Riverdale Roundtable 22: “Brave New World”

Welcome back to Riverdale Roundtable: a recap series where we chat about all the drama and sexy intrigue from last week’s Riverdale. Today we’re talking about the Season 2 finale, in this, Riverdale Roundtable 22: “Brave New World”. Join us to celebrate the end of this god-forsaken season as we lay to rest so much of the nonsense we have all collectively endured. Also! Cheryl is out here, living her best life, and We Love Cheryl.



Jenny: i’d like to start by saying that i am so disappointed
i mean — y’all called it
but still


Jenny: i had really thought he could be dead
i had really thought that was a brave and gutsy decision the cw had made
i was so curious how they’d deal w it
and then they just didn’t
it’s infinity war all over again

CC: lol he looks like he lost a fight with a mean cat

Rachel: Penny is def a mean cat

CC: i mean true

Rachel: I’m glad they didn’t show us his gross removed tattoo
There’s a limit to the gore I can handle in this show

Jenny: same
i mean — i think the cw is technically family programming




CC: we have left PG13+
we are in Adult Themes country now

Jenny: i mean
i would say that penelope is living her best life
but she’s making some questionable decisions
at the very least, i am proud of cheryl’s journey into emancipation



Jenny: but AGAIN
she emancipates her self and immediately joins a gang? like, is that the message you want to send to the youths cw??

CC: nice that the serpents totally let her opt out of the serpent dance tho
maybe betty made everybody so uncomfortable they abolished the practice
in exactly the way I’d hoped cheryl would

Jenny: yeah i guess now that jug is the Serpent King (??) he can do away those shitty initiations

CC: GOD the Serpent King



Jenny: like
come on fp
HE’S 16!!

CC: king of the “people who got hecked up by a mean cat” club maybe
ok but
one thing I wanna get into right out the gate
HOW DARE this show use a tombstone dream sequence

Jenny: i know it
these motherfuckers
it was all for the promo teaser
all for the DRAMA

CC: I can’t believe they took it THAT FAR after midge

Jenny: I KNOW
i treasured midge so much more than i have ever cared for jug

Rachel: Coupled with Fang’s fake death
It’s a lot of death fake outs

Jenny: yeah
only the brutal death of the teenage girl really stuck

CC: and I guess ms grundy

Jenny: i mean — in the realm of adults i suppose also papa poutine and small fry (idk what his name was but papa poutine’s son)
the janitor
that kid andre killed
what was his name..
cassidy something

CC: how did this show expect us to remember that guy

Jenny: as soon as archie was like “cassidy something” i was like — oh that’s going to be relevant suddenly

CC: ok there are a few things I wanna get to before we get to the end but I have got a Lot Of Feelings about how that plot line wrapped up
but first
Fred Andrews currently in the lead for Most Precious Dad

Jenny: i love that he was like
my strategist thinks i need the southside vote so how about a open my home and griddle to these lost teens?
but like??
teens can’t vote???

CC: also: I want to see some FP/Fred Friendship Content more than anything on this cursed riverdale earth




Jenny: yeah this was a v sweet moment
love this friendship

CC: yeah I mean, speaking of Fred’s strategist
I am a simple woman
not much for speechifyin’, etc
but can y’all unpack veronica’s plan to me
for why she swapped the wyrm for Pop’s?

Jenny: i mean
i don’t think she did a great job
but i’ll give it a shot
so — the white wyrm is in the heart of the southside and hiram needs it if he’s going to wipe everything out and build a drug-running prison complex.
pops is in a more liminal space
but having control of pops was good for gaining a cultural foothold in town
people like pops and having something likable in his back pocket was good for hiram bc he could either use it to point to how he’s not such a bad guy OR he could threaten it to coerce people into doing what he wanted
i think that is always useful and not something to be parted with lightly
veronica recognizes that value as well
and she is leaning more towards the good parts of what pops is and what it means
wants to contribute to the town’s culture
create a safe space, etc
i think the whole trade plan was bad
i think she could’ve gotten more
but she didn’t bc hiram went so hard on that “barter”
and he went so hard bc he didn’t want her to take the deal

CC: woof

Jenny: he was p pained, and i think that was clear
so on the one hand it’s like — V you got a shitty deal; bad business — and on the other hand it’s like — you really it stuck it to that asshole and i can support such a show of force
but on all hands
it’s like



Jenny: don’t act like this money you used to buy the white wyrm wasn’t literally also blood money
you got it as a ransom for a child
a shitty, horrible, rapist of a child
but still kidnapping
still ransom
he bled
blood money

CC: I feel like my version of Rachel’s “where are the parents???” is “how is this legal????” and that brings me to my next point
how is this legal????
how is V not literally blackmailing her dad????
all I am saying is that I am no lawyer but if I was, I def would NOT TAKE THAT CASE, MRS MCCOY

Jenny: i genuinely do not know — like, she is literally blackmailing her dad into giving her the ransom money

CC: i feel like lawyers technically should not be able to uh
help you blackmail your dad into handing over your trust fund blood money
but what do i know
not one for speechifyin’

Jenny: i mean — i don’t understand how a minor can hold property that is separate from her parents’
i don’t understand how a 15yo can own a diner/bar
how a 15yo can BUY a BAR

CC: maybe it’s like how people with terrible parents find out that their dad put a boat in their name
once they start failing credit checks

Jenny: i guess?
but like
they recognize that cheryl is a minor
that she needs to file for emancipation
and that she needs an adult to be her legal guardian
so idk how v can just, like, use a lawyer (??) to blackmail her dad into giving her money that was paid out for a kidnapping that she sort of orchestrated, and then how she can use that money to purchase property/a business that sells alcohol and then how that property is somehow not in any way accessible to her parents/guardians??
maybe this fictional american town in this fictional american state just has super different laws than the rest of the world???
i feel like the writers room collectively remembered this ep that fred and hermione used to bone



Jenny: like — i felt a lot of tension

CC: that last episode woke them up
and by them, I mean the writer’s room
“why didn’t someone TELL US ABOUT THIS!??!??!”
I really hope that season 3 sees the return of Hermione being Not A Completely Terrible Person



CC: man that lady can really lean into a room
a Good Look

Jenny: and a great shot
but it was good to see her come around to veronica’s side a little more
i feel like all season she’s been separating herself from v and i was not here for it

Rachel: i really don’t understand her motivations at all
this is literally tearing your family apart

CC: I completely agree! hermione!! why!!
why have you done literally anything you did this season!!
don’t u break fred’s heart again!!!

Rachel: what’s it gonna take for her to turn on Hiram

Jenny: i mean maybe just cutting off veronica
like, he said — no trust funds, no credit cards
i mean
he is legally obligated to provide for his child
but also
i think he’s probably going to be real shitty about veronica next season and i think (HOPE) that’s what’ll set hermione off

CC: or like
hiram decides that the whole family has to watch their cholesterol and stop drinking red wine
“here is a series of dropbox folders with every dirty business dealing and bad haircut your father has ever had”

as she sips on a decadent cocktail in pop’s prohibition lounge

CC: ok also
that reminds me
I appreciate what you’re trying to do
but is it really such a great idea to offer the recovering alcoholic a job in your bar



Jenny: i mean
maybe she doesn’t know?
but also
i feel like she knows
idk — i don’t think it’s something she’s doing on purpose
i think she is well-intentioned
but also, i don’t think the writers care
i think the writers are just going to be like: being employed cures alcoholism, right?

Rachel: it took this long for people to crack it but
by jove
the writer’s have found the cure

CC: anime butterfly meme
butterfly is “employment”
is this rehab???
: |

Jenny: yeah — ugh
on the exact same hand, though
these writers do also seem to think that joining a gang cures all the problems facing youths today
i mean
as much as i love cheryl in that red jacket
and as much as i think betty could do better
these are two things that are framed as having no negative effects on the futures of these teens



Jenny: for the most part though — this shit
he didn’t want her to join the serpents
presumably he had a reason then
has that reason just…evaporated??

Rachel: this was very ambiguous and that was the most annoying thing

Jenny: yes!
i could not tell whether this was, like, a marriage proposal or if he was just trying to get her to join his gang

CC: or both

Jenny: yeah — or both

Rachel: but also

Jenny: !!!!

CC: ????????????????
there are no parents or labor laws or underage drinking statutes in Midwestern Vancouver
o b v z zz zzz z

Jenny: upstate new york michigan
seattle, ohio
but apparently what they do have in spades is



Jenny: these silence-of-the-lambs-ass holding cells
and also a need to drag a 15yo kid into the sheriff’s station of identify the man who shot his dad six months ago, even though that man is also his neighbor/the dad of his best friend and also that man confessed and also aforementioned best friend gathered a boatload of evidence already



CC: all I could think of during this scene with betty and hal was
that scene from Avatar where Zuko confronts Ozai
what I am saying is, betty, be the firelord u want to be
omg I just realized we never talked about alice

Jenny: before we do
i want to mention that i am honestly a lil disappointed w netflix having bought up sabrina bc it means we won’t really get crossover w this show
and i feel like some lines here are leftovers from when they thought the cw would still have rights
to sabrina/greedale/magic



Jenny: like — i know witchcraft when i see it
and the chilling adventures of sabrina HAVE a b&v cameo to get the plot rolling
b&v SUMMON madam satan
they’re, like, amateur witches



Jenny: anyway, thank you for indulging me
she had a rough time this ep



CC: omfg
so true alice

Jenny: the cw’s new slogan

CC: I am worried about her!!!
I feel like
even though it’s probably pretty terrifying to find out your shitty husband was literally a serial killer
she just handled it so well in the moment I didn’t realize how rough this was gonna be for her!!

Jenny: agreed!
i feel like the cw is doing an okay job at giving her the time to process it all
in a way that feels not great, but still in a way where i can kind of see what they’re going for

CC: she has been through a Lot this season

Rachel: I’m nervous about Polly’s farm friend
this dude is extremely ominous



Jenny: 100000000% a cult

CC: see I think just when we start thinking polly is the most well adjusted cooper
more cults
I feel like polly is like 3 cults deep at this point



Jenny: i mean this was a big red flag

CC: yeah like, GIRL

Jenny: i mean maybe we are just three withered crones with cold, dead hearts but GIRL
some people don’t deserve your forgiveness!

CC: who better to tell you not to forgive your serial killer dad than three crones imho



Jenny: hashtag senile crone

CC: the answer to that question is YES, OBVIOUSLY
so, one thing I want to get back to now that we’ve covered so much ground is
I CAN’T BELIEVE he brought his rusty ass knife to a chess match with hiram lodge



Jenny: so drama
what a dummy

CC: archie you beautiful dumb instagram model cherub
what are u doing
in like, all the bad ideas this season
this one ranks right up there with “cutting off a lady’s tattoo”
DO NOT PHYSICALLY INTIMIDATE PEOPLE SMARTER AND MORE EVIL THAN YOU if you aren’t able to take them out at that moment
that’s like
rule #1 for surviving a soap opera

Jenny: lol
yeah archie is a big dumb boy
what was it veronica said when her dad first got out of jail?
he’s simple
speaking of people who maybe are a little messy



CC: omfg this scene

Rachel: aww I love him

Jenny: this was sweet, i thought
but also messy!
and v high school!
felt like relatable teen content!!
and what a sweet boy!
really loved midge!
really into kev too!
messy bisexual
big slab of beef, i think he called himself

CC: sweet chaotic bi moose

Rachel: def
y’all ready for final thoughts?

CC: ooooh yeah I totally am
my final thought is: when cheryl saw hiram with her mom and uncle claudius, I totally thought we were headed into Evil Thrupple territory because I am trash and will ship anything
and by ship, I mean “speculate with mild to very little interest any time 2-3 characters could be hooking up”
what a literal devil’s threesome
as all three of those characters are cursed demons

Jenny: LOLOL
i mean i def had that thought too
like, if penelope is involved it is probably something salacious
so my final thought
i have been on record as being v adamant that jughead and cheryl are friends
this is very important to me
and i feel like we really got some good friendship content in this ep!


Jenny: look at those faces!!

CC: 2 sweet messy weirdos who love drama

that is the literal definition of friendship!
as far as i’m concerned

Rachel: my final thought is that I like to think that Toni made that jacket for Cheryl herself
found this red jacket and sewed all the patches on








Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.

Romance Roundtable #51: Yakuza Lover

Welcome back to Romance Roundtable: a feature where the editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss Romance Manga. Join us for our spiciest Romance Roundtable yet as we cover Yakuza Lover by Nozomi Mino: an absolutely R-rated romance between a bold, fearless college student and a beautiful twink yakuza boss.

Read More »
POMEgranate Magazine