Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter

The citizens of Riverdale have done it again: In the season's penultimate episode, they overcame the odds and used their new abilities to band together and defeat big bad Percival (Chris O'Shea). But their victory lap didn't last long. (It never does.) By episode's end, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) informed everyone about Percival's final spell, which is sending Bailey's comet directly toward their beloved town.

"In a weird way our penultimate episode, which was the final battle between Percival and our gang, felt like our really big, action-packed finale," Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa tells EW. "We did that consciously so that in our last episode, we could focus weirdly on more emotional stories and character stories and relationship stories. The question we asked when we were breaking the story was: 'Okay, all of these characters we love, they have one last day to live. They have 12 hours, how are they going to spend those 12 hours?' "

Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred and Seventeen: Night of the Comet”
Cole Sprouse and Erinn Westbrook on 'Riverdale'
| Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW

As a result, Aguirre-Sacasa says to expect a "quieter" finale, but that doesn't mean the stakes aren't still incredibly high. "The threat they're facing is apocalyptic," Aguirre-Sacasa continues. "A comet is going to destroy everyone and there's a magical forcefield keeping everyone trapped in Riverdale."

With everyone stuck in Riverdale — and facing their possible deaths — fans can expect a slower hour as the characters figure out how they might want to spend their last day with the ones they love. "I love our scenes when all the characters are together talking about what they're going to do and I think them all wrestling with this changes the temperature of the season," Aguirre-Sacasa says. "It slows it down a little bit in a great way. We jokingly said that we use the movie Melancholia as a little bit of an inspiration for the season so that we could live with our characters in what might be their final moments."

And of course, expect whatever happens with the comet to set up the series' seventh and final season.

The Riverdale season finale airs Sunday, July 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

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Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter
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