Warning: Major spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Riverdale follow. Feel free to move on over to one of our other awesome articles if you haven't caught up yet.
Well, never let it be said that Riverdale doesn't know how to bring the twists, turns and shocks in a season finale, as tonight's Season 1 ender never stopped moving and left us with one hell of a cliffhanger. Just when we thought nothing else major could happen after finding out last week that Jason Blossom was killed at point blank range by his own dad, who then killed himself when he realized he was found out, the show managed to give fans a rocking Season 1 finale. Unfortunately, that finale left Archie's dad Fred lying in a pool of his own blood after getting shot during an armed robbery at Pop's, and we have no idea if he'll survive or not. What?! I know! Let's get into what happened.
As could be expected, most of the episode dealt with the fallout from the town realizing that Clifford Blossom A) murdered Jason B) killed himself and C) was using his family's maple syrup shipments as a front for running heroin through Riverdale. Mayor McCoy and Sheriff Keller are concerned that the drug trade is starting to cross the tracks from the Southside, so she authorizes him to offer FP a deal; as long as he snitches on the Southside Serpents and tells them who's dealing drugs in Riverdale, they'll do everything they can to get him a lighter sentence. But FP is no snitch, so he refuses to take the deal, especially since he says he doesn't even believe that the Serpents are the ones dealing.
Meanwhile, Mayor McCoy and the rest of the town are preparing for Riverdale's 75th anniversary jubilee, and Betty is concerned that people are acting like some horrible shit hasn't just gone down in town. She writes an article on the subject, and how she thinks Jughead and FP are being treated badly and wants her parents to publish it. Her mom refuses, though, saying that she'll make herself a target because crime is spreading and people are especially angry with the Serpents, so taking FP's side won't do Betty any favors. Betty takes matters into her own hands, publishing the article in the school paper, and ends up with copies of the article plastered on a wall at school with "Go To Hell Serpent Slut" written in pig's blood all over them. Man, small town life, am I right?
Cheryl and her mom are also going through some major stuff. After her dad's "pauper's funeral," Cheryl's mom remarks that maybe he had the right idea and they should all just get it over with...Yeesh. It isn't long before Cheryl, after apologizing to Jughead for slapping him and gifting him with one of her creepy spider brooches, decides to take her mom's advice. She sends a text to Veronica thanking her and saying that she wants to be with Jason now. Veronica, Archie, Betty and Jughead rush to the river, which is now frozen over, and find her in the middle of it trying to break the ice. They try to talk her out of it but the ice breaks and she falls through. They rush to her, but the current has taken her away from the hole. Archie finds her and punches the ice, bloodying his hand, until he can get Cheryl out. I will try not to harp on the fact that none of them called 911 during or after this process, and concentrate on the fact that, after Veronica gets Cheryl warmed up back at her place, Cheryl decides to put on her creepiest white dress, douse the Blossom manse in gasoline and torch that horror house with her and her mom getting out just in time.
In the middle of all this, Veronica decided it was a good time to announce to Jughead and Betty that she and Archie are officially dating. Betty takes the news well, and by a few minutes from the end of this insane episode, each couple (Betty and Jughead, Veronica and Archie) are making the sweet, sweet young love in FP's trailer and Veronica's home respectively. Well, after that bright spot is where trouble comes in for poor Fred. Archie is leaving Veronica's place when he sees that his dad wants to meet him at Pop's. He gets there, says hi to Fred and heads to the bathroom, but, while he's in there, he hears a commotion out front. Archie cracks the bathroom door and sees that Pop is being held at gunpoint, he looks to Fred, clearly wanting to do something, but Fred gives him a discreet head shake that clearly says "NO." But, knowing that Archie might not be able to help himself, Fred stands up, getting the attention of the masked man. Archie rushes out to stop him from getting shot, but is just in time to cradle his dad as he lays bloodied on the floor.
Um. WOW. Riverdale almost did me in with this episode. I was legitimately tense the whole time, and the ending did not disappoint. It's going to feel like a long wait, but Riverdale will be back for Season 2 sometime during the 2017-2018 TV season. Until then, you can check out our summer premiere schedule and Netflix premiere guide to see what else you can catch on the small screen in the coming weeks.