TV Reviews

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 22: Brave New World Review

If you would like to read my review of last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Veronica stays one step ahead after uncovering Hiram’s latest scheme; FP makes a surprising announcement to the Serpents; Betty confronts her darkest demons. (IMDB)

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Director: Steven A. Adelson

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

Airs: Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW (United States)

“Brave New World” starts off with Archie, Betty and Veronica standing over a grave revealed to be Jughead’s. Betty pleads with him to come back to her and suddenly he awakes in the hospital. FP reveals to him that Fangs is still alive and the Serpents still went to war against the Ghoulies and lost with the gang disbanding, but FP says he needs to talk to Betty about a more important matter. Jughead learns about her father and everything that happened and they decide to drop out of the student body president race. This is a very dense finale so let’s start off with the what’s going on with Betty and the Coopers.

Betty returns home to find Alice screaming at some residents standing outside their home hoping to catch a glimpse of the Black Hood’s lair. Betty and Jughead have a heart-to-heart on the phone to reassure each other that everything will be fine. Betty heads over to the Andrews residence to apologize to Fred for being a crappy detective and being unable to see her father’s true nature. Betty heads home with Archie and Veronica feeling ashamed for everything her father has done and blatantly says she hates him. Polly comes home to talk with her mother and sister about going to see Hal. They want answers, but Betty can’t bear to face her father. Betty questions whether or not the darkness is festering inside her, but Jughead grounds her and reassures her that she is a good person. Betty visits her father in his Hannibal Lecter prison cell to prove to herself that she isn’t like him and that she is done with him. Betty tells her mom that she visited Hal and that she’s ready to go back to school. Next up, what’s been going on with Hiram and his war against the Serpents!

Attorney McCoy finalizes some documents leaving Nana Blossom as Cheryl’s legal guardian to protect them from Penelope and Claudius. She brings the news to them when she notices her scheming relatives talking with Hiram Lodge. Jughead and the Serpents are informed that they will all be transferred to Seaside High due to overcrowding when Toni reveals there are a bunch of Serpents hiding out at the Whyte Wyrm. Cheryl confronts Veronica about her father’s meeting with her family and she brings that to her father. He says it’s to broaden their business, but she says it’s possible that Claudius was the Black Hood who shot at her mom to help push Hiram’s political agenda.

Jughead visits the Wyrm where many homeless Serpents are now living because they have nothing left. Jughead asks if FP knows. Jughead returns home to find FP drinking after being fired from Pop’s. He has made the executive decision that they are leaving to Toledo to be with Jughead’s mom and sister to avoid any more death, despite Jughead’s objections. Hermione has a secret conversation with Veronica about knowing that Hiram planned the town hall attack. She wants a contingency and reveals Hiram’s plan to Veronica. The only thing stopping him from owning the entire south side is the Whyte Wyrm. Veronica confronts her father with Attorney McCoy to gain access to her trust fund. She threatens to air all of his dirty laundry and Hiram bites.

Penelope confronts Cheryl about changing her guardianship, but Cheryl has more important things to do. She’s planning on seeing Toni down at the Whyte Wyrm, but her mom urges she not go with an obvious look of concern on her face. Cheryl brings the news to Archie and Jughead knowing that Minetta is going to raid the Whyte Wyrm in an attempt to rid Riverdale of the Serpents. They reach the bar and sneak the Serpents out to the northside where they are granted asylum, leaving the south side at the mercy of Hiram and the Ghoulies.

Fred opens his doors to the Serpents, making them breakfast then following morning. Jughead tells his dad that Toledo has to wait and that he needs to thank Archie. However, Archie has one more thing to do. The students of Riverdale don Serpent jackets to stand with their southside classmates and save them from leaving the school. Veronica pulls Jughead aside to tell him about the Whyte Wyrm when Jughead reveals his father was also fired. Veronica has an idea, but they need to act fast. Hiram arrives at the Wyrm to find Veronica is the new owner and she offers a trade. She will give him the bar if he gives her Pop’s. He says that if she goes through with this that she is officially cut out of the family and she agrees because she wants no part of his blood money. And finally everything else that’s been going on before the election.

Veronica helps Fred and Archie with his campaign and reveals she is also dropping out of the student body president race when she gets a call from Betty about Jughead. The gang ask Jughead his thoughts on the potential second Black Hood and he sees a political motive behind it pointing the finger at Hiram Lodge. They go through a list of suspects and pick a winner: Sheriff Minetta. Archie decides he will look into the new sheriff when he goes down to the station to confirm Hal Cooper is the Black Hood. At the station, Archie identifies Hal Cooper as one of the Black Hoods, bringing up the attack on the night of the riot, but Minetta is not taking it seriously.

At the school, Kevin walks in on Moose crying in the bathroom because looters took all of Midge’s belongings. He hugs Moose to make sure he’s alright, but Moose goes in for a kiss and the two start passionately making out. Fred sits at his campaign office getting a pep talk from Attorney McCoy when Minetta calls with something urgent. Turns out they found the guy who invaded their home during the riots and shot up the town hall. It was Tall Boy and he was gunned down by police. Archie brings the news of Tall Boy to Jughead who reveals that it’s just another way Hiram is tying up loose ends and he must be stopped.

Finally, both elections are upon us. Principal Weatherbee reveals that Archie is the new student president while the Serpents are allowed to remain at Riverdale High. The Serpents have a meeting by the river to celebrate this win, but FP has some news. He is really retiring from the Serpents and puts Jughead in charge of the gang. He is handed a red Serpent jacket that he puts onto Cheryl. At home, Fred receives the call that Hermione one when there’s a knock at the door. He opens it to Hermione who came to talk. Apparently he lost by just under 200 votes. She congratulates him on a great campaign as the two rivals shake hands showing some integrity.

Hiram walks around looking for Hermione and Veronica, but finds Archie in his study. He congratulates Hiram on his win for not only the election, but the town as well. Archie reveals he has a knife and confronts Hiram about his manipulation of him, all of the murders he caused and the gang war he started. Hiram tries to call them delusions, but Archie vows to take him down and make his bones once and for all. The gang sit around at the newly owned Pop’s where Veronica suggests they open a Speakeasy in the bottom of the shop, a place for the Serpents to feel safe with FP in charge of it.

Meanwhile, Hiram meets with his inner circle: Sheriff Minetta, Penny Peabody, the leader of the Ghoulies and Penelope and Claudius Blossom. They discuss their various illegal operations when they bring up their concerns about Veronica and her friends, but Hiram already has something in motion. Jughead and Betty enjoy a romantic night together at a fancy hotel where Jughead asks her to be his Serpent Queen. The episode ends at the school during Archie’s inauguration. Josie starts to sing the national anthem when she  is interrupted by Sheriff Minetta who enters and arrests Archie for the murder of Cassidy Lake. He is escorted out of the auditorium in front of everyone.

Questions

  • Is this the end of Hal Cooper?
  • What will Hermione do with her new position?
  • What will Jughead do with his new position?
  • Will Betty become the Serpent Queen?
  • Is Chic still alive?
  • Will Archie get out of jail?

Overall, this was a great season finale. Finally, many of the characters return to their strong and realistic character traits developed over the past two seasons before they were forced to change for plot devices during the Black Hood and gang war storylines.  The stories all come to a head with many characters closing this chapter of their lives and showing a new direction for their growth in the next season. With all the twists and turns of this episode, it will be exciting to see how they tackle the latest whodunit in season three.

Score: 9/10

What did you think of “Brave New World”? Did the finale go as you expected? Let me know in the comments below!

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