Cheryl Blossom, we hardly knew you. Really though.
This week's Riverdale is all about the Blossom women ... who are actually all the same woman? We'll get to that. But first, let's break this down one Blossom at a time.
On the night of Bailey's comet — an occurrence that happens every 65 years — Cheryl is at Nana Rose's bedside reading her the story of Poppy and Abigail Blossom and what happened to each of them during Bailey's comet...
Abigail Blossom, 1892
It all starts with a love story. This one is between Abigail Blossom and Thomasina Topaz, a teacher Abigail hires to help teach her girls. At first, Abigail isn't a fan of Thomasina's plans for the curriculum. Thomasina — a name I can't believe I have to keep writing — wants to skip etiquette lessons to talk about the comet and how women can start to take some power from the men. And although Abigail fights against Thomasina at first, it doesn't take long for her to give in ... and fall in love.
But Thomasina has a past, and one night, it comes knocking. More specifically, Thomasina killed her husband, but Abigail is quick to protect her. Thomasina then tells her the truth: That her husband was abusive and her only choice was to kill him or die herself.
So now, Thomasina and Abigail can finally be happy together! Just kidding. There's another knock at the door, and this time it's Finn Fogarty, a soldier who brings bad news: Abigail's twin brother James died in battle, and his dying wish was for Abigail to marry his best friend Finn.
But Thomasina isn't buying it. She and Abigail search Finn's room and find out that not only did he forge the letter, he's also a warlock/serial killer — and he actually murdered James. Even in the 1800s, this town was a magnet for serial killers!
And yet, Abigail is forced to marry him when he threatens Thomasina's life. But her wedding night plans are very different than his: Taking inspiration from Lizzie Borden, she grabs and axe and takes six massive swings at Finn, connecting each and every time. Blood splatters everywhere. She then runs to find Thomasina, but it's too late. Finn already killed her.
Speaking of Finn, he's somehow not dead?! I'll have you know I rewound to make sure I counted the swings correctly, and let me be clear: She's not slicing him. She is swinging that axe like she's Chip Gaines going at a brick wall with a sledgehammer. And then this guy walks in with a couple holes in his wife beater. Are you kidding?!
As the comet passes overhead, Finn curses Abigail, saying, "May your life be as everlasting and solitary as the comet's, may you remain unloved and alone for all of your miserable days." Finn then finally dies. And that curse leads us to the next Blossom...
Poppy Blossom, 1957
Poppy is hosting a night for the women of Rivervale. In attendance are Elaina (Alice), Velma (Veronica), Bitsy (Betty), and Tammy (Tabitha). Essentially, it seems the women gather to complain about their husbands. First up, Tammy's husband won't let her work at Pop's, so Poppy gives her some herbs that will make her husband sick and allow her the chance to step in and save the day.
Next up, Bitsy is unhappy in her marriage with Jack (Jughead), who wants another kid. Bitsy doesn't believe in divorce, but Poppy does give her some magic ginger root that will serve as a form of birth control. And then ... Bitsy and Poppy ... kiss!! I don't know if they were technically related at this point but I love how this episode is essentially the story of how the Blossom women could always get it.
Velma then complains that things in the bedroom are getting a little too "vanilla" with her husband, so Poppy hands her a copy of the Kama Sutra, which she says is the "bee's knees," and then some sort of natural aphrodisiac.
But all of Poppy's gifts quickly come back to bite her.
Jack shows up with Bitsy, and he is livid. He threatens to kill Poppy if she doesn't stay out of his marriage. When other men start to find out about Poppy's presents, they show up and try to run her out of town. But she won't be driven away from her home.
Instead of leaving, she decides to enjoy a meal out at Pop's for all to see. But by the time she comes home, the authorities are raiding her house after having received an anonymous tip that she's a suspected communist sympathizer.
Kirk Keller (Kevin) then takes her into the station for questioning. And when she refuses to sign a confession stating that she's a communist, he puts her behind bars.
Bitsy comes and visits her once, but only to tell her that she's pregnant and to essentially shun Poppy. At least until nine months go by and suddenly, Bitsy needs Poppy's help.
Jack and Kirk rush Poppy to the hospital, where she delivers the baby. I have a lot of questions. I assumed they needed some sort of herb or spell, but Poppy just straight-up delivers the baby the old-fashioned way? You're telling me she's more equipped than a doctor?!
Not only does Poppy successfully deliver the baby under Bailey's comet, she also hands Bitsy some poison for her to use when she's ready. (A year later, she slips some into Jack's tea.)
Poppy then returns to Thornhill, where she lives the rest of her life on house arrest, shut away from everyone. And that brings us to Cheryl.
Kailey Schwerman/The CW Madelaine Petsch and Kiernan Shipka on 'Riverale'
Cheryl Blossom, Present Day
Cheryl sends the girls out to watch the comet, informing them that she'll be staying back to sit with Nana Rose, who's feeling weak. It appears Cheryl is helping Nana Rose with her transition to the afterlife, and step one of that process is reading her the stories of Abigail and Poppy.
Step two is the arrival of Cheryl's witch friend Sabrina Spellman. It seems their covens share a softball league. Sabrina explains she's here to help Cheryl perform a transference, and together, they complete the spell.
So what was the spell you ask? Oh, they just did a classic body swap with Nana Rose and Cheryl! Because Cheryl was never really Cheryl. She was always Poppy, who was always Abigail. Remember: Finn's curse made Abigail immortal, and to hide that fact over the years, she created both Poppy and Cheryl. But now that they moved Abigail's spirit into Nana Rose's body, she can die and be reunited with Thomasina, which is precisely what happens. And now, Roseanne is young again.
This is where Sabrina explains that witches never really die. She drops the "I died and came back" line to explain how she's here after the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina finale. But I'll be honest: I don't know how I feel about this. So Cheryl was always Abigail? And now we have a young Rose Blossom? Is Cheryl really gone?! And is that all the Sabrina we're going to get?!
I'm not entirely sure what just happened. But I know that Finn should've been dead by the second hit of that axe.
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