on the edge, not wanting to go along with a plan that might not work for a universe that might not exist. But it does, Jughead promises.
“It’s a universe of high school dances, and masked serial killers, of football, and milkshakes, and musicals, and cults, diabolical board games and murderous nuns.”
Veronica agrees to make out and save the universe. Here’s to Vughead going canon.
The Devil in the Details
When it’s time to put the plan in place, Veronica does not show up. Rather, Archie does, and he’s not very happy. He doesn’t want Jughead to separate the two universes. Archie killed Veronica, he killed Cheryl, and the other Jughead. Archie’s reasoning is that no one stays dead. Cheryl and Veronica will be back. Everyone comes back to life in this universe. Archie is convinced that his dad will come and be at his wedding. He knows all the secrets of this universe. He was at Ground Zero for the birth of Rivervale. The moment of creation and destruction. He saw everything. It’s another chance for him to be with his dad. Archie and Jughead get at it and just as Archie is about to kill Jughead, he’s shot in the head, thanks to Betty.
Jughead and Betty get ready to recreate the moments before the original explosion, but there’s a knock at the door. Jughead, Narrator Jughead, comes in. The three of them catch up and Narrator Jughead tells them just where he went after Archie strangled him.
The Great Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe in the Sky
After Narrator Jughead died, he went to the sweet Hereafter Pop’s. In true Archie Comics fashion, everyone is dressed like their comics counterpart, reading Riverdale and Rivervale comics. Everything is at peace, old-fashioned. That is where Narrator Jughead found it. A special issue that came between issues 95 and 96, it abridged a gap between Riverdale and Rivervale. If there was another power source to keep it running, Rivervale could survive.
That other power source is imagination. Jughead is going to save Rivervale by becoming a living battery. In other words, a story generator. Jughead will have to write stories in order to save Rivervale. Once he starts producing, he will have to be in complete isolation. The downside is that Betty will forget Jughead’s sacrifice and he will vanish from her memory. Jughead reassures Betty and she obliges.
Meanwhile, Back in Riverdale…
With Jughead writing and Betty and Narrator Jughead recreating the events, everything is going according to plan, not including the now resurrected Archie trying to break into the bedroom. Betty and Narrator Jughead get ready for an explosion that should obliterate a universe or two but instead, there’s silence. The bomb was gone, the pounding on the door ceased. They survived. They come down stairs and everything is as it should be. Their friends around the table, waiting for them.
After dinner, Jughead and Tabitha prepare to move Jughead’s things out of Archie’s garage and into their new apartment. Including a comic book collection he forgot he had. Down in Dilton’s bunker, the other Jughead will continue writing so to keep Rivervale in an endless time loop. But what happens in the prime Riverdale universe, Ethel wonders.
“Guess we’ll never know if someone did something to change the course of events in Riverdale.”
Meanwhile, back in good old Riverdale, Archie and Betty are back to making out, that is until they’re interrupted by Betty’s phone. A man tells her to get out of the house. There’s a bomb under the bed. Betty tells Archie they need to go, now. As Jughead is writing, there’s an explosion. And he just looks around as his ears are ringing.
What Else Happened
There were quite a few things that happened on the episode that we didn’t get around to so here’s quick roundup!
- At school, Jughead runs into a very much alive Ben Button, who previously sacrificed himself by jumping out of a window for the Gargoyle King.
- While looking through the comics, Reggie points out that he looks different in some issues. It’s clearly a nod to the fact that Charles Melton replaced Ross Butler after season 1 due to Butler shooting 13 Reasons Why.
- Veronica nearly has a threesome with the two Reggies.
- There were flashbacks to earlier seasons, including a very season 1 and season 2 high school that even involved Mrs. Grundy, remember her? There was also a flashback to a dream Archie had about his wedding that included his dad, a beautiful way to feature the late Luke Perry.
That was a lot to take in for the 100th episode but we are finally back in Riverdale! Just what will happen next? The series won’t be returning until next year on a new night at a new time on Sunday, March 6 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on The CW, so hold on to your theories. Check out our Riverdale coverage in the meantime here.