After four seasons of murders, cults, homoerotic underground fighting rings, near-death experiences set to the songs of Cabaret, barely any schoolwork, and the triumphs and defeats — and epic highs and lows — of high-school football, the Riverdale teens finally graduated on Wednesday night. Well, most of them did. As it turns out, Archie, who canonically got 600 on an SAT practice test, didn’t make the grades to get his diploma and would have had to repeat his senior year if he had not instead decided to go join the Army, which he does at the end of the episode. That’s all set up for Riverdale’s big seven-year time jump, happening next week, giving the show a chance to send all its characters off for their own lives for a bit before they inevitably get drawn back to their little murder town. Until then, Betty got into Yale! Jughead got into the Iowa Writers’ Workshop! Veronica is going to hang out with her mom before she joins The Real Housewives of New York! The whole send-off even included a brief glimpse of the late Luke Perry, as Archie dreams about his father taking his photo, saying, “Archie, you’re graduating! I didn’t think I’d live to see this day.”
But what you really, really need to know about the Riverdale graduation episode is that even though Archie doesn’t get his diploma during the ceremony, he is asked to perform a song for the scene. For whatever reason, he decides to go with a cover of Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” which plays over a montage of everyone walking up to the podium in their gowns. In fairness to Archie & Co., they really have had a terrible time in high school, so it kind of is the right sentiment. You can listen to KJ Apa’s performance on Spotify below, if you so dare.
We’ll learn what has happened to everyone seven years down the line next week, but the CW has already released a 30-second promo to tease some of it, and it’s equally wild. Betty joins the FBI and basically becomes Clarice Starling, down to shots that explicitly re-create The Silence of the Lambs? Veronica gets married? Archie is in a war that somehow takes place on a football field? (What war is this? What year are we even in?) Most unbelievable of all: Jughead’s prose actually gets published???