“Riverdale” Recap: Season 6, Episode 19 – Sabrina, [Spoiler] Living
Well, many of our favorites Riverdale the characters are dead when this week’s episode opens…but luckily people don’t stay dead for long in Riverdale.
We pick up with Cheryl grieving at the grave of Nana Rose, who was struck by the plague of Percival which also took the lives of firstborns Archie, Jughead, Toni, Fangs and Dagwood. (But baby Anthony is still alive. Hmmm.) “We weren’t quite worm food yet,” however, Jughead assures us in a narration from beyond the grave. Their bodies are frozen by Dr. Curdle while Cheryl and the survivors figure out how to bring them back. Who do we know that can cheat death? Why, Sabrina Spellman, of course! But she will have to hurry: they only have 12 hours left before the victims die definitively.
While they wait, the dead enjoy their time in “the sweet beyond”: Archie is married to Betty with a son named Fred and a daughter named Polly (aw!); Jughead happily writes comics in a booth in a 50s-style Pop’s; and Toni signs a peace treaty with the Ghoulies. (Plus, Baby Anthony is all grown up…and screwed!) Sabrina arrives in Thorn Hill and explains that she’s been specializing in death magic since she once died herself. Her boyfriend Nick Scratch sacrificed himself to bring her back, and now he’s in the Sweet Hereafter too. (Let’s put a pin in this little treat, shall we?)
They’ll need a group of six witches to resurrect everyone – and luckily a quick sorcery from Betty, Veronica and Tabitha gives them a perfect six-pack. They must start with a single resurrection, and Sabrina chooses Jughead, going through a portal to join Jughead in his cabin. She tells him he has to come back for the final battle with Percival, but Jughead doesn’t want to leave a world with endless burgers and comics. Plus, they’ll probably lose to Percival anyway, so what’s the point? “The goal is hope,” Sabrina tells him, but he isn’t convinced. So she gives up and lets him stay…but she asks him for a favor. She returns to the living world with Jughead on her arm, but it’s not Jughead. It’s her boyfriend Nick who inhabits Jughead’s body! (Hey, he wasn’t using it anyway.)
Sabrina isn’t ready to give up resurrections, but she thinks it will work better if their loved ones go through the portal instead. (They’ll have to die first, though. Just temporarily.) Cheryl volunteers for Toni, Tabitha volunteers for Jughead, and Betty volunteers for Archie…which leaves Veronica with no one. Sabrina notices and makes up an excuse why Betty can’t go so she can ask Ronnie to come in and pick up Archie. His answer is perfect: “Of course. Temporarily kill me so I can go visit my ex-boyfriend in heaven. Why not?” The three girls all walk through the portal – while Sabrina and “Nick” (in Jughead’s body) sneak in for a quick reunion.
Tabitha finds Jughead at Pop’s with fans lining up for him to sign his comics. She doesn’t want to interrupt her fantasy… but she is joined by the angel Raphaël, who has news for her. Meanwhile, Veronica tries to bring Archie back, but he’s happy with Betty and the kids, and Cheryl returns to find Toni and Fangs – and learns that her beloved Jason and Polly are still alive here! She returns to Thorn Hill, where Jason and Polly are happily playing with the twins… and Polly is pregnant with triplets again! The sight is so beautiful it brings tears to Cheryl’s eyes. And on their date, Sabrina and Nick talk about running away together, but he reminds her that death will find them anyway. She hates that he had to sacrifice his life for hers, but he was happy to do so, and she has to say goodbye to him again as he returns to the sweet afterlife.
So no one wants to come back. And now? Sabrina says it’s up to Cheryl to harness “the power of the phoenix” by burning their bodies so they can rise from the ashes. Cheryl chants a spell as the bodies burn, and in the Sweet Hereafter, the dead friends all start to feel the heat as they decide to come back after all. A phoenix forms in the flames and flies away, and just like that, they’re all alive again! In fact, Jughead can also hear again – and Cheryl brought Jason and Polly back from the dead while she was at it! Also, Tabitha tells a crestfallen Veronica that it’s very possible “you and Archie are endgame…Your romantic future is up for grabs.” More more, remember how baby Anthony mysteriously survived the plague of the firstborn? This is because he is “immortal”, explains Tabitha. She knows because Raphael told her…and because she’s actually Riverdale’s guardian angel. (Wow.)
Elsewhere in “The Witches of Riverdale”: Kevin tried to escape Percival’s grasp and meet Moose in New York, but Percival caught him and tried to get information about the girls from him. When he refused, Percival enlisted Reggie—whom he elevated to CEO of the casino—to execute Kevin, offering him Kevin’s healthy heart as a replacement for Reggie’s ailing father. Reggie thinks about it, but is visited by a doll of himself representing his conscience (?!) and changes his mind, planning to leave town with his father and Kevin. They are, however, captured by Percival’s henchmen, and Percival schedules them all for execution. But Reggie has “an insurance policy”: one of Percival’s magic daggers.
I have thoughts of this very eventful evening Riverdale? Take a stand in the comments to share your thoughts.