After being one of the biggest mid-season hits of 2017, Riverdale gets thrown in with the big boys to start out in October with the rest of the CW lineup. The first season took us through the whodunit behind the murder of one the town's most prominent sons in Jason Blossom and kept the audience guessing all the way to the surprising end. With its gorgeous looking but oftentimes damaged cast of characters, they still stuck together as the secrets from the murder investigation brought out many skeletons to easily tear their friendships apart. So what more can Riverdale Season 2 possibly do to the town residents?
In A Kiss Before Dying We pick up right after the shooting at Pop's Chock'Lit Shoppe from last season and Archie (K.J. Apa) is frantically driving a truck through town as we see his dad Fred (Luke Perry) bleeding out in the passenger seat. With Jughead's (Cole Sprouse) narration speaking over the action he mentions how Archie doesn't even have a license-we can tell. The truck slides and weaves the road like a frat boy coming home from a college football game.
But thankfully, he makes it to the hospital and carries his dad inside to a team of helpful attendees that promptly get him on a surgical table. While Fred is knocked out he dreams of seeing Archie and his friends at graduation. He's such a proud father to be there, but then the vision turns dark as he is told by the kids that he'll never actually see this day.
As we come back to reality we're at the Cooper residence with Betty (Lili Reinhart) and her mom Alice (Madchen Amick) as she asks her daughter about what she did the night before. Betty responds with telling her how they went to Pop's and then she and Jughead went back to his trailer. Mom is none too thrilled with this as she naturally assumes they had sex, but Betty puts the fire out and lets her know nothing happened. But, she does mention how they almost did until they were interrupted by the Southside Serpents.
As Alice starts going off on a tangent about the gang, Betty gets a call from Archie. We can assume it was about what happened to Fred as her first call is to Veronica (Camila Mendes) who is about to have breakfast. She is arguing with her mother, Hermione (Marisol Nichols) because she opened the bottle of Cristal that was supposed to be for her father coming home. When the phone rings she hushes he mother in mid-sentence by saying, "It's Betty." Can't mess with that best GF bond, Mom.
Betty's next call is then to Jughead, who wastes no time in hopping on his recently inherited motorcycle from his dad (well FP certainly doesn't need it) and speeds away. So Archie doesn't have a license, but somehow Jughead does? Probably not, but he does have the rebel edge to him.
At the hospital, all the friends arrive (at the same time?) and wrap their arms around Archie in support of this terrible moment for him. He explains to them about a thief coming into Pop's and shooting his dad, then quickly bolting out the door. But he has a moment with a pause in his story to suggest maybe there's something he's holding back. We know that a common thief wouldn't just show up and shoot Fred so there has to be more here. Hermione asks if his mother knows and realizing in the craziness he hasn't informed her, he excuses himself to call her. Lucky for Archie he left as Mrs. Cooper takes this opportunity to bring up how it possibly could've been the Serpents that had a hand in what happened to Fred. As Betty looks at her mom in horror, Jughead just mentions to Mrs. Cooper it couldn't have been his dad since he's in jail!
Later on, Sheriff Keller shows up and gives the usual speech of knowing it's a "hell of a time" but he would like to talk to Archie about what happened. He asks about what the man was wearing and when Keller calls it a ski mask, Archie gets very upset and states that it was a HOOD the thief was wearing! A homemade hood that he had cut the eyes out! I guess Archie thinks that will make him easier to find now? Last detail he mentions is the thief had green eyes and then he does that big pause thing again before saying he has nothing else. Archie is definitely hiding something. Jughead being ever the conspiracy theorist suggests to the Sheriff that something else could've been the motive. Keller agrees it could've been someone with a grudge against his dad but they don't know yet.
After they walk away from the Sheriff, Archie tells Jughead about how his dad had fired some of the Serpents from his construction crew so maybe it was one of them? Jughead says he will look into it for him and takes off.
Afterwards, Archie is told by the doctor that his father is out of surgery but he'll have to wait sometime before he can see him. The group convinces Archie he should go home for a bit to shower and change plus Veronica offers to go with him. With everyone else offering to stay behind at the hospital he agrees to go home for a bit.
Meanwhile, Jughead finds some of the Serpents and asks if their loyalty to him and his father can extend to someone close to him. After they agree, he tells them about Fred, the shooting at Pop's, and how maybe one of the Serpents "went rogue" and decided to take revenge because they were one of the ones that got fired from the construction crew. He asks if they can find anyone that is in connection with knowing what happened. Jughead is getting a little taste of having some pull in town. Be interesting to see how this new perk of his develops.
Over at Archie's house, he is in the shower trying to get his three layers of blood off his body. Veronica sensing her man in need of some cheering up decides to surprise him by getting in the shower with him and they start to kiss. While Archie is feeling a lot of sadness and stress right now, no teenage boy is going to turn down sex with his hot girlfriend.
Later on downstairs, Veronica has unpacked the bag the hospital gave Archie with his dad's clothes. When they can't find his wallet, Archie lashes out at her and scolds her for going through his clothes in the first place. When she tries to reason with him that it could be somewhere else, he gets even angrier because he bothered to come back to the house. He asks her to leave and says he'll see her back at the hospital. She starts to leave but then stops herself when she realizes that's the easy thing to do. She comes back and tells him that he knows he needs her right now and she won't be pushed away. She embraces Archie as he begins to break down in tears. A little later on the Sheriff calls Archie in for a lineup to possibly identify the suspect but he has no luck with seeing the "green-eyed hood" from the diner. It couldn't have been that quick, we're only on the season premiere!
Back at the hospital, Veronica tries to help Archie out and asks Jughead and Betty to go over to Pop's to look for Fred's wallet. Pop is there as he's wheeling out a mop to clean up the bloody aftermath. As Betty looks for the wallet, Jughead asks Pop about what happened but all that he can remember is jumping behind the counter as soon as the gun came off him. When Jughead asks how much money the guy took Pop tells him he didn't take anything. This just fuels his theory on how this wasn't some random robbery. Pop agrees with him, he tells him he's seen robbers before, but this man had eyes like he was on a different mission. He said his eyes looked dark, "like the Angel of Death." Well okay then, now we're starting to enter a David Fincher film.
But on that note, Betty says she doesn't see the wallet anywhere so Pop offers to make them some food. You're mopping up a lake of blood so let me make you two a cheeseburger? Pop is sure dedicated to his customers. While they eat Betty brings up to Jughead that she is concerned about him joining the Serpents. He reassures her that he's not, he's also not going to be going to his new foster family. He knows his dad is going to be in prison for a very long time so riding his motorcycle and living in his trailer is the only way he can still feel close to him.
Meanwhile, Veronica finds her mother in the chapel at the hospital and approaches her with some thoughts she has on what happened to Fred. She tells Hermione that she's the one who is responsible for this hit because she was upset with Fred for not selling his shares of the company back to her. Hermione gives her daughter a cold stare and firmly says, "Your disrespect will no longer be tolerated." She not only denies her accusation but tells Veronica that she "better get back in line" because her father is coming back soon. While it seems like Veronica is unfazed by this, after seeing the look on Hermione's face I would definitely start using my inside voice for any of these future theories.
Earlier in the episode, we had seen Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) bring her mother into the hospital with some serious burns. Cheryl tells Betty and Kevin (Casey Cott) that there had been an accident at her house that caused the house to catch fire. Now we all know that it was no accident but why was she telling a lie? Later, when they are alone in their hospital room we find out that Cheryl is covering for her mother because she ran back inside the burning house to save a family portrait. Crazy rich people. But the interesting part is Cheryl threatens her mom and tells her that if she speaks the truth to anyone that she will reveal what REALLY happened to her father in the barn. So maybe her dad didn't kill himself? Hovering over the hospital bed Cheryl states "You were cruel to me, mother." She pinches close the tubes of the oxygen mask that is helping her mother breathe, causing her to gasp and tells her,"Things are going to be different now." As she releases her hold and her Mom exhales in relief. Cheryl has gone from a troublesome high school girl to a sinister woman in control. Petsch plays the moment with delicious contempt against the woman who has been ruling over her since childhood.
Veronica in super-wonderful girlfriend mode gives Archie a present in the form of buying Fred a new wallet to replace his old one. This woman sure knows how to take care of her man. Archie then sits down with her, Betty, and Jughead and reveals the part from Pop's that he had been holding back on (I knew it). He explains how after his Dad got shot he froze and didn't have the guts to fight back against the gunman. He was on his knees at the man's mercy and didn't do anything to act until he had gone. He doesn't feel like he helped his Dad when he needed him. Dude, you had a gun to your head! Just because you're on the CW doesn't mean you have superhero powers!
Finally, Archie is allowed to see his father but for some reason, Cheryl has already beat him there and is kissing Fred on the forehead as he walks in. She tells him that she is "paying him back" for how Archie saved her at Sweetwater River. Well, apparently Cheryl has magical powers because Fred does end up being okay.
As Archie sits down by his dad's bedside he describes to him how much he likes Veronica and that he would've been telling him that this morning if things had gone differently. As he does we see inside Fred's mind again and this time we're at Archie and Veronica's wedding. Everyone is there to celebrate their union (even Jason and Daddy Blossom) but it goes south as the "Green-Eyed Hood" shows up and he takes a shot at Archie. Fred jumps in front of him to protect his son and then as the gun goes off it awakens him in the hospital. Well done, Cheryl!
Archie's face lights up with happiness but he still finds a way to apologize for letting his dad down and not doing more to save him. He states that even if the man doesn't get caught he will protect his father. But in the true fashion of a father being there for his son, Fred tells him he came back to protect Archie. Everyone rejoice that Fred is still with us!! Later on, when Fred makes it back to their home and is resting upstairs, Archie positions himself in the living room, with a baseball bat, watching the door like a guard dog. This son is staying true to his word.
Outside Betty and Jughead are saying good-bye but before he leaves, she tells him that she supports everything he said earlier at Pop's. Look at all the supportive couples in this episode-warms the heart. But when Jughead gets back to his trailer there is a surprise waiting for him in the Serpents have a man tied to a chair in his living room. Apparently, they found a fellow Serpent that had been talking out against Fred Andrews saying it was good he got shot but it turns out he was just talking trash and didn't actually have anything to do with it. When Jughead asks why they still brought him to his place they answered: "so you could see we done what you asked." These guys are like the Riverdale's version of the mob.
When Veronica gets home her mother AND newly released father, Hiram (Mark Consuelos) are waiting for her. Hermione brings up how Veronica drank his Cristal and he's very disappointed in her. She still gives her father a kiss on the cheek and lets them know that Fred is awake and going to be okay saying, "I know we're all really happy about that." I thought it was maybe just her acting out but the fact that neither of her parents bother to defend themselves over her insinuation might mean she's actually on to something?
Finally, to close out the episode we are taken across Sweetwater River (Jughead literally tells us) and find ourselves with our favorite music teacher, Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel). She is still up to her old ways and has found herself a new boy to "teach." After she kisses him goodbye and sends him on his way, she is met with an unfortunate visitor in the "Green-Eyed Hood." He strangles her to death from behind so much that he causes her to bleed all over the floor. Damn, I always wanted to see Grundy make a comeback at some point. R.I.P. Looks like we have a murderer on the loose. Great way to start the season! You have any guesses on who it is as we await the next exciting episode to hit The CW next week?