The Subtle Clues Rivervale Is Still Influencing 'Riverdale'

- Riverdale -
The Subtle Clues Rivervale Is Still Influencing 'Riverdale'

When Riverdale initially revealed its five-part event series set in a parallel universe, it was implied that the show's new supernatural elements would be a thing specifically relegated to the town of Rivervale. Now, however, things are still strange in Riverdale proper: Jughead, Archie, and Betty all have super powers, while new character Percival Pickens is a mind controlling villain. That was certainly odd, but many saw it as a shift in genre for the notoriously homage-heavy Riverdale — until, that is, Sunday's "The Serpent Queen's Gambit," in which Rivervale and Riverdale clashed once again.

"The Serpent Queen's Gambit" shows Percival closing in on the Southside Serpents. Toni, who is also a guidance counselor and the owner of the bar the Whyte Wyrm, is the Serpent Queen, and is the focus of the attack. At one point, a social worker is sent to Toni's house in order to see if she's a fit mother — something that happened in the Rivervale-set episode, "Ghost Stories." While meeting with the social worker, Toni has a flashback to that episode and says she's experiencing deja vu — which is super weird, as that didn't happen to this version of Toni, but her Rivervale alter-ego.

What could this mean? It could be a reminder that parallel universes still exist, even if we aren't going to explore that particular element further. What's interesting, however, is that many moments on Riverdale have been subtle parallels to the events of the Rivervale special event series — almost as if they have been remixed within the new season.

Images: The CW

One example is Abigail taking over Cheryl's body. In Rivervale, Abigail was always Cheryl: She was an immortal witch who assumed the identity of Cheryl Blossom and her many ancestors over the years. Yet in the town of Riverdale, Abigail and Cheryl are separate people, with Abigail placing her soul into Cheryl's in order to take over the town and punish the people who killed her.

Then there's the fact that the Trash Bag Killer's presence led to Glen's death in both Rivervale and Riverdale. In Rivervale, Betty accidentally kills Glen because the Trash Bag Killer (who seems to have a connection with the devil) fools her into thinking she's killing him. In Riverdale, Glen is directly murdered by TBK.

The Rivervale episode "Mr. Cypher" also suggests that Percival Pickens may be the devil. While they're played by different actors, both Mr. Cypher and Percival seem to have a real control over the people of the town, and have used their powers of manipulation and coercion to make people do things they ordinarily wouldn't do. One other connection? Both Mr. Cypher and Percival go to Jughead in order for him to write something about their plans for the newspaper.

Images: The CW

So...what does this all mean? That's what's not yet clear, but it could suggest that maybe we didn't exactly leave the parallel universes at the end of the Rivervale event series. Is it possible that the explosion in Archie's house — the one that gave everyone superpowers — actually bumped them into a new plane of Riverdale, which only seems more similar to their original town than, say, Rivervale did? And if that is the case, will we ever get back to the original version of Riverdale?

That remains to be seen — but with the next episode of Riverdale teasing spontaneous combustion, well, there's definitely something off in Season 6.

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