Riverdale The Sweet Hereafter Season 1 Episode 13 Recap – If Riverdale season one’s penultimate episode felt like a rush, just wait until you check out the season finale. “Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter” has a lot of fallout to deal with after the events that took place in last week’s “Anatomy of a Murder,” and in expert fashion the hour flies by, skipping through time at a breakneck pace and managing to evoke just as many questions as answers.
Riverdale The Sweet Hereafter Season 1 Episode 13 Recap
In this show’s case, that penchant for solving things only to uncover a new mystery is what makes Riverdale so entertaining and engaging, and though “The Sweet Hereafter” ends on a major series of cliffhangers that hint at many different directions the show can take in its sophomore season, the biggest success story for this first arc is how well everything comes together.
At first, it seems impossible for Riverdale to get through the massive amount of plot that has developed throughout the show’s first twelve episodes. But it quickly becomes apparent that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s script will waste no time on unnecessary moments. Through the use of dramatic editing and time-shifting, “The Sweet Hereafter” tackles huge issues: FP Jones’ fate in jail when he won’t give up the names of the Serpents who might have helped Clifford Blossom distribute his massive heroin possession; Cheryl and Penelope Blossom dealing with a triple blow, from Clifford’s suicide to the dissolution of their entire familial livelihood to the knowledge that their own father killed his son in cold blood; Betty, unable to deal with her town’s deep secrets and the public’s refusal to acknowledge FP Jones’ innocence; and Archie, stuck in the middle of a love triangle wherein he can’t quite figure out how to feel about both Betty and Veronica.
These are huge revelations, and “The Sweet Hereafter” works through them in brief bursts, almost like vignettes. The scenes play out long enough for the action to occur – say, for FP Jones and Jughead to have an emotional conversation before Jughead decides he can make it in Southside High after being forced to transfer, or Archie saving Cheryl from an attempted suicide on the frozen lake – without overreaching, with Aguirre-Sacasa cutting away before those moments can lose their mystery.
It’s a technique that occurs again and again in the episode, and it’s structured in such a way that the audience can’t look away. While other shows would plan these moments out through an entire season, Riverdale works through them at a clip. There’s so much going on that writing a review attempting to discuss all of it doesn’t really do the episode justice.
But the theme “The Sweet Hereafter” chases – and, in truth, Riverdale‘s been chasing it all along – has to do with the sins of the parents in town. Betty realizes this in her speech at the town’s annual gala, foregoing saccharine words for something more visceral: Riverdale has got to come together and let its secrets go in order to continue, and it’s something that the townspeople take to heart at least for a moment before all hell breaks loose once again.
The Riverdale kids have become the heroes according to Mayor McCoy, but it’s because they’ve been forced into that position. Their parents have corrupted everything, and it has ultimately caused all of them to grow up faster than they ever should have. They’re trying to save Riverdale and failing, and worst of all, they’re taking the blame for it. Jason is a prime example, a symbol of Riverdale‘s message; he attempted to stop the corruption and was murdered for his bravery, and similarly, Jughead’s detective work landed his father in jail and forced Jughead into a foster home. Betty’s pleas for Riverdale to let their secrets die is a nice sentiment, but it’s ultimately a naïve attempt to save a town that’s beyond repair.
That’s what makes “The Sweet Hereafter” so entertaining and devastating. Our central protagonists are forced to bear the brunt of the town’s evils, and the episode’s shocking conclusion hints there’s more to come. The episode is about as intense as the show has ever been, and this cap on an excellent season is the best finale a fan could ask for. While Riverdale‘s path next year isn’t clear, its most impressive feat so far has been its willingness to take risks; “The Sweet Hereafter” is the series’ most daring yet, and it’s a rewarding and emotional experience that rivals anything on television right now.
Other episodes of Riverdale reviewed on TV Eskimo:
Chapter 1 – The River’s Edge
Chapter 2 – A Touch of Evil
Chapter 3 – Body Double
Chapter 4 – The Last Picture Show
Chapter 5 – Heart of Darkness
Chapter 6 – Faster Pussycats! Kill! Kill!
Chapter 7 – In a Lonely Place
Chapter 8 – The Outsiders
Chapter 9 – La Grande Illusion
Chapter 10 – The Lost Weekend
Chapter 12 – Anatomy of a Murder
Riverdale The Sweet Hereafter Season 1 Episode 13 Recap characters and cast include:
Archie Andrews – K. J. Apa (Shortland Street, The Cul De Sac, A Dog’s Purpose)
Betty Cooper – Lili Reinhart (The Kings of Summer, Miss Stevens, The Good Neighbor)
Veronica Lodge – Camila Mendes
Jughead Jones – Cole Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Grace Under Fire, Friends, Big Daddy)
Hermione Lodge – Marisol Nichols (Delta Farce, 24, GCB, Teen Wolf, Felon)
Cheryl Blossom – Madelaine Petsch
Kevin Keller – Casey Cott
Fred Andrews – Luke Perry (Beverly Hills 90210, Black Beauty, Jeremiah, John from Cincinnati, Oz)
Alice Cooper – Madchen Amick (Twin Peaks, Sleepwalkers, Priest, Longmire)
Mary Andrews – Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Raising Expectations, The Secret Life of the American Teenager)
FP Jones – Skeet Ulrich (As Good as It Gets, Scream, The Craft, Robot Chicken)
Joaquin – Rob Raco (Drowning, Peaks and Valleys, My Crazy Love)
Sheriff Keller – Martin Cummins (Dark Angel, When Calls the Heart, Shattered, UnREAL, True Justice)
Mayor Sierra McCoy – Robin Givens (Head of the Class, Boomerang, 90210, House of Payne)
Penelope Blossom – Nathalie Boltt (District 9, 800 Words, The Cult, When We Go to War)
Principal Waldo Weatherbee – Peter Bryant (Jumanji, Scary Movie, Rogue, Stargate SG-1)
Clifford Blossom – Barclay Hope (Paycheck, Timeless, The Age of Adaline, Wayward Pines)
Hal Cooper – Lochlyn Munro (White Chicks, Unforgiven, Major Crimes, Longmire, When Calls the Heart)
Jason Blossom – Trevor Stines (The Fosters, Amityville Terror, Spen/cer)