‘Riverdale’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 21 “Chapter One Hundred and Sixteen: The Stand”


The battle is upon us in this week’s Riverdale! The gang prepares for the fight against Percival with a few plans up their sleeves, but Percival has some plans of his own. Meanwhile, the oncoming comet could spell trouble for the town.

Keep reading to see what happened in season 6’s penultimate episode, “Chapter One Hundred and Sixteen: The Stand.”

On Their Own

Colin Bentley/The CW

In advance for the battle, Percival has shut down all the borders, meaning no one in or out of Riverdale. No help is arriving; the residents are on their own, according to Jughead. Archie and co. have been trying to figure out a plan against Percival while also trying to seal the Hellmouth, which Pop’s was once covering.

One Step Ahead

Colin Bentley/The CW

Percival, like always, is one step ahead. He cleared out his shop before anyone had the time to raid it. All of his weapons are gone. Archie tells Reggie to burn down the place so Percival can’t use it as a safe house. Reggie grabs Hiram’s portrait and tells Cheryl to torch it. Percival’s shop is soon in flames.

Meanwhile, Betty is still trying to get over what happened to her mom. Polly tries to calm her down, but with her being all about faith and not wanting the rage to consume her, Betty doesn’t want to hear it. In order to comfort Kevin, who is mourning over his father, Toni and Fangs were able to get Moose to come back, who slipped through the borders before they closed. Archie keeps his mind off Frank by coming up with a plan to defeat Percival. He and Veronica plan to meet Percival at the Babylonium to negotiate something with him.

Lion’s Den

Archie and Veronica meet with the others to discuss their plan, but they are not so much on board. Veronica reminds them that they are not only setting parameters for the war, they are trying to get Alice, Tom, and Frank back. She suggests giving Percival half of Riverdale, but that would just put them back to the Northside and Southside situation. Cheryl, being Cheryl, wants to “burn him off the face of the earth like the pimple he is.” Tabitha says they are trying to avoid the apocalypse that she saw in the future. Veronica promises to get them the best deal she can, but with it being Percival, he will want their immediate surrender, so they may have to prepare to say goodbye to some loved ones.

Before Archie and Veronica leave to meet Percival, Tabitha tells them that out of all the possible futures she saw, one of the two successful scenarios involved the two of them meeting with Percival at the casino. Since Percival is immortal and not invulnerable, they shot him point blank.

At the Babylonium, the casino is filled with Ghoulies. Twyla Twist tells them that while they did die, they are their friends and neighbors under their control.

“Maybe you shouldn’t have blown up his ghost train, you think?”

Archie and Veronica meet with Percival to try to negotiate with him. Archie will become Percival’s prisoner if he agrees to give them the dead back. Percival likes the idea, but he also has a weapon that can break forged skin, so it’s why he doesn’t have to make deals. Veronica tries to offer him half of Riverdale, but he’s adamant about what he wants: his revenge on her friends and the town of Riverdale under his complete control.

Veronica brings up her father and how she put a hit on him. She takes out a gun, aims it at Percival, and pulls the trigger, but the only thing that comes out is flowers. Percival is looking forward to meeting later that night at Pop’s for the final act.

While they couldn’t negotiate a deal, Percival gave them three caskets containing Alice, Tom, and Frank, and Veronica and Archie bring them back to the El Royale. Betty opens the casket to say one last goodbye to her mom in case it doesn’t work, but what she sees is horrific. She sits down, and Archie goes to look, and when he opens the casket, Cheryl gasps in horror. Alice’s head is missing. Kevin checks his dad, and Archie checks Frank. All three heads are missing. The bodies need to be whole in order for Cheryl’s resurrection spell to work.

“Percival was twisting the knife and making us relive the death of our loved ones all over again.”

Life of Control

Using some dummies that look oddly familiar, Percival chants a spell and does a ritual. Soon, some people are getting controlled by him, including Bingo, the dog. Veronica’s Abuelita, Jason, Reggie, and a zombie-fied Glen are hurting their friends and loved ones. Tabitha gets a feeling that something is wrong. One of the souls of the town is dying.

Betty uses a chainsaw to take down Glen while Veronica hides in the bathroom to keep herself safe from Abuelita, who is getting revenge on her son, Hiram. Luckily, Veronica coated the doorknob with a neurotoxin, so Abuelita is paralyzed. Archie, meanwhile, tries to choke Reggie as he’s stabbing him with Percival’s knife. Jason is hunting down Cheryl with his bow and arrow and Cheryl, knowing there is nothing left to do, tearfully burns her brother.

With Abuelita better, she tells Veronica that she heard a voice that told her to punish her for killing Heraldo and Hiram, but she doesn’t remember what happened after that. Veronica believes a very bad person is behind that. Polly comes home, and Betty tells her what Percival did.

Tabitha finds a dying Archie, hoping to save him. Though later, he is completely fine. No stab wounds. Since Bingo has healing powers and he did lick Archie’s wounds, it’s possible the dog did all the work. Reggie is remorseful about what happened, saying he was with his dad, and he heard Percival’s voice in his head to find out what the plan was and to kill him. Toni comes over and tells them that she, Fangs, Kevin, and Moose have come up with “a crazy ass plan.”

Planning for the Final Battle

Colin Bentley/The CW

Toni suggests they bust into the Babylonium with Baby Anthony, fight the Ghoulies, and find the missing heads. Then Baby Anthony can take out Percival. They know what Anthony will grow up to be like in the future, a warrior. Toni wonders if Tabitha can speed up time just for Baby Anthony. Percival would never see it coming.

“Damn, that’s some Looper-level crap.”

Tabitha thinks she can create a time bubble around Baby Anthony in which she can accelerate his and only his aging. At the El Royale, she is successful in doing so. Anthony is no longer a baby, and he is ready as ever to “kick Percival’s ass.” Archie has the dagger, knowing that if it can hurt him, it can hurt Percival.

The Serpents gather to prepare for a surprise attack, ensuring they don’t hurt the Ghoulies since they are their friends and are being mind-controlled.

As Tabitha and Jughead discuss the possibility of Jughead dying in the battle, Jughead talks about all the things he’s done, including publishing a book and going to an alternate universe and meeting other versions of himself. Tabitha realizes he needs to open a portal to Rivervale. All of the scenarios they lost to Percival were in Riverdale, but they have access to an alternate universe.

Cheryl tells Archie that Bailey’s Comet is not arriving that night but will instead pass over Riverdale the following night.

Battle for the Babylonium

The surprise attack at the Babylonium happens, and the Serpents and Ghoulies fight once again. Anthony makes it to Percival’s office, and Percival shoots him multiple times, but it proves useless. That’s when he realizes that it’s Anthony. He takes out the knife, but Percival disappears somewhere else in the Babylonium and does a spell, locking the door.

The End is Nigh

Colin Bentley/The CW

Archie tells everyone what happened at the Babylonium, how Percival escaped and trapped the Serpents and Ghoulies. They are turning the place upside down to look for the heads, however.

Jughead and Tabitha come back from Rivervale, and Tabitha tells her friends that their odds were better there. Since the supernatural exists there and the energies are different, the outcomes are different. Their idea is a long shot and has to take place at Pop’s, at the original Pop’s. Tabitha uses her powers to speed up time to move Pop’s, which works.

When it was time for the final standoff, Archie and Percival meet in Pop’s parking lot. The two of them fight, and with Percival distracted, Veronica, Betty, Tabitha, Reggie, and Cheryl surprise him and also fight.

“This is our town, bitch.”

While it seems like Percival was down for the count, he uses fog and a spell to use everyone’s powers against them. He poisoned Veronica, blinded Betty, froze Cheryl, turned Archie into an iron statue, and Reggie into a life-size dummy. Then it was just Jughead.

To Rivervale Once Again

Percival sits at Jughead’s booth at Pop’s, with the ghosts haunting the diner watching it all go down. The two go into each other’s minds to see who would come out a winner. Jughead has no luck getting through Percival’s door, but Percival breaks through his with ease and goes through and rips pages from the Jughead comic books. Luckily, it was all part of the plan.

Percival’s body was vulnerable at Pop’s, and while they can’t beat him in Riverdale, they can in Rivervale. Back at Pop’s, Percival’s body is filled with knives and stab wounds, and Jughead’s friends staring at them … Jughead’s Rivervale friends. When Percival walked through the doors at Pop’s, he stepped through one of Jughead’s portals that took him to Rivervale. Tabitha grabs Percival and takes him back in time to 1580 when he made the deal, delivering him to Mr. Cypher. His deal with Cypher works in all continuity, past, present, or future.

“If I can’t have Riverdale, no one will!”

Percival chants one last spell before Mr. Cypher burns him alive.

What Happens Now?

Back in Riverdale, everyone is alive and safe, hugging and relieved that it’s finally over … or is it?

After the missing heads are found in the fridge in the Babylonium’s kitchen, and Cheryl successfully brings them all back to life, Heather tells Cheryl that there is something very, very wrong. Cheryl looks through the telescope to see what it is.

With the end of the battle, Jughead and Tabitha are happy that things can go back to normal, but they are curious as to why Jughead is still there since his death was a fixed point. Tabitha suggests that something shifted between Riverdale and Rivervale.

Meanwhile, the others are reunited with their loved ones, questioning what happens now. Would their powers last forever? Would the dead remain alive?

“Was the threat really truly over?”

It’s not over yet. Cheryl and Heather tell their friends that while Bailey’s Comet was going to pass over Riverdale, it is now headed straight for them and will be an extinction-level threat. Tabitha realizes that’s what Percival did right before he died. That’s the destruction she saw in the future. Not fallout from the war with Percival … from the comet.

Don’t miss the season 6 finale of Riverdale this Sunday, July 31 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on The CW! Check out the promo for the season finale here. Stay tuned for our continued coverage on the series, including episodic recaps and more.

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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