Riverdale : The Bitter-Sweet Hereafter

*Spoiler Alert* The article contains major spoilers from the show, so if you have not yet seen the season finale “The Sweet Hereafter” , be warned!

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Ah, maple syrup! All this while, you were nothing but a fake front for a full-fledged cocaine business run by the son-killing, wig-wearing and war-waging Clifford Blossom. May he never rest in peace!

After the cliff-hanger (LOL) of Chapter 12, the final episode of CW’s Riverdale takes its sweet time to wrap things up related to Jason Blossom’s murder. One would expect that that would be it. With Anatomy of a Murder being more than perfect as a pseudo-finale, the actual finale works as a prequel to the second season of the show. The cards have been dealt, the killer has been served (in a barn; in Thornhill, on a noose, no less!) and the relationship dynamics have changed. Now, it is time to deal with the consequences.

Especially for the fans of the show, like myself. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that Season 1 is over and now I have to sit back and wait until the next season commences.

I have grown up on Archie Comics. Even today, I have a huge stack of Archie’s and Jughead’s and Betty & Veronica’s digests that I keep re-reading to have a good time. So when I got wind about a TV series being made on the same, with the blessing of the comic house no-less, I was beyond excited.

The series could not be more different from the comics, and yet, it is a perfect nod to its source material. Taking the characters that we love and putting them in a scenario where secrets are overflowing in abundance and a class war is just around the corner, and Voila! You have a unique and gritty teen drama that brings alive an all-time classic!

Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter

Take this scene, for example. The “Four Musketeers” run on the frozen lake and go above and beyond to save Cheryl’s life. The moment when they locate her under the rock-solid ice, Archie wastes no time in trying to break the surface and reach her. He throws in such hard punches that his hand starts bleeding badly, and yet, he does not stop. He keeps hitting the ice, ultimately not only breaking it and saving Cheryl, but also breaking his own hand in process, and yet manages to carry her to safety before taking a moment to fend for himself. This is the moment which marks Archie as a real hero; Fred being shot goes ahead to complete the narrative and become a defining moment for Archie, yes, but saving Cheryl is what propels him into that arc in the first place.

The whole scene was intense, beautifully shot and perfectly acted. And many viewers do not know this, but KJ Apa actually broke his hand while shooting the scene and did not stop the shoot until after he had carried Madelaine Petsch across. Talk about unfaltering dedication. Kudos to KJ!

riverdale-finale-death-spoilersOn the subject of acting, let’s not forget our favorite Juggie. Jughead’s quivering lips when he was talking to FP in his cell, while maintaining a calm demeanor, was a master class in acting by Cole M. Sprouse. Cole has given many wonderful performances throughout the run of Riverdale’s first season, most notably in the scene where he breaks down after his mother rejects his proposal to come visit her in Toledo, but his expressions in the final episode had me spell-bound. Bravo, Cole Sprouse!

Also, his chemistry with Lili Reinhart is crackling. #Bughead has given people some serious shipping goals, however tumultuous their relationship seems to be. And, no points for guessing, they are heading towards some troubled waters in the season to come. Dark Betty might make a few more appearances soon. And that would be great, because Betty Cooper is the MVP of Riverdale. Her fight for truth only makes her stronger.

That said, I do miss B&V antics as the season hasn’t been big on their friendship in the later half. This bothers me as a comic fan. But the ‘wistful’ look on Archie’s face seems like a hint that the famous love-triangle would come alive soon. And that would allow us to visit the delicate friendship between Betty and Veronica, and also to re-explore the on-screen equation between Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes.

Speaking of delicate, Cheryl Blossom sure needs therapy soon. She is anything but delicate, however her mental state seems otherwise. Maybe we should have noticed her cry for help sooner in the episode. Giving up her HBIC shirt, retiring from her post on the River Vixens, giving Jughead her ‘iconic’ spider brooch and most importantly, wearing 80% less lipstick than usual. Have we learned nothing from 13 Reasons Why ?

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But seriously, The CW had released new posters of Cheryl Blossom, dressed in white and standing on the frozen Sweetwater lake, ahead of the finale. And yet, no one saw it coming when she went to “finally be with Jason now”.

Of course, no one sees anything coming when it comes to Cheryl. She is the living embodiment of chaos and I would love to see more of her in the upcoming seasons. I mean, she torched Thornhill, for Christ’s sake. And looked on happily as it burned down in flames.

Capture

Cheryl Blossom is a national treasure and Madelaine Petsch was perfection both as a dejected girl falling through an icy lake and as a fire-cracker bombshell who burned down her own house. Madelaine Petsch OWNED it. I cannot wait to see what she does next!

Few burning questions to ponder:

Is Fred Andrews dead? Was that the last scene of Luke Perry?

Why does Archie want Betty only now when he can’t have her?

Is Hermione Lodge the worst? Is she? IS SHE?

How on earth are the Coopers (errr Blossoms?) behaving as if everything is perfect?

Who defaced Betty’s locker? Was it Chuck Clayton?

Where is this ‘Blonde Adonis’ and will he make an appearance next season?

Will Josie and the Pussycats get more screen time? Ever?

Why hasn’t Sabrina been featured on the show yet?

WHAT WILL CHERYL BLOSSOM DO NEXT????

*sigh*

Guess all we can do is wait patiently till Riverdale returns for Season 2!

– J

Image Sources : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
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16 comments

  1. My brother and my sister are huge Archie’s comics fans, that is why we have a whole lot of it in our house. And so, these characters have all been part of my childhood. When I first heard of the series, I was expecting a lot of similarities from the comics but it was very different. Still, I fell in love with the characters once again! I’m glad to see another fan of Riverdale. 🙂

    xx Aica B. http://www.aicabatoon.com

    Liked by 1 person

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