I’m Watching The Final Season of Riverdale So You Don’t Have To

One hundred and seventeen episodes later, Riverdale has entered its final season. With more stories to tell, I decided to watch the season and report back on what new phenomenon the gang has discovered.

Disclaimer: Part of covering shows, is knowing the background information that sets me up to write these articles. That being said, I have seen every episode of Riverdale so this review is made with the knowledge that this show gets crazy and when it comes to storylines, the limit does not exist.

Image from IMDB

Back To Basics

After a comet strikes the town we are sent back to 1955 and everyone is back in season 1– or sorry, high school! So far this season has given us a look into the past with thoughtfully planned out sets, wardrobe pieces, hairstyles, and storylines. As a result, we have found the gang getting into everything from romance to politics and dance shows. Without overselling it, I can say that I really have enjoyed seeing the cast have some fun with this new setting. Hearing a script with 50’s vocab and a wardrobe out of a history book, I’ve gotten a sense of the organized creativity season one presented that so many people previously enjoyed.

Admittedly however, it’s not lost on me that the comet storyline was the only way to bring everyone back in time and give the viewers one more taste of high school drama. That being said, I can attest to the good things this peculiar storyline brought to the show. While crazy events continued to plague the town, there’s also been so many serious moments that the show wouldn’t have had the space to explore any other way. Writing about those moments felt more genuine than exploring the traditional events Riverdale typically displays.

Tale As Old As Time

Being in the 1950’s Riverdale didn’t shy away from the homophobia, racism, and lack of women’s rights that came with it. The viewer is presented with a coming out story from Cheryl, Toni, and Kevin as well as some work amplifying Black voices led by Toni. Adding to that we also have been seeing the fight for women’s rights that Betty is heavily involved in. While Riverdale isn’t a show to normally speak on heavy topics, having these moments worked into the script felt much more honest with the 50’s era that Riverdale is introducing. Without it, it wouldn’t be true to that decade.

That being said, it’s important when making timepieces that the writers don’t erase the ugly events and opinions of that time. It’s even more important to see modern day adaptations allow these characters to overcome. (Seeing Cheryl admit her feelings for Toni. Toni starting a literary society for Riverdale’s Black students. Betty speaking up for herself and women around her.) It’s important in pieces like this to show struggle but not let it define these characters. Most of all, to show respect to those who never got to live their truth as soon as they’d hoped.

Image from Michael Courtney/The CW

Okay but do these characters know it’s 1955?

Yes and no. In the first few episodes we saw Jughead start to piece some clues together leading him to believe the comet sent everyone back in time. After presenting his idea to the gang, the idea was soon dropped as none of them believed him. So that leaves the question: will it be mentioned again as the season progresses? Better yet, will the characters live happily ever after in the 50’s?

Kiss And Definitely Tell

While I have not criticized Riverdale much so far, despite its clear unpopularity within social media, something I do find displeasing about the season is the amount of kissing for shock factor. Whether it’s an ongoing joke or not, it’s safe to say everyone in this show has kissed each other. It appears that the writers decided for the last season they would pair up anyone who hasn’t kissed and make them. By doing this, the characters and their relationships are void of any kind of personal connection to the audience.

The first few seasons of Riverdale I found myself heavily leaning towards certain ships over others but as the show went on and it became a joke for everyone to kiss each other, there became no value in the “ships” aspect of the show. Every good show will build a character and their relationship separately so they can support each other within new storylines. It appears that Riverdale overlaps those.

Image from IMDB

What To Expect Going Forward

I found the best way to watch this show is to expect nothing. The writers have not given us insight into what the rest of the season will hold, but I’m fairly confident that if they keep going with what has been happening so far they’re setting themselves up for the best finale a show like this could give. Pretty early on Riverdale has defined itself as a show with no limits, a very broad criteria, and a genre the CW hasn’t seen in high school dramas yet. While it’s not the most favorable in the media, I think fans of the show will appreciate this final season as a proper goodbye to seven years of organized chaos.

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