Riverdale Season 2, Episode 2 recap

The mysterious murderer continues his hunt on Riverdale citizens as he attacks two more victims.

Ananya Mehta

The mysterious murderer continues his hunt on Riverdale citizens as he attacks two more victims.

From the first couple seconds of the “Previously on…” montage, the audience can expect this episode to revolve around the mystery of “The Angel of Death” in relationship to Fred Andrews and Ms. Grundy. We can also expect much more of Veronica’s “I hate my evil parents” rampage.

This episode opens with a desolate shot of local hangout, Pop’s, in disarray after being the scene of the attack on Archie’s dad. The shot quickly translates into the familiar image of Archie guarding the entryways of his house due to the fear of his father’s attacker returning to complete his unfinished business. We then switch to Veronica and her initial tension with her parents, especially her father Hiram, a new character introduced this season. We then see the whole gang- Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Archie- sitting at school discussing the state of Pop’s and what they can do to rectify the situation. Then, we switch to Archie and Jughead at the police station both attempting to gain justice for their respective fathers. And then finally, Jughead and Archie having a bro moment in the Andrew’s kitchen all in the first eight minutes before the opening title scene. Talk about a fast paced introduction to an episode.

Throughout this episode, Archie continues in his search for answers behind his father’s attacker, especially, once he hears the news about his former teacher and romantic partner, Ms. Grundy’s, murder. He is constantly seen guarding the entrance to his house and living in the police station. He even goes to Ms. Cooper to try to find answers about the possible connection between the attacks of Fred Andrews and Ms. Grundy.

This episode also shows the fight for Pop’s to remain open as a social landmark of the town. This fight is mainly spearheaded by Betty, with the occasional help of Veronica and Jughead. Veronica and Betty approach Cheryl to enlist the help of the cheer team, the River Vixens, to perform at Pop’s to gather the town’s population, promoting Cheryl to deliver the funniest line of the show since its Season 1 premiere, “Oh Betty, I did not emerge from the frozen depths of Sweet Water River nor the flames of Thornhill to allow my Vixens to sling milkshakes at some death-curse dinner.”

Along with the physical attack on Archie’s father, Jughead’s dad is deeply involved in a criminal attack from the murder of Jason Blossom seen in the previous season. Jughead goes to extreme lengths in this episode to help protect his father from going to jail for 20 years, including reaching out to the South Side Serpent’s lawyer, resulting in him being indebted to her- clearly foreshadowing future developments. We also see Betty and Jughead attempt to persuade Cheryl to publicly forgive F.P Jones for his involvement in Jason’s murder and after she rejects, Betty goes to extreme lengths in the form of blackmail.

Veronica is mainly preoccupied with her tense relationship with her parents. She constantly pushes against their pleas for renewal and forgiveness. She even dredges up the drama from last season involving the letter threatening Hermione written by Hiram.

By the end of the episode, Betty convinces Cheryl to plead in favor of Fred, Jughead gets a troubling call from his dad about the Serpent’s lawyer, the Lodge family secretly buys Pop’s, and Archie buys a gun.

In all, if I could give advice to the show writers after this episode, I would highly suggest to ditch some of these side characters, like Josie, Kevin, and Reggie. This show is not suited to hold an ensemble cast and should be focusing on the main four characters as they are the ones driving the plot. Scenes with the other high-school side characters (excluding Cheryl) are not only bland and irrelevant, but frankly they are awkward and the dialogue is always forced.  For example, the scene of the Pussycats singing “Milkshake” is so uncomfortable and cringe-worthy for the viewers.

Despite this, some of the positives of this episode include the strong relationship between Jughead and Betty (much unlike the chemistry-free Archie and Veronica). Cheryl is surprisingly another highlight of the episode with her strong delivery of dialogue and witty retorts. At this point in the plot, it is the main characters who are driving the interest of this show.