Rivervale is back, and it's just as supernatural as ever.
A trip to Riverdale's "Upside Down" on Riverdale Season 6 Episode 20 was more a fact-finding mission than a spooky road trip adventure. Finding information on Riverdale's current Big Bad was the name of the game, especially with the brewing war coming.
But with only three chapters left on Riverdale Season 6, any new information or developments are more important than the last.
Enter "Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen: Return to Rivervale." This was an exposition-heavy chapter more than anything else.
Questions about Percival Pickens? We've got answers!
Percival basically laid out everything; he covered his origin story, his big motivation, his plans, and why he did what he did. Plus, the surrounding characters filled in the rest of the gaps to explain the powers and why everything is happening.
It's great to finally get all the answers. There were a lot of plot holes that needed to be solved before the end of the story. But, there should've been some pacing and breaks so that some details were found out earlier.
Seriously, there was a lot of information to be dumped into one chapter!
And the impact of those revelations would've hit harder had there been some space.
Granted, the truth of the powers and the "Super Teens" could only happen in Rivervale. We needed Rivervale Jughead to explain the story and the dark future of the group. Rivervale also filled in the gaps about Mr. Cypher's deal with Percival and the supernatural leaks.
My recommendation is that the B-plot of the chapter, where Percival is talking with Alice about his past, could've happened one chapter earlier.
Percival Pickens: I was among those early settlers.
Alice: How was that possible?
Percival Pickens: Patience, Alice. All will be revealed in time.
Hear me out: Percival goes on TV with Alice and does his tirade; he flexes his evilness, discusses the execution, and he slips about his Rivervale connection. Then, the following chapter is the whole portal travel and execution.
A bit of pacing could've helped remove one of the filler episodes to deliver a more powerful chapter.
If Percival had to do an exposition dump, Alice's TV interview was a good choice.
The interview was in a specific setting, all we got was Alice and Percival talking, and there were no distractions except for the side plots. And Alice formatted the interview so that we got the answers to the questions we needed to know.
The set-up was direct and quick to the point.
Was it the most exciting? Nope, but sometimes we need the build-up and facts if something big is coming.
From all of Percival's big twists, his coming from Rivervale was the most surprising. Did anyone expect Rivervale to come back like this?
It all makes sense why no one could find any information on him or why he wasn't part of the Pickens' family tree in Riverdale.
His witchy connection to the town and his past could've only worked in Rivervale, especially since magic and the paranormal weren't a thing for many seasons. He had to have brought it with him.
What are you, a wizard? Is everyone in this universe a wizard?Jughead
Riverdale may not be consistent with its character development, romance, or writing, but it does a great job connecting its plot threads and tying everything together.
Percival's arrival makes sense for why magic and the supernatural became a thing in this reality. We already figured he had to be involved, so this confirmed many theories for why the influences suddenly happened.
The same goes for his revenge plot and the ghost train.
Don't get me wrong, it's an outlandish idea and one that takes too much effort to get done. If he wanted to conquer Rivervale/Riverdale, he could easily do that without a ghost train.
Still, it makes sense that it's another case of someone lashing out against Riverdale's founders for their actions.
Abigail Blossom felt betrayed by her fellow townsfolk. Percival Pickens was still in his feelings, albeit he was totally at fault for calling up the devil. They're not the same; Percival needs to get over it and realize he was the villain.
Is anyone else ecstatic that Betty found peace and got cleansed?
Ever since Riverdale Season 1, she had been carrying so much baggage about Dark Betty and her inner darkness. Despite how many people tried to help her, Betty always feared her darkness.
Her scenes with Polly were some of the best family moments that Riverdale has done in a long while. No soapy drama, no anger; it was just tenderness and loving family time.
Betty: I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry for everything. I’m so sorry for the fight that we had. That I wasn’t a better sister to you, and that I wasn’t able to protect you or save you.
Polly: Betty, none of that matters now. All of that pain, all of that suffering just fell away.
I'm not sure if Polly washing Betty's feet was what cured Betty, but I have a feeling it was also the internal work that Betty did to forgive herself. Polly led her down the path, and Betty allowed herself to believe that she was worthy of love and happiness.
It was a long time coming, but her seeing her golden glow was a beautiful moment.
Jughead and Tabitha's trip to Rivervale could've been more exciting than it ended up being. Sure, we needed the fact-finding part, but we needed them to explore how Rivervale was different.
Come on, Jughead discovers he can jump through portals, and there's a supernatural world? The spooky adventures were waiting for them.
I want a land that I rule as I see fit. Where my enemies are at my mercy. I want a land controlled by the dark arts, free from the laws that stifle the rest of this country. The Sovereign State of Percival! That’s what I want Riverdale to be. A wild untamed land where I control it all, every last bit. Even the dead.Percival Pickens
At least we got the introduction of The Super Teens and an Ethel cameo.
Just like Percival, the twist of the comic books and getting their powers made sense. Comic books have played a big part on Riverdale Season 6, so making it the origin of their powers fits right at home in this new reality.
Maybe their future will change if Rivervale Jughead decides to betray Mr. Cypher and draw something else? It seems like the only possible way to avoid their deaths this time.
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
Do you think Alice, Frank, and Tom are dead? Jughead's voiceover said it was real, but it could be a ploy by Percival.
Please don't have Tabitha break up with Jughead because of Bunker Jughead's actions. We don't need Jughead to still be in love with Betty.
- So Bunker Jughead calling to warn Betty and Archie about the explosion was what caused the fissure? It's a slight twist, but it could explain how Percival ended up in Riverdale.
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans.
What did you think of "Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen: Return to Rivervale"?
Is Betty truly cured of the serial killer gene? Did Archie blowing up the train tracks delay the apocalypse? Will the group stop Percival from taking over the living and the dead?
If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.