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Riverdale’s Stunning Season 6 Twist Ending Explained (In Detail)

Riverdale’s Stunning Season 6 Twist Ending Explained (In Detail) Image
  • Posted on 05th Aug, 2022 22:14 PM

Season 6 of Riverdale may have been the most chaotic so far, but its finale's ending twist is one that will make sure the show is always remembered.

The CW has aired the Riverdale season 6 finale, and viewers may be wondering what that twist ending is all about. Since the show first aired in 2017, Riverdale has taken audiences on a wild journey of chaotic twists and turns ranging from serial killers to cult leaders and, more recently, superheroes. Longstanding fans of the Archie comics the show is based on were understandably a bit skeptical about Riverdale due to its major departures from its source material, but season 6's ending is sure to change their minds.

Riverdale season 6 was the show's most bizarre yet, taking it down a supernatural route that creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa swore it would never take. The second to last episode saw the villainous sorcerer Percival Pickens (Chris O'Shea) return back to his home in the alternate universe of Rivervale, but not before ensuring that Bailey's Comet is still headed for Riverdale. To make matters worse for the main characters, Percival also placed a magical barrier over the town so that civilians inside cannot escape. During the Riverdale season 6 finale, Veronica (Camila Mendes) formulates a plan where she absorbs the team's powers via a blood transfer and gives them all to Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) through a kiss. Combined with her phoenix powers, Cheryl is then strong enough to melt the comet by herself.


Related: Why Riverdale Is Ending After Season 7

However, while Cheryl redirects the comet and saves Riverdale, the show takes a shocking twist at the end of season 6 as the show's main character, Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), wakes up in the 1950s. Then, Riverdale's narrator, Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), reveals that Cheryl's act of heroism has worked but somehow made it so that the gang is back in Riverdale High School, and the year is 1955. Ultimately, Jughead is the only person who remembers the comet, seemingly reverting everything in the show back to a blank slate.

Why Riverdale Has Returned To The 1950s

There is currently no explanation as to why the characters of Riverdale are in the 1950s at the end of season 6, but there is plenty of room for speculation. Given the blood transfers merging all their superpowers into one, there is a possibility that Tabitha's (Erinn Westbrook) time-traveling power being merged with Jughead's dimension-hopping is somehow to blame. This would be a good explanation, as all of the Riverdale characters' superpowers would have been heightened during the destruction of the comet, meaning that the 1950s switch-up is an unintended consequence of them trying to do the right thing. Regardless, based on comments made by showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (via Entertainment Weekly), the 1950s setting appears to be here to stay for Riverdale season 7.

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Why Jughead Remembers The Comet

The final words spoken at the end of Riverdale season 6, by none other than narrator Jughead Jones, are "I'm the only one who remembers what life was like B.C. - Before Comet." This hints that the rest of his friends and the town of Riverdale seemingly traveled back in time and are living their lives unaware that the world around them is 60 years older than it should be. While no major details were given in the twist cliffhanger as to why Jughead is immune to what happened, it is most likely because his character is omniscient. As the narrator of the show, there have been several hints that Jughead is essentially Godlike, with his alternate reality version of himself in Rivervale being able to manipulate the town's story as deemed fit. Therefore, he is seemingly the only one who is never affected by the bizarre circumstances around him — he is supposed to see and know everything.

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What Was The Point Of The String?

In the Riverdale season 6 finale, Cheryl, who spent time spellcasting with Sabrina Spellman, faces the task of having to untie a huge knot that is keeping the barrier over Riverdale. But the whole ordeal seems impossible given the limited time that they have. As the show's heroes become more and more desperate to save Riverdale from the impending disaster, Cheryl decides to reach out to someone she believes can save them: her ancestor, Abigail Blossom. Abigail has an extremely straightforward answer, which is that Cheryl can just destroy the comet with her phoenix powers due to it being made of ice. As the comet is about to hit Riverdale, Cheryl's girlfriend, Heather (Caroline Day), finally unties the knot, but the whole thing feels pointless as the comet is just about to hit. However, depending on plans for season 7, this could potentially be a way for Heather to escape before the time twist so that she can return to her (and Sabrina's) hometown of Greendale as planned.

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Related: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Why Faustus' Twins Were So Badly Wasted

Will The Current Couples Still Be Together?

Riverdale season 6 spends a lot of time making direct references to the OG couples. For example, Veronica grows jealous of Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Archie and asks Tabitha to look into the future to see who will be endgame. Additionally, there are numerous references to Betty and Jughead's previous relationship, with Jughead having flashbacks to their past and Ethel pointing out his inability to cut ties with Betty. However, the anticipated union of Betty and Archie, alongside Jughead's newfound love for Tabitha, made it increasingly difficult to bring the OG couples back. The final season 6 twist could be a great way to have the OG couples get back together next season, but it's also possible the plot of Riverdale season 7 will explore the more comic-accurate route of a Betty, Archie, and Veronica love triangle and a faithful representation of Jughead's typical asexuality.

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Does Polly know about Jason?

A burning question that still lingers at the end of Riverdale season 6 is whether or not Polly knows about Cheryl killing Jason after she resurrected him. After Cheryl goes full phoenix force on the departed of Riverdale, she brings back Jason and Polly from the dead. However, Jason isn't quite what he seems, and Cheryl, regretting ever bringing him back, uses her powers to burn him alive. Given Polly's calm nature in the finale, embracing her final moments with her family and not so much as mentioning Jason, it's likely that she has no clue that he is dead again. However, it is unlikely that this will matter due to the 1950s twist, which will most likely see Jason alive again before his first murder from Riverdale season 1.

What The Finale Of Riverdale Season 6 Really Means

Ultimately, Riverdale has decided to completely scrap everything it has spent 6 seasons building, but this might be the best thing to ever happen to it. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said: "That's the exciting thing about this – it's as close to a blank canvas as you can get without it being a completely new show." As Riverdale is ending after season 7, a more comic book-accurate representation would be a great way to honor the source material that led to the show's existence in the first place. However, despite the cheerful, radiant first glimpse into 1950s Riverdale, viewers can potentially still expect the showrunners to add the iconic dark twist that sets the comic and show apart, similarly to what Aguirre-Sacasa achieved in the '90s-sitcom episode easter egg of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 4.

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Currently, there are no major indications as to what fans can expect to follow after the near-perfect twist at the end of Riverdale season 6, leaving viewers plenty of room to theorize on what's to come for the characters and how this will ultimately lead to the show's conclusion. It's likely that the main cast will be returning for the final season, with hints from Aguirre-Sacasa that some old faces might make an appearance as a result of the time jump. With filming of season 7 likely to start within the next year, viewers won't have to wait long to see what 1950s Riverdale has to offer.

Next: Everything We Know About Riverdale Season 7

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