After 22 "Riverdale" episodes filled with multiple Black Hoods, Jingle Jangle and Archie vowing to make his "bones" more than one person should ever say that phrase, Season 2 finally came to an end Wednesday night. The finale went out on one helluva cliffhanger and set up a few tantalizing threads to pull on when the show returns in the fall.
Before we dive into everything else, let's get one thing out of the way: nobody died. Though the show tried to fake us out with the deaths of Jughead -- that cold open in the graveyard? Not cool! -- and Fangs, the two were very much with us when the credits rolled.
As for everything that did happen, here are the 4 biggest developments ... plus one question we can't wait to get answered when "Riverdale" returns to the CW for Season 3.
Betty Gets Closure
The Cooper family was still going through some ish this week, after Hal confessed to all of the Black Hood murders last week. Betty (Lili Reinhart) hoped to "atone for all the horrible things" her dad did and decided to step out of the student council to deal with the fallout. First, she apologized to Fred Andrews (Luke Perry). "I'm supposed to be this great detective [Note: Are you?] but I didn't see what was right in front of me and people paid for that mistake with their lives," she told him.
Her other concern: she was going to "become a monster" just like dad. "You think evil can be passed on? What if it's my destiny, my birth rite?" she asked Jug, who talked her off a ledge. "I know you, you're a good person Betty. You might have some darkness, just like me, but you're not evil."
With that fresh in her mind, she visited Hal in jail and put him firmly in his place. "You did unspeakable, horrible things. I'm not like that. I'm not like you," she told him, defiantly. She said she was there to say goodbye, and "to say no more darkness, no more evil, it's over." Quoting Jennifer Connelly in "Labyrinth," she added, "You have no power over me!" before walking out.
After putting the Black Hood behind her for good, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) threw a new proposition her way -- whether she'd be his "queen" and join the Serpents. We didn't get an answer on that one, but have a pretty good feeling she'll follow in her mom's leather jacket-wearing footsteps in Season 3.
The Serpents had a rollercoaster of an evening tonight. First, we learned that the police lied to FP (Skeet Ulrich) about Fangs' death, hoping it would start a war between the Serpents and Ghoulies. With Jughead's attack thrown into the mix, that battle happened -- off camera -- and the trailer park was utterly decimated. As punishment for wrecking Riverdale High, the Southside students also learned they'd be bussed to a different school two hours away. Making matters even worse: Tall Boy was implicated in the shooting at the town hall, but killed before he had the chance to flip on Hiram (Mark Consuelos).
With the situation looking dire for all the Serpents -- many of whom were now living at the Whyte Wyrm bar -- FP wanted to book it to Toledo to live with Jug's mom and Jelly Bean. Jughead had other plans, however, and worked on easing tensions over town. By getting Archie (KJ Apa), Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and everyone else at Riverdale High to stand by the Serpents, wearing leather in solidarity and threatening a walkout, they talked the principal out of bussing them elsewhere.
FP was delighted by the development and saw it as the perfect time to step down as head of the gang. "I'm retiring from the Serpents, for real this time," he told them all. "My boy has never stopped fighting for this group. Hell, he almost died for it. That's why I'm giving you the mantle." His first move as Serpent King: giving Cheryl a red snake jacket we're incredibly jealous over.
Hiram's nefarious business dealings with Penelope and Claudius Blossom, Penny Peabody, Sheriff Minetta and Malachi were exposed to viewers, but not everyone was on his side.
Veronica (Camila Mendes) was ticked at her father for setting up the debate shooting, accusing dear old daddy of putting her mom "in the crosshairs to pursue some personal agenda." Hermione (Marisol Nichols) wasn't happy either and leaked some vital Hiram intel to her daughter to use against him. You see, the Whyte Wyrm was the only spot in the Southside that Hiram didn't have his filthy paws all over, so Veronica bought it from under him and used it to get what she wanted.
"I'm willing to sell the Whyte Wyrm to you, in exchange for Pop's. Why? Because I realized, once I learned how you so callously fired Mr. Jones, that Pop's is one of the only places left in this town that my friends and I can call our own," she explained. The terms of Hiram's agreement: She also had to sign over her third of Lodge Industry, her seat on the board and her "legacy."
Her plan for next season is to turn the former speakeasy in the diner's basement into "a cabaret space for world class entertainment," meaning the show's getting its very own Peach Pit! Veronica hopes FP will manage the spot.
Archie confronted Hiram with everything he knew about Mr. Lodge's shady dealings, including taking advantage of him, hiring Tall Boy to shoot up the debate, putting a hit out on Papa Poutine, getting Andre to kill the kid at Shadow Lake and getting both the Ghoulies and Penny to do his dirty work.
"You're smart Mr. Lodge, so all or any of this will be hard to prove. But I will. Wherever you go, whatever you do, I'll be there watching. And when I do, I'm just going to come for you. I'm going to make my bones once and for all," he threatened, a threat that Hiram and his Legion of Doom took very seriously. During the group's meeting -- where Penelope Blossom made it clear Hiram "promised" her a brothel in town -- Mr. Lodge said he had taken "steps" to tear Veronica and her friends apart.
The episode ended with Sheriff Minetta arresting Archie for the murder of Cassidy -- the kid from Shadow Lake -- right as he was named class president. Looks like this Scooby Gang will have to find some evidence to clear him, and fast, when the show returns in the fall!
Last but not least, there was a very random scene between Alice (Madchen Amick) and Polly that we're sure will have big implications for the Cooper family next season.
In an attempt to talk Alice off the ledge after her husband admitted to being a serial killer, Polly suggested her mom see "a friend of mine from the farm" who she thinks can help her. He "headed me when I was so broken after Jason," she told her. "If you're open to it. I would love to invite him to come visit and talk to you."
The look on Polly's face as she sipped her tea after saying this was pretty darn sinister. Is Alice about to get dragged into a cult?
Also Worth Mentioning:
Moose and Kevin had a boy's room make-out sesh, after Kev walked in on his bisexual buddy crying over murdered girlfriend Midge's locker being broken into. We're happy to see these two back together, but maybe give the boy some time to grieve first?
Hermione beat Fred Andrews for mayor, by less than 200 votes. The fact she backstabbed Hiram, then congratulated Fred on running a "great campaign" seem to hint at these two rekindling their romance too.
"Third-party candidate Ethel Muggs" ... poor thing never stood a chance.