Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s ‘Riverdale’ is a teen series that revolves around the residents, particularly Archie, Veronica, Betty, Cheryl, and Jughead, of a small town named Riverdale. Combining several genres at once, the series sees the teenagers encountering a range of troubles, from murderous family members to clandestine gang wars. Although the show is often panned by critics due to its confusing plotlines and superficial characters, the CW series is quite popular across the world.
Season 6 of the show, with its 5-episode special event called ‘Rivervale,’ puts our favorite characters in ominously magical situations. In a series of shocking events, Archie is sacrificed for the greater good, Toni becomes La Llorona, and the Devil himself visits Rivervale to collect lost souls such as Kevin, Jughead, and Reggie. In episode 4, we explore three different timelines and the long-awaited crossover between ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ and ‘Riverdale.’ Here’s everything you need to know about the recap and ending of ‘Riverdale’ season 6 episode 4. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Riverdale Season 6 Episode 4 Recap
The episode opens with Jughead, in his narrator form, explaining how Blossom women across generations are waking up since Bailey’s Comet is approaching Rivervale after 65 years. We are then introduced to three Blossom women — Cheryl from the year 2021, Poppy from the year 1957, and Abigail from the year 1892.
Cheryl gets ready for a magical ritual to help Nana Rose go into the afterlife whilst her students go out to look at the comet. Later on, Britta joins Cheryl as she reads out the stories of Abigail and Poppy to Nana Rose. In 1957, we see Poppy hosting a salon for women, wherein they approach her with their familial problems. Tammy, Tabitha’s ancestor, tells Poppy that her husband is not allowing her to work at Pop’s diner. Poppy immediately gives her herbs which will give her husband stomach trouble and allow Tammy to take over the diner.
Meanwhile, in 1892, Thomasina Topaz, Toni’s ancestor from Greendale, goes to Thornhill to apply as a teacher at Abigail’s Thornhill Academy for Girls. Abigail hires her and inquires whether she’s married; Thomasina says no. Later, Abigail gets upset when Thomasina tries to teach the girls about “impolite topics from the world of men” such as astronomy.
We shift to Poppy’s salon and see how powerful the anti-Russian and anti-communist sentiment is in Rivervale. When Poppy says she doesn’t believe in witch hunts, making a reference to both the Salem witch trials and Joe McCarthy’s Red Scare, the women immediately become suspicious. Later, Bitsy tells Poppy how her husband, Jack, wants her to have another child even though she’s not happy with her married life. Poppy asks her to use ginger root as a contraceptive. The two then kiss.
Meanwhile, Thomasina and Abigail get over their disagreement and end up kissing. Later, Velma, Veronica’s ancestor, approaches Poppy saying that she wants to spice things up in the bedroom and Poppy gives her a copy of the ‘Kama Sutra.’ Constable Kirk Keller, Kevin’s ancestor, visits Thornhill and asks whether Abigail has seen a murderess named Thomasina Topaz. A shocked Abigail lies and says no.
Then, Jack, Jughead’s ancestor, visits Poppy and threatens her as she has filled Bitsy’s head with wrong ideas about marriage and reproductive freedom. On the other hand, Thomasina explains to Abigail how she had to kill her abusive husband to save herself. Then, the men of Rivervale threaten Poppy, asking her to leave the town and stay away from their wives as she is a radical force; Poppy refuses to budge.
Fenn Fogarty, Fangs’ ancestor, comes to Thornhill bearing bleak news — Abigail’s twin, James, got killed in battle. Fenn reveals that James’ ultimate wish was to see his sister marry his friend and he provides a letter proving the same. However, Thomasina is suspicious of Fenn and tells Abigail that they should check his room when he goes hunting.
Constable Keller and others raid Poppy’s house, accuse her of being a communist, and drag her to the police station. Meanwhile, Thomasina and Abigail search Fenn’s room and realize that he forged James’ letter; Thomasina states that he’s a warlock. They also find death portraits and realize that he’s a murderer as well. Then, Fenn suddenly appears and holds Thomasina at ax point, asking Abigail to marry him or be responsible for her friend’s death. Thomasina agrees to marry Fenn.
Constable Keller tries to get Poppy to confess to being a communist as she is a known radical thinker and often tells women to embrace freedom and independence. Her penchant for the color red does not do her any favors either. However, Poppy is unwilling to go against her principles and is imprisoned. Bitsy comes to visit Poppy in jail and asks her to confess. When Poppy says no, Bitsy gets angry because she thinks Poppy doesn’t care about their relationship. Before leaving, she informs Poppy that she’s pregnant and accuses her of being a “sad, sexually repressed spinster.”
However, nine months later, Jack begs Poppy to help Bitsy with her delivery. Meanwhile, Cheryl informs us that Abigail’s marriage and Bitsy’s childbirth both took place when Bailey’s comet passed over Rivervale. Poppy helps Bitsy during labor and delivers a baby girl. She then hands Bitsy a pouch, telling her to use the contents when the time is right.
Abigail marries Fenn but brutally attacks him with an ax just as he gets ready to consummate their marriage. She rushes to Thomasina but finds her dead, realizing that Fenn killed her. A bloody Fenn then approaches Abigail as the comet passes and curses her for all of eternity, damning her to an immortal life of loneliness. Meanwhile, Poppy is placed under indefinite house arrest.
Riverdale Season 6 Episode 4 Ending: Do Nana Rose and Cheryl Die? Does Fenn Fogarty Die? What is the Transference Spell?
In the present, Sabrina Spellman, a witch from Greendale, arrives at Thornhill and warmly greets Cheryl. We are informed that Sabrina has come to perform the transference spell on Nana Rose and Cheryl.
Sabrina explains that the tricky transference spell can only be performed during a night of great cosmic significance — such as the passing of Bailey’s comet. After the spell is done, Nana Rose says that she feels free and she speaks as Abigail. Sabrina then later explains to Britta that the transference spell is essentially a body and soul swap.
Abigail’s soul, present in Cheryl, was transferred to Nana Rose’s dying mortal body. This broke Fenn’s curse of immortal loneliness and Abigail’s soul was finally able to find peace. However, although we see Fenn bloody and wounded, he is a warlock and thus cannot die easily. He may be alive in another form but is no more a threat to the Blossoms.
Additionally, Nana Rose’s soul was transferred to Cheryl’s body. Now, Rose can relive her youth as she has been freed from the shackles of her aged and weak body. Sabrina clarifies that although Nana Rose’s body is dead her soul is very much alive in her granddaughter.
Why is Sabrina in Rivervale? Is Sabrina Dead or Alive?
Sabrina visits Rivervale to assist Cheryl with the transference spell. Cheryl is determined to free the cursed soul of her ancestor Abigail and so enlists the help of her closest witch friend, Sabrina, who was taught the spell by her cousin Ambrose.
When Sabrina talks about Abigail and her ancestors, she also gives us information about her own life or death situation. The ending of ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ sees the teen witch sacrificing herself to bring order to the world; she is then seen in the Sweet Hereafter, where the dead go to find peace.
However, in ‘Rivervale,’ Sabrina very pointedly states that “there’s no death for witches, only transformation.” She then declares “I died and came back,” implying that she’s actually alive. Well, we don’t expect witches to stay dead! Since ‘Rivervale’ is an alternate universe of sorts, it makes sense that Sabrina is alive and kicking here.
Do Abigail and Thomasina End Up Together? Are Cheryl, Poppy, Abigail, and Thomasina Witches?
Abigail and Thomasina finally get together in the afterlife after Abigail’s soul is freed through Nana Rose’s dead body. The two witches look forward to spending eternity together, having been kept apart during their mortal lives since Fenn killed Thomasina and cursed Abigail to an immortal and loveless life.
Sabrina confirms that Abigail and Thomasina were witches, and so are Abigail’s female descendants. Since Fenn cursed Abigail’s soul to be immortal, Poppy and Cheryl are both witches because they, as her ancestors, contain her undying and lonely soul. In fact, Cheryl, Poppy, and Abigail are the same person just taking on different personas during different time periods.
Thomasina is a witch from the supernatural town of Greendale, just like Sabrina. Additionally, Thomasina could detect Fenn’s warlock identity and connect deeply with the comet, highlighting how witches are bonded to celestial phenomena.
Are Bitsy and Poppy In Love? Does Bitsy Kill Jack?
Bitsy frequently approaches Poppy with her marital troubles as her husband Jack is a cruel and abusive man. Poppy, an unapologetic feminist and free thinker, tries her best to help her out with her unconventional tips and tricks. As the two bond over their sorrows, feelings of romance blossom between them. Bitsy and Poppy even kiss, although Bitsy is immediately horrified by her strong urges as she is a traditional and conventional housewife scared of accepting anything other than a heteronormative society. However, Bitsy and Poppy are clearly in love with each other.
Poppy’s influence eventually gives Bitsy the courage to kill Jack. Although official reports state that Jack died mysteriously, Cheryl informs us that some poisons don’t leave a trace. Additionally, we see Bitsy adding the contents of Poppy’s pouch to Jack’s tea. Thus, Bitsy regained her freedom by getting rid of her manipulative and sexist husband, ensuring a better future for her children as well. By using Poppy’s poison she also honored her memory and romantic love.