When it comes to some of the best CW shows, there are plenty that come to mind, from All American, to Gossip Girl - heck, even The 100 cast was full of talent and made a super good show (besides the last season, but that’s just my opinion). However, one show that has seemed to dip in quality over the last few years is Riverdale, and I honestly think it’s because of the ridiculous twists they have included.
While at first, many of these can actually be believable - as they feel like modern twists you would put in something like a murder mystery - down the line, some just border on pure insanity. As someone who's kept up with the show for as long as I have (it literally came out my freshman year of college), I’m going to take a look back at all the biggest twists of Riverdale, and rank them on how ridiculous they are - going from the least ridiculous to the most ridiculous.
And yes, a huge spoiler warning to anyone who is not caught up with Riverdale.
Jason Blossom’s True Death (Season 1)
Like many TV shows out there, Season 1 was really the best of Riverdale. It was super popular on the CW, and brought in millions of viewers with its simple telling of a classic murder mystery plot that surrounded high schoolers. We had Archie, who was just trying to write and sing, affairs, first kisses, murders - you know, regular high school things.
Jason Blossom’s death was the big mystery of Season 1, and the reveal in the finale of the first season - that Jason was actually murdered by his father instead of it being a suicide, which was the rumor - was actually a really good twist, and had me coming back for more. It was an overall great episode.
Betty’s Father Being The Black Hood (Season 2)
Season 2 of Riverdale was also really good, and I genuinely really liked the tale of trying to find a serial killer amongst all of the chaos that was happening in the town at the time. It was still relatively normal high school stuff with relationships, just with higher stakes.
Finding out that Betty’s father was actually the Black Hood who was going around terrorizing and murdering people, in the episode, “Judgement Night,” made sense. And when you take into account that Betty does have a dark side, which she has talked about several times before, I had a feeling it did run in her genes, so this twist adds up as one of the better ones.
Hiram Framing Archie For Murder (Season 2)
While I would say this is starting to lean a little more towards unrealistic in my eyes in terms of Riverdale standards, it still makes a hell of a lot more sense than many of the other twists in this show. Hiram, who has had it out for Archie since he began dating his daughter, Veronica, has Archie framed for murder at the end of Season 2, during the episode, “Brave New World.”
While Archie’s time in jail isn’t that long - as he gets through it with the power of song (strangely) and fight clubs - I can certainly believe this twist more than some of the others here.
Cheryl Hosting A Swingers Party (Season 5)
Riverdale is known for having pretty chaotic characters, and Cheryl has always been one who is all over the place (as we’ll get into later). In Season 5, in an attempt to win back her pregnant ex, Toni, years later, she hosts a swingers party (where romantic partners switch to have sex with other people) in the episode, “Lock & Key."
It’s not that hard to believe, considering Cheryl has done some pretty ridiculous stuff on the show. What sort of pushes it more towards the top of the list is the fact that most of the characters seem to like the idea, even though half of them are in very monogamous relationships that seem quite serious. I don’t know, maybe it’s just the hopeless romantic in me that doesn't buy it.
Jughead Faking His Death (Season 4)
To be honest, I’m genuinely surprised they took this long for Jughead to fake his death in Riverdale. We spent a good amount of Season 4 guessing if he was really dead after that mysterious cliffhanger in the Season 3 finale, and it’s finally revealed in Season 4 during the episode, “To Die For,” that he was indeed alive and had faked his death in order to hide from the Stonewall Prep students who were looking to murder him.
I mean, it makes sense. And to be honest, with how much these kids have been doing, it doesn’t surprise me. It also kind of peeves me off that we only see the Stonewall Prep kids once after this season. Such a shame. Waste of a storyline.
Archie Getting Mauled By A Bear - And Surviving (Season 3)
I remember when the initial attack of Archie and the bear happened during the Season 3 episode of Riverdale, “No Exit,” I was stunned to think that Archie had died. But nah, this man survives a whole-ass bear attack.
This is where the twists start to get into “meh” territory for me. I know that surviving a bear attack is very possible - as long as you have proper medical attention. But Archie was literally in a cabin that was far away from any sort of help and bleeding to death and yet somehow, he survived by, what, the power of his abs? It says he was saved by rangers but I genuinely don’t believe they would find him that quickly.
Also, can we talk about how he literally doesn't have a single scratch on him? Like barely any scars years later?
Barchie Becoming A Thing (Season 4)
One of the biggest issues I had a few years ago when I first started writing about Riverdale was Barchie - the ship name for Betty and Archie. And while this twist is still meh, I hate it to this day, because it just makes me so upset.
I’m not saying that their relationships with others were any better, since both had issues, but I think what ticked me off the most with these two is that it felt so unnatural. They were so in love with their partners and then, in Season 4, just because they were working on a damn song together, they ended up sharing a kiss in the episode “Wicked Little Town,” during this pathetic musical episode. Ridiculous.
That led to a whole issue with cheating and mutual pining and just ugh. This was a murder mystery at one point, and Season 4 just felt like petty high school drama with some decently interesting moments filtered in. I just can’t picture them as endgame.
That Whole Gryphons And Gargoyles Cult (Season 3)
Look, there’s no specific episode to reference with this - Season 3, just as a whole, is a wild ride with the inclusion of the board game, Gryphons and Gargoyles, and that organ-harvesting farm.
Reading that just gave you a headache, didn’t it? Because it sure as hell did the same for me. It baffled me.
While I can totally believe cults exist in the world of Riverdale, Season 3 took it to another level where it just felt unbelievable that these kids were getting roped into literally donating their organs, thinking it was for some board game, and never questioned it. How dumb can someone be? That’s just ridiculous.
Jughead Literally Getting Abducted By Aliens (Season 5)
We had never had a single hint to there being aliens prior to this season, and now, in the Season 5 episode of Riverdale titled “Fire in the Sky,” Jughead had some writer's block, so what did he do?
He took some shrooms, and somehow, someway, got abducted by aliens - I think?
At least, that’s what the general consensus was, because the inclusion of drugs with Jughead was something that was never needed before and certainly didn’t add anything that was good to the plot. It was just strange and weird and didn’t make any sense whatsoever. The fans were also not happy either.
Rivervale (Season 6)
Listen - I loved the Netflix series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I loved the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cast, I loved the story, and I was so sad when it got cancelled - but this show did not need to cross into Riverdale territory. Like, are we serious? I didn’t like the whole twist with Cheryl at the end of Season 5 with her family apparently being witches, but we were never alerted to that before at all, and including this whole series event was so silly.
While it was cool to see Kiernan Shipka return as Sabrina in the series, the whole Rivervale plotline for the first six episodes of Season 6 of Riverdale was just so ridiculous in every conceivable way that I can’t re-watch those now, no matter how much I love fantasy movies or fantasy TV shows. It just doesn’t fit with Riverdale.
But, there’s one twist that outdoes every other one, and I’ll explain it now.
Everyone Has Powers???? (Season 6)
Hey, Riverdale? It’s Marvel, they want their superpowers back.
In Season 6 of Riverdale, we saw Rivervale, which introduced the idea of the supernatural into the show. In the episode, “Unbelievable,” after a bomb explosion that was featured several episodes prior, it gives the characters superpowers. Superpowers. All of which continue on until the end of the season.
I’m just…I didn’t need more superheroes, The CW! I had enough with the Arrowverse and I didn’t need to see horrible CGI of Cheryl using her powers to somehow stop a comet from flying into Riverdale - God, just writing this is making me lose brain cells. Good God.
Riverdale is finally ending with Season 7 (thank God), but with the last twist of the end of Season 6 - with them being literally sent back in time, who knows what Season 7 will hold for us. I’ll be there for this crazy ride to finally come to an end. And, if you haven’t caught up, be sure to check out Riverdale streaming.
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!