The seventh and final season of Riverdale is set to premiere in just one week on Wednesday, March 29, and with the gang in the 1950s, this will be the biggest situation they will have dealt with after the Black Hood, the Gargoyle King, The Farm, Percival Pickens, and more. To get ready, we are taking a look back at the previous six seasons to catch up on the biggest storylines of the series, so take a refresher on what happened in season 6!
Welcome to Rivervale
Season 6 opened with a five-episode event called “Rivervale.” These episodes took place in a parallel universe named, of course, Rivervale. Everything was the same, but just slightly different. Characters that were once dead are not (like Dilton Doiley and Jason Blossom), Archie and Betty are getting married, but then some super strange things start happening.
- Jughead and Tabitha move into their own apartment, which they find out was the scene of a murder-suicide. They also get bed bugs, and it’s terrible.
- Cheryl somehow brainwashes the entire town, and at a harvest festival, she becomes Harvest Queen. She later uses Archie as a sacrifice, killing him.
- Betty becomes pregnant after using a weird Voodoo doll while she and Archie had sex. She then loses the baby, or rather, it seems like she wasn’t even pregnant at all.
- After a fight between the Ghoulies and Serpents ends with a young Ghoulie getting killed, the vengeful spirit La Llorona starts going after children in Riverdale, like Betty’s unborn child, Juniper, and Baby Anthony. Feeling guilty for what she did, Toni offers to take La Llorona’s place so she can be punished.
- The literal devil comes to town, making deals with many of the residents in Rivervale, for better or for worse.
- The fourth episode of Rivervale chronicled the surprising truth that Cheryl Blossom was actually Poppy Blossom, and before that, Abigail Blossom. All the same person, immortal, changing identities when needed. And when Nana Rose’s condition worsens, Cheryl calls upon a friend, Sabrina Spellman (portrayed once again by Kiernan Shipka), so she can perform a transference. Abigail’s soul went into Nana Rose’s body and vice versa. Roseanne Blossom was in Cheryl’s body, and Abigail went on to eternal happiness with her one true love.
- Rivervale also included the show’s 100th episode, which saw Jughead slowly come to the realization that there’s much more to Rivervale, and it’s thanks to comic books, of all things. There’s a comic book called Riverdale and a comic book called Rivervale, and it includes things that Jughead remembers but didn’t necessarily happen. This also includes there being two Reggies, with Ross Butler reprising his season 1 role at the same time as Charles Melton. Long story short, the explosion at Archie’s created a rift of some sort, and things in Riverdale were starting to bleed into Rivervale. And if it’s not fixed, then both universes would cease to exist.
- There are two Jugheads in Rivervale. Narrator Jughead and Rivervale Jughead. To keep it all going at the same time as Riverdale, one would have to act as a human battery, supplying stories so it can exist. Rivervale Jughead takes on the role, isolating himself in the bunker. Narrator Jughead and Betty recreate the events in Archie’s bedroom so things are back to normal.
Aftermath of the Explosion = Superpowers?
It’s Riverdale, so it was really only just a matter of time before superpowers were introduced. In the aftermath of the explosion at Archie’s, plus the rift being opened between Riverdale and Rivervale, many of the characters started experiencing weird abilities that later proved to be a big asset.
- Archie is invulnerable, but his Kryptonite is Palladium. Luckily, he later consumes enough Palladium that he builds up a tolerance.
- Betty can see Auras around people, sensing whether they’re good or bad, including herself, but she experiences bad migraines. She even sees an aura around one of the twins, though the other one has the MAOA gene.
- Jughead lost most of his hearing after the explosion but gained the ability to hear people’s thoughts (though he later regained his hearing while also still keeping his ability). This proved the most useful against the season’s big bad, Percival Pickens.
- Veronica literally has the kiss of death, but she’s basically a human dialysis machine.
- Tabitha is chrono-kinetic; in a sense, she can time travel. Not only that, but she finds out she is actually Riverdale’s Guardian Angel.
- Cheryl has pyro-kinesis; fire powers. She is also a legit Phoenix, as in she can resurrect people from their ashes.
- You can’t forget about Archie’s dog, Bingo. Since he was also near the explosion, Bingo ends up with healing powers.
Cheryl or Abigail?
While it seemed like Cheryl wouldn’t have any problems with her ancestor Abigail Blossom in the real world like she did in Rivervale, things changed. Abigail has somehow managed to possess Britta, and Cheryl finds out after trying to reverse the curse she put on Archie, Betty, and Jughead. When they try to banish the spirit, Nana Rose secretly does a spell that puts Abigail’s soul into Cheryl’s body, the intended target. The two want to bring Riverdale back to its former glory, mostly for vengeance. Abigail has Britta tell her everything she knows about the current Riverdale and its familial ancestral residents.
At the same time, Cheryl is trapped in a dreamscape. Only it’s not very dreamy since she is basically living in her own personal Hell.
Abigail wants to reincarnate her love, Thomasina, into Toni’s body the night of the blood moon and then kill Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Fangs for what their ancestors did (the latter for killing Thomasina and the first three for burning her at the stake). Jughead is able to figure out what’s happening after visiting Thornhill and getting Britta to tell him through her mind. The gang uses chloroform to render Abigail unconscious and banish her to the Julian doll, bringing back Cheryl.
The big bad for the season was British and manipulative. Meet Percival Pickens, who wanders into town, at first looking to buy the Andrews’ house, but then when he finds his way to a town council meeting, all hell breaks loose. And we discover that he has bigger fish to fry.
- He ends up mind-controlling residents in Riverdale, manipulating them to follow his lead when it comes to making certain decisions like taking Toni off the town council, getting the Andrews Construction crew to work for him on his railroad, and more.
- He becomes Mayor of Riverdale.
- It’s discovered he wants to build a railroad, but not just any railroad. A ghost train. Pop’s is apparently over the site of a Hellmouth, and it’s the site for the battle of good vs. evil. No site, no battle.
- He has Baby Anthony kidnapped by the Ghoulies because how much of a monster can someone be?
- While sitting down with Alice for RIVW, Percival admits his plans and his backstory, revealing that he is from the parallel universe of Rivervale and from centuries ago. He made a deal with the devil for immortality. At one point, he left Rivervale, and when he came back, a rift opened, and he found himself in the town of Riverdale. Basically the same, only no supernatural or superpowers, at least not yet. So if he couldn’t take over Rivervale, he’d take over Riverdale.
Percival slowly discovers that his enemies have powers, using Palladium against Archie during a boxing match and opening up the floodgates in Jughead’s mind, so he loses control. It’s also discovered that Baby Anthony plays a pivotal part in this whole ordeal since he represents hope and all that is good in Riverdale.
Percival brings down the literal biblical plagues on Riverdale; blood, frogs, lice or gnats, flies, livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and death of the firstborn. Even when it was thought that everyone had stopped it, following Fangs and Toni’s wedding, half the party died, those who were firstborn in their family: Nana Rose, Archie, Toni, Fangs, Jughead. The only exception being Anthony.
After everyone comes back to life (which we will get into a little later), Percival kills Uncle Frank, Alice, and Tom Keller in an execution guillotine-style death at the casino. Knowing that Anthony is the key to stopping Percival, Toni and Fangs sacrifice seeing him grow up so Tabitha can use her chrono-kinetic powers and a time bubble to speed up his age so he can fight.
The Battle at the Babylonium happens, which is a scenario that Tabitha had previously seen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go as planned, as he escapes and traps everyone in the casino.
Wanting to finally end it, the group ambush Percival in the parking lot at Pop’s, but he uses their own powers against them. When he meets with Jughead in the diner, and they go into each other’s minds, it was really just a trick. When the two get out of their minds, Percival has knives stabbed into his body. And when he stepped through the doors at Pop’s, he stepped through a portal taking him to Rivervale. So while they can’t beat him in Riverdale, no one said anything about Rivervale.
Tabitha takes Percival and brings him through another portal to the past when he made the deal with Mr. Cypher. Working in all continuity, past, present, and future, the deal is binding, and Mr. Cypher burns Percival alive. But not before Percival chants one more spell.
The happy family within Toni, Fangs, Kevin, and Baby Anthony seems all too perfect, but it soon quickly dissolves. After Fangs and Toni get into it with some Ghoulies and bring the Serpents along with them, Kevin makes the rash decision to fight for custody of Anthony. And it doesn’t help that Toni and Fangs want to raise him as a Serpent.
The whole custody battle is a messy one and heartbreaking since all three go to great lengths to do what’s best for Anthony. But luckily, Kevin later comes to his senses and drops it, especially knowing that Fangs is actually Baby Anthony’s father.
While it seemed like Riverdale was finally at peace again after they defeated Percival, he had one more trick up his sleeve: Bailey’s Comet. Before being dragged to Hell by Mr. Cypher, Percival said a spell in Latin, and later, Cheryl and Heather discovered that the comet wasn’t passing over Riverdale as it usually does but instead was on course to directly hit it.
Preparing for the literal end of the world, since there is still a barrier around the town (thanks Percival), the gang get together to come up with a plan that involves combining their respective powers. Cheryl, having the power of the Phoenix, is able to take on such a task, and so she’s able to keep her powers and not losing them, risking the loss of everyone she brought back, Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica give her their powers. Since Veronica is a human dialysis machine, she absorbs the powers and kisses Cheryl so she can absorb it.
In a true Scarlet Witch scene, Cheryl, outside Pop’s, uses the powers to blast the comet, inevitably bringing everyone to the year 1955.
What Else Happened
- Cheryl reconnects with her first love, Heather, after finding out that Penelope kept a whole lot of letters and Heather was actually a librarian in Greendale. Although the two start to rekindle their relationship, Heather realizes that Cheryl still has feelings for Toni.
- Betty may or may not have had feelings for FBI Agent Drake (we were robbed).
- Tabitha goes back to the past in three different timelines, all pertinent to Pop’s, witnessing when the diner made the Green Book, when MLK was shot, and Y2K. All while trying to stop Percival.
- In order to catch the Trash Bag Killer once and for all, Betty hosts a Slaughter Con at the Babylonium, and the episode includes songs from American Psycho.
- As a trade to help unbind the spell that Percival put on Riverdale, Cheryl lets Abigail take over her body for a night, and Toni agrees to do the same for Thomasina, so the two long-lost lovers can have one final night together.
- Fangs and Toni get married.
- Heather calls Sabrina Spellman to help bring back those that died from the firstborn plague, even going to the Sweet Hereafter. With consent from Jughead, Sabrina’s able to bring back boyfriend Nick Scratch so they can have some time together. This is when Cheryl finds out she’s a Phoenix. She also brings back Polly and Jason, the latter of whom is burned by Cheryl after he goes nuts.
- Before Bailey’s Comet, Tabitha uses her chrono-kinetic powers on herself and Jughead so they can see their life in a matter of seconds. Going through all the stages, and even seeing their kids.
Of course, there is a lot more that happened, but it was all too much. Watch all six seasons of Riverdale now on Netflix before season 7 premieres next Wednesday, March 29 at 9 p.m. EST on The CW! Check out the rest of our Riverdale coverage here.