Television

Riverdale Season 5 Episode 16 Review: Chapter Ninety-Two: Band of Brothers

Here comes the rise of Veronica Lodge. Vanquisher of lying exes, the supreme leader in business, and Riverdale’s answer to boss energy. 

This vicious and cutthroat Veronica came to slay on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 16.

Chad, Hiram, the stock market, auction houses … no one was safe from her schemes. This is the version of adult Veronica that needs to stay and topple her enemies.

“Chapter Ninety-Two: Band of Brothers” gave Veronica the cherry on her sundae Chad plot. And, the promising redemption her character needed after a long while.

From the minute she stole the palladium in Hiram’s office, she created a domino effect that knocked down every enemy in gloriously fun ways.

Veronica: As I said, I’m hosting an exclusive by-invitation-only auction. The centerpiece of which will be some palladium doubloons I’ve acquired. Some of my guests have been asking about the palladium’s origins and I want to say that it came from your mines.
Cheryl: Not a problem! I’m always happy to let you namedrop my family in order to screw over your father.

Putting Hiram in his place during the auction? Perfectly petty.

Destroying Chad’s dreams with Copter Cab by leaking the story and tanking the stocks? Brilliant.

Rubbing it in Hiram’s face about stealing the palladium and ruining SoDale? Delicious.

Veronica didn’t start the drama, but she for sure finished it. If Chad had played nice and didn’t contact the SEC, she wouldn’t have retaliated to leave her mark.

He always underestimated Veronica, which was his biggest mistake. A smarter person would’ve realized that Veronica wouldn’t roll over and celebrate Chad’s win after he tried to sabotage her. Chad proved yet again he’s not great at business.

Chad: Veronica, you little…
Veronica: I’m gonna stop you right there, Chad. Because whatever you think I am, doesn’t come close to what you are … which is scum. A worthless pathetic little worm. You stole money from your investors to, what, finance Copter Cab? But what a surprise, in the end you couldn’t pull it off. That’s your problem in a nutshell, you can’t land anything! You’ll never be an alpha, Chad. You’re a born beta.

Let’s hope this is his final appearance on Riverdale.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a decent villain and unless he tries one big act of revenge against Veronica, he’s lost the war.

Veronica’s sabotage in front of the Copter Cab investors created a great spotlight moment for her to bask in her victory. The defeat would be the perfect way for his character to leave.

The same goes for General Taylor; he can’t come back from losing the court battle. The only way would be an act of surprising revenge against Archie, Eric, and Frank (but that seems a tad unlikely between the two).

It made sense why both Archie and Eric felt the guilt of losing their squad. One bad decision spiraled into chaos they couldn’t see coming.

Though, it’s clear that the fault came mostly from General Taylor. He knew the risks, and he forced his squad to conduct the mission, caring little about their lives in the process.

Archie’s anger should’ve gone toward him instead of within. But, you can’t ever plan guilt; Archie placed the weight on his shoulders, so he needed to face it head-on.

Now that the Army ghost storyline has finished, I’m hoping that Archie still stays in therapy.

He found justice for his fallen squad and he gave Eric redemption for his part too. However, Archie dealt with a lot of guilt over the squad dying and the trauma from being in the Army. That shouldn’t just go away because he won the war against General Taylor.

General Taylor: So as I said before, it’s my word against yours. Pursue this and you’ll be a traitor.
Archie: No, you’re the traitor, General. I buried good men because of you. I won’t bury the truth any longer, regardless of the consequences.

Archie doesn’t need to see ghosts everywhere, but he could talk with someone about the past to help him through his baggage.

Like, Jughead started a storyline about his recovery while Betty has been reluctant about facing her issues. Archie shouldn’t completely move on from his story either; let him continue his mental health journey, even if it’s only in the background.

Cheryl and Kevin’s plan to take over the Blossom ministry felt like needless filler. This entire plotline started because Penelope wanted them to stop singing during the mass.

She had a point. Why did they need to sing Broadway numbers and covers in their church so much?

Their “divine miracles” came across more as flashy scenes than anything that will affect Riverdale long-term. Turning water into maple syrup, performing stigmata, and holding onto the bees were all captivating visuals that added style to “Chapter Ninety-Two: Band of Brothers.” It just didn’t have much substance beyond that.

Cheryl most likely won’t have spiritual powers, and Penelope will just get her revenge on a “wicked daughter” who betrayed her. The plot writes itself here; unless Riverdale Season 5 goes down the supernatural route, it’s heading to a red herring.

It’s a shame that Cheryl and Kevin can’t get deep and developed plotlines for their characters.

Betty and Jughead, on the other hand, are at least facing the issues they’ve developed over the last few seasons. The core four of Veronica, Betty, Jughead, and Archie tend to get the most development, so it fits.

Betty’s darkness pushed her to investigate the macabre and serial killers as a teen. And let’s face it, being a teen detective solving big cases had to have left its mark on her negatively.

Defeating players like The Black Hood and Edgar Evernever don’t come without a cost.

It’s great that she admitted she had a problem and her addiction led her into trouble. It’s a small step, but if she could take a minute to confront her issues, it would help her to shed the detached demeanor she’s built up in the time jump.

Did anyone else guess that Jughead would try to steal Cora’s manuscript?

That hook-up on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 4 was bound to return in some way, especially when Cora asked him to share her book. All the pieces fell into place once the agent gave him a deadline. (You gotta love when dots are connected!)

Jughead was spiraling, and even if he had successfully kept that lie going until the book was published, he wouldn’t be able to keep it up. Cora most likely had a copy of the book somewhere; the second she learned about the publishing, she could sue him for everything with her proof.

Betty: Even when I was at Yale, I was trying to be a normal Freshman. Go on dates, make friends, do extracurriculars, but I don’t know. It all felt so … empty.
Jughead: Classic Cooper. You solved like eight mysteries in high school and you were still Valedictorian.

Jughead would’ve had an easier time reaching out to Jessica and getting her to scan/email copies of the pages to him.

Wait … why didn’t he try that option?! Or, try to write something himself if he knew a bit about his story? He might not be the best writer or problem solver.

Jughead also isn’t the clearest with his intentions. His text messages to Betty were so vague and could’ve meant anything.

Like, did anyone else get the vibe from his flashbacks and conversations that he still had a thing for Betty?

Hopefully, this relationship stays in the past. Neither person is at a strong emotional and mental place where they could give it all, let alone rekindling a past romance. They have a lot of baggage to get through.

Plus, they’re completely different people now, and Betty moved on from the high school couple. They should work towards their own happiness and just be friends.

Last Thoughts From Sweetwater River:

  • I was surprised Archie wasn’t recording General Taylor during their meeting. He had Taylor spilling everything in a fit of rage.
     
  • Either Tabitha or Betty will get kidnapped by the next serial killer trucker. The story seemed to tease trouble coming to them on the Lonely Highway.
     
  • Penelope was over it. All of it. She needed a divine intervention away from Kevin and Cheryl’s performances.
     
  • Jughead needs a miracle if he ever plans to get back into the writing world. He burned that bridge.

Now, over to you, Riverdale fans.

What did you think of “Chapter Ninety-Two: Band of Brothers”?

How will Hiram retaliate against Veronica? Will Tabitha and Betty uncover any leads on the highway? Is Jughead’s writing career over?

If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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