We’ve learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to Riverdale. From magic to time travel to parallel universes the show has done it all. It’s known for shocking fans with its unexpected stories, and during the series finale of the CW show, they surprised viewers one more time by revealing that Betty, Archie, Jughead and Veronica were in a quad relationship. Now, a polyamorous group has spoken out about this decision and why they were not pleased with it.
Brett Chamberlin, the executive director of the Organization for Polyamory and Ethical Non-monogamy (OPEN) shared his thoughts on the finale that recently aired on the 2023 TV schedule with TMZ. He noted that it’s “tempting to celebrate every portrayal of non-monogamy in popular media.” However, when it came to Riverdale and the relationship between Betty, Jughead, Veronica and Archie he was not pleased with it as he explained:
It's frustrating that Riverdale used its characters' non-monogamous relationship as a 'shocking twist' rather than engaging with an authentic portrayal of non-monogamy as simply being part of people's identities.
In the finale, we find out about the quad relationship, however, there isn’t much detail about it other than everyone gets with everyone except Jughead and Archie. It’s used as a sort of surprise twist at the end of the episode, and its lack of development is why Chamberlin took issue with it, he said:
We didn't see or hear anything about why these characters practice non-monogamy, what it means for them, the substance of their relationship agreements and communication practices, or any of the other underlying motivations and work that makes relationships of any type function.
During the episode, Betty explained that the four characters would just go on dates together, “and then it kind of naturally evolved from there.” She went on to say she would spend nights with Archie, while Veronica and Jughead went home together. Then on others, it would be Jughead and Betty and Veronica and Archie. Veronica and Betty would also sleep together.
Obviously, Riverdale fans had lots of thoughts about the finale, and they ranged from confused to angry to excited. However, Chamberlain has called out how polyamory was specifically represented on The CW show, and he was not impressed. As he explained, he didn’t like that this form of relationship was used as a “shocking twist,” and he felt like it wasn’t well developed.
As many fans noted, putting Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead in a quad relationship was unexpected, and that’s a major reason why Chamberlin and OPEN weren’t thrilled with the decision. Also, Riverdale has officially ended. What we saw is likely all we’ll get, and we likely won’t learn more about what brought them together or how their relationship works. The polyamorous relationship was used as a way to cap off the story, and according to Chamberlin they were not "engaging with an authentic portrayal" or polyamory.