'Riverdale' Recap – Chapter 137 – Good-Bye Riverdale

Post by: Linda Martindale 23 August, 2023

Riverdale, first let me say: Thank you for the wild ride. I felt lost after Once Upon a Time ended but found you and the opportunity to continue using my imagination. We don’t often get a series that allows you to throw off the real world and step into a world where adventure and strange things happen. While some television columnists see this as the end of the era, I’m sure that sometime in the future (hopefully after the Writers/Actors Strike), someone will emerge to keep this trend going. It may not be on the CW where these shows have always thrived, but somewhere, on some network, the need will arise.

I’m not sure in what direction the show will go tonight but I honestly feel that we will see how the gang’s lives progressed from 1955 on. I also think that we have a new “angel of Riverdale,” Jughead Jones. No, I was wrong. He is Rod Sterling Jones again. We’ve been promised that they will be allowed to relive their last day as high school students. That day probably wouldn’t be the one that I chose but with the episode called “Goodbye Riverdale,” I take it to mean that the gang leaves town. The line that Jughead says in the opening is about a town suspended in time makes me remember Once Upon a Time. My question is: Can people driving through see the town?

We open with the feeling that the gang did “bend to justice” but each had to do it their way. With Jughead’s narration, we learn that Riverdale is a town (as I said) lost in time. Betty is 86 and living with her granddaughter. She has her senior yearbook with her and is upset thinking of her Yearbook not having any friends’ signatures. Jughead appears in the room and tells her she can return to Riverdale by stepping through the door. Betty finds herself in her old room. Seeing Archie, she remembers all the times she had looked out. And we find out that Archie has bent toward justice. He’s going to go work on road construction with the Eisenhower project. He tells Mary who doesn’t want him to go but he explains that Riverdale will be their home. Mary sees Fred in Archie. They both share the wanderlust. Once Archie sees the Pacific, he won’t return.

Betty hears voices downstairs and finds Alice, as a stewardess, and Polly at the table. Polly and Alice have made up. So, I guess we can say, Alice has finally bent toward justice. Betty asks about what happened (she doesn’t remember). It seems Polly had twins (yes, like on the original timeline named Dagwood and Juniper) and never returned to performing. Alice had landed a plane. She fell in love with a passenger on the flight and they married and travelled. She sent postcards until they stopped suddenly.

“Sterling” Jughead and Betty arrive at school and it seems like a dream. Veronica arrives and they enter Riverdale High where Betty says it feels like the last time. Veronica smiles and says they haven’t graduated yet. Toni is the student president and comes over the loudspeaker to announce yearbooks are there, one per person. Of course, Toni has one last poem to read by the poet of the year, Archie Andrews. It is titled “Dreams.” Cheryl gives Betty a hard time when Betty gets her annual. Betty asks Fangs and Midge to sign the yearbook and the two are finally going to be married and raise their daughter. Fangs is a rock star who is heading out on tour after recording an album. Unfortunately, he dies during the tour in a crash. Midge and his daughter have a great life though off the money Fangs’ music makes.

Kevin invites Betty to lunch with him and Clay and tells her they knew about the foursome of Betty, Archie, Veronica, and Jughead. It seems that the four were always seen together “double-dating” and much more. Kevin and Clay plan to move to New York. Clay’s parents are accepting of Kevin and okay with their plans. Sterling Jughead tells Betty that Clay attends Columbia and ends up teaching there. Kevin opens an off-Broadway theater and they are both happy. Kevin dies first but Clay dies within a few days.

Reggie asks Betty when she hands him her annual why she wanted Archie instead of him. She tells him about the quad relationship and how she was with Archie, then Jughead, then Veronica. Reggie is shocked and asks why not ask him to join. Betty admits that they thought of it, but Reggie seemed so focused on basketball. She kisses him on the cheek. Sterling Jones tells her that Reggie went to Kansas State and left after a year to join the Lakers. During the summers, he worked the farm until it was sold. He married and had two sons, coached at Riverdale High, and was buried near the farm. 

Veronica tells Betty that she plans to return to Los Angeles and has a job with Peter Roth. It is entry level but she is determined to climb the ladder fast. Sterling Jones and Betty talk about what happened to Veronica. She quickly rose in the ranks and was running the place. Known for her style and taste, she was buried in the Hollywood Cemetery. Her legacy was two Oscars and Betty visits her handprints at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Sterling Jones reminds Betty as she gets sad that it’s a day without regrets.

That night Cheryl and Toni have a gathering to celebrate their partnership. Toni has a copy of the writing magazine for each of them. Cheryl wants them to view her paintings. They’re beautiful and Sterling Jones tells Betty that they move out west and raise a son they named Dale (Riverdale of course). The baby is being played by Vanessa Morgan’s real son. Both were activists for LGBT and died peacefully. 

Archie tells Veronica and Jughead about his plans and Betty joins them. While Jughead and Veronica are not happy about his decision, Veronica does point out that all had to go their separate ways. Betty says it’s not a time to mourn what they lost for the future waits. They decide to take one more ride together. Archie then reads a letter to his best friends. Kevin, Clay, Reggie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Toni, Cheryl, Fangs and Midge are there. He remembers their friendship. Oh, and Julian is there but doesn’t get recognized. Archie calls all those gathered his best friends forever.

Betty and Archie share one last hug. While they seem sad that they will be separated, Archie feels they will end up together. Betty tells Archie that he’ll make it to California and never look back. He’ll meet a girl who will make him laugh and they will have a beautiful family. He’ll work construction like his dad. When he dies, Archie will ask to be buried in Riverdale. 

Once again Betty and Sterling Jones talk. She has one more person she wants to visit, Pop Tate. She gets flowers and they place them on his grave. Betty asks Sterling what happens when you die. Sterling Jughead tells her he can’t speak for all but he thinks Pop Tate is still flipping burgers and making shakes. Betty tells Jughead that she read his obituary. He fulfilled his life’s dream of reviving his writing. His “Mad House” magazine became an institution even to the present day. He admits he could have done much worse.

They talk about Betty’s choice. Her first book and her advice column were successes. She protested the injustices and never regretted not getting married. She’s proud of her magazine (“She Says”) which is still popular. She adopted her daughter and Jughead admits he regrets not having a family. He has to take her back where her granddaughter awaits.

When next we see Betty, her granddaughter, and her husband (who looked like Reggie) are heading to Riverdale. They pull into Pop’s and turn to Betty who has quietly died. The young Betty opens the car door and goes inside where all her friends are waiting. Pop smiles as she enters. They have returned as young people to be together in the afterlife. She kisses her friends and joins Archie, Jughead, and Veronica in a booth. They knew she was coming and ordered her favorite, a strawberry milkshake. Sterling Jones once again tells us that Riverdale will be our (collective) home.

I’ve enjoyed bringing the recaps and opinion pieces for you at AlllYourScreens. I hope we all will take a little of Riverdale with us. This world needs more shows like this that make us think and go with twists and surprises. Where else would you get such reminders of the past? To Roberto, the writers, directors, producers, actors, and all the crew, I say thank you. I didn’t think I would have this type of adventure again when Once Upon a Time left the airways, but you gave it to me. I will always be grateful. Know that even us old folks appreciate imagination and inspiration. You gave us all of this over seven seasons and 137 episodes.

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