K.J. Apa, Cole Sprouse, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch, Luke Perry, Madchen Amick, Marisol Nichols
We gave it a B-
Let us all take a moment at the start of this hour to pretend that, for even a second, we believed that Jughead Jones might die.
Aaaaaand we’re moving on.
The season 2 finale kicks off with Jug opening his eyes at the hospital, where FP updates him on the Ghoulies-Serpents showdown. Long story short, the Ghoulies won. “It was like shooting snakes in a barrel,” FP says with a straight face (perhaps Skeet Ulrich’s greatest test thus far on the show). Now, most Serpents either joined the Ghoulies, were arrested, are in hiding, or left town. And thanks to Hiram Lodge’s expertly orchestrated plan, Sunnyside Trailer Park fell. “The Serpents don’t exist anymore,” FP tells his son. Also, Fangs is alive! So in other words, you fake-died for nothing, Jug!
But the update doesn’t end there! FP still has to tell his son that while all of this was going on, Betty learned that her father was a serial killer. In other words, forget your crap, Jug! Betty’s dealing with way bigger things. With that, Betty comes to see Jug and get a quick cuddle sesh in before she decides that she can no longer run for student council. Turns out, having a murderer for a father isn’t great for your political career. Who knew?!
Speaking of political careers, Veronica is now fully on Team Andrews as she plans out the final days of Fred’s mayoral campaign. She wants Fred on Hermione’s heels, literally. And with her focus on Fred, she too decides to pull out of the student body race. Conspiring against her parents is a full-time job, it seems.
While Archie heads to the sheriff’s station to identify Hal — DOES HE HAVE THE RIGHT EYES? — Cheryl is across town making her dreams a reality: With Nana Blossom as her legal guardian, she heads to the barn where Penelope and Claudius are staying to deliver the emancipation news in person. That’s when she sees them meeting with Hiram Lodge. That’s also when she hides INSIDE A BARREL so that her mother doesn’t see her snooping.
At the police station, Archie identifies Hal, a man he’s seen many times in his life, as the man who shot his dad, though only after the cops put on that super helpful ski mask to really take Arch back to that moment. Archie then tells Sheriff Minetta that there’s a second Black Hood out there, and if the cops aren’t going to look into it, he will. Because you know what’s smart? Admitting to a cop that you’re probably going to break the law while also insulting him!
After Betty checks in on her mother, who’s screaming at everyone on the front lawn about how she lives in the Black Hood’s “lair,” she apologizes to Fred. “I’m supposed to be this great detective,” the teen says. So how didn’t she see what was right in front of her?! Why didn’t Betty take a break from learning about American History to stop a serial killer?! Honestly, she should be embarrassed.
In all of Riverdale, there are two teens who are just being teens, and that’s Moose and Kevin. After Midge’s locker was trashed in the riot, Moose breaks down, and Kevin’s there to comfort him, a moment that ends with them kissing in the bathroom at school. THIS is the type of stuff teens should be doing. Not playing detective, Betty!
Also at school, Reggie and Josie withdraw from the student body race, which pretty much makes the race Archie versus Ethel, and at this point I’m starting to think the title of Riverdale should actually be “Sorry Ethel.”
While Jughead tries to deal with the fact that Principal Weatherby wants to kick all of the former Southside students out of the school, Veronica confronts her father about his secret meetings with the Blossoms. And by confronts him, I mean she straight-up accuses him of paying Claudius to act as the second Black Hood, thereby putting Hermione in danger at the debate. There’s no proof to her claims, but they do make Hermione think…and when Hermione FINALLY realizes that it’s plausible that her husband would put her in harm’s way, she gives her daughter a tip: Hiram’s plan to own the South Side only has one piece left, and that’s the Whyte Wyrm. If Veronica can buy it before her daddy does, she can stop him.
So, with attorney McCoy at her side, Veronica requests that Hiram return the $1 million she made ransoming Nick St. Clair, and if he agrees, she won’t run around town spilling his secrets right before the election. Hiram agrees. (Next: The Second Black Hood is revealed)