Riverdale – Chapter Thirty-Five: Brave New World | Season 2, Episode 22 | Rating: 8/11 |
Compared to the complete and utter chaos of last week’s episode, Riverdale‘s season finale seemed rather tame by comparison. We find out who wins the election (both mayoral and at school) and discover the fate of a few things including Jughead, the Southside, and the Serpents. Also, some new plots and allies are revealed.
First: Jughead is alive and in the hospital recovering with some lovely butterfly stitches and his father, FP, is a little bruised from a fight. Apparently Jughead’s sacrifice rallied Serpents from near and far but, in the end, they lost the war with the Ghoulies: they were simply outnumbered.
In addition, their home of Sunnyside Trailer Park was burned leaving many homeless so the remaining Serpents either joined the Ghoulies, left town, or simply vanished. However, a small contingent took refuge at the Whyte Wyrm as they literally had nowhere else to go. The recent takeover by the Ghoulies has made FP decide it was time to leave town and go to Toledo: there’s no reason to stay especially because he doesn’t want to see Jughead in a body bag. Jughead is firmly against this plan and wants to help the remaining Serpents but there currently don’t seem to be any options available to them. However, during a (currently) rare sit down between Archie and Jughead over some ice cream Cheryl bursts in with news that the Whyte Wyrm is about to be raided by Hiram’s new sheriff and if any Serpent gives an excuse to get shot, all the better. It’s a quick and stealthy mission to get everyone out before the cops arrive but with Jughead, Cheryl, and Archie working together, they manage to get everyone safely to refuge at Fred and Archie’s place. There’s a lovely breakfast scene there with all the Serpents feeding everyone breakfast and getting along as if nothing bad ever happened between them. In the end, we see the Serpent crew on the bank of a river where they initially formed so long ago. It’s here that FP officially announces his retirement from the Serpents and names his son, Jughead, as his successor.
Cheryl Blossom is also in the crowd. It’s safe to say she’s been a help to them lately and is given her own Serpent jacket in red. I guess she doesn’t have to go through the same rites and rituals as Jughead? More power to her.
A Not So United Front:
Things are breaking down in the Lodge household. Veronica, who was once so keen on her father’s affection, now seems to have nothing short of disdain for him and his schemes. A friendly bathroom chat between Cheryl and Veronica informs the latter of her father’s presence in a barn on Blossom property holding something that looked like a meeting between Hiram, Penelope, and Claudius. When Veronica confronts daddy Hiram, we suspect his answer might be a lie due to the look on her mother, Hermione’s face. Veronica continues to accuse her father of many bad things including hiring a second Black Hood to shoot at Fred and his own wife which – of course – Hiram denies with extreme dismissiveness. However, an unlikely ally appears for Veronica in the form of her mother. It’s safe to say Hermione resolve is starting to crack and she would prefer to be on good terms with her daughter instead of not. Or maybe she’s losing trust in Hiram? Either way, she clues Veronica into Hiram needing one more piece to get all of Southside: the one thing he’s missing is the Whyte Wyrm. Thanks to some help from attorney McCoy, Veronica is able to liberate that cool million she got from the ransom of Nick St. Clair and uses it to buy the Whyte Wyrm out from under her father. Cool, right? The problem is Veronica really only wants one thing: Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe. Apparently, Hiram did some house cleaning and fired FP which, on top of everything else, did not make Veronica happy. When asked why she wanted Pop’s Veronica said it’s the one place that’s always belonged to her and her friends. Hiram agrees to the trade for it but in return, Veronica will give up her third in Lodge Industries, her seat on the board, her credit cards, and her inheritance. Basically, her entire financial legacy is gone but she agrees to his terms since it was all blood money anyway. I’m not sure if she knows what she’s agreed to, but I’m glad she owns Pop’s now.
Betty is still struggling with the fact that her father was the Black Hood and she’s holding a lot of hatred and feeling responsible for his actions against the people of Riverdale plus her mother, Alice, seems to have gone a little mad with all the looky-loos hanging around the house. Since she’s not ready to go back to school yet, she’s spending her time at home and with Jughead. Thankfully her sister, Polly, has come to visit with the twins to help with everything.
Polly suggests they learn to forgive Hal for what he did because holding on to the hatred will only fester and make them more like him. It seems like a simple enough concept that starts with visiting him in prison in order to learn to let go. Betty is pretty adamant that she wants nothing to do with her father but eventually takes her sister’s advice. Being the lovely person he is, Hal tries to taunt and manipulate Betty by saying he knew she would come, she understands him better than anyone else, and that she will be just like him. You know, stuff you really want to hear from your hypocritical, murderous father. Fortunately, Betty checked her anger at the door, gathers her strength and tells her father that she came to say goodbye, that she’s nothing like him and not to expect her to be back. He starts raving and yelling as she walks away, but she kept her head held high. It did seem to give Betty some closure and she finally felt ready to go back to school. We find out that Alice, while still kind of a mess, also went to visit Hal. Polly sweetly suggests her mother talk to someone she met on the Farm who really helped her through everything. Alice agrees but there’s something sinister in Polly’s eyes that I just don’t like. We shall have to wait and see what that’s about.
Out Of The Darkness:
The relationship between Hiram Lodge and Archie Andrews appears to finally be terminated. While in the hospital with Jughead the core four try to work out whom the second Black Hood could be and what the motive is. Jughead is quick to point out that the two isolated incidents seem to be politically motivated and all thoughts turn to Hiram being behind it, although there’s no real way to prove it. Archie decides to take an opportunity with the new sheriff to discuss the more recent attack on his father’s life. Initially, our new sheriff doesn’t seem at all interested in this news since he’s casually eating an apple with a knife instead of taking notes. The following day, however, he has news for Archie and Fred that an anonymous tip came in but when they went to investigate, the suspect started a fight and was killed.
The suspect in question was Tall Boy, a man known for doing Hiram’s bidding, including decapitating a statue to insight a riot. The police also found a black hood and the same type of guns used in both incidents, so case closed and loose ends tied up. I’m not really sure what the final straw was for Archie but he went to the Lodge house to talk to Hiram. While Hiram is initially impressed that Archie managed to sneak in, he’s not happy with what Archie has to say. Archie accuses Hiram of taking advantage of him after his father was shot and manipulating him (which is completely true), vows to find a way to tie Hiram to all the bad things he’s done (too bad you burned that journal, Archie) and then he will really make his bones. Surprisingly, Hiram seems a little shaken by this threat but perhaps it was the knife Archie came with and subsequently plunged into Hiram’s desk. Either way, it’s safe to say all ties are broken between the two but it’s clear Hiram needs a plan and fast. And sure enough, Hiram puts something in play. While Archie and the entire school are in the auditorium to officially put Archie into office as student body president, Hiram shows up to watch and as the new sheriff and a few deputies come to arrest Archie for a crime he surely did not commit.
- Hermione won the mayoral election but by a slim margin.
- Originally the Southside High students were going to be transferred out after the riot. Archie, doing his good Archie thing, helped convince Principal Weatherbee to keep everyone by staging a walkout. A bunch of Northsiders wore Serpent jackets at school as a show of support and that seemed to do the trick.
- Fangs is alive!
- Hiram’s plans for the Southside go beyond just a prison: It also includes drugs pumped out by Claudius, dealt on the street by the Ghoulies and overseen by Penny, and a brothel for Penelope. Lovely.
- We find out that the basement of Pop’s (I didn’t know a place like that could have a basement) used to be a speakeasy and Veronica wants FP to manage it so that Southsiders will feel invited, too. Hooray for inclusion!
- Nana Rose is Cheryl’s new guardian which mother Penelope isn’t too happy about. What a wench.
- Moose and Kevin look like a thing again but maybe it’s just a fling.
- Betty is slated to be Jughead’s Serpent Queen. How touching.
- “Conspiring against my parents is proving to be a full-time job.” (Veronica)
- “Wherever you go, whatever you do, I’m gonna to be there, watching. And when I do prove this, I’m just gonna come for you. And I won’t hesitate like I did with the Black Hood. I’m gonna make my bones once and for all!” (Archie)