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TV ReviewsRiverdale (3×22) Survive the Night Review

Director
Rachel Talalay
Writers
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Michael Grassi
Rating
TV-14
Running Time
44 minutes
Airs
Wednesday 8pm
Channel
CW
Overall Score
Rating Summary
While this season had its faults, it ends with a chance for fresh mysteries on its biggest cliffhanger yet. The Core Four were brought together for this final quest as they are forced to use everything they learned this season to overcome their biggest foes. Hopefully next season is a little less supernatural focused and goes back to the detective style crime stories that support the backbone of this town's stories.

For our review of the last episode of Riverdale, click here.

“Survive the Night” starts off with Toni running to Thistlehouse to plead with Penelope to stop the Farm from hurting Cheryl and the rest of the Farmies. Penelope seems intrigued, she poisons Toni and knocks her out. As Edgar plans to cut into Betty’s head, Penelope arrives to stop him. She isn’t there to stop the organ operation, but asks to buy them in bulk. With the cat out of the bag, Edgar tells his followers that Ascension night is upon them, but Alice becomes suspicious when he says that Betty managed to escape.

Meanwhile, Jughead and FP question the identity of the Gargoyle King and its validity. Jughead believes he is onto something and asks for Kurtz’ mugshot. Jughead visits the Maple Club to inquire about Kurtz and he learns that he was a frequent flyer and had a lot of contact with Penelope. Veronica and Hermione go through the legal matter of taking over co-ownership of Hiram’s empire. She gifts Archie the gym, but his mom is curious what this means about them romantically. This is interrupted by a mysterious invitation left at his door.

Archie, Veronica and Jughead meet at Pop’s to discuss these letters and their hesitation in attending. When they arrive, it is revealed to be a dinner hosted by Penelope at the Blossom Hunting Lodge. There they are acquainted with Betty who was bought by Penelope from Edgar Evernever. As she questions what is going on, Sister Woodhouse reveals herself to be the mentor of Penelope and behind the death of the nuns.

They are fearful that to Penelope they are more loose ends, but she calls them feature players. She decides now is time to bring out the final two participants: the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King. As they approach the table, Penelope tells them to remove their masks, but gives Jughead a final try to guess who is behind the mask. He comes to the conclusion that it is Chic Cooper and he is proven right when his newly red-haired head is revealed.

Cue the villain’s monologue about her dastardly plan. Turns out Hal spared Chic’s life so that they could both fulfill Penelope’s mission for revenge against the town that has constantly belittled her. However, this dinner is for a final round for the Midnight Children and when they lose, their parents will deal with the same feelings she was forced to. They are taken to the grounds of Thornhill and told that they must survive the night in the woods to escape.

The first quest for the Core Four is for Archie. He must fight an enormous minotaur looking beast to put all his boxing experience, and prior bear fighting experience, to the test. He is able to defeat him leading them to Veronica’s quest. In front of her is six chalices, but one of them is poisoned. Veronica and Betty must play spin the bottle and take turns with this chalice roulette until someone drinks the fatal glass. With one cup remaining, Veronica grabs it from Betty and proves her loyalty thus completing the quest.

Penelope appears and tells them that all of the cups had a slow-acting poison and that finishing the game would bring them the antidote. With their lives on the line, Archie pulls Veronica aside to tell her how he really feels and she reciprocates. Now onto Jughead’s quest. He is forced to fight the Gargoyle King himself, Chic. Jughead is able to use his time with the Serpents to gain the upperhand and defeat Chic, but the girls are succumbing to the poison.

Onto the final Core Four quest as Betty is confronted by her biggest demon. She is handed a gun as her dad emerges from the shadows also armed. She is told that in order to get the antidote and save her friends, she must kill her father. She shoots him, but only wounds him so that he knows that she will never be like him. Penelope shows up and proves that Hal was a means to an end as she kills him in front of them. Archie grabs the antidote as Penelope sends her Gargoyles after them. They race off into the light of the dawning sun.

Back at the Farm, Cheryl is trying to get people on her side to escape from Edgar’s grasp. While exploring the halls she stumbles upon a shocking discovery, the body of her beloved Jason. She bursts into Edgar’s office to chastise him for what he is doing. Alice manages to help break Cheryl out and gives her Juniper to take to safety while she returns to Ascension Night. Toni rallies the Pretty Poisons and Serpents to rescue Cheryl, but she meets them with Juniper and they learn what is happening from Nana Blossom. With the two gangs working together, they head out to save their friends.

They arrive and are able to fight off the Gargoyles as Veronica and Betty take the poison antidote. Cheryl tells Betty how Alice sacrificed herself to help her escape and they decide that their next stop is the Farm. However, when everyone arrives, all they find is Kevin who has to explain that the rest of the worthy have ascended including Alice and Polly.

With day coming, Chic is brought to jail, Hal is dead and Penelope escapes justice. From the prison, Hiram has planted evidence against Hermione and has his eyes set on Veronica. Archie and Mad Dog set up the gym as a community centre for underprivileged youth. Betty learns that her mother was working with the FBI to take down the Farm and that the agent she has been working with is Charles, Betty and Jughead’s half-brother.

The Core Four make their way to Pop’s and talk about their crazy year. They decide that their senior year will be a lot more normal, but then there is a glimpse of the future. Spring break senior year. Veronica and Betty stand beside Archie who is holding Jughead’s beanie. They are covered in blood and burning their clothes. They vow to never speak of that night and to go their separate ways as Jughead’s beanie is thrown into a fire. Back to present day, they vow to be friends forever.

Questions

  • What is Hiram’s plan for Veronica?
  • How will Riverdale deal with Fred Andrews?
  • When will Penelope return?
  • Is Kevin going to snap out of his Farmie mindset?
  • Is Jughead okay?

What did you think of “Survive the Night”? Was that the finale you expected? Let me know in the comments below!


If you liked this, check out my YouTube channel The Film Fanatic, my other reviews and my website!

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