riverdale season 6 episode 16, archie andrews

‘Riverdale’ season 6, episode 16 review: Another battle for the town’s soul

Riverdale season 6, episode 16 took a page straight out of Harry Potter as it dove into invisibility, poison, mind reading, and power struggles.

Now that the powers of the Riverdale season 6 super squad have all been established, each episode seems to be more magical and supernatural than the last. In this episode alone we saw Cheryl mastering the art of invisibility, Veronica saving a life and discovering a new business venture, and Jughead having his mind opened up far more than he was ever prepared for.

Even though Riverdale season 6, episode 16 scored a few more wins for the good guys, Percival certainly isn’t taking these losses lying down. He came out swinging hard in this episode, gaining an important victory of his own.

Related: Riverdale season 6, episode 15 review: Yer a witch, Cheryl

He is definitely the show’s most formidable villain to date, which makes sense since the characters are the strongest they’ve ever been. There’s something about the openness of his evil that makes him all the more terrifying.

Villains like the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King surely made their marks on the town, but by playing primarily in the shadows, they revealed more about their victims than themselves. Hiram presented a weird mix of bragging about his crimes and trying to conceal them that was just infuriating, and I could never really take him seriously despite all the damage he did.

In contrast, Percival makes it very obvious what his goals are, being confident enough in his power that he never needs to hide. He’s an interesting character in his own right, and he’s the villain I’ve been most afraid of in Riverdale.

Percival didn’t go completely defeated in Riverdale season 6, episode 16. He did manage to enact revenge on Jughead for stealing from Reggie’s mind by opening Jughead’s mind up to any and every thought that’s in his vicinity. This creates a noise that will essentially nullify Jughead’s abilities if he’s not able to focus them.

Based on what we saw of Jughead in the bunker, it seems like he can even hear echoes of thoughts from the Rivervale universe. This is an interesting twist that I’m hoping leads to another conversion of the worlds in the Riverdale season 6 finale.

I’m wondering if Tabitha’s assertion that Jughead would die also has something to do with what we saw in the final Rivervale episode, where we saw one dead Jughead and another Jughead taking up the responsibility of keep the world alive by writing its story. If these two worlds are colliding, this could help explain what Tabitha saw without meaning we have to say goodbye to one of our favorite Riverdale characters!

In other supernatural news, Veronica has been using her new ability in all kinds of interesting ways. I was initially worried when Agent Drake mentioned an illegal absinthe market and Veronica’s eyes lit up, thinking this would be just another notch in Riverdale’s new “Veronica is evil” board, but I actually liked the way they went about this storyline in Riverdale season 6, episode 16.

The fact that Veronica wants to get into the absinthe game in a way that won’t be harmful to others is a really good compromise between the business savvy she got from her father and the good heart that she clearly possesses. I want to see a shrewd Veronica, just not a sadistic Veronica.

She also applied her powers for true altruism in Riverdale season 6, episode 16, saving the life of someone who has happily taken others. I had no idea what to think when Charles showed up in this episode, but I actually really liked what it did for both Betty and Veronica.

First of all, it gave them scenes together, which is something the show has been sorely lacking lately! But also, it showed that despite the ways they’ve both been drawn to the dark side, they really are good at their core. In a fight where both sides will likely have to cross some lines to win, it was nice to establish why this side is worth rooting for.

I’m still equally intrigued by and wary of Agent Drake, especially since she has now gotten involved in growing the powers of two Riverdale characters. It’s hard to trust any new arrivals in the town with Percival Pickens lurking around, so the more access to knowledge and power she obtains, the more nervous I get.

Sadly, I have to say the same about Heather. I’m loving the scenes between her and Cheryl, seeing both their connection and Cheryl’s power grow, but the whole time Cheryl was “unseeable,” all I could think was that she was just holding her breath like an idiot while Heather and Percy pretended that she was invisible for their own gain.

My greatest hope is that there is really a spark igniting between them because it’s adorable to see Cheryl like this, and I think there’s actually a lot of potential there, but I can’t help but be protective over Cheryl’s heart. I also hope that the book Heather had Cheryl steal isn’t actually doing harm to her!

The one person who always did a great job looking after Cheryl’s heart might be legally giving her own to someone else. Riverdale season 6, episode 16 was a real rollercoaster for Toni, Fangs, Kevin, and of course, baby Anthony, who is apparently the “future of Riverdale.”

I’m feeling quite conflicted about this storyline, and I think my feelings about it will depend on how it ends. Neither Fangs, Toni, nor Kevin are acting with a clear head around this custody battle, and I fear that someone is going to get hurt more than they have already.

Ideally, this storyline will end with Kevin breaking free of Percy’s control and coming to his senses, but I’m afraid that too much damage will be done before that point is reached. I just hope it doesn’t result in the death of one of baby Anthony’s three parents, or baby Anthony himself, as it seems like Percival would have it.

Even though Archie is the character with super strength, he took on Percival using some more old fashioned man power in Riverdale season 6, episode 16. Since Percival surprised nobody by going back on the promises he made to his workers, Archie and Tabitha were able to rally the team to unionize and strike against him.

It was cool for Archie to get a win that meant so much to him, and I loved that he remained steadfast in the face of Percival’s threats. That’s the kind of courage they’re going to need as this fight continues.

I can’t wait to see more of this, as well as Betty’s amazing serial killer fan convention as Riverdale season 6 continues. With season 7 being the show’s last, I’m sure we’re in for the best finale yet, and things are sure to start heating up quickly with only a few episodes remaining!