Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter
S6 E20
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Welp, this Percival guy is not messing around. By the end of this week's episode, three more Riverdale mainstays are dead. But given the show's relationship to the afterlife, I'm not sure how concerned we should be. Let's dig into it.

On the eve of war, everyone gathers at Archie's house to make a game plan. They review what they know about Percival: His ancestor, Augustus Pickens, was pretty terrible, and there's no record of anyone named Percival. Then there's the fact that his powers are getting stronger the closer they get to the comet. He's also obsessed with ghost trains. Other than that, they don't know much.

While Veronica tries to get some more information on Percival, Jughead tells Tabitha — and only Tabitha — his theory: As a mind reader, he thinks he opened up a portal to another dimension. At first, Tabitha is skeptical that Jug can be a mind reader AND a "portal opener." But he reminds her that they thought she was a time traveller before realizing she was actually an angel, a sentence he says all too casually. So, they decide that their date night this week is going to involve some portal hopping.

It takes them no time at all to come face-to-face with the first of Rivervale's Jugheads, the one that's stuck writing in a bunker for, like, ever. That Jughead begs them not to leave the bunker because there's another Jughead out there, and another Jughead-on-Jughead meet-up could cause issues. Confused yet?

Jughead and Tabitha promise to be careful as they venture outside the bunker. Their first stop is to visit Nana Rose, who's currently in Cheryl's body. But the dementia has fully taken over her mind, and she's no help. However, when Britta asks Jughead to sign her comic book, they're introduced to The Super Teens! In the comic, the powerful teens are taking on a wizard named Percy the Perverse. Suddenly, Jughead needs to talk to ... yet another Jughead.

Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen: Return to Rivervale” -- Image Number: RVD620a_0142r -- Pictured: Chris O’Shea as Percival Pickens -- Photo: Kailey Schwerman/The CW -- © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Chris O'Shea on 'Riverdale'
| Credit: Kailey Schwerman/The CW

Tabitha traps Rivervale's Tabitha in a time loop so that they can lure Rivervale's Jug to his apartment. It's there that he shows them a preview of his next comic, in which all of the teens die at the hand of Percy. Why would he write such a thing? Because he made a deal with the devil — sorry, Mr. Cypher. He's only allowed to write stories that will darken the world.

When Jug and Tabitha ask where they can find Mr. Cypher, Jughead points them to a nearby chess tournament, because where else would the devil be?!

While all of this is going on, Betty is busy being reunited with her sister. Not only does Betty finally get to apologize to Polly, but Polly tries to talk her out of this ridiculous idea that she's evil. At one point, Betty starts listing her sins, from killing that cat to kissing Archie when she was still with Jughead. But ultimately, the one sin she can never shake is the one she was born with: the serial killer gene.

So, Polly washes her feet, declares her sin gone, and I guess it works because the next time Betty looks in the mirror, her aura is glowing bright and yellow. I have no idea what that means but Betty seems very pleased.

Across town, Percival is sitting down to an on-air interview with Alice. He requested they chat before airing the executions of Kevin, Reggie, and Mr. Mantle. Alice, brainwashed, agrees.

It's in the interview that we learn more about Percival: He arrived in 1580 on The Ruby Pearl, along with the rest of the town's founders. When he chose to study witchcraft, he was found out and sentenced to death. He was then left alone in the woods to starve when the devil paid him a visit. So, Percival made a deal: His soul in exchange for freedom ... and immortality.

The devil granted his wish. So, when he returned to Rivervale more than 400 years later, he was shocked to discover that an explosion landed him in Riverdale. Suddenly, he was in a new universe, but he made it work. As Rivervale's energies seeped into Riverdale, giving some of the residents powers, Percival started working to ensure he'd win the fight for Riverdale's soul. As Jason tells Cheryl, Augustus is on the other side recruiting ghosts to fight the living. That's why Percival wants to bring said ghosts back with his train. He needs an army.

Alice asks Percival about his endgame, and he responds by telling her about "the sovereign state of Percival." He wants total and complete control of the town, from the living to the dead.

So yeah, they need to stop this guy. Back in Rivervale, Jughead and Tabitha talk to Mr. Cypher and find out that Percival never cared about Pop's. He cared about the land beneath Pop's, which is where he was left to die all those years ago, and furthermore, is the site of a hell mouth.

With that information, Tabitha and Jughead prepare to go back to their universe, but not before they run into Ethel in the bunker. And she is pissed! It seems that phone call Rivervale's bunker Jug made to Betty to warn her about the bomb is the source of pretty much everything. That warning is why there wasn't a clean break between the two universes and the cause of all this chaos.

Back in Riverdale, before Jughead and Tabitha can tell the gang everything they learned, they have to help save Reggie, Kevin, and Mr. Mantle. Jug uses his new powers to create a portal and get them to safety. But Percival still goes through with the execution...

The group later gets a text with a photo letting them know that Alice, Uncle Frank, and Tom Keller were executed in their absence. And just like that, Percival has taken out essentially the last of the Riverdale parents. Again, I'm not sure if they're truly gone, but either way, this war is ramping up.

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Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter
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