We continue our recap of the Riverdale series with the final two episodes of the second season, “Judgment Night” and “Brave New World”.
Join us for our weekly recap of the entire Riverdale series, starting with the first episode of Season 1. This will be a bi-weekly column (every Tuesday and Thursday), with two episodes reviewed each time, until we get caught up with the latest season. Catch up on everything you might have missed, including recaps for all of Season 1, using the links below — or just dive right into to our most recent recap below.
Season 1 Recaps:
Episode 1: The River’s Edge
Episodes 2 and 3: Touch of Evil and Body Double
Episodes 4 and 5: The Last Picture Show and Heart of Darkness
Episodes 6 and 7: Faster Pussycats! Kill! Kill! and In a Lonely Place
Episodes 8 and 9: The Outsiders and La Grande Illusion
Episodes 10 and 11: The Lost Weekend and To Riverdale and Back Again
Episodes 12 and 13: Anatomy of a Murder and The Sweet Hereafter
Season 2 Recaps:
Episodes 1 and 2: A Kiss Before Dying and Nighthawks
Episodes 3 and 4: The Watcher in the Woods and The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Episodes 5 and 6: When a Stranger Calls and Death Proof
Episodes 7 and 8: Tales From the Darkside and House of the Devil
Episodes 9 and 10: Silent Night, Deadly Night and The Blackboard Jungle
Episodes 11 and 12: The Wrestler and The Wicked and the Divine
Episodes 13 and 14: The Tell-Tale Heart and The Hills Have Eyes
Episodes 15 and 16: There Will Be Blood and Primary Colors
Episodes 17 and 18: The Noose Tightens and A Night to Remember
Episodes 19 and 20: Prisoners and Shadow of a Doubt
Episode 21: “Judgment Night” Synopsis
After missing the Black Hood at Town Hall (since he was off trying to kill Cheryl, who shoots him in the arm with an arrow), Betty tries to find her father at the hospital where he was checked in after being attacked and finds the corpse of Dr. Masters (who’d previously treated Fangs) and then is called back to her home by the Black Hood. Hal, Alice, and Betty watch home movies of Hal being punished by his family and learn through them that Betty’s grandfather was the Riverdale Reaper who slaughtered the Conway family. Hal then tells them that he’s the Black Hood, that the Cooper grandfather murdered the Blossom instead of the other way around (the murder that tore the families apart) and that he was influenced by Betty’s speech. He then attempts to kill Alice, only to be knocked out by Betty.
Veronica finds both a million dollar bounty on the Black Hood’s head and an ‘October Surprise’ of evidence of Hermione and Fred’s relationship meant to destroy Fred’s campaign, both created by Hiram. At the same time Small Fry Boucher, Papa Poutine’s son, comes to get answers about his father’s death. He and Andre, the bodyguard, are both killed. Veronica finally affirms that her father won’t break her and that she refuses to trust him ever again.
The Serpents, enraged by Fangs’s shooting (which was done by Mrs. Klump), attempt to ransack the high school (and are barely stopped by Archie, Reggie, and Kevin) and start a riot through the whole town. At the same time, Penny Peabody returns to town with the Ghoulies. After facing off against Sweet Pea over Jughead’s choices as gang leader and saving Toni from her Ghoulie-based prison, Jughead and the Serpents vote to go to war instead of fleeing Riverdale. The Ghoulies proceed to beat Jughead to a pulp (allowing Penny to slice off Jughead’s serpent tattoo) and leave him in the woods for dead where he’s found by his father. Hiram orchestrated all of this.
Archie tries to help fix everything, and his father is shot by a duplicate Black Hood (although nothing happens because he was wearing a bulletproof vest).
— So, first off: I called it on Hal being the Black Hood, I’ve called it this entire time. Didn’t call it on Betty’s entire family tree just being drenched in blood though. Secondly, so much happened in this episode and I can’t remember all of it so please bear with me if I can’t remember every single little detail.
— I still love the Ghoulie aesthetic so much more than the Serpent aesthetic. They’re awful people morality wise but fashion wise I love it.
— I don’t care about Penny Peabody at all. She’s not even intimidating as a villain, honestly. What I do care about is all the dads (except Hiram, for obvious reasons) banding together to try and save the day.
— Sweet Pea shouldn’t be a Serpent anymore. Not because he’s a criminal, literally everyone in this show is at least partially a criminal. The boy flies completely off the handle at any second . Maybe it’s because he and almost everyone else in the Serpents are dumb teenagers who can’t handle their emotions.
— The deaths of Small Fry and Andre did nothing to add to the story. They just kind of happened because the writers wanted a dead body.
— I loved the lighting in the hallway fight. It was some very good ambiance in a scene that needed it badly.
— I expected that Reggie wasn’t the shooter but he still shouldn’t have brought the gun along. I’m pretty sure Riverdale is still in New York and New York doesn’t issue licenses to carry guns openly. Even if they did, it was a riot situation and having a gun with you at a riot is like bringing your lighter to a burning movie theater. That being said, I do hope there’s some justice for Fangs in all of this.
— Cheryl ‘Robin Hood’ Blossom comes through in a clutch once again! She’s such a good fighter, honestly, and it was sweet to see her trying to help Toni and the Serpents. This was a lovely episode for her.
— Jughead shouldn’t be leader of the Serpents. He shouldn’t be Serpent leader because he’s not a good leader in general, but mostly because he’s a teenage boy leading a criminal organization. That being said, he absolutely isn’t dead. Roberto and the team have made some weird choices with writing but they’re not that dumb.
— Hiram’s way too over the top as a villain. I thought there was going to be a shot of him stroking a white cat while Jughead tried to make a deal with him. He’s like a Bond villain except instead of fighting a grown man with strength and spy gadgets and losing, he’s a grown man fighting against a bunch of teenagers. He’s basically late-stage capitalism and mob violence fused into one man.
— Riverdale Parents Ranking: Fred, Tom, FP, Alice, The Lodges, Hal.
Top cursed lines from this episode:
“Hot Riverdale dads to the rescue.” – Kevin (Not the time, buddy.)
Episode 22 (Season Finale): “Brave New World” Synopsis
Jughead went into a minor coma after being brutally beaten by the Ghoulies and is greeted by his father when he wakes up. He learns that: the Serpents are dead (either by retirement, joining the Ghoulies, going into hiding or leaving town) , Sunnyside Trailer Park is mostly gone, and they went to war to avenge him. Sweet Pea (one of two Serpents left standing along with Jughead — the other is Toni) admits that all of their issues are his fault — including the fact that they and the other Southside students will be transferred to Seaside High which is two hours from Riverdale. The Serpents, however, are not actually dead and are instead all homeless and living in the White Wyrm. FP (who is drinking again) lied about this and tries to convince his son to go to Toledo, Ohio with him to get out of town. Cheryl is entered into the Serpents and Northside and Southside alike stand in support of the Southsiders while the Serpents hide out in the Northside. Despite everything, Jughead is elected Serpent King, the Southsiders get to keep going to Riverdale High, and Jughead asks Betty to be his Serpent Queen. FP retires.
Betty is struggling to deal with the fallout from her father’s crimes and her mother’s emotions over it all, and isn’t helped when Polly returns. Polly tries to plead with them to visit Hal and forgive him. Betty refuses to forgive him after visiting him but Alice appears more open, willing to listen when Polly offers to let her meet the man from the Farm who’s helped her so much. Betty, meanwhile, considers becoming Jughead’s Serpent Queen and joining the Serpents permanently.
Veronica buys Pops from her father in exchange for the now vacated Whyte Wyrm and effectively cuts ties with him. She makes a plan to reopen the speakeasy that was once under Pop’s to make some extra money and stand her ground against her father. Hermione wins over Fred in the mayoral election, but they shake hands and part as friends.
Archie, newly elected Student Body President, goes to threaten Hiram over everything he’s done — including the murder of a boy at Shadow Lake named Cassidy. He swears to reveal Hiram for the criminal he is, only to be arrested at his inauguration ceremony for a murder he didn’t commit.
— Why is Jughead the Serpent King now!? Almost everything bad that happened to the Serpents is because of him, his dad, or Sweet Pea! Why does he get to lead the Serpents!?
— I don’t understand how Veronica owning Pops is legal. You need to be eighteen to sign legal documents and contracts. The last time I knew, Veronica’s a sophomore. So either she got held back a few years or none of this is legal. That’s not even getting into the speakeasy plan.
— I’m pretty sure FP’s still going to be a Serpent. Auxillary or not.
— So are Penny Peabody, the Blossoms, Hiram, Malachai, and Sheriff Minetta just the Every Villain is Lemons group from Spongebob now? Is that where this season is ending with them?
— I liked seeing Polly come back, not excited about her being in a creepy church/cult/pyramid scheme maybe. I’m also really worried about Alice and the babies. Not Betty though. She can apparently handle herself just fine.
— I want to suplex Hal into a dumpster.
— I’m glad the school decided to support the Southside high students and I’m happy that Cheryl gets to be a Serpent alongside her girlfriend. She’s made quite the evolution this season.
— I don’t care if Josie didn’t get a lot of screen time, I’m just happy that she was there.
— Good on Kevin for working things out with Moose apparently!
— I still have a big place in my heart for Mayor Fred Andrews and I wish he’d won.
— Archie continues to have a brain like a DVD player screensaver. When the logo bounces off a corner, that’s when he has a coherent thought. The logo almost never reaches the corner.
— So since Archie won but got arrested, Reggie and Josie dropped out of the race, and Betty and Jughead couldn’t do it, who’s the new Student Body President: Veronica or Ethel?
— I don’t know how I feel about this season. Most of my thoughts are just a haze of confusion, anger, and some happiness over little things. It’s worse than Season 1, I’ll say that much. Not bad, but worse than season 1. Far more confusing too. I guess we’ll see where season 3 takes us as I finally catch up to myself! Stay savvy, Serpents. See you on the other side.
— Riverdale Parents Ranking: Fred, Tom, Sierra, FP, Alice, The Lodges, The Blossoms, Hal.
Top cursed lines from this episode:
This episode was decent quotes wise. Nothing too cursed.