“Return to Rivervale” finally allows Riverdale to dive into its Multiverse storytelling. When Jughead realizes his powers go beyond reading minds and he is creating portals to other dimensions, he and Tabitha walk through a doorway into Rivervale, where Rivervale Jughead sits in the bunker, writing away to keep Rivervale afloat.
Finally, Riverdale reveals the truth about the connections between Rivervale, Riverdale, Percival Pickens, and everyone’s new powers that began with the explosion at Archie’s house. However, as it turns out, that was not the catalyst, even if everyone believed it was. Instead, the connection to the two worlds came from Rivervale Jughead calling Riverdale’s Betty moments before the explosion, warning her and Archie to get out of the house due to the bomb under the bed.
Rivervale Jughead’s phone call prevented a clean break between Rivervale and Riverdale, allowing the essence of Rivervale to slip into Riverdale. Supernatural elements that were never present in Riverdale begin due to their existence in Rivervale. The second Rivervale Jughead, a comic book writer, had written stories featuring the group having superpowers and fighting Percival.
Things shown as symbolism in Rivervale, such as a chess match being the war between good and evil, will have dangerous counterparts in Riverdale. However, “Return to Rivervale” also uses the opportunity to explain who Percival Pickens is.
Percival Pickens had made a deal with the devil, gaining immortality and freedom in exchange for his soul. However, Percival’s claims about a deep-rooted history in town had been accurate, just in the wrong universe. Percival had come from Rivervale and had gotten caught in the break between Riverdale and Rivervale, leading him to take his revenge on alternate counterparts to those he wished to take vengeance on.
By using the Multiverse to its advantage, Riverdale found a way to make Rivervale an integral part of the plot rather than a strange season-opener. With season six coming to a close, the battle between good and evil must commence. Percival has shown he is willing to do whatever it takes to win, even killing his followers to make a point to Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Tabitha.
So, how far is the group willing to go to defeat him? What will it take? But, Jughead also has access to return to Rivervale, and if there is not a clean break between the two dimensions, what will happen? Will Riverdale and Rivervale finally cut ties with a clean break? Will both worlds begin to fall apart? Will they be forced to merge? What will this mean for the Multiverse?
Riverdale has always pushed the boundaries of what it is willing to do and what stories it wants to tell. With that in mind, almost anything could happen next.