After a crazy first 13 episodes, fans are thrilled that Archie and the gang are back for a full season of 22 episodes. The season two premiere aired last Thursday on Netflix, picking up from “the exact moment that last bit of Riverdale’s innocence finally died” as the show’s narrator Jughead puts it in the opening scene.
Last season wrapped up nicely with the solving of Jason Blossom’s murder and fans were happy to see the core four (Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead) pair off into fan favourite couples ‘Varchie’ and ‘Bughead’. Oh yeah, and then the producers decided to drop a huge bomb on us and we saw Cheryl Blossom set Thornhill Manor on fire and Archie’s dad get shot in an armed robbery at Pop’s diner.
Yep, so that’s where we left off.
Fans have since been holding their breath, waiting for their questions to be answered: Will Fred Andrews live? Did Cheryl’s mom survive the fire at Thornhill? Will Jughead join the Southside Serpents? And if he did, would that mean the end of Bughead?
The story opens with Archie in a blood-soaked varsity jacket frantically racing to get his dad to the hospital where he is met by his worried friends. As Fred Andrew’s life hangs in the balance, the group try to get the bottom of who shot him and why.
Cheryl also appears at the hospital, not for Archie’s sake but to attend to her own family matters in a chilling scene where she threatens her fully bandaged mother not to breathe a word about what really happened at Thornhill. With her erratic behavior, it’s hard to tell what crazy thing she might do next but she definitely seems to be scheming something big.
Later in the episode, we are paid a visit by Josie and the Pussycats and Archie’s rival Reggie Mantle, played by Charles Melton. Reggie, who Riverdale’s creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa hinted on Twitter would pair up with Josie is expected to play a much bigger role in the new season. Ross Butler, the actor who previously played Reggie in season one has left the show due to commitments with another Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
When it is revealed in the episode that no money was taken from the crime scene, suspicions arise that the supposed armed robbery may have actually been a hit on Fred Andrews. While the majority of people in the town are pointing a finger at the Southside Serpents, Veronica confronts her own mother accusing her of personally ordering the hit on her boyfriend’s dad.
Meanwhile Jughead has to decide whether he will join the Southside Serpents and we hope that for Bughead’s sake that he doesn’t. Him joining the notorious criminal gang could very well threaten the friendship between him and Archie if the Serpents were in fact involved with the incident at Pop’s diner.
As promised by Aguirre-Sacasa at the Riverdale Comic-Con panel in July, we do find out whether Fred Andrews lives or dies by the end of the first episode – but we won’t spoil that for you here.
What we will say is that with the gunman still at large, we can expect Riverdale’s golden boy Archie to spiral into a dark place in upcoming episodes. It is uncertain just how far Archie will go to avenge his father, but if you saw the season two trailer you’ll remember seeing Archie with a gun in his hand. Hmm…
As for the rest of the gang, in the next episode Betty will be leading the charge to save Pop’s from closing while Jughead tries to find a new lawyer for his dad. Veronica will have her own family issues to deal with when a past betrayal unexpectedly comes to light.
The episode ends, in true Riverdale fashion, with another shocking cliff hanger that gives us a bad feeling that what happened to Fred Andrews in the diner is just the beginning and that someone may be targeting everyone close to Archie.
There is plenty more to look forward to in the new season. We've still yet to meet Betty’s long-lost brother Chic, whose existence was only revealed to us at the end of the first season, and Veronica’s ex-boyfriend Nick St. Clair (Graham Phillips), who is set to pay Riverdale a visit from New York.
Now you’re caught up, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be for the next episode on Netflix airing October 19.