Across town, Polly’s visiting Betty and Alice and says they need to “forgive” Hal for his crimes. Alice and Polly think they should visit him and Betty’s basically like, “Fuck that noise.” Agreed.
Hermione finally—finally!!!!—catches on to the fact Hiram’s evil and tells Veronica the only thing missing from his acquisition of the South Side is the White Worm, so Veronica uses the $1 million she got from the St. Clairs to buy it.
She might be too late, though; apparently Hiram’s asked Sherif Minetta to raid the White Worm tonight, and it’s NBD if more Serpents are shot. The remaining Serpents manage to escape to Fred Andrews’ house. I thought we were done with this crap?! So bored.
Anyway, all the kids at Riverside High wear Serpent jackets in support of the students who are being asked to transfer. The stunt works and everyone can stay at the school. Yawn, but Cheryl and Toni became official after this scene, so I’m here for it. Also, Archie looks hot in a leather jacket.
After learning that Hiram fired F.P. from Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe, Veronica decides to buy the White Worm and tells Hiram he can have it in exchange for Pop’s. Hiram agrees, but says this is the last thing Veronica will get from him. This means no more credit cards, no more allowances, no inheritance, no nothing. She agrees.
Switching gears: Betty’s now afraid she has the same “darkness” inside of her as her dad and that this will be transferred to one of Polly’s kids too. Jughead touches her face gently and says, “No, you’re fine.” Betty pouts, says “K,” and they move on.
But not before Betty goes to the jail and tells her crazy dad that he doesn’t control her anymore and that the darkness is over. Hal hilariously yells, “You’ll be back! You can’t escape me!” like some old-timey villain, but Betty shantays away like a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Funniest scene in this episode.
Archie’s elected student body president, so the teenagers start acting like actual teenagers to celebrate that, and the fact the South Side High students are allowed to stay. I love seeing teens act like teens! Their fun, however, is interrupted by F.P. making a boring speech about how he’s retiring from the Serpents and that Jughead’s now the head of them. The only good part about this scene is that Cheryl receives an official red leather Serpent jacket and becomes a member of the crew. The shot of her putting it on is iconic. So now I suddenly stan the Serpents!
And Archie suddenly isn’t stanning Mr. Lodge. He goes to his office and basically says he knows he’s the mastermind behind everything and that he’s going to prove it and “come for” him. Does this mean he’s going to…kill Hiram? Whatever, Archie threatening him here is kinda hot, I won’t lie. Bye-bye, Mark Consuelos!
In one of the last scenes, it’s revealed that Hiram is the person pulling the strings and that he’s employed Penelope Blossom, Uncle Claudius, the Ghoulies, Sheriff Minetta, and Penny Peabody to help him. He’s promised them all things in this “New South Side” to gain their loyalty, but because Hermione’s now mayor she can’t be privy to these meetings.
But who cares about this? Polly’s apparently going to have someone from her creepy farm cult come visit the Cooper house and “talk” to Alice to get her out of her “Hal’s the Black Hood” funk. This is a storyline I definitely can get behind next season: Cults!
Oh crap, though: This epsiode ends with Hiram seeking vengeance on Archie by having him arrested for the murder of Cassidy Brooke. (Cassidy, if you forgot—because I did—is the guy who attempted to rob Veronica’s lake house, escaped, and then was shot by one of Hiram’s goonies in the forest.) So, now we have a whole new mystery to take screen time away from Cheryl Blossom in season three. Yay!