It’s time to take a trip through Riverdale’s past. In this week’s episode, Tabitha finds herself in different time periods at Pop’s, with the key repeater being the diner and Percival Pickens. Erinn Westbrook gives a brilliant performance, so keep reading to find out what happened in “Chapter One Hundred and Six: Angels in America.”
“Every town has that one special place where its community comes together. In Riverdale, that place is Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe, a home away from home.”
That home away from home may not be around for too long, as Percival gives the announcement on the news that he’s been putting together a project in the hopes to “galvanize and revitalize” the town. A new, privately-owned railway that will drive through the heart of Riverdale. Where Pop’s currently stands.
Tabitha later tells Percival that she will never sell him the diner, but he brings up the economic, social, and labor benefits the project will bring to Riverdale. Tabitha says that the only person it will benefit is him. Percival tries to mind control Tabitha into selling him the land, but she doesn’t give in for some reason.
She tries to go around town to recruit her friends to help her, but they are all done fighting. The only ones willing to help are Veronica and Cheryl.
Kevin meets with Percival to tell him what Tabitha is doing, and Percival is concerned about her possibly slowing him down.
“I gave her a fair chance.”
Jughead tells Tabitha that Pop’s is Riverdale’s anchor, even if people have forgotten about that. Tabitha thinks about not having anyone’s support, and Jughead tells her that he supports her. It’s then that Jughead realizes the mistake he made and finally tells Tabitha the truth about everyone’s powers.
Surprisingly, Tabitha takes it well, considering the interactions she’s been having lately. Jughead has an idea for how to make the diner bulletproof: declare Pop’s a historical landmark. Tabitha applies for landmark status at a state level, so it has nothing to do with Percival. All they have to do is prove that Pop’s has some historical significance.
Pop Tate gives Tabitha and Jughead a box of keepsakes and memorabilia that documented the diner’s history over the decades. They look through photos, and Tabitha finds a copy of The Green Book.
“Once a save haven, always a safe haven.”
The two work through the evening, and Jughead points out that every significant event in Riverdale happened at Pop’s. With everything that went on in those booths, the historical society will not deny their application. However, their work is cut short as a guy comes through the door, points a gun at Tabitha, and pulls the trigger.
A Trip Through Time
It’s Christmas Eve, 1944, when Pop’s just made it into The Green Book. Tabitha sees Jughead sitting at a booth, though it’s not Jughead. It’s the angel, Raphael. The real Jughead is sitting by Tabitha’s bedside in the hospital. Tabitha tries to get some answers, but only the Almighty has the ones she needs. Raphael gives her a book on time travel, and after reading, Tabitha figures she might be something called “chrono-kinetic.” In other words, a time traveler. She wonders if the trauma of getting shot unlocked her gift, but it was like a reflex. The bullet hit her, and it made her time jump. But why 1944?
“Maybe you’re needed here. For a mission.”
Tabitha thinks she needs a totem or a talisman, an object that she can focus on in order to hone her power to control it. Maybe then she can get back to her own time. The problem is that she has no clue what it is. Raphael suggests she focus on her mission, for now, whatever that may be.
Tabitha and her great-grandfather Titus go to a town hall meeting to discuss whether Riverdale should become a Sundown Town. Sheriff Perkins is all for a Sundown Town to lower crime rates, but Tabitha tries to reason with him. Archie’s ancestor, Artie, is also against the Sundown Town law, having five Black men in his fire department.
Back at Pop’s, Tabitha has the suspicion that someone is trying to rewrite Riverdale’s history. And it can only be one person, whose counterpart in Tabitha’s time is Percival. Maybe that’s why she was sent to 1944. A couple, Tracy and Flynn, frantically knock on the door, and are let in with their baby. They were in Centerville when their car broke down and ran, since it’s a Sundown Town. They saw Pop’s in The Green Book and they walked there. Tabitha and Titus are happy to let them stay for the night.
Police pull up to the diner, wanting to arrest the “criminals.” Since they don’t have a warrant, Tabitha and Titus tell them they aren’t stepping foot in the diner until they get one. Sheriff Pickens is more than happy to wait outside all night until they get that warrant. What they need is a Christmas miracle. Tabitha talks to Raphael about doing something, and after some convincing, he works his angel magic, showing his true form to the sheriff. There’s a bright light, and Tabitha tells Tracy and Flynn that Fire Chief Andrews will help them get home. They walk past the sheriff and his deputy, whose eyes have been burned from their faces.
Tabitha, Tracy, Flynn, and Artie meet with the mayor, and Tabitha explains what happened — pleading with him not to make Riverdale a Sundown Town. And it worked. The Christmas edition of The Riverdale Register has the headline “Mayor says no to Sundown Law!” All’s well that ends well. Tabitha begins to tell Titus who she is and who he is, but Percival comes in with a gun, telling her she won’t beat him. She closes her eyes, and the gun goes off.
The year is now 1968. Or, to be more precise, April 3, 1968, as Dr. King’s “Mountaintop” speech is live on the radio. Tabitha realizes what will happen tomorrow and asks Pop to borrow some money for the bus. She needs to stop something from happening. Unfortunately, the bus breaks down by the town sign, and that bus is the only one going to Memphis. Tabitha passes by Raphael, now looking like Toni. She tells Tabitha that there is nothing she can do to save Dr. King’s life, as painful as it is. Tabitha goes to the FBI office to get some help, but she backs out after seeing Percival.
Raphael tells Tabitha that some events are fixed in time. In history. Certain incidents from the past affected the fabric of the world so enormously that the universe won’t let them be altered.
In a heartbreaking and chilling scene, a night at Pop’s has turned tragic. Over the radio, Senator Robert Kennedy breaks the news of MLK’s assassination. Tabitha’s expression is full of emotions, knowing that it was coming and not being able to stop it, as people in the diner scream in shock. Pop drops some dishes he was carrying and falls to the ground, and Tabitha rushes over to comfort her grandpa and cry with him.
Tabitha wants to keep the diner open so people can feel like they’re not alone. Like they’re part of a community. And maybe things will be better. The feds come by Pop’s, as the mayor has declared a state of emergency banning all public gatherings in Riverdale to not cause any riots. Tabitha tells them that no one is rioting; people just want to be together to grieve and pray. They tell her to have the people out by 6:00, or they’ll start arresting people. Before they leave, Tabitha wonders what their problem is.
“Someone who meant everything to us was shot down in cold blood, and all we’re doing is listening to the radio and talking peacefully. What difference does it make to you?”
While everyone at Pop’s want to do something about it, Tabitha doesn’t want to wage war. They are not going to fall into his trap. She tells them that they are going to be at Pop’s together at sundown. Singing, praying, and having community. Tabitha gets in contact with FBI Director Hoover and basically threatens to leak the secret files, saying all she wants is for him to muzzle a very problematic agent of his. Agent Pierce gets a call from his director, calling it off. And that he’s fired.
It’s sundown, and the mood is a somber one at Pop’s. Tabitha notices Agent Pierce driving his car, and he looks at the diner while driving away. She later wonders if her mission is over, and Raphael suggests that her mission is ongoing. Pop asks Tabitha to go into the back to refill the ketchup bottles, and she hears a timer ticking. She opens a cupboard and finds a bomb. Tabitha takes it outside and closes her eyes as the bomb goes off.
It’s November 1999 and Tabitha helps Pop Tate scrub off graffiti from the walls. “88,” a code used by white supremacists, was on the wall. Sheriff Keller later tells them that the department has been fielding non-stop calls, but a wave of vandalism went through the town. New millennium, same hate. Pop tells her that when he confronted the kid, Brian, he seemed to be in a daze. He didn’t even remember spray-painting the diner. Tabitha talks to Brian to try to figure out what happened, bringing out a baseball card of Riverdale’s only major league baseball player that she found on the ground. It’s like the Holy Grail. Brian says he got it from a curiosity shop that just opened on the outskirts of town. The guy who runs it gave him a pretty sweet deal, but he can’t remember what he had to do.
Tabitha waits to check out the shop, greeted by Raphael, who is now Betty. After Percival leaves the shop, Tabitha sneaks in. She takes pictures with a camera of some of the items around the store. At Pop’s, as Tabitha wonders how Percival is time traveling and popping up at moments of crisis, Raphael looks through the photos. She notices the Spear of Longinus and the Holy Grail, figuring that this could be Tabitha’s needle in a haystack. This may be her Holy Grail. What she uses to focus and return to her timeline before she gets shot.
Tabitha sneaks back into the shop to get the Grail, being greeted by Percival, and the two fight. Just as Tabitha is about to stab Percival, he vanishes. Tabitha burns down the shop and steals the Holy Grail, meeting Raphael back at Pop’s and catching her up. If the Grail isn’t Tabitha’s talisman, she’ll keep looking. She’ll keep fighting. But Raphael’s hopeful. She fills the Grail with a Pop’s milkshake, and Tabitha drinks up.
“To the future.”
Back to the Present
Tabitha is back at Pop’s in her own time before she was shot, and Jughead is still looking through the box. The guy comes in with a gun, and Tabitha throws a can at him. After tying him up and sticking him in the freezer, Tabitha explains everything to Jughead. She tells him that she thinks she’s being trained for a war that’s been brewing for centuries. Tabitha does not think that Percival is human. He is like the personification of evil, and it will take all of them with powers working together to stop him.
Archie, Betty, and Cheryl arrive at Pop’s, and Archie says that Percival’s trying to get Governor Dooley on board, blocking any attempt to landmark Pop’s. Tabitha says it’s because it’s where the resistance will gather. Where the forces of good will marshal, where the final battle is fought. Pop’s turned out to be Tabitha’s talisman all along. Once Tabitha got the hang of time jumping, she moved forward into the future instead of backward. In the future, the diner was an empty shell. The sky was full of ash.
“And as far as the eye can see, Riverdale was just gone. A wasteland.”
Tabitha doesn’t know if it will change since she saw what might be one future but make no mistake.
“It is the apocalypse we are talking about. In Riverdale. And we are sitting at Ground Zero.”