Riverdale season 6, episode 20 finally revealed Percival’s master plan.
After weeks of Percy’s tyranny we finally know what his endgame is, and rudely it has nothing to do with either Varchie or Barchie. We’ve known about the mysterious little shop and the ghost train for a while, but we had no idea what they were all leading up to until the gang finally dug into that all too important question in Riverdale season 6, episode 20.
So far, Percival has been my absolute favorite Riverdale villain, and not just because 80% of the villains have just been Hiram Lodge. His abilities and ideas are interesting, he is truly intimidating, and he’s forced the show’s characters to work as a team to achieve their victories. He’s united the characters like never before, and he’s pushed them to greater highs and lows than any villain before him.
The one thing missing from Percival has always been a true motive, but even that has served to make him more interesting. A villain can be made way more terrifying and unpredictable when you have no idea why they’re enacting their evil-doing, and Riverdale has used that to their advantage in season 6.
Unfortunately, it appears that they’ve used that question to their advantage for so long because they may not have had an answer to it.
After all of that, in Riverdale season 6, episode 20, we learned that Percival’s big, mysterious goal is just to “rule.” He simply wants power. Just like every boring villain that’s come before him. Here’s looking at you, Hiram. He doesn’t want revenge on the town for some injustice they inflicted upon him. He’s just seeking vengeance on the people that thwarted his childish plans once before.
Related: Riverdale season 6, episode 19 review: Cuckoo bananas, but I’m also kind of feeling it
The one interesting thing about this reveal is that it’s not even Riverdale that he sought to rule, but Rivervale! He arrived in the town, which at that point was called “Sweetwater Village,” in 1580 with some adorable ancestors of our favorite characters. When Percy’s sorcery got a little dark for the townsfolk, they cast him out. Luckily, he ran into one Mr. Cypher, who’s known for granting wishes for a price. The price was, you guessed it, Percy’s soul, but the wish was a little more creative. Percival asked for immortality, with the thought that his debt would never have to be paid.
You might think that eternity is a really long time to hold a grudge, but the pettiness of the all powerful Percival knows no limits. He was just returning to Rivervale when Hiram’s explosion sent him strolling into Riverdale instead. And the rest, is Riverdale season 6.
Rivervale was back in a big way in Riverdale season 6, episode 20. After Jughead’s run in with…Jughead, he discovered that he might actually be “creating portals into psychic landscapes” with his mind reading. This quickly became a tool that he mastered and effortlessly employed for the rest of the episode.
Delightfully, this took Jughead and Tabitha on a trip to Rivervale to meet Jughead and Jughead. That is, the Jughead who’s been relegated to the bunker to author all of Rivervale’s stories, and the Jughead who resides above ground and sold his soul to the devil for success as a writer. This wasn’t quite the deal he made in the Rivervale episode, but this one is even more sinister. He can still write, but he can only write stories that will ultimately darken the world. For example, all of his “Super Teens” die in the end, handing the victory to “Percy the Perverse.”
I loved seeing each of the Jugheads with their different quirks depending which path they took. While neither of them were quite the “Jughead” we know, they did both seem to carry an energy that’s been lacking from him in the past two seasons. We also got to see how thoroughly Ethel does not ship Bughead when we learned that a rift between Riverdale and Rivervale was left open because Rivervale Jughead called Riverdale Betty to warn her about the explosion. Ethel was not here for it, although we very much were.
I was expecting some big consequences from Cheryl’s decision to bring Jason and Polly back, but in Riverdale season 6, episode 20, the only results were Cheryl hilariously sitting in sublime silence with Jason and Betty getting some much needed closure with her sister. The afterlife really brought out the best in Polly, and she actually made some headway in convincing Betty that she’s not evil. And that one has been a long time coming. I’m interested to see what will happen when Percival expects to encounter the “Harlot of Babylon,” and instead meets a Betty with newly clean feet and a fresh “good girl” swagger.
I was hoping to see some redemption for Reggie in Riverdale season 6, episode 20, but his plan was an epic failure. Good thing Frank and Tom were willing to die for their cause because…welp, they did. When Jughead’s new power got Kevin and the Mantles to safety so they could safely blow up the tracks for the ghost train, Alice, Frank and Tom sadly took their place at the guillotine.
With so much supernatural nonsense (in the best way) happening in Riverdale right now, it’s impossible to know if these characters are actually dead or not. We’re going to postpone the grief and just assume not until it’s proven otherwise.
Now Percival has three executions, a quickly approaching Bailey’s Comet, and a newly uncovered hell mound on his scoreboard. Things are looking pretty bleak for the good guys, but taking out the train tracks was a big win. It seems like there’s still so much ground to cover in Riverdale season 6, and with both sides becoming more powerful, the finale is bound to be an exciting one!