riverdale season 6 episode 18, veronica lodge

‘Riverdale’ season 6, episode 18 review: Blood in the water

Riverdale has often been compared to a religious experience, but it got downright “biblical” in season 6, episode 18.

If we thought Percival came to play before, he changed the game completely in Riverdale season 6, episode 18. Not even the “Stockade of Legarius” could hold him, and after pummeling the town with plagues he took his final deadly shot by taking out all of the first born children, beginning with the eldest of them all, Nana Rose.

This was a great episode of Riverdale for a few reasons. It was so eerie to see the plagues slowly creep in and take over the town, especially with the juxtaposition of the impending nuptials of Toni and Fangs. There’s been talk of a curse and a darkness washing over the town for so long, and it was so creepy and cool to see a more concrete representation of that. The stakes just kept growing as the characters faced blood in the water, rotting food, and a literal darkness that was way more than they were ready to handle.

This villain is no joke, which means they’re going to need everyone at their best to take him on. I loved how, with the exception of Jughead, everyone was working together so much in Riverdale season 6, episode 18. The show is at its best when these dynamics get to shine, and they’ve been doing a much better job with that recently. Characters like Cheryl, Veronica, and Kevin have been sidelined for so long, so it’s nice to see everyone back in the fold and bringing their strengths to the table.

I’m so glad that Kevin finally came back to the good side. Of all the characters, he has perhaps taken the most strange turns over the course of Riverdale, and I would love to just see Kevin be Kevin again. Enough with the cults, churches and teaming up with villains to hurt his friends and family. Let’s just go back to Broadway numbers and hooking up with Moose, as it should be.

Related: Riverdale season 6, episode 17 review: The mask is about to slip

Surprisingly enough, Cheryl wins the award for “most evolved” in Riverdale season 6, episode 18, because who among us could say that we would happily officiate an ex’s wedding? She even tried to commit a murder as a wedding gift! What an angel! It definitely helps that she’s in her own happy relationship now, but still. As much as I’ve been skeptical of Heather’s intentions, this episode made me really want to trust her. She’s so openhearted and patient with Cheryl, giving her the space she needs to make decisions on her own terms. She not only understands, but loves all of Cheryl’s kookiness, even jumping right in to help her attempt to kill Percy. Although, they probably could have used a sanity check in this case, considering what happened to Nana Blossom.

As great as it was for Cheryl to officiate the wedding, it was super weird for Toni to ask. I was hoping they would make it into a thing where Toni actually just wanted and needed Cheryl up there with her for the wedding, but the way that it played made it seem like Toni’s feelings for Cheryl were completely forgotten, which is a sad thought. The wedding was cute and all, but I’m definitely still not invested in Toni and Fangs enough to care. I feel like their past relationships never received enough closure and that their relationship never had enough development for this wedding to do much for me. It was meh.

In other laughable requests that Toni made in Riverdale season 6, episode 18, Toni asked Veronica to plan her wedding because she was the “only one who could pull it off” on such short notice. As for why Toni didn’t just pick a date where she would have a reasonable planning timeline? And why she had a bachelorette party before she’d even picked a date for her wedding? Because Riverdale, I guess.

Veronica was equally concerned about the request, but for very different reasons. I guess she doesn’t care as much about traditional wedding timelines as I do. However, what she does care about is that her life is feeling purposeless. Even though she seems to be doing an amazing job with her business, it apparently pales in comparison to being the “She Wolf of Wall Street,” especially when she has nobody to share her heart with. The dating pool in Riverdale seems shallower than most, especially when your lips release a toxic venom, so I can see why she’s feeling a little hopeless and my heart is so sad for her.

Interestingly, this feeling had her asking Tabitha if there was any hope left for a Varchie end game! There’s obviously still a part of her that’s holding on to that possibility, no matter how many grotesquely awkward “platonic” kissing scenes they force her into. It’s risky business looking into the future, but she cared enough to do it, needing to know once and for all.

Unfortunately, Tabitha didn’t get to answer before all the first borns started dropping like plague induced flies. It’s so weird to think that Tabitha knows so much about what’s going to happen! She already confessed to Jughead that she saw him dying, but what else does she know? She did have an answer ready for Veronica, but was it about Varchie, Barchie, or the demise of one or all of them at the end of the battle.

I have to assume that all the first borns won’t remain dead, but maybe this is what Tabitha meant all long. Maybe they had to get Percival to release the plagues for them to have a shot at winning, leaving so many characters dead along the way. The question is, is this a permanent death, or will it be reversed once Percy is defeated? One interesting clue is the red smoke that left Nana Blossom’s mouth when she died. Was this because of Percy’s magic, something Cheryl and Heather did to protect her, or something else, like Abigail finding her way back into the world?

Also, what does it mean that Jughead died, but Veronica didn’t? Both of their fathers had older children. Veronica was protected by Hermosa, but Jughead was not saved due to Charles. Is this just a mistake, or does it mean something else about the parentage of these characters?

Before Jughead went down, he saw something that could have huge implications for the rest of the season. Characters and stories from Rivervale had been coming through to him, ending with him actually catching a glimpse of Rivervale Jughead! Does this have something to do with the Jughead body that was found in Rivervale? Will Rivervale Jughead take Riverdale Jughead’s place with nobody being the wiser? I truly can’t wait to see.

That wasn’t the only exciting development at the end of Riverdale season 6, episode 18. We also learned that Sabrina will be coming to help, dropping the veil between the two worlds ever further. The stakes are higher than ever before with so many characters lost, and everyone has a lot to fight for in the final episodes of the season. Only a few left before they finally take Percy down! At least I hope so..