‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Finale, Explained, and What It Means for Season 7

Riverdale‘s wildest season yet has come to a close, but not without one more huge twist. The Riverdale Season 6 finale on Sunday, July 31, showcased the titular town’s impending doom as Bailey’s Comet threatened to destroy everything. Of course, Riverdale’s newfound superheroes wouldn’t go down without a fight, and the end of the episode paved the way for a brand new chapter next season. Here’s what happened in the finale and what that means for season 7, the final installment.

[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for the Riverdale Season 6 finale.]

KJ Apa as Archie Andrews and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper in the Riverdale Season 6 finale
KJ Apa as Archie Andrews and Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper in the ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 finale | Michael Courtney/The CW

What happened in the ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 finale?

Percival Pickens (Chris O’Shea) has vanished, but his final magic act sent Bailey’s Comet straight for Riverdale. Additionally, he trapped the town in a magical barrier — people could get in, but no one could leave. With less than 24 hours until the comet’s impact, Riverdale’s residents prepared for what could have been their final day alive.

Thankfully, the Riverdale superhero gang — Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook), Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch), and Veronica (Camila Mendes) — had time to formulate a plan. Veronica used her power as a human dialysis machine to absorb her friends’ powers via blood. Then, she transferred those powers to Cheryl, making her strong enough to melt the comet with her phoenix powers.

The comet came very close to hitting Riverdale, but Cheryl managed to stop it. However, it caused a timeline shift. No, the town isn’t back to its alternate reality, Rivervale. It seems Cheryl saved the town by transporting it to the 1950s. The episode ended with the main characters back in high school in 1955 BC — Before Comet — and Jughead was the only one to remember the comet.

The ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 finale sets up a 1950s setting for season 7

Season 7 of Riverdale will continue in 1955, according to the show’s creator, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. He told Entertainment Weekly that this decision boiled down to Archie Comics, which many fans have associated with the 1950s.

“One thing everyone can agree on is that whenever we have our characters in their iconic comic book outfits from the 1950s, people are delighted. … So we thought: What if we go back to high school, but instead of high school in the present, we make it high school in the 1950s, which is how a lot of people think of the Archie characters,” Aguirre-Sacasa said.

Riverdale Season 7 won’t become an entirely new show, as this version of Riverdale is still connected to past seasons’ events in Jughead’s mind. However, Aguirre-Sacasa teased a “reset” in the new season. He continued:

“It felt like a great way to reset, to introduce new dynamics and new themes and of course, as always, be in dialogue with what has come before. We get to see what we’re going to recreate, what we’re going to reinvent. That’s the exciting thing about this is it’s as close to a blank canvas as you can get without it being a completely new show.”

‘Riverdale’ Season 7 will revisit a Cheryl and Toni romance

The Riverdale Season 6 finale also had big moments in the romance department. Cheryl and Toni (Vanessa Morgan) spent a romantic night together as their ancestors, Abigail and Thomasina. Cheryl’s new girlfriend, Heather (Caroline Day), told Cheryl that she and Toni were soulmates.

Meanwhile, Archie and Betty became engaged, and Veronica vowed to have a single dating life for a while. Jughead and Tabitha shared a sweet date at Pop’s, where Tabitha fast-forwarded time to show them growing old together with two kids.

Aguirre-Sacasa told Nerds of Color that Cheryl and Toni (a.k.a. Choni) “will continue” in season 7, but their story will look a bit different because of the 1950s context. Not all hope is lost for Varchie (Veronica and Archie) fans, either. In this era, Archie has yet to choose between Betty and Veronica.

“There will be a lot of Varchie and Barchie drama, and the story is not finished by any stretch of the imagination,” the showrunner said.

Fans can catch up on Riverdale Season 6 via the CW website and app. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for more updates on season 7.

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