‘Riverdale’: Episode 100 Ending, Explained — Plus What Comes Next, According to Cole Sprouse
Riverdale‘s five-part special has finally come to a close, and there’s quite a lot to unpack. The epic conclusion to the Rivervale alternate universe storyline, which also marked Riverdale’s 100th episode, packed multiple timelines, deaths, and rebirths all into one hour. A few long-lost characters appeared, and worlds collided in mind-blowing twists. Many fans have considered it the best episode yet, but also the most confusing. Here’s what happened in Riverdale Episode 100 and what’s next for season 6.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for Riverdale Season 6 Episode 5, “Chapter One-Hundred: The Jughead Paradox.”]
Two universes collide in ‘Riverdale’ Episode 100
Riverdale Season 6 Episode 5 follows Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) as he becomes aware of the existence of multiple universes. Through a series of comic books depicting events in Riverdale, Jughead learns that the explosion at the end of season 5 somehow created Rivervale. Riverdale and Rivervale exist at once, but the two universes are expanding into each other — which could lead to a catastrophic event.
It’s up to Jughead to find a way to separate the universes. At first, the only way is to destroy Rivervale by reenacting the event that created it. He and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) plan to sacrifice themselves to a duplicate bomb in Archie Andrews’ (KJ Apa) bedroom. However, with the help of Ethel Muggs (Shannon Purser), an alternate version of Jughead appears to tell Betty and this Jughead that there’s another way.
As long as Rivervale’s Jughead keeps writing events into Rivervale forever, both Rivervale and Riverdale can continue to exist (a reference to the never-ending nature of Archie Comics). His actions create a time loop. In Rivervale, everyone who died is alive and well. Meanwhile, Riverdale’s timeline is sent back to Riverdale Season 5’s finale, where Archie and Betty are hooking up with a bomb under the bed.
Instead of falling victim to the bomb, Betty and Archie are saved by an anonymous caller telling them to get out. The bomb goes off while Riverdale’s Jughead writes in the basement, seemingly making him lose hearing.
What’s next for ‘Riverdale’?
So, what does the reset timeline mean for the rest of Riverdale Season 6? According to Sprouse, season 6 episode 6 will continue right where the season 5 finale left off.
“The way that Riverdale takes off is right where we left it after season 5, and we’re all going through this explosion, or at least Archie, Betty and Jughead are in the consequences of that,” Sprouse told Decider.
Jughead, who had been living in Archie’s home, will need to find a new place to live after the explosion. That’s where his girlfriend, Tabitha Tate (Erinn Westbrook), comes in. In Rivervale, the two are already living together, but that’s not the case yet in Riverdale.
“Jughead, obviously, now again without a suitable place to live, Tabitha extends her hands and offers him to move in with her,” Sprouse continued. “So it’s not the same joint move-in process that we have in Rivervale, but they do end up in the same place.”
Cole Sprouse says the ‘Riverdale’ Episode 100 explosion will have lasting effects on Jughead
According to Sprouse, Jughead’s hearing loss from the explosion won’t be temporary. It’s only one of many “arcane” side effects from the bomb, which Jughead will investigate alongside Betty and Archie.
“We explore Jughead’s sensory loss within, I think, episode 6, episode 7, and we dive into that quite a bit,” he told Decider.
And as for the mysterious caller who saved Archie and Betty? Sprouse said he’s “in the dark” about who it was. However, fans may learn the truth in future episodes.
Riverdale Season 6 returns to the CW on Sunday, March 6, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET.