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Jason's murder had revealed some dark truths none of us were too eager to face, especially not Mayor McCoy, who wanted every last vestige of corruption crushed, like a snake under a boot heel.

"Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter" is the thirteenth and final episode of the first season of Riverdale. It premiered on May 11, 2017.


SEASON FINALEArchie and Veronica continue to grow closer. Betty is tired of her family acting as if nothing has happened and confronts her mother. Jughead finds himself in an unexpected situation, leaving Archie and the gang scrambling. Hermione makes Fred an offer that seems too good to be true. Meanwhile, the truth about Blossoms’ family business is revealed leaving Cheryl to take matters into her own hands.



Jughead writes from Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe while Alice write from The Register, both of whom explaining Clifford Blossom's motives and the state of shock in which this recent revelation left Riverdale.

Sheriff Keller finds drugs in Blossom Maple Barn

Inside the Blossom Maple Farms, where Clifford's body hung from the ceiling, Sheriff Keller discovers copious amounts of drugs hidden within the barrels. The town would soon learn that maple syrup was merely a front for his true business — transporting heroine from Montréal on his maple syrup trucks. With that, a narrative emerged that Jason Blossom learned of his father's drug trafficking and threatened to expose the truth, which led to Jason's abduction at the hands of a Southside Serpent named Mustang, which was followed by Jason's murder at the hands of his father. Clifford then killed Mustang by making it appear that he had overdosed in order to cover his tracks. All this to implicate Hiram Lodge as being the master mind behind the entire incident. Keeping this in mind, Clifford also threatened to kill Jughead should FP refuse to confess to killing Jason despite the fact that his only involvement was disposing of the body. In the wake of Clifford's cowardly death, the town was facing several dark truths revealed by Jason's murder that no one was too eager to face, the least of all Mayor McCoy, who wants every last vestige of corruption crushed, like a snake under a boot heel.

FP sits in his cell

With Jughead observing quietly from the corner, FP sits behind bars while Sheriff Keller explains to him that Clifford Blossom was a king pin — trafficking drugs in and out of Riverdale. The Mayor and the Sheriff are mostly concerned with the local component of Clifford's business. With someone dealing the drugs throughout town, they need a name, and they believe that FP can supply the name considering that all indications are pointing towards the Serpents. Should FP comply, Mayor McCoy is willing to speak with the district attorney in order to lessen FP's sentence. However, not only did FP have no information to give them since Serpents only dealt dime bags of weed, he abided by a no snitching policy, in which he is not to speak or out any of his fellow Serpents. Sheriff Keller makes one last effort to reason with FP. If his case goes to trial, there will be no leniency from the court; he'd be facing twenty years in a federal penitentiary for his part in the cover-up of Jason's murder.

Archie enters the kitchen that morning to the sight of Fred staring out the window. Archie softly calls out to his father to ask if he is okay, though Fred is far from it. He thought that he knew Riverdale, but recent events say otherwise. If he could cut ties in that moment, he would. Fred then asks Archie how he was doing, to which he replies that while he is fine, the same can not be said for his friends. Betty, Veronica, and Jughead are still in the midst of it all. As they all are, Fred adds.

At the Pembrooke, Hermione and Smithers prepare for Hiram's arrival, which isn't far off. Everything needs to be perfect for his return. Veronica comments that they wouldn't want to make him angry. As Hermione passes by, she comments that Hiram is her father, not the Godfather.

Archie and Betty walk to school

All things considered, the Cooper household is essentially returning to normal, which isn't as pleasant as it may seem. They were acting as if the events that transpired within the last few months never occurred. With Hal and Polly back home, and Alice working for the Register once more, the Coopers are settling back into how things were before Polly's pregnancy and Jason's death, which Betty can no longer withstand. Fake smiles and talk of the upcoming 75th Anniversary Jubilee is her family's greatest concern. As she and Archie walk to school that day, she tells him of her family's odd behavior and just how horrible it is pretending to be the perfect family when in actuality they better represent a Greek suburban tragedy. Archie giggles, but this is no laughing matter. Her family practically imploded under the pressure of recent events, and should they continue to ignore this truth, it is only a matter of time before history repeats.

Mayor McCoy and Principal Weatherbee seeks to honor Archie and Betty

With Jason's murder investigation coming to a close,and life resuming back to how it once was, Veronica suggests that she and Archie come clean to Betty about their secret romance. Archie is hesitant and reminds Veronica of the sequence of events that followed the last time they informed Betty of their romantic encounter. They must proceed with caution, leaving Veronica burdened with the task of telling Betty herself, on top of everything else she is dealing with. Their conversation is brought to an abrupt end as Mr. Weatherbee calls Archie and Betty down to his office, where Mayor McCoy seeks to honor them for their bravery and their hand in solving Jason's case. The Pussycats will be performing at the Jubilee, and Mayor McCoy is hoping that Archie will join them. In Betty's case, considering the troubling times that Riverdale has endured, Mayor McCoy thought it best if the town hears from their best and brightest. What of Jughead, Archie asks. He played a large hand in solving Jason's case as well. Mayor McCoy admits that while she likes Jughead and that he is welcome to attend, with FP in jail, he will not be brought on stage because she wants to avoid any controversy.

Jughead tells the gang of the search for the drug dealing Serpents

After turning down Mayor McCoy's proposal, Archie and Betty join Jughead, Veronica and Kevin at lunch. While Jughead appreciated the righteous indignation, he never planned to attend the Jubilee to begin with, so he is fine with Archie and Betty being honored on stage. Having said that, Jughead informs them of Mayor McCoy and Sheriff Keller's search for the Serpents responsible in dealing Clifford Blossom's drugs. With more and more drugs hitting the streets, FP insists that the Serpents aren't responsible. Meanwhile, Mayor McCoy has yet to even address the fact that Clifford was the mastermind behind Jason's death and all that followed. Because of this, the Serpents are being unfairly villainized, leaving Betty to resort to writing a town wide article on the matter. It doesn't matter how many Jubilees Mayor McCoy throws, Riverdale has changed, and that needs to be acknowledged. Betty's befuddled by people's fear of the truth. Veronica takes this opportunity to speak about a truth of her own. She and Archie tell Betty that they've kissed a couple of times. Betty is surprisingly accepting of their relationship and gives them her best wishes.

Cheryl and Penelope in the Blossom Maple Barn

After Clifford's funeral, Cheryl and Penelope return to the Blossom Maple Farm. As cruel as ever, Penelope questions why Cheryl is crying when she hated her father, though Cheryl begs to differ. The Blossoms have been cursed ever since the original murder, where brother killed brother. Who will the Grim Reaper take next, Penelope wonders. She looks up to the rafters of the barn, asking if Clifford had the right idea by ending it. Better the sweet hereafter than the awful limbo they are stuck in. As Penelope exits the barn, Cheryl looks up to the rafters of the barn, gazing upon the very same support beam that her father used to take his own life.

Despite Betty's initially supportive response to Archie and Veronica's relationship, Archie seeks Betty out at the Blue and Gold as he can't help but wonder if this was truly how she felt. Last time she said she was okay, she wasn't. Betty insists that she's fine with Archie dating Veronica. But as amazing as Veronica is, a little part of Archie always thought he and Betty would end up together, however, before he can finish this thought, Betty cuts him off. She thinks they are lucky to have found the people they are meant to be with, and even better that they are all friends.

Hermione fired the Serpents

Fred arrives at Andrews Construction to the sight of a new crew working on the SoDale project. He immediately enters the trailer to confront Hermione about this recent change in crew without first consulting him. Hermione let the Serpents go because the Mayor and Sheriff Keller are cracking down on the Serpents especially. However, this does little to ease Fred's anger. The Serpents stood by them when no one else would. But with Hiram's release and upcoming return to Riverdale, Hermione can't allow the project to be affiliated with criminals. A unilateral decision is not up to Hermione to make on her own. Fred reminds her that they are partners. Having said that, Hermione moves on to her next point: buying Fred out of the project. She regrets dragging him into a situation that he never wanted to be a part of. Before he exits the trailer, Fred tells Hermione to write him up an offer, and he'll consider it.

Josie and Archie at Town Hall

Archie joins Josie at Town Hall as she prepares for the Jubilee. She is impressed at the rate in which his songwriting is improving. With each song his talent grows. In spite of all of this, there is zero chance of them performing his new song at the Jubilee. Her mother has already approved Astronaut. Archie tries to explain that the song is about his friends who had been through hell and back, which Josie understands, but the Jubilee is a town-wide event, not to be dedicated to a select few.

Alice and Hal reading Betty's article

Betty heads over to the Register with her article entitled "The Riverdale Witch Trial; FP Jones, Serpents Slandered," in hopes that her parents will publish it. While it is admittedly some of her best work, with it being both passionate and compelling, Alice and Hal still deny Betty's request to publish the article for a number of reasons. She is too involved in the case and people will think that she wrote it as a favor to her boyfriend's father, which Betty insists isn't the case. She wrote the article because it's the truth, and the whole town needs to know it. Alice retorts that its one version of the truth, leaving Betty to conclude that her mother is just as bad as the rest of the town. Alice also didn't want Betty publishing the article because of the reported attacks on the south side. The whole town is going after the Serpents. They agreed with Mayor McCoy that crime is spreading. Anger has overtaken the town like a plague, and the townsfolk needed to focus it somewhere. For the time being, it's the Serpents, but that can quickly change should Betty publish her article.

After resigning from the River Vixens, Cheryl awaits Veronica's arrival in the girls' locker room. She tells Veronica that the Vixens are waiting for her in the gym, their new directorix. She then hands Veronica her H.B.I.C (head bitch in charge) shirt. The last few days have put things in perspective. She is done crying, having shed her fair share of tears for the Blossom men.

Fred with Jughead's case worker

Archie and Jughead return home that night to find Fred talking with Ms. Weiss, Jughead's caseworker from Social Services. With FP facing extended jail time and his mother out of state, they want to ensure that Jughead is being taken care. Archie volunteers their home until further notice, an offer that Fred had made prior to their arrival. Unfortunately, between the DUI that Fred was charged with after Mary left town, and his insufficient funds, the odds are against them. Ms. Weiss has spoken with a foster family on the south side that is willing to take Jughead in. They are good people, who Social Services has worked with before. However, this will require him to transfer to Southside High. With paperwork in process, Jughead will be on the south side by the end of the week.

FP and Archie discuss Jughead and the serpents

The following day, Archie visit FP in his cell at the Sheriff Station to inform him of recent developments surrounding Jughead's transfer to the south side. If there is a deal on the table, Archie urges FP to take it for Jughead's sake. FP refuses to turn on the Serpents in spite of all that he and Jughead would have to endure. Not to mention they are innocent, not that anyone cared. Archie cares, as does his friends, but no one wants to see FP go to prison for 20 years. FP trusts that Jughead will understand why he can't turn on his gang affiliates. Jughead knows that you can't betray the people that stand by you and have your back. FP is certain the Serpents will step up when the time calls for it. Jughead is a tough and scrappy kid, he'll make it, especially with Archie and Betty looking after him, though he feels it is necessary to warn Archie that Jughead will try to pull away by disappearing into himself, but that's exactly why he needs his friends to stick with him no matter what.

Betty's locker vandalized

With Betty watching over Polly, Veronica decides to join Jughead at the 'social pariah table' for lunch. She recently came to the realization that she and Jughead have a lot in common. Other than the fact that his dad is going to prison, while her dad is getting out, they are dating each other's best friend. Cheryl then interrupts their conversation to apologize for her attack on Jughead just days prior, gifting him with her iconic spider broach as recompense, which will catch a pretty penny at the pawn shop, enough to keep him in burgers and S T-shirts for years. Noticing that Cheryl's odd behavior is persisting, Veronica asks if everything is okay with her. However, before she can respond, Kevin calls for their attention in the hallway, where Betty's locker has been vandalized with a hanging Betty doll and pig's blood in retaliation to the article she wrote.

Archie returns home from school enraged over the incident with Betty's locker. He wanted to slam whoever is responsible through a wall. Betty is getting threats, and Jughead is being thrown into a snake's pit, leaving Archie in a state of helplessness. Fred attempts to explain that all you can do is show up sometimes, but Archie's been doing this all year, and it has yet to make the slightest difference. They are still getting their asses kicked.

Jughead considers leaving

As long as Betty is Jughead's girlfriend, and she continues to write articles about him and his father, trouble will keep coming at her from all sides, though she writes the incident off as an isolated attack by one jerk. Jughead disagrees. Separate from the recent attack, there is also Mayor McCoy, Sheriff Keller, Weatherbee, and Social Services to worry about. He feels as if the entire multiverse is working against him, telling him that he doesn't belong in Riverdale, so maybe it is time he start to consider leaving, which Betty refuses to allow. Riverdale is just as much his home as anyone else's.

Hermione asks Veronica about her relationship with Archie

With Veronica home from school, Hermione turns her attention to Veronica's relationship with Archie and asks if they're growing closer, which they are. Veronica quickly grows suspicious of her mother's sudden interest. Hermione explains that Fred is still on the fence about an offer that she made to buy him out of the SoDale contract. She is hoping that Veronica can talk to Archie and convince Fred to sell. Veronica sarcastically remarks that she'd sexually manipulate Archie into doing her bidding, which Hermione responds to by saying as long as she remains in control. Veronica is shocked by the lengths her mother is willing to go all in the name of this project. She began to wonder why Hermione is so persistent in pushing Fred out of the deal despite the fact that he is the only person in town who was loyal to her. Hiram coming home will only cause problems between the three of them, as he and Fred didn't get along. Hermione is attempting to avoid this collision at all cost.

Betty returns home

After interrogating Polly of her whereabouts throughout the day, Alice scolds Betty immediately following her return home for taking Polly to school and publishing her article on FP and the unfair treatment of the Serpents. Alice warned Betty against publishing the article in the first place. Betty's constant defiance is taking a toll on her. However, Betty is sick of all the secrets and lies within the town, more importantly her family. She would much rather endure the hostile actions and backlash to follow her article than to live in fear of the truth. Alice is scared for Betty, not of the truth, or so she claims. Betty calls her bluff. Alice talks a big game about liking Jughead, but deep down she'd be much happier if they weren't together. Betty recalls the Homecoming dinner with FP, in which he revealed that Alice and Hal got into a huge fight the night of their Homecoming, which has Betty wondering what the fight was about. Alice brushes the question off despite the terrified look that is present on her face during the aforementioned dinner. Alice shouts out that it is none of Betty's business. Her dad was keeping a secret that nearly destroyed the Cooper family, how many is her mother keeping, Betty asks.

The next morning, Cheryl comes down the steps of Thornhill, hoping that her mother allows her to stay home due to all the pressure and stress she is undergoing. Absolutely not, Penelope says. She couldn't care less about Cheryl's issues.

Alice telling Betty that she and Polly have a brother

After what appears to have been a stressful night of sleep for Alice, she enters Betty's room, shutting the door behind her. There are some secrets that are so painful that you not only hide them from the world, but you hide them from yourself as well. The night of the Homecoming dance, where she and Hal were crowned King and Queen, it was the same night that she had told him that she was pregnant, which led to the huge fight that FP witnessed. They disagreed on how best to handle the situation, so Alice went away to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, where she gave birth five months later to a baby boy. The Sisters then arranged for a quiet adoption. As tears roll down Alice's face, she hugs Betty while expressing that it is the biggest mistake of her life.

Jughead at Southside High

Betty is quick to share this information with Archie and Veronica at school later that day. Positively Dickensian, Veronica says. She loves a long-lost brothers story. No doubt a blonde Adonis, she surmises after learning that he's likely in his mid-twenties by now. Betty receives a call from Jughead, telling her that he has voluntarily transferred over to South side High sooner than initially scheduled. He believes that he is where he belongs, and that Betty shouldn't worry about him. Archie recalls FP warning him of Jughead's attempt to cut himself off and recede into the darkness. While reading a book and eating lunch alone at his new school, Jughead is approached by several students who at first glance are looking to cause trouble. As this unfolds, back at Thornhill, Cheryl places her white dress from July 4th on a chair before laying back in her bed. Meanwhile, Archie, Betty, and Veronica arrive at South Side High in search of Jughead, who Archie and Betty correctly presume is in the cafeteria. They find him surrounded by a group of students, at least one of whom is a Serpent. After telling a joke, the entire table explodes with laughter. Jughead then turns around, surprised by their unexpected retrieval mission to bring him back to Riverdale.

Archie and Veronica watching Jughead and Betty

Just outside the school, Betty and Jughead discuss his decision to leave Riverdale High ahead of schedule. He explains that he didn't tell her ahead of time because she would try to stop him. The south side is where the power to be wanted him, and maybe it's where he wanted to be as well considering his chances of blending in are significantly increased. Not to mention it will also keep Betty safe. Despite Jughead's reasoning, Betty refuses to allow "Riverdale Civil War" to split the two of them apart, and so they hug, with Archie and Veronica watching from afar. Veronica firmly believes that they are each other's soulmate. She then looks to Archie, who has an unsettling look on his face, but before he can get a word out, Veronica receives a text from Cheryl, thanking her for trying to help, but she merely wants to be reunited with Jason, which leads them to Sweetwater River, where Cheryl saw her brother last.

Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica at Sweetwater

The four of them make their way over to Sweetwater in the freezing cold, calling out to Cheryl multiple times, but with no response. They continue to search until finding her at the center of Sweetwater, pounding on the river, which is frozen solid. They plead with her to stop banging on the thick layer of ice covering the river's surface, which she does, but with the damage already done, the ice cracks right beneath Cheryl's feet, dragging her under the current. Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica run onto the iced over river to recover Cheryl, but by the time they reach its breaking point, Cheryl has traveled further down stream. While down under, Cheryl hallucinates Jason's rotting corpse reaching out to her. Fortunately, Archie finds her just beneath the iced-over surface after pushing away the snow. However, the only way to reach her is to break through the ice, thus forcing Archie to do just that. He continuously punches the ice, eventually breaking through after many intense blows, though not without severely injuring his hand in the process. After pulling Cheryl out of the river, he performs CPR and brings her to shore.

Cheryl sits by the fireplace

Soaking wet and wrapped in a towel, Cheryl sits in front of the fireplace at the Pembrooke, where Veronica brings her a cup of hot chocolate to warm her up. Hermione enters the room soon thereafter, wondering why Cheryl is in her home. Veronica explains that she got in an accident and needed help. Cheryl says she'll just warm up and go home. With Cheryl preparing to leave soon, Hermione offers Veronica a ride to the Jubilee, but Veronica denies her offer since she already has a ride, then referring to her mother as Lady Macbeth.

That night, as the Coopers prepare to leave for the Jubilee, Alice joins Betty in her room, assuming that the distressed look on her face is nervousness due to the speech she must give at the event. However, Betty's concern truly lies with Jughead, and how he's been put into a foster family, and transferred to South Side High. He says it won't change anything between them, but Betty thinks differently.

Josie allows Archie to play his song

Backstage of the Jubilee, Archie struggles to play his guitar due to the injury he sustained while saving Cheryl, at Sweetwater, leaving Veronica to question if he should be playing with the condition that his hand is in. Freshman year, he played an entire season with a taped up hand, assuring Veronica that he could still play. Veronica then remembers how Archie longingly looked at Betty and Jughead when Southside High, making her question his feelings for Betty. Archie explains that the moment Veronica is talking about is when he realized how good Betty and Jughead are together, and it confirmed that he wanted to be that for Veronica. As the two of them proceed to kiss, Josie interrupts. She learned of Archie's heroic actions from Veronica and deiced to play his song at Jubilee as a show of gratitude.

Archie performing at the Jubilee

Mayor McCoy kicks off the Jubilee, welcoming all as they enter the Town Hall. She couldn't be any more thrilled to introduce Josie and the Pussycats as they perform alongside the town's local hero, Archie. Against her mother's wishes, Josie announces to the crowd that instead of Astronaut, they'll be playing an original song by Archie. Meanwhile, Jughead joins FP at the station having learned that he continues in his silence to not give up any of the Serpents. Sheriff Keller is hoping that Jughead can convince him otherwise, but FP refuses to give any names yet again. Aware of the fact that his father could be facing a lifetime in jail, Jughead makes it a point to tell FP that he will be fine without him. The family that has taken him in is nice, and he can learn to adapt to the social ranking of South side High. While he is more innocent than he is guilty, come what may, FP will have to answer for his wrongdoings, meaning it is up to Jughead to look after Jellybean and his mother.

Betty gives her speech

Back at the Jubilee, Betty takes the stage after Archie and the Pussycats' performance. Jughead enters the room soon thereafter. Gaining the much-needed confidence from his arrival, Betty gives a speech pertaining to Riverdale and the crossroads which they must face head on — "Seventy-Five years of Riverdale. But what is Riverdale? It's people, right? You, me, our friends, our neighbors. Riverdale is Archie Andrews. Kevin Keller is Riverdale. Veronica Lodge, she's Riverdale. But you know who else is Riverdale? FP Jones. Who we were so quick to blame for Jason's murder. Jughead Jones is Riverdale. The very soul of Riverdale. Without him, we may not have ever found out what happened to Jason. And yet how do we thank him? By banishing him. Which is what we do when the truth gets too ugly in Riverdale. Truth being that Clifford Blossom was also Riverdale. Riverdale's at a crossroads. If we don't face the reality of who and what we are, if we keep lying to ourselves and keeping secrets from each other, then what happened to Jason could happen again. Or, God forbid, something even worse. Riverdale must do better. We must do better." The crowds then erupts with applause.

After Betty's speech, Hermione catches up to Fred in the hallway to see if he has given her offer any further consideration, which he has, but unfortunately for Hermione, Fred has chosen not to sell. He states that Riverdale is at a crossroads. Apparently, Betty's speech has resonated with him. He didn't believe that selling is in Hermione or the town's best interest. So, he'll be seeing her at work.

The gang at Pop's shoppe

Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica celebrate that night with milkshakes at Pop's shoppe. To Archie Andrews, who saved the cheerleader and the town, Veronica says. But Archie believes it is Betty who actually gave the folks of Riverdale a much-needed wake-up call and a fighting chance. They had may milkshakes that night, and they all felt that as dangerous as the world around them had become, there, in the booth, they were safe.

Penelope returns home to the smell of gasoline. She follows it to the main room, where Cheryl stands near the fireplace with lit candles. Before igniting the house in flames, Cheryl says it's the only way they can truly start over and be purified.

Jughead joining the Serpents

After having their milkshakes at Pop's, Jughead and Betty stop by the trailer, which he has cleaned up just in case his father is to be released. Betty shares his optimisms. She isn't giving up on FP until he's free. This leads to Jughead professing his love for Betty. She reciprocates these feelings as the two of them begin kissing. Meanwhile, Archie returns to the Pembrooke with Veronica, who tells him that he need not worry about her mother, who is no doubt sleeping soundly in the arms of Prince Valium after mixing her reds and whites at the Jubilee. She tells Archie to come on in but remain quiet. They begin to kiss and undress, as does Betty and Jughead at the trailer. However, they are interrupted by a knock at the door. Jughead and Betty assume that it is Alice on the other side, but upon answering the door, Jughead is greeted by several members of the Southside Serpents, including a dog named Hot Dog, who is told to calm down as Jughead is viewed by them as family. They heard that FP could've given names but didn't. Serpents take care of their own. No matter what happens to FP, the Serpents have Jughead's back. Jughead is then given a custom Serpent jacket should he agree to join them, which he does, as he places the jacket on. Betty looks onward from the doorway, confused by his decision to join them.

With a satisfactory look in her eyes, Cheryl gazes upon Thornnhill as it goes up in flames, all the while Penelope swats at her out of anger and rage.

Fred gets shot

Archie wakes the following morning. He has to leave early in order to meet his father at Pop's for breakfast, which is what they usually do when he wants to talk about something serious, like him staying out all night. He kisses Veronica goodbye before heading off. Archie shows up at Pop's with Fred awaiting his arrival. He first heads into the restroom to wash his hand, looking up into the mirror with a smile on his face. From inside the bathroom, Archie hears yelling and dishes breaking. He exits to find the shoppe being burglarized. A masked gunman stands on top of the counter with a gun pointed at Pop Tate. Fred looks over to Archie, signalling his son to stay back. The gunman then turns his attention to Fred, demanding his wallet. Archie panics and runs out in between the gunman and his father, however, Fred is shot regardless. The gunman swiftly exits the shop after firing that single shot. People will look back to this as the exact moment that the last bit of Riverdale's innocence finally died and darkness won. Marked by an act of violence that was anything but random.



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