Illustration by Melchisedech Quagrainie for an article on Riverdale

The 8 Best ‘Riverdale’ Moments of the Last Four Seasons

Season 5 of will be making its way to television soon, so let's celebrate by taking a look at some of the craziest scenes from previous seasons.
January 3, 2021
7 mins read

The Season 5 trailer for “Riverdale” just released last month has fans hyped for yet another year of intrigue with Betty (Lili Reinhart), Archie (KJ Apa), Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse). But, before all of us “Riverdale” fans move on to another season, let’s take a moment to reflect on the show’s past. The following list only includes a few select moments — the majority of which are from Season 1 — but these are by no means the show’s only great scenes. Oh, and beware: There are spoilers ahead!

1. Bughead’s First Kiss (S1:E6)

This scene kicks off with Jughead knocking on Betty’s bedroom window and delivering the most brilliant pick-up line in all of “Riverdale”: “Hey there, Juliet. Nurse off duty?” After climbing into her room, he tries to play it cool, but his nervous energy is adorably apparent. After the two kiss, Betty immediately changes the topic back to the main mystery of the season, but “their moment,” as Jughead calls it, is the start of a wonderful, four season-long Bughead romance that will keep “Riverdale” shippers smiling for years to come.

2. Jughead Becomes a Serpent, Nick Is Punished and Betty Dons the Hood (S2:E5)

Two scenes are spliced together in this episode: Jughead is beaten up by a group of Southside Serpents as the final step of his initiation into their gang, and Veronica and the Pussy Cats attack Nick St. Clair (Graham Phillips) in order to prevent him from sexually assaulting Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch). This is immediately followed by Betty being forced to put on a black hood and look in the mirror while on a phone call with the Black Hood himself. All three of these scenes are charged with passion and emotion, and watching them in succession makes for a very suspenseful five minutes.

3. “The Midnight Club” (S3:E4)

This flashback episode provides a fun history lesson about the origins of Gryphons and Gargoyles. Even more importantly, we learn a lot about the “Riverdale” adults and what their high school days were like. It’s very entertaining to watch the teenage characters play their parents, especially when you can easily see the romantic parallels.

4. Archie Saves Cheryl (S1:E13)

In this intense and emotional scene, Archie punches through the frozen surface of Sweetwater River in order to save Cheryl from an attempted suicide. Cheryl’s white dress, the eerie musical score and the blood from Archie’s hand as he pummels the ice all increase the scene’s intensity and fear factor. Archie’s courageous act displays both his physical strength and strength of character. The scene also marks a turning point for Cheryl; from this moment on, she will be completely loyal to the core four.

5. “The Locked Room” (S4:E16)

In this recent episode, Betty and Jughead return to Stonewall Prep, surprising Jughead’s former classmates who all believed him to be dead. They then methodically explain the entire story behind the Baxter Brothers ghostwriters, Mr. Chipping’s suicide and Jughead’s attempted murder. Although a lot of the episode consists of summarizing things that have already been revealed earlier in the season, this methodical explanation is very satisfying and ties up any loose ends that remain in the audience’s mind. Plus, watching Betty and Jughead work together so well is always a treat.

6. Penelope’s Hunt (S3:E22)

This extended moment stretches through most of the Season 3 finale and makes for a fantastic closing episode to such a wild season. The core four are summoned to the Blossoms’ hunting lodge, where several big reveals take place: Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro) — aka the Black Hood — is still alive, Chic (Hart Denton) — who has dyed his hair red and is pretending to be Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines) — is the Gargoyle King and Penelope Blossom (Nathalie Boltt) has been pulling the strings behind the entire Gryphons and Gargoyles operation. These revelations neatly answer the questions we’ve been asking ourselves all season.

Penelope then sends the teenagers out on a final quest through the woods, during which they must each complete a specific dangerous task. This section contains many great moments: Veronica drinking from a chalice that she thinks is poisoned in order to save Betty, Betty shooting Hal in the hand and Penelope killing him shortly thereafter and, best of all, Cheryl and Toni (Vanessa Morgan) bringing down the Gargoyle Gang, archery-style, and saving the core four from certain death.

7. Jason’s Killer Is Revealed (S1:E12)

This moment involves three separate scenes that piece together the story of Jason Blossom’s murder. First, FP (Skeet Ulrich) tells Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins) about how he held Jason for ransom in the basement of the White Worm. Joaquin (Rob Raco) then tells Archie, Veronica and Kevin (Casey Cott) about how he and FP stored the dead body and cleaned up the mess after Jason was shot. These two scenes — which make brilliant use of flashbacks and sinister ambient music — make it seem as though FP shot Jason, but later in the episode, it is revealed in a shocking twist that Jason’s father Clifford (Barclay Hope) was the killer. This provides a riveting and unexpected ending to the Blossom mystery.

8. Season 1 Finale (S1:E13)

There have been many great moments on “Riverdale,” but the second-to-last scene of the Season 1 finale tops them all. The scene interweaves three distinct storylines, and the whole thing is underscored with “Believer” by the Imagine Dragons, bringing the intensity to a whole new level.

The first segment follows Betty and Jughead, who have returned to Jughead’s trailer after the town-wide Jubilee. The two exchange “I love you’s” for the first time, and things start to get steamy, but they’re interrupted by a knock at the door. It’s the Serpents, there to offer Jughead a Serpent jacket and an official place in their gang. This segment shows the deep emotional connection between Jughead and Betty, cementing Bughead for seasons to come. However, it ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger when Betty expresses disapproval as Jughead dons his Serpent skin.

In the second segment, things get hot and heavy with Archie and Veronica at the Pembrooke. The two wake up together in Veronica’s bed the next morning. Varchie fans will no doubt love this scene, as it marks the official beginning of Archie and Veronica’s relationship.

The third segment shows Cheryl, dressed in all white, burning her family’s mansion to the ground. The scene ends with Penelope crying hysterically as Cheryl watches Thornhill go up in flames. Seeing Cheryl gain the strength to finally stand up to her mother, especially after her attempted suicide earlier in the episode, displays her resilient character.

Hopefully, you enjoyed reliving these memorable “Riverdale” moments as much as I did. Keep a lookout for Season 5, set to premiere on Jan. 20!

Callie Rosenzweig, University of Chicago

Writer Profile

Callie Rosenzweig

University of Chicago

I’m Callie, a prospective psychology major originally from Palo Alto, CA. In my spare time I enjoy singing, watching sitcoms, hanging out with my stuffed animals and writing in my journal (aka my best friend).

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