Three months after the conclusion of the 5-part Rivervale event, Riverdale is back to continue season 6, picking up directly where season 5 ended. Like previous seasons, I find myself asking how is Riverdale going to top itself? Rivervale gave us a dark mirror world. Now that we’re back in regular, old Riverdale, how will they reach that level of craziness again?
The answer is superpowers. That’s right, nothing regular, old Riverdale about this season. Will there be a serial killer? Of course, this still is Riverdale. But now super powers are no longer exclusive to DC’s stable of shows on the CW.
It all starts with Archie (KJ Apa) and Betty (Lili Reinhardt) surviving the bomb blast that was the season 5 cliffhanger. Despite the interdimensional phone call warning from Rivervale giving Archie and Betty time to escape Archie’s room before the bomb went off, the bomb was powerful to rip through the entire house. Surveying the damage, Uncle Frank (Ryan Robbins) has questions about Archie’s story that they shielded themselves under the dining room table, which lies collapsed and in ruins on the dining room floor. Leave it to Archie to get caught in the most obvious lie here.
What’s the truth? When Betty and Archie discuss is later, Betty says that Archie grabbed her and shielded her, but then how is Archie not burnt to a crisp? Well, Archie soon discovers that he’s gone unbreakable. That’s right, unbreakable. He suspects something is amiss when a nail sticking out of a wall rips his shirt but not his skin. He weighs himself and finds that he’s 20 lbs heavier than he was a week ago. Testing his suspicions, he presses his hands into the sharp ends of a couple of nails sticking out of a two-by-four. The nails pop out the other side of the board, leaving not even a scratch on his palm.
When calls fly around about the explosion, different people cast different blame. Veronica (Camila Mendes) somehow knows it was her father behind it, and calls in the services of a hitman to end her Hiram (Mark Consuelos) problem permanently. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) blames herself, thinking it was Abigail’s curse that she invoked at the end of season 5 that is bringing trouble to the Andrews, Jones, and Cooper families. She gets to work on reversing her hex, with very little help from Nana Rose, who claims to have burned the parchment after Cheryl read it.
Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner) thinks the Ghoulies were behind the bombing and wants to take the fight to them. Toni (Vanessa Morgan) suggests they have a sit down with the leader of the Ghoulies, Twyla Twist (Alaina Huffman), first. At the meeting, Twila freely admits to being behind the bombing and lets them know that Hiram is paying her gang from afar to do two things: cause mayhem in Riverdale and kill Archie Andrews.
Betty also has gained a superpower. She now can detect evil rising off people. She first picks up on this in the hospital where she’s getting examined at her mother’s insistence after the explosion. She passes an orderly, Trevor, in the hall, who has a menacing red aura emanating from him.
Later, while working late at night in the FBI office, Betty is visited by a visibly drunk Glen (Greyston Holt), who had been out drinking with the guys and now tries to force himself onto her. She sees the same red aura glowing off him, and cold cocks him. After this, Betty has Glen, and every other man in the unit reassigned elsewhere.
When Toni and Fangs inform Archie about the Ghoulies’ plan for him, he heads straight to the Ghoulies hideout and returns home completely covered in blood. He is quick to tell Betty that none of it is his. The two lovers trade stories of their superpowers.
Unfortunately, superpowers seem to be reserved only for those in the immediate vicinity of the blast. Jughead (Cole Sprouse), who was in the garage bedroom at the time of the blast, only has significant hearing loss. He tries hiding it from everyone, but it’s brought out into the open when it appears he’s ignoring a diner customer asking him for a coffee refill. Jughead was looking down as he swept the floor and didn’t hear the customer at all. Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) takes him to get checked out and their fears are validated; Jughead lost 80% of his hearing in one ear and 87% in the other.
A nurse turns up dead at Riverdale Hospital and Betty immediately suspects Trevor. She confronts him at work, and he pulls out a scalpel to cut her. Unfortunately for Trevor, Betty brought her unbreakable boyfriend with her as backup.
Cheryl has been trying to undo her hex, but her attempts keep being interfered with. She initially suspects Nana Rose, but then discovers Britta, now possessed by the spirit of Abigail, was the one messing with her reverse hexes. Cheryl enlists Nana’s help to exorcise Abigail from Britta. It works, except Nana betrays her, moving Abigail into Cheryl’s body instead of banishing her spirit. And here we thought we left that storyline in Rivervale.
Reggie’s (Charles Melton) father suffering a heart attack and Reggie lamenting that this happened just as he and his dad were reconciling, pulls at Veronica’s heartstrings. She tries to call off the hit on her father, but it’s too late. The hitman reports in: Hiram is dead. Does anyone actually believe this? Show of hands. No hands raised, I see. Then again, is this Mark Consuelos way of lowkey leaving Riverdale after season 5? He was dead in the Rivervale timeline and is still out of town now. Hermosa, furious about the Hiram news, calls Veronica and tells her that she’s a marked woman for what she did to their father. I’m 95% certain that we haven’t seen the last of Hiram and that he bought off the hitman, possibly with the help of Hermosa.
Jughead really can’t catch a break, because even Archie’s dog Bingo received superpowers. Uncle Frank and Archie dug Bingo out of the rubble earlier in the episode. The dog was still alive but with four broken legs. By the end of the episode, only two days later in storytime, Archie gets a call saying that Bingo’s legs are fully healed.
Glen is having an even worse day than Jughead though. On his way out of town, he stops at Pops for a takeout dinner. Waiting in his backseat for him in the Trash Bag Killer, who is the last person Glen sees in this life. The Trash Bag Killer is in Riverdale!