Riverdale: Breaking Down the Cooper Family Twist in Season 3 Finale

Riverdale is always a wild ride for fans with various twists and turns. It's almost normal at this point for viewers to start an episode thinking they've got it all figured out only for the rug to be yanked out from under them before episode's end -- or even several episodes later -- with a surprise twist. However, even with surprises and reversals being common for The CW series, tonight's Season 3 finale had some major turns for the Cooper family that few could have ever seen coming.

Spoilers for tonight's Season 3 finale of Riverdale, "Survive the Night" below.

Everything came to a head tonight for Betty Cooper. Not only was it confirmed that her father, Hal, was indeed still alive and back at it as the Black Hood, it was also revealed that her fake-brother Chic also was alive and well, working with both Hal and a more-sinister-than-anyone-realized Penelope Blossom, and serving as the man under the mask in regard to the Gargoyle King. And then Betty had to watch her father die by Penelope's hand.

That alone would have been a lot, but the hits and twists aren't done just yet. You see, while Betty was enduring her own hell in the woods with her friends, things were getting crazy at The Farm. With their organ harvesting operation exposed, Edgar Evernever declared it was time to ascend. This prompted Alice Cooper to action, breaking Cheryl Blossom out, handing baby Juniper over to her, and helping her escape while she herself stayed behind for Polly. For fans following along this season, Alice's sudden reversal in regard to The Farm seemed odd. Alice has been the most fervent of believers this season, resisting Betty's every attempt to expose the cult and get her out so her suddenly helping Cheryl escape seemed odd. That odd shifted to heartbreaking when, after surviving the night, Betty gets to The Farm's compound to save Alice from "ascending" only to discover that the whole cult, save for Kevin who was left behind, was gone "never" to return.

But the episode doesn't stop with the sad turn of Betty losing both her parents and her sister. Later, with the traumatic events of the evening behind them, an FBI agent shows up at Jughead's door and reveals to Betty a shocking truth: Alice wasn't exactly a devout member of The Farm. She was an FBI informant helping them by getting close to Edgar Evernever, but wait, there's more. Her FBI handler? None other than the real Charles Cooper -- Betty and Jughead's long lost half-brother.

This reveal is a huge one as it sheds a whole new light on events earlier this season. Fans will recall that the reason Alice gives Betty for why she stays in The Farm cult is because it allows her to see Charles. At the time, that reveal seemed to indicate that The Farm was deeply involved in some weird supernatural crazy as at that point it was known that Charles Cooper was dead. It was revealed last season that Charles had been murdered by Chic, with Chic impersonating him after the killing. While how Charles is still alive isn't explained, the reveal that Alice really has been talking to Charles suddenly makes sense. Alice wasn't crazy, The Farm wasn't messing with her. She was legitimately talking to her son as part of an FBI investigation against the cult. Now, with Alice missing, Charles and the FBI will be around for a while trying to locate her, with Betty and Jughead's help.

What's really interesting about the sudden reveal about Charles, though, is that it actually takes a cue from Archie Comics. In comics, the real Chic Cooper is, in fact, a secret agent for the government, so having the real Charles be an FBI agent is a fitting and clever nod to comics, one that will be interesting to see how it plays out going forward into Season 4.

What did you think about the shocking twist for the Cooper family in tonight's Season 3 finale of Riverdale? Let us know in the comments below.



Have you subscribed to ComicBook Nation, the official Podcast of ComicBook.com yet? Check it out by clicking here or listen below.

In this latest episode, we break some major X-Men news, discuss THAT episode of Game of Thrones, and do a deep dive into all this weeks comics! After Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker are you ready for a different take on the franchise? Find out the answer and make sure to subscribe now to never miss an episode!