Riverdale’s Series Finale: Betty Cooper Was The Main Character All Along

Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” -- Image Number: RVD720a_0008r -- Pictured (L - R): Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper -- Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale” -- Image Number: RVD720a_0008r -- Pictured (L - R): Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper -- Photo: Justine Yeung/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Betty Cooper has always been one of the central figures of Riverdale, but its series finale, “Goodbye, Riverdale,” places her at the heart of the story. So, was Riverdale Betty Cooper’s story all along?

Since the show’s beginning, Betty has been involved in every central plot line, digging into the mysteries and serial killers that surrounded the darkening small town. She placed herself in dangerous circumstances, and her family’s complex relationships were one of the most consistent storylines.

Betty’s character arc has been one of the biggest, going from a kind girl next door fighting off her dark side to a young woman who has gone through horrible events and come out the other side.

Riverdale’s series finale could have continued seeing everyone trying to figure out the next steps of their lives approaching graduation with their memories of their past. While there are brief moments of that, for the most part, “Goodbye, Riverdale” follows Betty Cooper re-experiencing a day from her past through the eyes of being eighty-six years old.

The audience learns about every character’s journey as Betty does. Betty’s return to her teenage years in the 1950s has her experiencing it with the ghost of Jughead Jones, a duo that has been underused in more recent seasons that allows the series finale to go back to its early days when Betty and Jughead worked together as a crime-solving team.

Betty is involved in nearly every important scene in the series finale and is the only character to experience the day as if she is saying goodbye.

Throughout the final season, Betty had been curious about what a relationship with Archie would be like. Simultaneously, she had found herself becoming romantically interested and closer to Veronica. Although Betty and Jughead did not spend much time together in season seven, their past is more than enough to show all of the highs and lows they had as a couple. Therefore, Riverdale has fun with Betty rediscovering that she had been in a quad relationship with Archie, Veronica, and Jughead throughout their senior year of high school.

While each of the show’s main characters had something to offer, Betty Cooper was the one to find the most sentiment in her final moments at Riverdale High School. Throughout the finale, Betty is reminded or recalls the events of her life, and her friends’ lives, and how they eventually died.

Although Betty does not return to her days as a detective and FBI agent, she does embrace the life she had started to create in the 1950s, making an impact on the world with a women’s magazine.

Throughout every season, Riverdale had a history of splitting up the characters, giving each of them a separate storyline until they all needed to come back together. However, continually in each season, Betty Cooper has been involved in uncovering the biggest mysteries and unraveling the most difficult storylines that have come from the series.

Riverdale has always been an ensemble show, with all of the cast members and characters bringing chaos and entertainment to each episode. But, narratively, the series finale relies on Betty to deliver the emotional sentiment of the story as she has the chance to reminisce about those she loved before she dies.

Even Betty’s death portrays her as the central character. She was the last one to die, and her reunion with her friends has her happily welcomed by those who had known her better than most. The group waiting in the afterlife at Pop’s Diner is not complete until Betty walks through the door and sits beside her friends at a booth with a milkshake in hand.

Betty’s reunion with her friends in the afterlife marks the conclusion of the show that brings it to a final end.

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