Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 222, "Brave New World"

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Riverdale Brave New World

It's the season finale for RIVERDALE, and it looks as though things might actually get back the place being a beacon of all that is good.

So naturally, evil wins.

Let's start with setting everyone's minds at ease about the ending of last week's episode: Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) is alive. Shame on the writers for making us hold our breath during the opening moments of this episode! For good measure, Fangs Fogarty (DREW RAY TANNER) is also alive -- reports of his death from the sheriff were a ploy by Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSUELOS) to lure the Southside Serpents into war with the Goolies.

At Thistle House, Cheryl Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH) has just finished signing her emancipation papers with her attorney, Sierra McCoy (ROBIN GIVENS), and is preparing to present them to her mother herself -- when she stumbles upon a secret meeting between Penelope (NATHALIE BOLTT), Claudius (BARCLAY HOPE), and Hiram Lodge. This meeting is a portent of the beginning of the end, as we'll see in the night's conclusion!

Betty (LILI REINHART) goes to the jail to confront her father, Hal Cooper (LOCHLYN MUNRO), who has been confirmed to be the Black Hood. But since his whereabouts were accounted for during the shooting at the mayoral debates as well as the home invasion at the Andrews' house, Archie (KJ APA) makes sure he tells the sheriff he's aware of there being more than one Black Hood -- and tells him to be sure to relay that information to his "boss," meaning Hiram. And sure enough, the other Black Hood is shot and killed, and identified as the former Southside Serpent, Tallboy. So when this reviewer was waffling earlier this season as to whether the Black Hood was Cooper or Tallboy, I was right either way.

Alice Cooper (MADCHEN AMICK) is truly unhinged in this episode given this latest blow to her family. Polly (TIERA SKOVBYE) is visiting with the twins, Dogwood and Juniper, and tells her mother that she should see someone on "The Farm" who helped her deal with her issues. Alice agrees, and we see a certain darkness in Polly's eyes. It looks like next season we will learn more about this strange place.

Through Cheryl, the friends learn that Hiram Lodge is planning a raid on the last refuge of the Serpents. She goes to warn them largely to protect her girlfriend, Toni Topaz (VANESSA MORGAN), and Jughead leads them toward sanctuary on the north side -- at the home of Fred Andrews (LUKE PERRY). It's a genuine invitation on Fred's part, even though it is also a way to get the Southsiders to vote for him in the mayor's race.

Veronica (CAMILA MENDES) seems to get through to her mother, Hermione (MARISOL NICHOLS) about how evil her father can be, and Hermione gives Veronica a piece of leverage against him: his plans to buy the bar where the Serpents hang out. It's the last bit of the Southside. Using Sierra's legal maneuvers, she gets her money back from her father, and uses it to buy it ahead of him. But she's willing to trade it -- for Pop Tate's.

With the election over, and the Lodge grip on Riverdale secure, we find out his true plans, as Hiram assembles what amounts to the "Legion of Doom" for Riverdale. But Archie isn't through yet. He goes to see Hiram alone, and threatens him.

Bad move, Archie. Emotionally satisfying, but bad.

While Fred loses the town election, Archie wins the class one. But before he assumes office, Lodge's man, Sheriff Michael Minetta (HENDERSON WADE) interrupts the ceremony of the National Anthem.

Archie Andrews is arrested.

The charge is murder.

The summer is going to be long.

4.0 / 5.0