It’s time to return to Rivervale in this week’s Riverdale! As the war nears, Jughead and Tabitha go to a different dimension to see what they can find out about Percival. Meanwhile, Betty gets reacquainted with Polly after Cheryl brought her and Jason back from the Sweet Hereafter and Percival spills all to Alice in an exclusive interview. And saving Kevin, Reggie, and Mr. Mantle comes at a cost.
Keep reading to find out what happened in “Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen: Return to Rivervale.”
Eve of War
On the eve of the oncoming war, the gang gathers to discuss plans as Percival didn’t know they were back from the dead. They go through all that they know about the “ultimate man of mystery”: he’s a magical sorcerer and his powers are getting stronger the closer Bailey’s Comet gets to them; he’s building the ghost train which will grant him power over the souls of the dead, but they don’t know how or why; and he sees Baby Anthony as a major threat to his future.
While the Pickens family has a long-standing history with Riverdale, there is no record of Percival. Jughead wonders about their powers and if it’s just coincidental. He has a theory that he’s working on, but he says it’s too early to discuss. While they strategize, Archie figures they go back to life as usual.
Cheryl finally gets alone time with her twin brother again and she asks him if he’s happy if he’s back. Jason says he is and he’s glad he doesn’t have to fight in that war. She later shows up at Archie’s house to tell him why Percival is building the ghost train. His long-dead relative General Augustus Pickens is going around the Sweet Hereafter, drafting dead strapping souls like Jason to fight a war against the living in Riverdale. Archie catches on and realizes that Percival is using the ghost train to ship them to Riverdale so he can invade them. It’s going to happen in advance to Bailey’s Comet. Archie suggests they build a bomb so they can blow up the tracks and stop Percival.
Betty pays a visit to Thornhill after hearing from Cheryl what happened. Nana Rose, Jason, and Polly greet her and Betty is shocked. She sees Polly’s aura as yellow, indicating that she is her sister and Betty faints.
She later comes to in bed and Polly is by her bedside. The two hug and Betty breaks down, apologizing for everything. Polly tells her that none of it matters now, she forgives her. Betty tells her that she is the harlot of Babylon and she won’t be able to get into Heaven. Polly assures her sister that everything will be okay and to let grace wash over her.
Betty has a nightmare and Polly has her tell her everything bad she’s done, beginning with Caramel. She admits she gave herself a crash course in all things biblical when Percival was throwing the plagues at them, including Cain, who was “forever marked by his sin.” Betty tells her sister she has been marked since birth with the MAOA gene. She’s been told by other people how evil she is. Polly may have something that can help, though.
Polly washes Betty’s feet, simultaneously “washing away” her sins and the MAOA gene. She’s not the Harlot of Babylon or Riverdale anymore. Now she can enter the Sweet Hereafter too. Betty later checks her aura and it’s no longer red, but yellow like Polly.
Ahead of his inevitable victory, Percival offers Alice an exclusive sit-down interview, plus RIVW can broadcast the live execution of Reggie and Marty Mantle and Kevin Keller. Alice is shocked by the news but Percival uses his mind control on her and she agrees.
Percival begins to tell his life story, going back to 1580, admitting he was among the early settlers from the Old World, along with some ancestors of very familiar characters. As they built up the village, Percival worked on witchcraft and sorcery. While doing a ritual one night, he was interrupted by Asher Andrews and he was soon to be executed for his crimes. He tried to conjure the devil, and he succeeded. The devil offered him freedom at the price of his soul.
Percival managed to get not only his freedom from the devil but his immortality as well. He left Sweetwater Village and spent the next 400 years acquiring forbidden knowledge that he can use to conquer and destroy the town of Rivervale. He tells Alice that while he was headed back to where Sweetwater Village was founded, there was an explosion and the town sign welcomed him to Riverdale instead of Rivervale. He found himself in a new universe. So Percival took his opportunity to conquer Riverdale as he was the only one with powers and his plan of revenge was still going. While the ancestors of his enemies began to get powers, he became more focused on the ghost train and the battle that he plans on winning.
Alice asks him what his Riverdale looks like should he win the battle and he says he wants a land that he rules as he sees fit.
“Where my enemies are at my mercy. I want a land controlled by the dark arts free from the laws that stifle the rest of this country. The Sovereign State of Percival.”
Percival wants to control all of Riverdale, including the dead.
After being shut out from the Babylonium, Veronica accesses the security cameras to see what’s going on at her casino. And she comes across one featuring Kevin, Reggie, and Mr. Mantle, still trapped, and Mr. Mantle collapsing. Frank and Tom open the door to check on them and the trio’s escape plan is put in motion, Reggie grabs Tom and threatens to kill him unless Frank lets them out. Frank confesses that he’s trained on Tom and he will pull the trigger if he needs to. Reggie releases him and Kevin tries to get through to his dad but he won’t listen.
Veronica tells Archie and Cheryl about what she saw and the guillotines she spied on the Babylonium stage. They need to get them out first and then blow up the train tracks. However, Veronica doesn’t think that’s possible.
The three of them get together to try to figure out what to do and once Jughead and Tabitha come over, Jughead figures he can help. By opening a portal, Jughead manages to rescue his friends and get them back to safety.
To Rivervale and Back Again
In the bunker, Jughead tells Tabitha what happened pre-death and his theory about opening portals to another dimension. He thinks they should explore it, thinking that there is a connection between the explosion at Archie’s, their powers, and Percival’s arrival.
“I’m just not sure that we’ll find them here in Riverdale. Do you want to go dimension hopping with me?”
Jughead seamlessly opens the portal and he and Tabitha step through to the other side, surprising the other Jughead (we’ll call him Bunker Jughead). The two Jugheads argue about stories, since Jughead has been overhearing what he’s been hearing in Rivervale. Bunker Jughead tells them all about Rivervale and the parallel universe and how he’s been serving as a living battery by writing to keep his universe going.
Jughead and Tabitha bring up Percival in hopes to get information on how to stop him, thinking about checking the Blossom archives. Bunker Jughead warns them about the “Great Forgetting” and how everything is just barely holding on and getting nice and quiet. Jughead wonders if Rivervale is bleeding into and wreaking havoc in Riverdale. They promise to not interact with their counterparts. Bunker Jughead tells them about Nana Blossom, Cheryl, and Abigail, but that doesn’t stop Jughead and Tabitha, promising Bunker Jughead they will do their best to avoid themselves.
Jughead and Tabitha arrive at Thornhill to look through the Blossom archives, but Britta tells them that they got transferred to Highsmith College two years ago. They instead ask to see Nana Blossom, whose old ailments transferred to Abigail as well as her consciousness. Jughead goes into her mind and dusts off very old Rosie comic books, but it’s a lost cause. Britta asks Jughead to sign some copies of Superteens, a comic book written by Rivervale’s Jughead. Not the one in the bunker. Jughead realizes that the characters on the cover are them and their friends and the powers correspond to their counterparts back home. The Superteens’ arch nemesis is none other than Percy the Perverse.
Death of the Superteens
The two get to Pop’s and after coming up with a plan to get Rivervale Jughead alone, Tabitha confronts him while her Rivervale counterpart is in a time loop and Jughead goes to their apartment to wait for them.
Jughead and Tabitha tell Rivervale Jughead everything and how they think whatever he’s writing in his comic books is directly or indirectly influencing actual events in Riverdale. Not taking much convincing, Rivervale Jughead believes them. They wonder where the villain came from and he says it’s from a recurring nightmare. Jughead asks how the Superteens defeat him and his Rivervale version shows him drafts from his next issue, Death of the Superteens. He wanted to be the biggest comic book writer in the world so he made a deal with Mr. Cypher, the devil, to write only stories of a certain type, grim ones.
They find Mr. Cypher at the Babylonium, playing a chess game called the Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil, which he won against Tabitha’s guardian angel. Jughead and Tabitha confront Mr. Cypher in his suite to ask some questions. Mr. Cypher tells them about Percival being one of Rivervale’s founding fathers. He also tells them how the land that Pop’s was on is important to Percival, not the diner itself. It’s where he was once left to die and it’s where he made the deal with Mr. Cypher. And in all realities, it’s the site of a hellmouth. The two leave after getting the information they needed.
When Jughead and Tabitha get back to the bunker, Bunker Jughead is arguing with Rivervale Ethel, who sensed that something happened that corrupted the clean break between Riverdale and Rivervale. Bunker Jughead was the one who called Betty and warned her about the explosion. It left a rift between the universes. That phone call compromised everything.
The War Begins
After Kevin, Reggie and his dad are saved, Veronica gives Archie the green light to blow up the train tracks. Once Percival finds out about the escape and the tracks, he does something no one saw coming. While things may seem fine for the gang right now since they have more intel on Percival as the war has yet to start, they aren’t able to relax for long. They get a picture from Percival of Alice, Frank, and Tom blindfolded in front of the guillotines. Another notification tells them that the three of them were executed for their treasonous crimes against the township of Riverdale.
“The war had in fact already started and Percival had drawn first blood.”