Tonight's Riverdale Season Two finale answered many of the questions fans have had all season. But as it closed the book on this season, The CW series hit fans with some shocking twists -- and opened up even more questions about Archie, Hiram, Polly, and more.
Spoilers below for Riverdale's Season Two finale, "Brave New World", below.
Last week, Riverdale revealed that Betty's dad, Hal Cooper, was the Black Hood, but even with that mystery "solved," there was more to the story. A second Black Hood was still out there. Jughead's fate after his throwdown with Penny Peabody and the Ghoulies was left a question mark, and the Riverdale mayoral election had yet to be decided. Tonight, we found out that yes, there was a second Hood, Jughead lives, and Hermione Lodge is the new mayor.
But we also saw Betty confront her father behind bars, Archie stand up to Hiram Lodge, Veronica face off with her father, Cheryl become a Serpent, and by the time the hour wound down any victories the Core Four may have been celebrating disappeared when Archie was arrested for murder in a twist that sets up Hiram Lodge to be the big bad next season.
Or does it? The episode also saw Hiram's co-conspirators revealed, a motley crew consisting of Ghoulies, Polly, and the Blossoms along with Riverdale's new sheriff. And a prison is the least of Hiram's big plans.
Yeah, we've got questions. Here are the seven questions we have after the Riverdale season finale.
Archie Andrews has been on a complicated path all season. We began with him dealing with the trauma of having seen his father nearly murdered in front of him only to watch him spiral into darkness as Hiram Lodge manipulated the young man into working for him.
As the second season wound down, though, Archie seemed to be returning to himself. He had seen Hiram for who he really was his priorities were straightening out again. By the time we get to the finale, Archie even stands up to Hiram, threatening to find a way to expose his evil deeds and make sure they stick. This might have been a bad move. In the closing moments of the episode, Hiram has Archie arrested and charged with the murder of the intruder who menaced Veronica, Betty, Jughead and Archie himself during a getaway to the Lodge cabin.
So what's next for Archie? He may be innocent of the crimes he's accused of, but as we've seen Hiram Lodge is the man with the power. Archie could very well be facing serious time if not worse. Lucky for Archie his mom's a lawyer.
Hal Cooper is behind bars. Then, the new sheriff told Archie that the second Black Hood -- the man who tried to shoot Fred Andrews the night of the riots -- was dead, too. His identity was revealed as Tall Boy (someone we theorized previously was, in fact, the Black Hood) but he was killed before he could be apprehended.
It's pretty convenient, if you ask us, and we can't help but wonder if the Black Hood is still out there. After all, upon finding out that Hiram was having clandestine meetings with Penelope and Claudius Blossom, Veronica accused him of having Claudius impersonate the Black Hood at the debate. It wouldn't surprise us if that were the case -- and if we don't see the killer again.
Also, consider this: the existence of a copycat Black Hood might just be enough to get Hal Cooper out of jail even with his confession. Reasonable doubt, and all that.
Veronica's tension with her father came to a head tonight. Thanks to Hermione, Veronica discovered that her father's plan was to secure control over the South Side by purchasing the Serpent's bar, the White Wyrm, out from under them. Armed with her own lawyer -- Sierra McCoy -- Veronica gives her father an ultimatum: he will give her the million dollars that took from her or she'll spill his secrets.
Hiram ponies up the dough. Veronica plans to buy the bar before her father can and does, but then has a better plan. She decides to make a deal with him: she'll sell him the bar in exchange for Pop's. Hiram agrees, but has demands. If they do this, he's cutting her off entirely. Veronica agrees and then? Archie is arrested for murder.
Where does Veronica go from here? Not only has she been cut off by her father, but now Archie is in jail. It's likely that Hiram will use this to try to manipulate Veronica back under his control, but with everything he's done and that she knows, that may be easier said than done. On bright point in all of this, though, is that Veronica owns Pop's. Maybe she can find a way to use that to her advantage.
Speaking of Hiram, he has managed to come out on top in every situation this season and now he's in the catbird seat. He has control of the sheriff's office, the city government, has built his own organized crime group with the Ghoulies, Penny Peabody, and the Blossoms. He controls the South Side and now he's had Archie arrested for a murder he knows he didn't commit. With his money, power, and influence, will anyone be able to take him down?
With her father arrested for murder Polly returned to Riverdale with her children, but unlike Alice who was emotionally devastated and Betty struggling with anger, Polly had a forgiving attitude. She encouraged her mother and sister to visit Hal in jail at least for their own personal closure.
At the end of the episode, Polly tells Alice that there was a man at the Farm commune she used to live at that helped her deal with her grief after Jason's murder. She suggests that she could have that man come help Alice as well. Alice agrees. But who is this man? If you were watching carefully, you may have noticed a somewhat cryptic look on Polly's face. With the theme of a Cooper family darkness being woven through the season, it's possible that it's Polly and not Betty who is truly dark.
This might have been one of the most unexpected moments in the episode tonight: Cheryl Blossom became a South Side Serpent.
Yes, really. Jughead -- the new Serpent king after FP retired -- presented her with a bright red Serpent jacket. It would appear that, now that she's been emancipated and is in a relationship with Toni Topaz, that Cheryl Bombshell is now Cheryl Serpent. If it's true, it makes for an interesting turn considering how anti-Serpents Cheryl once was.
It's also a little curious, especially since Betty has been far more devoted to the Serpent side and, as best as we can tell, she's not been officially made a member.
Actually, Betty might finally be a Serpent.
Jughead and Betty celebrate their presumed victory with a night in an expensive hotel room, and Jughead asks her to be his Serpent queen. Betty appears to be elated at the offer, but we never really hear her accept. Instead, Jughead's narration reveals that none of it would matter anyway as chaos would strike the next day.
So did Betty accept Jughead's proposal and become a Serpent? And, if so, does this really make her Serpent queen? Somehow we think Cheryl isn't going to be thrilled.