Riverdale Season 2 premiere rundown


Ananya Mehta

Current iteration of Archie as seen in the TV show versus his original iteration in the Comics. Comic Archie is much more optimistic and lighthearted than the current TV one.

Riverdale Season 2 kicked off this Wednesday with a bang. The show, never one to shy away from mystery, gave its viewers a new crisis to fixate on for this season: catching the man who shot Fred Andrews in the Season 1 finale. The new season kicked off visually with a darker aesthetic, introducing a visual motif of tainted beauty. From the opening shots of Archie Andrews in his iconic Riverdale Varsity Jacket stained with his dad’s blood to the pivotal Pop’s Diner with blood puddles on its floor, viewers instantly see that this  season will introduce gorier and darker elements into the already mysterious show.

The episode kicks off with Archie Andrews rushing to the hospital to try to save his dad bleeding out on the floor. Through dream sequences where Fred Andrews hallucinates important moments in his son’s life that Fred would miss if he died, the audience is able to see just how close to death Mr. Andrews is. While Mr. Andrews is in the hospital, another patient is admitted: Penelope Blossom. We saw Cheryl torch the Blossom residence after finding out about her Dad’s murder of her brother, Jason Blossom, last season and it appears that, though Cheryl escaped the house fire unscathed, her mother was not so lucky, receiving burns to her face and needing to be put on life support. Cheryl is admittedly crazy in this episode, threatening her mother: “Henceforth, if you breathe, it is because I give you air. If you drink, it is because I poured your cup myself. And if you move, it is quietly and with my blessing.”

Jughead and Betty are back as this season’s leading investigative duo once again, trying to discover who shot Fred Andrews. Jughead is slowly adapting to his new life on the South Side of town and has started driving a motorcycle. He is also seen asking help from his Serpent Associates to find Fred Andrew’s shooter. Betty struggles to grasp the meaning of his new affiliation with the South Side Serpents and what exactly this move will do to their relationship. However, by the end of the episode, the two have a heart-to-heart conversation and Betty becomes more comfortable with the new sides that Jughead may explore. By the end of the episode, Betty goes home content while Jughead goes home and finds a beat up gangbanger in his house. The Serpents kept up their side of the bargain and started investigating “lowlifes” that could have shot Fred Andrews.

Veronica throughout the episode is placed on edge and out of her element. When she hears that Archie’s dad has been shot, she wants to comfort him but has no idea how. When Archie goes back to his house to change and freshen up, Veronica resorts to sex to try to cheer him up, despite his dad being back in the hospital. Veronica does her own share of detective work to try to find Fred’s shooter as well, questioning her mother, Hermione Lodge, about what she knew about the murder. This episode marked the first appearance of Hiram Lodge, an unspeakable evil throughout the last season. Hiram’s return transforms Hermione Lodge into less of a loving mother and more of a restrictive adversary to Veronica, who seems to be in direct conflict with both of her parents.

The episode ends with a juxtaposition between hope and darkness. Fred Andrews chooses life over death, but the angel of death was not satiated. The camera flashes to another city, where a familiar Volkswagen Beetle is parked on a residential street. Ms. Grundy, the school teacher who was romantically involved with her student Archie, has taken another student under her wing. When the student leaves, we see a surprising sight: a mysterious man in the mask choking Ms. Grundy to death.

In a show so ripe with mysteries, all we can do at this point is predict. Will Archie and Veronica break up due to the escalating conflict they both face at home? How do the scriptwriters plan to progress the conflict between Betty and Jughead? We can only assume that the attempted murder of Fred Andrews and the murder of Geraldine Grundy are related and is an attempt to hurt Archie in some way. The members of the Lambert Post staff predict that the killer will try to go after Veronica or Betty next and the classic Betty, Veronica, Archie love triangle will resurface in this season of the show. We also predict that the trio will alienate Jughead in some way, leading down a dark path in the Serpents gang. We are also interested in how the show will progress the “Dark Betty” ark that briefly appeared last season, where Betty let her emotions consume her and tortured Chuck Clayton. The relationship dynamic between a potential Dark Betty and Biker Jughead Jones would be interesting to explore.

Who is really terrorizing the town? While it might be too early to tell right now, we can’t wait to find out!