13 Wild Moments That Made ‘Riverdale’ TV’s Weirdest Teen Drama

In case you haven’t observed, Riverdale is bizarre. It’s a bizarre present. It doesn’t slot in, and very similar to its protagonist Jughead Jones, it doesn’t wanna slot in. The present’s seventh and last season, which premieres Wednesday on the CW, will take the mind-bending teen sequence to the Fifties. At this level, that’s hardly a shock; we’ve already watched Archie Andrews and the gang battle criminals, the Jingle Jangle drug commerce, cults, bears, Mothmen, their mother and father, and, in fact, themselves. Some characters have even picked up a number of superpowers alongside the best way. (Should you tuned out a number of seasons in the past, you’ve missed a lot.)

Given how shortly Riverdale burns by way of plot, many of those stunning moments got here, went, and may already be forgotten. A number of, nonetheless, have been so ingeniously ridiculous, so brilliantly absurd, that they’ve come to outline the sequence and its model of “weirdo” power. For example: Bear in mind the time we discovered that Cheryl Blossom was having tea events together with her lifeless brother’s preserved corpse? Right here, in your perusal, are the weird story arcs, plot particulars, and twists which have made Riverdale Riverdale.”

Archie Dates Miss Grundy

When Riverdale first premiered, its promotion centered round how darkish the teenager present could be; early descriptions teased parallels to Twin Peaks. Among the many extra provocative story traces in Season 1 was Archie’s relationship with Miss Grundy. Within the comics, Miss Grundy was an aged homeroom instructor; within the sequence, she’s a music instructor and Archie’s tutor, and the 2 have a sexual relationship. The sequence by no means contended with the extra severe implications of Archie’s relationship with Grundy, which in the true world may not even be authorized, relying on the age of consent—an oversight that disillusioned some viewers. However, the selection was foundational to Riverdale’s future model—and its tendency, particularly in earlier seasons, to sexualize its teen characters.

“Darkish Betty”

Betty Cooper’s BDSM-inspired alter ego—identifiable by her black hair and penchant for strolling round in a lacy black bra—made her first debut within the third episode of Season 1 and returned in Season 2, when Betty was role-playing with Jughead. Alongside Season 2’s “Darkish Betty” encore got here a controversial episode wherein Betty performs a strip tease to “Mad World” in entrance of her boyfriend, her mom, and a bar stuffed with Serpents to realize acceptance into the gang. (Why? That’s an awesome query, and numerous viewers requested it on the time.)

Cooper’s character has since taken a distinct flip. In 2018, forward of the present’s third season, Reinhart advised Teen Vogue that she’d requested that the present get rid of “Darkish Betty” sooner or later. “I believe it form of grew to become a mockery of itself,” she mentioned. “It was presupposed to be this darkish aspect of her that she wasn’t in a position to specific in any other case, and it simply grew to become this bizarre sexual factor that individuals didn’t actually perceive.”

Archie Begins a Vigilante Group

This was one for the books: After Archie watched his father, Fred Andrews, get shot by Season 2’s main villain, the Black Hood, Archie—underwhelmed by city sheriff Thomas Keller’s efforts—went full-on fascist and based a vigilante group of teenagers to hunt the serial killer down. Archie’s Pink Circle grew to become enemies with Jughead’s gang, the Southside Serpents, and finally disbanded by order of Principal Weatherbee. (The group later reformed because the Darkish Circle, to behave as underlings for Veronica Lodge’s father, Hiram.) A calmly topical arc that principally felt ridiculous, the Pink Circle plot solidified Archie’s goober standing and tweaked the present’s tonal panorama.

Betty’s Dad Turns into Hannibal Lecter

Riverdale loves its cinematic Easter eggs, and as soon as the present unmasked Betty Cooper’s father because the Black Hood, all bets had been off. In staging Betty’s visits together with her father in jail, the sequence re-created the stone set-up seen in Silence of the Lambs, which finds Jodie Foster’s character, Clarice Starling, interviewing Anthony Hopkins’ jailed cannibal by way of a thick glass partition. Extra ridiculous than the staging, nonetheless, was the next revelation that Betty may need her father’s “serial killer genes.”

Riverdale Does a Musical Episode

Though Riverdale’s sophomore season was not its strongest, we did get one lasting and really welcome addition to the present’s alchemy: musical episodes! It’s an ideal match for a sequence that often forgets it’s not Glee and revels in letting its stars belt to their hearts’ content material. We began with a superb Carrie episode in Season 2, adopted by Heathers in Season 3, Hedwig and the Offended Inch in Season 4, and Subsequent to Regular in Season 5. Every of those episodes slots into the sequence thematically, however Hedwig takes the cake, due to a rousing efficiency of “Midnight Radio.”

Archie Goes to Jail, and Veronica Organizes a Cheer Squad

Maybe essentially the most ridiculous factor Riverdale has ever executed, Archie’s jail plot finds poor Archie arrested for a criminal offense he didn’t commit. (His grownup nemesis, Hiram Lodge, set him up.) Archie joins a battle membership towards his will, and the season hits peak absurdity when Veronica rolls as much as the Leopold and Loeb Juvenile Detention Heart with the River Vixens to spice up his spirits. The arc concludes, naturally, with Veronica and buddies breaking Archie out of jail earlier than he’s compelled to battle to his dying. Simply one other regular day in Riverdale!

Archie Makes the SATs After Getting Mauled by a Bear

Sadly, issues didn’t get any simpler for Archiekins as soon as he acquired out of jail. In maybe its goofiest cliffhanger to this point, Season 3 ended its midseason premiere with Archie getting mauled by a bear. An episode later, nonetheless, he was again in class, apparently unhurt and fretting about his SATs. At the very least, Archie is okay bodily; as evidenced by his darker hair upon his return to highschool, poor Archie has been psychologically scarred by his brush with dying. (Learn: He turns into even angstier.) Whereas the bear didn’t affect Riverdale’s plot in a very sturdy manner, it did increase the boundaries of simply how foolish—and apparently inconsequential!—its twists might be.

Betty’s Half B
rother, Stylish, Revealed because the Che Diaz of

No season finale has landed on its face fairly like Season 3’s Gargoyle King reveal—a Scooby-Doo-like second wherein the serial killer was unmasked, and revealed to be… Betty’s annoying half-brother?!

Stylish confirmed up in Season 2, as Betty and buddies looked for the Black Hood. He was, frankly, all the time form of annoying and pointless, and the time he spent on display screen often felt like time wasted. Viewers had been led to consider that Betty’s father, the Black Hood, killed Stylish towards the tip of Season 2, nevertheless it seems that Cheryl’s mom, Penelope Blossom, took Stylish beneath their wing and skilled him to be a killer. (It additionally seems later that Stylish isn’t truly Stylish, however an impostor—however that’s a narrative for one more time.)

Occupied with Stylish now, and notably that killer reveal, conjures up the identical feeling as many And Simply Like That viewers may really feel towards Che Diaz—one other character who all the time appears to point out up all over the place—particularly whenever you least anticipate or need them.

Betty’s Mother Joins Chad Michael Murray’s Cult

Bear in mind the time we thought Alice Cooper had been enraptured by a cult chief performed by Chad Michael Murray, nevertheless it turned out that she had been an informant the entire time? However much more essential: Do you keep in mind how that organ-harvesting cult chief, Edgar Evernever, tried to flee on a do-it-yourself rocket whereas carrying a really effectively executed Evil Knievel go well with? As soon as once more, Riverdale actually went there—and so did former teen star Murray. Talking about his function in 2019, Murray, a former teen actor, mentioned he relished the prospect to play such a seedy character. “As an actor, it’s form of on that record of issues like, ‘You wish to play a cult chief?’ The reply is all the time sure.”

Cheryl Blossom Is Hanging Out with Her Brother’s Corpse

No Riverdale twist will ever high this one. In Season 4, viewers found that Cheryl Blossom has been protecting her lifeless brother Jason Blossom’s corpse in her household chapel, the place he “speaks” to her. From the present’s immaculately grotesque Jason dummy to actress Madelaine Petsch’s usually campy efficiency, the Jason reveal feels certain to face the take a look at of time as Riverdale’s weirdest, most emblematic plot machine.

Betty Cooper Turns into the New “Agent Cooper”

In Season 4, Betty joins the Junior FBI, and in Season 5, she turns into a full-fledged agent—though her relationship with the bureau is, like most Riverdale relationships, a bit unstable. That is much more essential, nonetheless, as a result of by reaching this title, Betty is now Agent Cooper—a reputation shared by a sure Twin Peaks protagonist. Given Riverdale’s long-standing fascination with Twin Peaks, it’s exhausting to learn this as something however a really cheeky gag. It’s been years within the making, and it was value it.

The Gang Finds an Alien Preserved in Maple Syrup

Properly, okay, not fairly. For some time in Season 5, it appeared that an extraterrestrial species referred to as “Mothmen” may’ve been terrorizing Riverdale. At one level Penelope’s grandmother, Nana Rose, palms over a barrel of maple syrup with supposed preserved alien stays inside. It later seems that the stays had been from her disfigured cousin, Timothy, and that the “Mothmen” story was created by illegitimate Blossom progeny who stay out within the woods. The scary story was designed to maintain strangers away, and the Blossom household embraced it. Nonetheless, for an excellent portion of Season 5, it appeared doable that aliens may be afoot—yet one more twist on the present’s authentic thriller formulation.

“Welp, There’s Time Journey on Riverdale Now! … And Additionally Tremendous Powers! … And Additionally a Multiverse?!”

Yup. In Season 6, we waded into an alternate dimension referred to as “Rivervale,” an alternate dimension created by a distinct model of Jughead, who has been writing comics in a kind of interdimensional Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe. He present additionally granted Archie and Betty superpowers—a completely bananas twist that does, in equity, have its origins within the authentic comics. Kiernan Shipka’s Sabrina exhibits up, and finally, it’s as much as Cheryl—apparently the Riverdale’s Scarlet Witch—to save lots of everybody after a magical villain named Percival traps everybody contained in the city with a forcefield as a comet approaches. (As I kind all of this, I ask myself as soon as extra, for the
eighty thousandth time, What the hell is that this present?!)

We’d have just one season of Riverdale left, however this devoutly wild sequence has already given us greater than sufficient wild twists and cheeky references to final a lifetime. It’s by no means fairly slot in, and thank God, it’s additionally by no means tried.

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