Have you finished tearing up, Riverdale fans? The ending of Riverdale Season 7 Episode 19 hit like a ton of emotional bricks.
The penultimate episode of Riverdale was a satisfying and touching trip down memory lane.
“Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Six: The Golden Age of Television” balanced both winding down the stories of Riverdale Season 7 and honoring the series. If we didn’t have a series finale coming up, this could’ve been a sweet end to the story.
Much like Tabitha’s angelic twist, this chapter weaves both worlds together — the two sides of Riverdale we have come to know: (1) the six seasons of the original Riverdale and (2) the reboot set in 1955.
We can’t get into the group’s big decision without discussing how they’ve come so far.
Having the town right their wrongs was a long time coming.
People like Dr. Werthers and Principal Featherhead had been controlling things with an iron fist. Getting them both out of power were wins that everybody needed; they weren’t small but instead huge victories.
The good. The bad. The bear.
It’s a shame that Dr. Werthers prospered and got the job with the president. Out of the three (including Clifford Blossom), he was the worst, but I’ll still bask in the joy of knowing he’s gone.
And having Principal Weatherbee back made me smile!
He’s had his ups and downs in the original timeline, but he was a better principal during Riverdale’s run. It was a nice nostalgic touch.
One of the big themes of the series’ penultimate chapter was victory through redemption. Like those adults getting the boot, many other small battles were won, or people got their redemption moment.
For example, Mrs. Thornton got her job back.
It was a huge injustice when she got accused during Riverdale Season 7 Episode 13. She was one of Archie’s loudest supporters of his writing dreams; all she ever was was kind.
Her return fixed something we didn’t know we needed: positive and supportive people for the teens. Archie’s life will change for the better by having her around.
The same goes for Cheryl’s and Veronica’s/Clay’s victories.
Throughout Riverdale Season 7, people have constantly told Veronica that she should be working in the movie industry. Josie also gave her that advice on Riverdale Season 7 Episode 17, so she knows it’s been a hot topic item.
I do not doubt that her movie plans with Clay and The Comet will get their feet in the door of the movie business.
Jughead: Can I at least kiss you goodbye?
Tabitha: Jughead Jones, you read my mind.
And Cheryl’s overthrow of Evelyn Evernever in the River Vixens righted a wrong caused by Clifford Blossom. The queen bee is back and thriving.
It’s nice for her to be her authentic self as the head cheerleader queen bee and by coming out. Cheryl has been on a journey through the politics of home life and school life; she’s finally on top and ruling like she was meant to do.
Speaking of The Comet, at least Jughead and Mr. Fieldstone can walk away knowing they did everything possible to write good comics. If they had to throw in the towel, leaving on a high note is the best way.
Jughead’s last story was a great one that would touch many people.
Plus, if the morality tribunal wouldn’t accept this story (which had no overt murders, gore, or paranormal creatures), they would never give Pep Comics peace. The Comet should’ve passed their test, especially since it was already a published story in literature.
Jughead and Mr. Fieldstone can hold their heads high. And Mr. Fieldstone was a good boss; he seemed very supportive of Jughead, even in their final days.
Did anyone else get teary-eyed during Betty and Alice’s heart-to-heart?
It’s one thing for Alice to read Betty’s book; that alone is already a big win. Like, Betty on the cover in lingerie could’ve been enough to convince Alice not to read it. (She’s still Alice Cooper, after all.)
But for Alice to read the book and feel emotionally connected to the stories was a huge win that repaired a lot of damage. Alice let down her walls and became vulnerable; we finally got late Riverdale Season 2 Alice again.
Hopefully, Alice takes Betty’s advice and lives her dreams. She doesn’t need Hal; she can have her happiness without him.
The Angel Tabitha twist gave us two huge questions to debate. Would you have preferred the timeline weave back to the darker 2023 timeline or keep it at Riverdale 1955?
Tabitha’s arrival revealed that all the timelines and multiverses weaved together into a single path, choosing to keep them in 1955. This move kept the characters in their original Archie Comics vibe and era.
Jughead: I assume that you were successful too?
Tabitha: After much trial and error, I realized it would be impossible for me to untangle and pull apart all the various timelines. So instead, I wove them all into a single timeline. This one.
I don’t mind this twist because it evened out everything for Riverdale with a clear direction.
Nothing from the 2023 timeline is lost. All those memories and the first six seasons of Riverdale still matter, so watching those seasons doesn’t feel like a waste. And it rights the wrongs that sometimes came up from Riverdale’s most outrageous plots, like the superpowers of Riverdale Season 6.
Plus, the characters are based on the original comics. This move connects to that foundation pretty nicely now with a logical answer.
The second question is: would you have chosen to keep the good and bad memories of the original timeline or just the good ones?
I probably would’ve leaned toward the former. Everything, even the Mothmen arc of Riverdale Season 5, happened for a reason. It’s good to remember history as it shapes what was, what is, and what could be.
Betty: Archie told us what you showed him.
Veronica: We’d like to see what Archie saw. Together.
Betty: Classic B and V style.
Jughead and Betty being the only two to keep both the good and bad made a lot of sense.
Jughead served as the narrator for Riverdale, so he’s seen pretty much everything and accepted it as such. And he has a darker and more realistic outlook on the world; he doesn’t shy away from how bad things can get.
On the other hand, Betty has had the best character development throughout Riverdale’s history. She’s faced so much growth and change in her life; it would’ve been a shame for her to forget that she conquered Dark Betty.
Hopefully, the teens can use this fresh start and their memories to shape their lives for the better.
It’s sad that Angel Tabitha and Jughead can’t be together anymore (and this Tabitha won’t exist). Their final goodbye kiss was so heartbreaking! However, completing the mission has given them all the chance for more.
Knowing that Tabitha 1955 will succeed in business school and live in Chicago is a great way to end her story.
And with only one more episode left of Riverdale, so much could still happen. The endgame romances, the final decisions, the character ambitions, and possibly more?
Let’s cross our fingers for a fantastic and satisfying finale!
Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:
Archie agreeing to work the farm for Reggie was so touching. As we’ve discussed before, their friendship has been one of the best pairings of Riverdale Season 7.
Wait, are Uncle Frank and Sheriff Keller hooking up?!
Using Riverdale’s episodes, like Riverdale Season 1 Episode 1, as a way to showcase to the teens what happened in the original timeline was brilliant. It felt very meta, like how the comic books were shown as memories during Riverdale Season 6.
- “Tell Me” by Johnny Jewel ft. Saoirse Ronan is such a hauntingly beautiful song. It sums up Riverdale’s pilot and the show as a whole.
Now, over to you, Riverdale fans.
What did you think of “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Six: The Golden Age of Television”?
What will happen in the series finale, Riverdale Season 7 Episode 20? Do you agree with the decisions made about the memories? Are you sad to see Angel Tabitha leave?
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 Twitter.