Well, that’s all the Black Hood wrote, Riverdale fans. After 22 episodes, the CW teen soap closed out season 2 with Wednesday night’s “Brave New World.” The episode gave viewers closure on a few storylines, supposedly wrapping up the Black Hood mystery for good and revealing the outcome of the much-debated mayoral race (spoiler alert: the Lodges win, shocker). But, as one narrative door closes on Riverdale, another one swings open, revealing lots more crime and bloodshed to come.
As with the murder-mystery’s freshman year, season 2 ends with a terrible new fate befalling our poor protagonist, Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), who simply wants to play guitar and be the new class president. Instead, the lovable teen closes out “Brave New World” with a perp walk out of the Riverdale High School gym; Archie has been accused of the murder of Cassidy (Harrison MacDonald), aka that townie creep who tried to rob and murder everyone in “The Hills Have Eyes.” You know, the one who Andre (Stephan Miers) then actually murdered in the woods for daring to cross the Lodge family.
Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) tells his own personal legion of doom Archie's arrest will “dissolve the very glue” that holds Riverdale’s most meddlesome kids — aka his own daughter Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), Archie, Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), and Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) — together. Yet, the Riverdale cast seriously disagrees.
When asked if Hiram & Co.’s plan will really ruin Riverdale’s core friendship, Betty’s alter-ego Lili Reinhart isn’t so sure. “No, I think if anything it’s going to make Veronica, Betty, and Jughead join forces in a stronger way,” the actress told Refinery29 in New York City on Thursday, ahead of her network’s upfront presentation. “I think they’re going to go into [saving Archie] as a team, together. I don’t think it’s going to split them apart at all.”
Even more importantly, it sounds like Archie’s wrongful imprisonment might just mend some of those crumbling relationship bridges of season 2. Cole Sprouse, who plays Archie’s BFF Jughead, recognised the former best pals’ friendship basically disintegrated this season, between Jughead’s rising biker gang profile with the Serpents, and Archie’s increasing dedication to the Lodge family mob and its No. 1 don, Hiram.
“I also think that was intentional,” Sprouse explained. “Jughead basically had no relationship to Veronica, except some sort of bitter one. There were many times he lost his relationship with Betty. Then he and Archie had sort of fallen to pieces as well.”
But, all of these extremely isolating “journeys,” to use the CW actor’s word, will apparently lead viewers towards a very “interesting” season 3. A season where Sprouse fully expects to see his character, along with Betty and Veronica, fighting to defend their friend. “Full on. Jughead is a character that doesn’t leave a man behind. Never has,” Sprouse promised.
Fellow Southside Serpent portrayer and newly-minted Riverdale series regular Vanessa Morgan, who plays fan-favourite Toni Topaz, echoed her co-star’s sentiment, predicting, “I think we’re all going to have Archie’s back. I feel like we’re all going to show up at the police station and figure out what’s going on and do whatever we can to get him out.” That means get ready to see a lot more teen indignation pointed at the corrupt adults of Riverdale.
While Archie’s arrest is clearly the big jaw-dropper of “Brave New World,” another possibly more insidious cliffhanger appears right before Sheriff Michael Minetta (Henderson Wade) shows up to cuff the teen in front of all of RHS. The suspicious scene in question is the one between a very broken Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick), who has recently learned her husband (Lochlyn Munro) is mass murderer, and the man posing as her son (Hart Denton) wasn’t really her son (but, he did murder her real son), and prodigal daughter Polly Cooper (Tiera Skovbye).
New mom Polly, looking very Manson Girl-esque down to the super long hair and wide eyes, pitches her mother about the “farm” she has been living at since giving birth. “I have someone who can help you, Mom,” Polly says. “A friend of mine from the farm, who healed me when I was so broken after Jason.” Alice, at the end of her rope, agrees to meet with this so-called “friend.”
So, we have a mysterious, mostly-unseen “farm,” which seems to cater to shattered women, a mysterious “healer,” and their imminent arrival at the Cooper household, where nothing but bad things and murders happen? Let’s all say it together: This. Is. A. Cult. Reinhart, “definitely” thinks some cult-y issues could be brewing among her TV family come season 3. “It would be super interesting to see,” Betty’s portrayer admitted. “Alice is in a very vulnerable place right now, so she could very easily be wrapped into a bad group of people.”
Rock-solid friendships, Hiram Lodge’s cabal of ne'er do wells, and maybe a cult? What more could you want for Riverdale season 3.