Riverdale High tries to cast out the Southside Serpents as Archie identifies one of the Black Hoods
In The CW’s Riverdale 2×22, the town attempts to recover from the riots. Thankfully, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) survived the Ghoulies’ murder attempt when he gave himself over to spare the rest of the Serpents. Riverdale High’s solution is to bus out the Southside Serpents due to “overcrowding of the school.” The students see that it’s really a guise to further divide the town. Archie (KJ Apa) and Jughead organize a show of solidarity and successfully prevent the transfer of Southside students from Riverdale. Meanwhile, the mayoral campaign comes to a close as the town casts their votes for either Hermione (Marisol Nichols) or Fred (Luke Perry). Riverdale High also casts their vote for student body president. In the midst of trying to recover from the riots, Hiram (Mark Consuelos) revels in his plans to rule Riverdale.
Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Alice (Mädchen Amick) deal with the aftermath of Hal’s (Lochlyn Munro) arrest. Polly (Tiera Skovbye) visits with her twins in tow and offers the help of a mysterious character from the farm to help her mother deal with and possibly forgive Hal. Betty deals with her own inner darkness as she fears that evil might be destined in their family. Veronica (Camila Mendes) deals with her own family drama as she worries that her father is putting Hermione in the crosshairs. Veronica makes a smart play to acquire her money and put a serious thorn in Hiram’s plans for the Southside. Hiram distances himself from his family to put the next step of his plans in place.
Here to discuss the reveal of the second Black Hood, Betty visiting her father in prison, and our favorite shippable moments is our Riverdale roundtable:
Bre (@NancyRiverDrew) — Almost graduate, journo, Team Bughead, likes to say she’s a Betty, but she’s probably more of an Ethel.
Jess (@badlandscole) – When I’m not at concerts, I’m obsessing over Bughead.
Yari (@msluvchocolate) – Fangirl before it was cool. My favorite quote is “Live long and prosper… Peace and long life.”
Kelsey (@MsKelsey_H) – Writer, editor, and lipstick connoisseur.
Heather (@xoheatherkw) – Senior microbiologist, writer for TV After Dark, dog mom, and fangirl extraordinaire.
1. Hiram was likely responsible for Tall Boy going after Fred and Archie to take them out by any means necessary. Was that who you suspected for the second Black Hood? Why or why not?
Bre (@NancyRiverDrew): Not really because Tall Boy has been out of the picture for a bit. I at one point thought the Black Hood at the debate was Small Fry going after Hermione, but it did seem likely Hiram had hired someone to go after Fred, too. Because Archie had a flashback comparing the eyes, though, when the second Black Hood shot his dad a second time, I actually thought the second Black Hood was the same person who shot Fred the first time in Pop’s. That would have been interesting, as Hal took the blame for Fred’s shooting, but obviously, that was not the case.
Jess (@badlandscole): Yes I always suspected Tall Boy, even as the original Black Hood at first because he had the same build. But also knowing he had done work for Hiram before, as mentioned in 2×12, had me thinking he was the second Black Hood.
Yari (@msluvchocolate): I honestly thought that is was Hiram under the hood. I was slightly surprised that is was Tall Boy. For Hiram, everyone is expendable.
Kelsey (@MsKelsey_H): Yeah, that checks out. Hiram is the only person in town who’d have it out for Fred and Tall Boy was the best physical match.
Heather (@xoheatherkw): I was surprised that Tall Boy was the second Black Hood. Although, I wasn’t surprised that Hiram was behind it! It makes sense that Hiram would hire someone to do his dirty work.
2. Betty was struggling with her darkness and the potential evil within her. What did you think of her visiting her father in jail to tell him that she won’t let the darkness win?
Bre: It was very much drawing from The Silence of the Lambs in that scene. It seems like it kind of marks a turning point for Betty. Not only was she facing her father after having processed what he has done, but she was her facing her darkness and walking away from it. Obviously, it is something with which she still will struggle, but she has chosen her path. Really now it seems like the Cooper we should most fear is Polly. Her rhetoric makes it sound like she is most susceptible to whatever darkness to which Hal is referring. Plus, who is this healer from the farm to whom she wants to introduce her mom?
Jess: I actually like this scene. I hope this leads to Betty being able to take more control in season 3 but it was definitely a great moment for her character.
Yari: She needed to him see him. That was closure for her. She needed to face “that” darkness and realize that it isn’t as scary as she thought it was. Facing it was moving on, was finally letting it go.
Kelsey: I was honestly surprised RAS pulled The Silence of the Lambs‘ reference so early. I don’t think criminals (even serial killers) get their own private isolation cell when they’re awaiting trial. That scene just read to me that the whole mess of that is “darkness” storyline is done. They never gave it any real definition or grounding so it just sounded like they were trying to romanticize a type of mental illness which is a whole basket of yikes. I’d be happy if we never see it again.
Heather: I was so proud of Betty when she decided that she won’t let the darkness win. She knows to be aware of the darkness and she has Jughead’s support, so I’m certain she won’t let her darkness turn into evil. I think her conversation with her father gave her a sense of closure. But this is Riverdale, so I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Hal.
3. FP retired from the Serpents, this time for good. What was your reaction to Jughead being crowned the new Serpent King?
Bre: My first reaction is: At 16, Jughead seems like he’s a bit young to be a leader of a gang. Then again, it seems like most of its members are teenagers. They somehow were the ones to survive the Ghoulies and police arrests. But it will be interesting what role the Serpents will now play. With the trailer park mostly gone, many are homeless, and I’m sure there’s still going to be tension between them and the Ghoulies and Hiram.
Jess: I can’t wait for the Serpent King and his Queen to rule the Southside. I have actually been waiting for this since the end of season 1.
Yari: Not surprised at all. Jughead from the time his father was In jail he did everything to keep the serpents together. He even put his life on the line for them literally.
Kelsey: It seems like Jughead has completely stepped into his role with the Serpents, and I think he’ll be good. He can keep the Serpents safe and in check. Plus, it’ll put him in a good position to combat Hiram’s influence in Riverdale.
Heather: Jughead has really proven himself to have the best interests in mind for the Southside community, so in that regard, I think FP chose the right person for the job. Although he’s only in high school, so we’ll have to see how Jughead handles the duties along with school.
4. We finally see Hiram’s big picture to run drugs into Riverdale as well as opening a brothel for Penelope. What was your reaction to his group running all aspects of Riverdale?
Bre: Unsurprised, but a bit confused. So Hiram really doesn’t want to make Lodge Industries legit — he was playing Veronica all along. Good thing she left. But why are the Blossoms and Lodges working together? I mean, why were the Blossoms paying the Lodges buckets of money for the past 75 years? And the Blossoms sent Hiram to jail — why are they working together? And weren’t Claudius and Penelope conspiring to bring down the Lodges — what happened to that? And since they’re meeting in that barn, what happened there the night Clifford was found hanged? I want answers!
Jess: Not at all surprised, we all knew Hiram is evil. But the brothel for Penelope? That made me laugh!
Yari: Shocked and also, not shocked. The aspect of Riverdale being this quaint town full of pep is appealing to those who have dark motives. When everything is shiny, no one will look to see how dirty thing really are.
Kelsey: I thought it was weird. Like his goal during the entire season was to make Lodge Industries legitimate, isn’t this going backward? I guess old habits die hard.
Heather: I was surprised that Hiram isn’t concerned about going legit. The whole season, the plan for Lodge Industries was to keep things legal. I’m guessing Hiram waited until he could control the police department. I’m wondering if Hermione and Veronica knew about Hiram’s plans to run Riverdale?
5. Polly offered her mother help from someone on the farm. What are your impressions of the farm from the little knowledge we have about it?
Bre: Well, Betty called the place a cult. We know it didn’t have any stigmas against Polly being an unwed mother with incest babies. It may not have electricity, according to Betty. It places an emphasis on forgiveness, and it is looking to spread its outreach and create other locations. Forgiveness is good, but it doesn’t have to immediately come after you find out your dad is a serial killer. Just by the smile on Polly’s face after she mentioned this healer, it seems like there’s something evil about this place, and it definitely gave the vibe that there’s a darkness in Polly, too. This was probably the most intriguing plot point introduced in the finale, and I look forward to exploring it more — and hopefully seeing more of Polly!
Jess: The farm sounds more like a cult to me. And a pretty sketchy one too if you ask me. I’m kind of scared for Alice if I’m being honest.
Yari: The farm is a cult. Polly is in a cult. Betty is worried about her darkness and is not seeing that Polly has some too.
Kelsey: IT’S A CULT 1000%.
Heather: I’m concerned! That smirk from Polly can’t be a good sign. It has to be a cult, or involve some sort of brainwashing. I hope Betty is there for her mother in season three because Polly seems to have ulterior motives.
6. This episode had a lot of ship interactions. What was your favorite shippable moment from this episode?
Bre: I’m a proud Bughead shipper here was so excited to see them together again! I loved the casual “I love you’s” over the phone and how he asked her to be his Serpent queen, but I really loved the scene where they were babysitting Juniper and Dagwood. I loved how Jughead reminded Betty of her strength, and it was a great scene that teased once again why they are so great together. It reminded me of 1×07’s “I know who you are,” 1×08’s “I believe you, Jughead,” and 1×09’s “Don’t let go.” I hope we see more of that in season 3!
Jess: All the Bughead scenes made my heart so happy, especially the hotel scene, that was just all kinds of beautiful. I also loved the small amount of Choni we were given, like the scene where Cheryl got her Serpent jacket and Toni looked at her with pure adoration, that was a great moment.
Yari: I loved Reggie and Josie. There was a glimpse of it and I really liked it. Reggie’s face, when Josie started singing, was adorable.
Kelsey: Bughead and Varchie were adorable as always, but my favorite was Toni’s proud smile as Cheryl got her Serpent jacket. But come on, why no kiss?!
Heather: I’m so glad we got a few Bughead scenes this episode. They were so cute with Polly’s kids and just being there for each other. I’m so happy they got some time to themselves. I also loved the Choni scenes. They’re so cute together!
7. It wouldn’t be Riverdale without a season finale cliffhanger! What “proof” do you think Hiram has to orchestrate Archie’s arrest for murder?
Bre: Yeah, that is what I was wondering because there isn’t really much. The only thing I can think of is Veronica’s necklace. That also doesn’t make sense, because we see Hiram returning the necklace to Archie, and Veronica wears it when she takes down Nick St. Clair. But Archie lied to her about what went down in the forest. He said that Cassidy just ran away, so how did he get the necklace back? But Veronica is smart and knows Andres was around and was one of Hiram’s capos. Maybe Hiram will plant the gun, but this just seems to easy to bust, especially since Archie has his mom as a lawyer to help and Sierra McCoy is no Hiram fan, as well.
Jess: I know Andre is dead but I feel like he could’ve told Hiram before he died. That’s my only guess at the moment.
Yari: Hiram’s proof is when Archie went to see Hiram and spilled everything to him in the study. Hiram has recording devices in that room. So when the time comes he can use people’s own words against them. He had blackmail that he was going to use against his own wife. He definitely has some against Archie.
Kelsey: I imagine it’s something like planting his fingerprints or some hair for DNA? It’s well-established that he was there, so if he’s not careful Archie could be convicted on circumstantial evidence alone.
Heather: If Archie left the knife in Hiram’s desk with he threatened to make his bones, my guess is that Hiram used whatever fingerprints from that. And now that Andre is dead, Archie will have a difficult time trying to prove that Andre killed Cassidy. Veronica could be a witness, but she probably wasn’t close enough to see Andre pull the trigger.
Final Verdict: The town begins to heal as Hiram ties up loose ends
Riverdale brings back a few characters from the “dead”– Jughead and Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner). The Southside Serpents try to lay low to avoid wrongful arrest since Hiram sends his officers to the Whyte Worm. The Serpents regroup and FP (Skeet Ulrich) steps down as their king and passes the mantle on to Jughead. His first official act is to give Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) her own jacket to officially join the Serpents. Hermione realizes that it’s possible for Hiram to risk her life for his own agenda and she helps Veronica gain leverage against Hiram. Now that Hiram silenced all of his loose ends, the only person standing in his way is Archie. In a shocking cliffhanger, it appears that Hiram orchestrates the arrest of Archie for a murder Andre committed. Without the real murderer, Archie might be in serious trouble due to circumstantial evidence!
Riverdale’s season finale wrapped up multiple storylines while setting up new twists to keep the audience hooked. This episode was perfectly balanced by continuing the storyline for multiple characters. The acting was phenomenal from the emotional difficult scenes to joyful celebrations, and everything in between. The only downside is that we have several months without a new episode of Riverdale!