Spoilers ahead for "Chapter Thirty-Five: Brave New World," the season two finale of Riverdale.
In a show with a big cast and a larger-than-life world, it should be no surprise that The CW's Riverdale had a bombastic, tree-shaking finale tonight.
The series, which is based on the characters from Archie Comics, usually tracks a season of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead trying to solve a murder...but it looks like season three will break with that tradition and instead see three of the four trying to prove their pal innocent.
Tonight's episode ended with a handful of resounding defeats for the forces of good, leaving our heroes to pick up the pieces and carry on, Empire Strikes Back-style.
A series of victories had everyone feeling pretty good right up until Hermione Lodge won the town's mayoral race, provoking Archie to go and disavow his relationship with her husband, Hiram, and his organized crime outfit.
On top of quitting, Archie menaced Hiram with a knife and threatened to first reveal his boss's crimes and then ultimately kill him, before slamming the knife down in a table and storming off.
While listing the litany of crimes Hiram Lodge had committed against the people of Riverdale, Archie mentions in passing the murder of Cassidy, the store clerk and local ne'er-do-well from Shadow Lake whom Archie tackled and then Lodge's capo Andre shot and killed. Cassidy and two of his friends had come, weapons in hand, to Hiram's camping lodge, where Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead were spending a weekend while the rest of the Riverdale gang watched a movie directed by Greg Berlanti back home.
After managing to disarm and chase off the intruders, Archie chased Cassidy down so that he couldn't escape, but was dismissed by Andre, who was hiding in the woods. Andre killed Cassidy, although Archie never saw it.2comments
All of this is important because in the closing moments of tonight's episode, after being elected student body president at Riverdale High, the corrupt Sheriff Minetta enters the school and takes Archie away in handcuffs, publicly accusing him of Cassidy's murder while Hiram looks on with a cheshire cat grin.
Riverdale will return with new episodes in the fall. Check back tomorrow for a closer look at The CW's 2018-2019 schedule when it's announced at the network's upfront presentation.