Spoilers for Riverdale Season 5, Episode 17 “Chapter Ninety-Three: Dance of Demise” previous this level.
Although this week’s episode of The CW’s Riverdale threatened a number of characters with their impending demise, because of a mine explosion that left Archie (KJ Apa) at risk, and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) threatening her father Hiram (Mark Consuelos) with patricide as revenge, just one authentic character didn’t make it out alive. That character? Relaxation in peace, Polly Cooper (Tiera Skovbye).
Okay, so Polly wasn’t a part of the foremost forged of the present. And he or she’s not the one character who died this episode (RIP, Chris Mason’s detestable Chadwick, who was shot by his now ex-wife Veronica). However she’s additionally one of many driving forces behind quite a lot of the present’s mysteries, in addition to a personality who has appeared because the very first episode aired, manner again in 2017. Since then, Polly has given beginning to twins fathered by her cousin, joined an organ stealing cult and impersonated her personal sister, made prank calls from an insane asylum on Halloween evening, and solicited truckers on the damaging Lonely Freeway.
It’s that final one which seemingly led to her loss of life in Season 5, one thing that’s been teased and danced round since almost the start of the season. After disappearing on the finish of “Chapter Eight-One: The Homecoming,” her sister Betty (Lili Reinhart) launched a determined search to seek out Polly. Partially as a result of Betty can’t not remedy a thriller, but in addition with a heavy sprint of guilt over not being there for Polly when her sister clearly wanted her assist. As a substitute, she was final seen — by the viewers of the present, not less than — operating down the Lonely Freeway, chased by a truck.
The subsequent time she was seen (properly, heard) was “Chapter Eighty-4: Lock & Key,” when a terrified Polly referred to as Betty and her mom Alice (Mädchen Amick). She had escaped from someplace, and solely knew she was on the Lonely Freeway. However by the point Betty and Alice arrived, all that was left was a crushed cellphone sales space coated in Polly’s blood.
As Betty bought deeper into the thriller, she found dozens of our bodies of lacking women buried in a close-by swamp, and a trucker who clearly favored to kill ladies who was removed from alone in his predilections; but no solutions as to Polly’s whereabouts. Even a decaying physique that appeared like her turned out to be another person. Till this week, when she was definitively found, useless.
The circumstances are somewhat too convoluted to clarify (they contain an inbred department of the Blossom household who like to decorate up as aliens and hunt ladies), however the brief model is that Polly has been useless just about this complete time, locked within the trunk of an outdated automotive and rotting in a junkyard. After fixing the thriller, the person behind all the pieces — Previous Man Dreyfus (John Prowse) — gives to “draw you a map” to Betty, and we’re left on the finish of the episode with Alice and Betty sobbing, lastly having seen the useless physique of their daughter and sister, respectively.
It’s a surprising and heartbreaking twist for the present, solely in that we’ve come to count on that the longer a thriller like this will get dragged out, the extra seemingly it’s that the particular person in query will survive. But that’s under no circumstances what the present goes for this season. Versus earlier, highschool set mysteries that had been at all times solved by Betty and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) with the standard array of twists and Riverdale craziness, after a seven yr time soar, the previous teenagers at the moment are coping with the realities of the world (albeit nonetheless by means of the lens of this being Riverdale).
However chainsaw killers and gangs of trucker murderers apart, what Polly’s loss of life digs down into is the concept there are not any straightforward solutions while you’re grownup. That’s true of relationships, as we’ve seen with all of the characters on the present this season (a lot to the anguish of ‘shippers). It’s additionally true of mysteries. On this case, there isn’t a cult chief prepared to flee on a rocket he constructed himself, or a toxic mom brainwashing a killer into dressing like a stick monster, and even many years of abuse resulting in the rise of a serial killer who was Betty’s personal father. Right here, Polly took an opportunity soliciting the unsuitable man, and died.
It’s a harrowing finish to the character, and it solely means worse issues for everybody on the present as they arrive to the crashing realization that the sense of immortality they could have felt in highschool has fallen away of their twenties. Betty, actually, will blame herself. And we all know that Alice will fall fully aside: in subsequent week’s episode, not less than a part of the runtime can be taken up together with her imagining a musical the place her good household is alive and properly.
Polly’s loss of life can be one thing that ties into the true total arc of this season, cleansing up Riverdale, which has fallen on exhausting occasions within the intervening years. What higher instance of the place Riverdale went unsuitable than one of many individuals central to the present’s first thriller? It’s unhappy that Polly needed to die, however permitting the city to see how far they’ve actually fallen, how they’ve lastly hit all-time low, signifies that within the last two episodes of the season they’ll hopefully start to heal their tattered city — and themselves.
So relaxation in peace, Polly Cooper. And hey, it’s nonetheless Riverdale: simply because she’s useless, doesn’t imply she received’t present up once more, someplace down the highway. Fingers crossed that highway isn’t The Lonely Freeway.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
https://decider.com/2021/09/22/riverdale-kills-polly-cooper-tiera-skovbye/ | ‘Riverdale’ Kills Off Polly Cooper