Riverdale season 6, episode 5, “Chapter One Hundred: The Jughead Paradox,” took Rivervale back to its source material in more ways than one.
It’s hard to believe the one hundredth episode of Riverdale is really here. Although, now that I think about all the wild stories this show has told in just over five seasons, it’s actually incredibly easy to believe! The fact that they did it all in under one hundred episodes is honestly impressive.
This was especially clear given that this episode paid homage to so many of the show’s past plot points. Like any good hundredth episode, Riverdale season 6, episode 5 paid tribute to the 99 episodes that came before it. The episode felt so nostalgic and celebratory as we got to visit past characters and actors, the storylines that we could never forget, and the elements that make Riverdale what it is.
Riverdale season 6, episode 5 was as bold as any episode of the show has ever been, giving the tiny town its very own apocalyptic event where the characters were charged with literally saving multiple worlds. Obviously, like most of the Rivervale event episodes, it was a crazy trip from start to finish.
The madness began when Jughead was murdered, and then Jughead examined the body after giving a nod to Jughead at the Rivervale High water fountain. Confused yet? Luckily, Jughead happened to have mountains of Riverdale comics to help fill in the blanks.
Evidently, the bomb that so rudely interrupted Archie and Betty in the Riverdale season 5 finale represented the perfect clash of good, evil, creation, destruction, science, and magic to create the pocket universe of Rivervale. From there, the universe was manipulated by a Dilton Doiley whose illusions of grandeur could not be satisfied by any gargoyle king, so that essentially both Riverdale and Rivervale were screwed unless they could destroy Rivervale by recreating its originating “big bang” event. Serious props to Ethel for just knowing that somehow.
Jughead was not willing to blow up Archie and Betty on their wedding day (aww), but he was fully ready to sacrifice Veronica and himself (not so aww). Since Veronica and Jughead are “counterparts” to Archie and Betty, they figured it would work just the same. This was an interesting tidbit, but after thinking about it way too much, I’m not convinced it actually means anything that deep.
Unfortunately, “Vughead” never got to become canon, because…wait for it…ARCHIE murdered Veronica, just like he’s been murdering everyone else. I absolutely love the idea that Archie was playing the role of the mastermind here, because it was so completely unexpected. What a twist! Innocent and pure Archie?! I love it.
It’s so fun to think that Archie has known that Rivervale was special from the start, and he’s been pulling strings in attempt to be reunited with his father. This was such a great tribute to both Fred Andrews and Luke Perry for the hundredth episode, even though I’m sure Fred would have been very disappointed that Archie was murdering people to keep the possibility of his return alive. He knew they would come back though, so it’s fine, right?
Well, not according to the Cooper woman he left at the alter. An elegantly ponytailed Betty took Archie out without thinking much about it all, and she and Jughead(s) proceeded to save the world(s).
This was my favorite part of Riverdale season 6, episode 5. The episode built up to this moment so well by celebrating all of the great and crazy things about Riverdale, so the stakes have never felt higher. Betty and Jughead felt like strangers meeting and appreciating each other for the first time, but also like two people with an incredibly deep connection. Narrator Jughead was hilarious and added both levity and gravity to Jughead’s role in the plan.
And then there was Jughead’s call to Betty from another world, attempting to save the people he loved most from their certain destruction. Given how separate everyone has felt in Riverdale for the last while, it was a great reminder of the love that exists between these characters.
Since Jughead’s imagination remained to fuel Rivervale, I can definitely see the show returning there someday. It would be amazing to have more Sabrina crossovers and magical moments in the show, and now they have a way to do it! What can I say, I miss Rivervale already!
Given the insanity of Riverdale season 6, episode 5, there were so many things I didn’t get to talk about. Here are some more highlights from the episode that I didn’t get to discuss:
- The dueling Reggies was probably my favorite part of Riverdale season 6, episode 5. I definitely had a “huh?” moment when Reggie was explaining how different he looked, and I laughed out loud when Ross Butler, the original Reggie actor in Riverdale, showed up. This was so much fun, and I love that Reggie’s ego took them both down in the end.
- Jason Blossom speaks! I gasped when I saw this in the trailer and it was even better in the actual episode. Also, seeing Cheryl and Jason together felt so right, and it made me really sad that she’s missing that in her life. That short scene gave me a lot of perspective on what Cheryl’s been going through in Riverdale.
- Why did Betty’s bachelorette party seem so much more fun than Archie’s bachelor party, though? I guess the best man had some bigger things on his plate.
- Veronica Lodge tried to initiate a threesome with two versions of Reggie in Riverdale season 6, episode 5, and that’s the exact kind of empowerment I want more of for her.
- Dr. Curdle Jr. was upset about not being invited to Betty’s wedding and he was damn well right to be. Seriously, after everything he’s done for her?
- Can we all just note how much cooler things would be if Hiram Lodge had died years ago?
- Last but definitely not least, the “great Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe in the sky” was an adorable, beautiful place, and I desperately want the characters to go back there! I wanted so much more comic goodness from this episode, and I will not rest until we see it again.
See you in 2022 for more Riverdale!