Hermione got arrested by the FBI, The Farm skipped town during their "Ascension," and Penelope killed Hal Cooper on Riverdale Season 3 Episode 22.
Below, TV Fanatics Becca Newton, Kat Pettibone, and Brandon Vieira debate the identities of The Gargoyle Kings, Alice's secret role as an FBI informant, and the flashforward teaser of Riverdale Season 4.
Penelope Blossom and Chic were revealed to be The Gargoyle Kings. Did you correctly guess the identities of the puppet masters?
Becca: Chic was on my list, but because him coming back was one of the last things I wanted, I kept thinking up other possibilities in the hopes it would be anybody but him.
What kept me from guessing Penelope was the scene between her and Daryl Doily where both of them denied planning Ascension Night. I'm still mulling over whether I was too gullible for taking Penelope's words at face value or if the scene verged into lying to the audience territory.
Kat: I did guess Chic might be The Gargoyle King, which I found to be somewhat of a letdown. Penelope Blossom, however, was a shock to me.
I felt she admitted to a decent amount of wrongdoings earlier in the season, and therefore wouldn't come up again as a suspect. I was also extremely impressed with how well the writers were able to tie her into the crimes with a motive that made sense for her character.
Besides Clifford, this was probably the best villain reveal we've seen Riverdale do.
Brandon: I did not, but that was mainly because I gave up trying to guess who it was after so much bait-and-switching occurred. I knew it had to be someone from The Midnight Club in order for the whole story to make sense, so Penelope was a solid choice.
As for Chic, I completely forgot about the character, so his return was a bit of a shock. I'm glad Riverdale is still able to shock me after all this time.
Penelope explained that her reasoning for starting all this drama was as revenge against the town and parents for not helping her after her adoption doing nothing after Jason died. Do you believe her motivation supports all the chaos she caused?
Becca: A parent grieving the loss of a dead child is capable of anything. More than anything else though, Nathalie Boltt's performance is what sells it.
Kat: As in do I think it abstains her from all the evil she's done? The crimes she's committed? Absolutely not.
Do I think it's a logical, solid motive for why she went off the deep end and took revenge against the town? Yes, absolutely; it all tracks.
Penelope had a horrific upbringing and becoming a loose canon makes total sense. It doesn't absolve her from being a villain though; she's not allowed to become a serial killer. She killed (or directed others to kill) A LOT of people. She deserves anything and everything coming to her.
If they can track her down, that is.
Brandon: I believe it to an extent. I feel like if all the parents were more involved in the overall Gryphons and Gargoyles plot, it would be more plausible.
Having said that, I understand why she would go after their kinds since her own son was murdered, albeit by her husband who she was forced to marry.
It's all very convoluted, but Penelope was always a bit psychotic, so it makes sense for her to go to this extreme to get her revenge against The Midnight Club and the town of Riverdale.
Penelope forced Betty, Jughead, Archie, and Veronica to take part in one last challenge through the woods. Share your thoughts on their final confrontation.
Becca: My thoughts regarding the final confrontation mirror my thoughts about Riverdale Season 3 as a whole: entertaining to watch, but it falls apart under scrutiny.
Arching fighting the "bear" was funny enough to make it a breather moment. But, Archie using his fists to once again resolve his problems is worrying when Archie being the muscle seems to be all he is useful for.
Veronica's challenge was more thoughtful, and it was good to see the show acknowledge her selfishness. Much as I like seeing the esteem Betty and Veronica have for each other, Veronica sacrificing herself for Betty isn't as selfless as the show wants us to think.
Veronica can be loyal and protective towards select people, and we knew Betty belonged in this select group before the chalice challenge went down. Unless something bad directly affects her or someone in her group, Veronica turns a blind eye towards other people getting hurt.
To really prove Veronica was overcoming her selfishness, she needed to be shown sacrificing herself for someone less important to her than Betty.
Seeing Jughead knock out Chic was satisfying in a "Yes, the awful character got what was coming to him" way, but Chic unmasked isn't a compelling or challenging enough antagonist. Riverdale tried to make up for it by framing the fight as a conflict about the idea of kingship, but it didn't explore the theme deep enough to elevate the fight.
Betty's test is redundant when you consider she already has proven she wasn't like Hal during Riverdale Season 2. But, I won't hold the redundancy against it because what the other Coopers have been doing to Betty lately is more than enough to undermine believing she had conquered her fear.
Kat: I loved it. I know some people were let down, but it worked so well for me.
Jughead being the king of the Serpents having to face the king of the Gargoyles, this mysterious and secret villain he's been hunting for the majority of the season ... it was clever. The fight was short, but it was a great payoff.
Veronica having to play "spin the bottle" with chalices was brilliant. It tied things back to Riverdale Season 1 Episode 1 but also wove seamlessly into her arc for this season. She's been running an illegal casino and now she was forced to play Russian Roulette with Betty's life.
Then there was Archie. On one hand, I think his final battle highlighted how desperately the writers need to put him into the main plotlines, but it also gave him a chance to face his biggest trauma.
Lastly, there was Betty having to stare down her own father and finally pull the trigger.
Jughead had to prove he was the best king, Veronica had to show her loyalty, Betty had to finally let her father go, and Archie had to fight a bear. It's the best season finale climax that Riverdale has ever done, and the action was at an all-time high. So was the acting.
Brandon: This entire confrontation was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I loved Betty's task involving her dad. The plot came full-circle with the story they've been telling for her.
Archie's task was pretty hilarious considering that whole bear moment happened. Jughead's challenge was decent; although, I was hoping his task would've been more of a mental game than a physical one like Archie's since he's obviously more brains than brawn, unlike his BFF.
But, I understand someone had to confront Chic and prefer Jughead doing it instead of betty, who had a bigger task ahead.
Veronica's task was the sweetest moment regarding her sacrifice, but it fell a little falt mainly because she hadn't been heavily involved int he Gryphons and Gargoyles plot, and she and Betty didn't have a lot of scenes together during Riverdale Season 3.
While it was a nice reminder that these two girls are besties, I would've preferred actually seeing that throughout this season instead of just this one moment. While I was a little confused with some of the choices, I can't deny it was hella entertaining.
The Farm "ascended" and left Kevin behind to tell the tale. What do you think is next for this cult plot?
Becca: My guess is a mass suicide and The Farm setting up shop in some other town.
Kat: This was strange. I really felt all the build-up, The Farm would play a bigger part in the second half of Riverdale Season 3. Instead, things kind of fizzled out quickly. It's too bad; the reveal was actually very interesting, believable, and fairly realistic.
I was looking forward to where they would take it. It seems like the writers may have planned to go deeper with The Farm, but decided instead to wrap up as much as they could to start Riverdale Season 4 with a fresh take.
Obviously, Alice, Polly, and Fangs still have to be found.
I think Betty will form a bond with Charles and track down their family together. I don't see much more story here, though.
I am, however, interested to figure out what their version of "ascended" was.
Brandon: I think The Farm itself is dead and now the next big mystery will be finding Alice, Fangs, and the rest of the Farmies. While that will be interesting to track, I was more interested to see how Riverdale will go about telling Kevin's story.
Where is his mental state at going forward? Is he still devoted to The Farm?
I hope his friends (who didn't seem too worried about him, which was kind of sad) help him grow from this experience and move away from this fragile state he's currently in.
Alice was revealed to be an informant for the FBI all this time. Does this twist change your opinion of everything that happened involving her story?
Becca: I hate this twist, and I hate Alice more than I did previously. At least with the brainwashing, she could claim she did what she did because she wasn't in her right mind. But, her turning out to be an informant means she knowingly and voluntarily chose to put Betty through hell.
Being an informant does not excuse her stealing Betty's college money, selling their home, and forcing her to choose between joining a cult or being homeless, the abandonment, the emotional abuse, the awful things Alice said on tape and to her face, and if Betty hadn't don't those things, Hal wouldn't have manipulated his way out of prison.
Oh, and she was so indifferent about Betty, she all but let Edgar lobotomize her (and did nothing to prevent the theft of Kevin and Fangs' kidneys). Plus, she did a bunch of terrible things to Betty, such as involuntarily committing her to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, which had nothing to do with her informant work.
After all, Alice has done, it is infuriating to see Riverdale trying to paint her actions in a heroic light and to know she'll be instantly forgiven once The Farm is brought down.
One last point, why didn't Alice let Betty in on the secret? To say it was because Betty couldn't handle it or for safety reasons is BS.
Betty would have helped Alice, not stop her. Having the two of them team up to bring The Farm down from the inside would have been a much better story.
Kat: Not really, but only because I always felt she was redeemable. Even before I knew she was faking it, I understood why she originally turned to The Farm.
Having a serial killer husband is enough to make anyone desperate for a way to process their grief. It doesn't absolve her of the emotional trauma she put Betty through.
I have to hope Alice was completely unaware Betty was being drugged, attacked or operated on. I can't see Alice taking it that far.
She still isolated her own 17-year-old daughter completely, though, forcing Betty to deal with The Black Hood fallout all on her own.
I'm interested to hear why Alice felt she couldn't tell Betty the truth. Betty would understand, if only because she would want to save her sister Polly, as well.
Brandon: It kind of makes me wonder why she was so willing to throw Betty under the proverbial bus so much if she wasn't actually under The Farm's control. Sure, she swore an oath to her new son to not say anything, but that doesn't make up for all she's done up till now.
I hope when Betty finds her, the two have a long talk about everything and really digest the issues they've dealt with this past year.
A flashforward showed Betty, Veronica, and Archie burning Jughead's bloody hat on the fire. Did this twist make you excited for Riverdale Season 4 or has the damage already been done from Riverdale Season 3?
Becca: It's not this last season so much as the flashforward itself making me weary about Riverdale Season 4. It's not even the content of the flashforward I'm worried about (no point in doing so until the next season airs); it's the mechanics of it.
To pull off what the flashforward sets up requires good pacing, adherence to continuity, and satisfying resolutions. None of those things are Riverdale's strong suits.
Despite the misgivings, I do want to know what's going on. I may not be excited about what's upcoming, but I'm still on the hook.
Kat: It does make me excited for Riverdale Season 4, and here's why: after the convoluted mess that was Riverdale Season 2, and most of Riverdale Season 3, I'm thrilled we're starting fresh. It was a dream I had but never thought would come true.
I want to see Riverdale let go of everything that bogged it down from the past few seasons. They need to get back to their Riverdale Season 1 roots when it was such a promising piece of TV.
I would love to see the Core Four get themselves in some sort of accidental trouble. Maybe the writers will try and pull off an "I Know What You Did Last Summer" storyline?
Whatever it is, I want less crazy parents and more of a focus on our younger characters. I want to see the four of them working together and sharing the same arcs. Putting them together it what elevated the season finale so much!
Riverdale is always better when Betty, Archie, Jughead, and Veronica are a unit.
I also think this allows room for normal high school plots, even if it's mini B or C plots, and I've been crazing that since the first season. Bring it on!
Brandon: I'm a little excited, although, nervous at the same time.
This flashforward requires consistency in order to tell a coherent story and that's not Riverdale's strong suit. This could lead to a great turn of events or another head-scratching season.
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.