Could Next Week’s ‘Riverdale’ Mark The End Of Pop’s?

by Rachel Bellwoar

To put it lightly, there’s a lot to unpack in the promo for next week’s Riverdale. From Pop’s getting blown up, to new relationships, to that ominous title (“RIP(?)”), if you didn’t know it was the season finale before, you’ll know it after watching this preview:

This week’s episode really got the ball rolling, though, in terms of couples breaking up and making things official. Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) dating has been in the works for a while, but given the show’s recent interest in pairing Jughead and Betty (Lili Reinhart) up again, after almost going all season without “Bughead”, it makes the timing seem weirder than it should. Like, you could’ve gotten together all season, and this is when you finally do it?

Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Archie (KJ Apa) getting back together and breaking up in the course of one episode felt like a slap in the face to a relationship that deserves better. While it’s not unbelievable that Archie wanting to stay in Riverdale would eventually cause problems, the key word in that sentence is “eventually.” Soulmates are supposed to put in the effort, yet Veronica and Archie don’t even try long distance.

Much like Alice’s grieving process in “Next to Normal,” it all felt rushed and that’s without the added insult of having Veronica and Archie already kissing other people in next week’s promo (like they weren’t in love). Just because Betty wants to stay in Riverdale, too, doesn’t mean she and Archie have to get together, especially since it’s not even clear if Betty wants to stay in Riverdale or feels obligated to because of Alice (Mädchen Amick).

The hardest OG couple to say goodbye, though, is probably Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) and Toni (Vanessa Morgan), who haven’t been together all season but now that Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner) and Toni are dating, it really feels like a final nail in the coffin on their relationship. That isn’t to say Toni and Fangs aren’t a great couple, and they seem to be taking to raising their (extremely silent) baby well, but it’s still sad to see Choni end.

Other thoughts on “Next to Normal:”

  • Can we get an episode where Veronica and Jughead have to spend the whole day together?
  • Whether “Next to Normal” was a perfect depiction of grief, it did offer Polly (and actress, Tiera Skovbye) a great sendoff.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays on The CW.

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