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‘Riverdale’ season 6, episode 21 review: The ultimate battle of good and evil

Riverdale season 6, episode 21 brought us the moment we’ve been waiting for all season: the ultimate battle of good and evil.

With Bailey’s comet getting closer and closer, the penultimate episode of Riverdale season 6 had everyone making their final preparations for the battle against the most powerful Percival they’ve seen yet. They were planning their strategies, burning down Percy’s little shop of wonders, and even sealing the hell mound, which is maybe the most short lived obstacle of the entire season, but it was still cool to see that holy grail fill with darkness!

Throughout the opening montage of Riverdale season 6, episode 21, and in many other moments of the episode, I couldn’t help but wish that so many of these little moments were entire episodes! It would have been so cool to see everyone getting together to figure out how to cork the hell mound, or move Pop’s, or get the heads of their loved ones back. It was awesome to see it all play out in this episode, but there is a lot of suspense that could have been built if these events were more spread out. I would have even been happy if this storyline had stretched into the next season! I think I’m just thirsty for more of these characters working well together and I’m terrified they’re going to take that away in season 7.

While the ultimate goal was to defeat Percival, there were a few hurdles they had to get over before they could get to that. First, they had to do whatever they could to bring back the three people that were murdered at the end of the last episode. Frank, Alice, and Tom were collateral damage for Percy following their loyal enslavement, and the gang needed their bodies for Cheryl to retrieve their souls from the Sweet Hereafter.

It was interesting to see Veronica and Archie team up to broker the deal with Percy, and the hope in Veronica’s eyes when Archie complimented her made me very excited for whatever is coming in the season finale. The trailer for the next episode may feature a Barchie proposal, but they’re obviously building up to something between Veronica and Archie with all of the hints V has been dropping.

Related: Riverdale season 6, episode 20 review: So you accidentally uncovered a hell mound

Unfortunately, they were only marginally successful in their attempt to retrieve the bodies, since Percival rudely removed their heads, and they failed miserably at the their real plan: to shoot Percival, point blank. Apparently, this was their tactic in one of the two scenarios Tabitha saw where the good guys actually won.

With one possibility off the table, things were looking pretty bleak for the adult “Super Teens.” That is, until Tabitha remembered that Jughead’s new portal ability gave them a whole new dimension of possibilities in Rivervale. This was a really cool twist in Riverdale season 6, episode 21 and a great way to bring the alternate dimension into the mix. I did think Rivervale would end up playing a bigger role, but there’s still one episode left!

My favorite part of Riverdale season 6, episode 21, was when Percival used the loved ones of the characters against them. It was so sinister and scary to see Veronica’s abuelita come after her with a rifle, and I was so excited when she used her toxin against her! Such a smart move, and a great show of the creative ways these characters can use their powers. It was also crazy to watch Reggie repeatedly stab Archie. Reggie has made some mistakes, but that level of betrayal was so shocking to see.

My heart absolutely broke for Cheryl when she had to send Jason back to the Sweet Hereafter when he began hunting her with a bow. However, I did think Cheryl’s decision to resurrect him would have some bigger consequences than this. Does this mean Polly gets to stay?

For Betty, this scene was more of a haunting than a hunting. Of all people, Glen reanimated to come after her for the kill. This one wasn’t even close to a fair fight, with Betty taking him down effortlessly.

It was really cool to see Tabitha use her time travelling abilities in different ways in Riverdale season 6, episode 21, but I never could have expected her to use it to turn “Baby Anthony” into “Full Ass Adult Anthony!” Toni and Fangs are pretty epic for okaying, and even spearheading that plan, giving up their son’s childhood for a chance to defeat Percival. Sadly his magic saved him, but the plan did give them an opportunity to get past his army and get the missing heads back so that Alice, Frank, and Tom could finally come back.

After all of that, it was finally time to take Percival down, once and for all. I have to say, I thought the “ultimate battle of good and evil” would look a little more like a…battle, but I’m actually pretty happy about how it all went down.

It was amazing to see everyone get their punch in on Percival, and even though it was terrifying, my second favorite part of the episode was how Percy responded by using their powers against them. Seeing Archie as the iron statue was a real “uh oh” moment, setting the perfect stage for what was about to come.

Of course, the actual “battle” took place in Pop’s, but not the version that Percival thought. Jughead used his power to make the door a portal to Rivervale, and while Percy was intruding on Jug’s mind, the Rivervale versions of our favorites slashed him up real good. It was so creepy and great!

To deliver the final blow, Tabitha sent Mr. Pickens back to before he was immortal, where Mr. Cypher was patiently waiting to collect the soul he was owed. It was an unpredictable, power-filled, twisty-turny goodbye to my favorite Riverdale villain yet, but not before he threw in one more surpise.

Bailey’s Comet, which was set to pass over Riverdale the next night, is now heading straight for them. Jughead’s wondering how he survived, but I’m thinking that nobody should be getting too comfortable making future plans just yet. The battle is over, but the war for Riverdale will continue in next week’s season 6 finale!