Riverdale Season 2 Episode 22: ‘Brave New World’ Review

 [Featured Image: The CW/Netflix]

I didn’t expect to see Jughead looking so okay. I really thought it would pick up almost where we left off in episode 21 but, despite guessing that he wasn’t going to die, it was a relief to see that Jughead was alive and well. It’s not long though before things come crashing down again. We discover that the Serpents were spurred on to fight the Ghoulies after what Jughead did. In fact, Serpents from all over came out of the woodwork to help.

FP tells him that the Serpents don’t exist anymore but after speaking to Toni and Sweet Pea, we find out that a lot of them are hiding out at the Whyte Wyrm because they have nowhere to go. At first, Jughead goes home to find FP drunk which was actually kind of heartbreaking. It’s heavily implied that he hasn’t had a drink since he got out of prison (except that one he had after making his speech about not retiring from the Serpents in the Whyte Wyrm), so to see him lying around, broken like that, really hurt. He’s so scared to lose Jughead that he’s willing to leave Riverdale to go to Toledo.

However, Jughead refuses to go because Betty and the Serpents need him. He definitely proves his need to want to help the Serpents by the end of the episode. While he and Archie are discussing Tall Boy shooting Fred, Cheryl shows up with information that the Whyte Wyrm is going to be raided. She also called Toni to give her the heads up, and with everyone helping, they manage to get the Serpents out before the police show up.

I adore the fact that Fred opened his house to all of the Serpents and also made them all breakfast. Best dad in Riverdale? I think so.

After all the ordeal for the Serpents, they’re able to reunite. They’ve been through so much, it’s about time they got some happiness. FP announcing his retirement and making Jughead the new King was so great to watch, but even better was seeing Cheryl receive her Serpent jacket (which is red and awesome!) and everyone cheering. Although the Hiram story is going to continue in season 3, and the aftermath of Hal being the Black Hood probably will as well, a lot is going to change especially with the Serpents.

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[The CW/Netflix]

While at the hospital, Jughead finds out that Fangs is alive (yay!) and he’s told by FP that he needs to focus on Betty because she needs him. I adore that after he asks what’s wrong with Betty it cut to a scene of the two of them lying in his hospital bed together. She hates her dad for everything he’s done (no surprise there) and wants to atone for everything he’s done while looking after Alice and Jughead.

It was also nice to see the core four together again when Archie and Veronica show up to visit Jughead at the hospital. It was actually nice to see him get straight back to being his old self by providing advice on the latest mystery of who the other Black Hood is. They suspect the Sherrif because he was absent during the debate and most of the riots, and they know he basically works for Hiram.

Really, the core four have mostly been separate (well, split into pairs) this season so hopefully, we’ll see more of them as a group during season 3. Especially seen as they’ll most likely work together to help Archie.

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[The CW/Netflix]

It was a little heartbreaking to see Alice standing outside her house and yelling at all of the people taking photos, but I couldn’t help but laugh when she said: “abandon all hope ye who enter here.” She is so completely done with everything and you can see throughout the whole episode how it’s broken her a little.

I’m actually really concerned about that scene where Polly says there’s someone who could sit with Alice and help her. The way Polly sipped her drink after was suspicious as hell. I’m really worried about what might happen. Hal was adamant that Betty would follow on his legacy, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t corrupt Polly in the meantime. There’s also been a lot of predictions floating around the internet that she’s involved in some kind of cult, regardless, it seems like it’s going to be a big thing next season.

Speaking of, Alice is game to go and visit Hal when Polly suggests it so that she can get answers or at least give Hal a piece of her mind, but Betty wants nothing to do with it. I appreciate that when she chose to go, it was of her own accord. It was so satisfying that Hal’s yelling slowly became muffled as Betty walked away from him. It was a genuine pleasure to see her stick up to him like that.

That coupled with Jughead reassuring her that she (nor her niece and nephew) are evil while they’re babysitting was really great. During the episode, we also see Betty apologising to Fred for what happened (to which he reassures her there’s nothing to apologise for). All of these moments together, really prove that Betty is not a bad person and seemed to help settle her mind.

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[The CW/Netflix]

At the hospital, we found out that Archie had to go and ID Hal as the Black Hood. When he confirms it, he makes a note of making it clear that there are two Black Hoods and says he’s not going to stop searching, suggesting the Sherrif tells his boss (Hiram) such. It clearly causes some concern because later in the episode Fred receives a phone call and when he and Archie go down to the station, the Sherrif informs them that they caught the other Black Hood, Tall Boy, but he died in a firefight with police.

Archie isn’t done there though. He later finds his way into Hiram’s office where he confronts him. Naturally, Hiram still denies any involvement with the things he’s accused of, but Archie promises that he’ll come for him once there is proof before slamming the knife into the desk which, based on the ending, really rattled Hiram.

We finally find out what Hiram truly up to. He’s working with Penelope, Claudius, the Sherrif, Penny, and the Ghoulies, and they’re meeting at the Whyte Wyrm to discuss the fact that the prison is going to have drugs running through it. Everyone there has and/or will play a huge roll in making it work. We also find out that Penelope is supposed to be getting her own brothel.

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[The CW/Netlix]

Veronica really is having none of it more, we see that when she decides to ask her father outright about his meeting with Penelope and Claudius, but of course he has an answer. Veronica points out that it’s not outlandish that Hiram would hire another Black Hood with disregard to Hermione’s safety.

Later, Hermione admits to Veronica that it’s possible. She’s finally seeing the light, which is such a relief. I adore that she helped Veronica to get her money back so that she could mess with Hiram’s plans. Although I am a little sad that she didn’t keep the Whyte Wyrm in the end, I do appreciate that she gave it up for Pop’s, especially when she talked with the rest of the core four about her plans. I can’t wait to see what the new space in Pop’s basement is going to look like, and I’m happy that it’ll be managed by FP.

Veronica really stepped up this episode. In order to get Pop’s she had to give up her money, her legacy, her father’s help, everything. After everything that’s happened this season, after the secrets she kept, it was wonderful to see her put the rest of the core four first.

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[The CW/Netflix]

There were various moments of Northside and Southside coming together throughout the episode. It was so touching to see all those students at Riverdale high wearing Serpent jackets in protest. Everyone looked great and the sight of such union made my heart soar. It was also really lovely to see everyone cheer when Weatherbee announced that no one would be leaving the school.

At the same time, we also find out that Archie has been elected student body president, however, elsewhere Fred has lost the election for Mayor. Hermione comes over to his house to shake his hand after winning. This, mixed with how she helped Veronica earlier in the episode, really shows that she’s changing. At his secret meeting, Hiram says that Hermione can’t be present for a lot of meetings because there are things she shouldn’t know considering her new position. I wonder if he’s actually working to kick her out at the end, but more so, I want to know if Hermione is already thinking a couple steps ahead by trying to make sure Veronica has a safety net and by building bridges with Fred. It really didn’t feel like she was playing him when she went to shake his hand.

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[The CW/Netflix]

Naturally, the season doesn’t end on a good note. This episode was shockingly uplifting and more good things happened than bad. While they were all in the hall for Archie’s inauguration I got this sense of dread. So many good things had happened so far meaning something bad had to happen. It really made the whole thing more intense than I thought it would be.

I have to admit I didn’t expect him to be arrested for the murder of Cassidy. Really, the only person who might have provided an alibi was Andre, but regardless of whether he actually would or not, he’s dead. Everyone looked so happy as Josie sang the national anthem and then they all had to watch as Archie was handcuffed and taken away in front of everyone. It’s going to be interesting to see how he gets out of it. When FP was arrested for killing Jason, there was video evidence that it wasn’t him, but there might not be any such thing for this murder. Really, there might not be any evidence, other than his word, that Archie didn’t do it.

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[The CW/Netflix]

Some other things to note:

  • Fangs is alive!!!!! I hoped but I genuinely thought they might have actually killed him. It was so great to see him with Sweet Pea when all the Serpents gather towards the end of the episode. Hopefully, Drew Ray Tanner and Jordan Connor become series regulars so we can see even more of them.
  • Jughead wearing his beanie at the hospital.
  • Kevin and Moose hugging and kissing after the former finds him crying in the bathroom.
  • Kevin (and presumably the Bulldogs) helping Fred campaign.
  • Sierra giving advice to Fred about his campaign.
  • Cheryl finally being free of her horrible mother. It’s also super cute that she and Nana Rose are sticking together!
  • The fact Cheryl made food for the Serpents.
  • Archie and Veronica visiting Betty at home, especially when Veronica and Betty hug and you see Archie rubbing Betty’s back.
  • Jughead asking Betty to be his Serpent Queen.
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