Given Riverdale‘s reputation for absurd plot twists, it’s no surprise that the finale offered a wild resolution to this tangled web of will-they-won’t-they romances. Instead of having Archie end up with one girl, it revealed that all four leads are in a quad relationship.
Following in the grand tradition of wacky Riverdale storytelling, the finale begins 67 years in the future. Struggling with memory loss, an elderly Betty flashes back to nostalgic recollections of high school. During this dream sequence, she learns that she’s in a relationship with Archie, Jughead and Veronica:
This twist is iconic for several reasons. First off, it embraces the fandom meme that more love triangles should end in a threesome. (Or in this case, a foursome.) Second, it neatly sidesteps the furious shipping wars between Riverdale stans who ship Bughead, Barchie, or whatever.
And third, it’s a perfect farewell for the many Riverdale spectators who don’t actually watch the show, but enjoy hearing about its ridiculous storylines secondhand on social media. For seven glorious seasons, Riverdale has repeatedly gone viral for its bizarre dialogue and genre-defying soap opera chaos. The finale did not disappoint.
So far the Riverdale quad news is being labeled “galaxy brain shit,” “more earth-shattering and monumental than the ending of succession,” and “like a D&D campaign that went completely off the rails.” In other words, another victory for the Riverdale writing team.
The show’s writers can’t weigh in right now due to the strikes. However, producer Sarah Schechter did do an interview with Variety, where she said the creative team “made a really conscious effort to step away” from the original Betty/Archie/Veronica triangle. She described the Riverdale quad as “modern and fitting,” and “a brave and interesting choice.”
“There’s a maturity to it that I love so much. A person’s life isn’t who they end up with: It’s deeper and more meaningful than that.”
Granted, some Riverdale fans hate the decision to end with a four-way relationship. But that would undoubtedly be true for any possible ending. Either way, longtime viewers really shouldn’t be surprised that this famously unpredictable show ended on such a unique note.