Riverdale Season 2 Premiere Recap: "A Kiss Before Dying"

Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
If you recall, the Riverdale finale ended with our teens solving a murder mystery. The gang is ready to get on with their humdrum lives, but as luck would have it, this is Riverdale — and humdrum isn’t in the cards.
The season two premiere is gloomy, with danger clearly around the corner, but the episode feels like filler. And that’s because it is. Our story continues exactly where it left off. We’re playing a game of catch-up and set-up — because there’s a new killer in town, which means more mystery, more intrigue and more Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) pretending to be a seasoned detective from a 1940s noir.
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Archie (K.J. Apa) is rushing to save his father’s life after Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) was shot at Pop’s Diner. Meanwhile, Betty (Lili Reinhart) is home, sharing breakfast with her mother Alice (Mädchen Amick). It only takes a few seconds for Betty to overshare that she and Jughead almost had sex — until the Southside Serpents came for a visit — which sets Alice off. Remember, Betty: “The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, especially when there’s a snake in its limbs.”
At the Lodge home, Veronica (Camila Mendes) is drinking a mimosa with the Cristal that Hermione (Marisol Nichols) has been saving for her hubby’s return. Things are tense between mother and daughter and it only gets worse. If you rewatch the series premiere, it’s crazy to see how close Veronica and Hermione were before coming to Riverdale. And now the town and its secrets have slowly torn them apart.
When the whole gang arrives at the hospital, there’s a group hug. Fred Andrews is fighting for his life as Archie recounts the events at Pop’s. He describes the shooter as a man with a black hood who had green eyes. But as Archie tells the story to his friends, and later to the sheriff, he pauses, making it pretty clear that he’s keeping something from us all. But what is it?
It takes a bit of pushing, but everyone convinces Archie to go home with Veronica while the doctors try to save his father. This is where things get weird. After walking the dog, Archie decides to shower. Sure, Archie is washing his dad’s blood off his body, but he’s also naked in that shower. So naturally Veronica takes that as an opportunity for sex. She sneaks in and they hook up as his dad’s blood swirls around their feet. If that’s not weird yet, let’s not forget that Veronica takes everything off…except her pearls. Cue eye-roll.
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The afterglow doesn’t last because the two start to fight, though they make up later. It’s all just proof Archie and Veronica are not good with handling other people’s emotions. In other words, this is going to be a tough relationship, Varchie fans.
They’re not the only lovebirds with trouble: Betty is worried because Jughead put on that damn Serpents jacket in the season one finale. Is he good or is he dangerous? Kevin (Casey Cott) reminds Betty that dating a Serpent can be a bad idea, and he would know – after all, his ex helped hide a dead body.
Betty worries while Jughead acts like he’s a member of the Riverdale P.D. investigative team. Eventually, she confronts Jughead, who tells her that he’ll never be a Serpent, so she can relax.
In between their romance woes is the season’s main mystery — who shot Fred Andrews? The sheriff is convinced it was a robbery, which makes sense since Fred’s wallet is missing, but Jughead has a feeling that it’s not that simple. He confirms his theory when Pop (Tate Sanders) says “not a penny” was taken from the diner. Even Pop says this wasn’t a robbery.
If you want to know what the vibe of season two will be, you get it when Pop says that it’s “like the angel of death had come to Riverdale.”
Speaking of death, Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) is also at the hospital. What a coincidence! When asked why, she lies smoothly, saying that her mother saved her life after a freak accident led to a fire. But we know the truth: Cheryl started the fire and tried to kill her mother. It’s revenge for all her mother’s misdeeds. If that doesn’t creep you out, how about when Cheryl threatened to cut off her mother’s oxygen and told her, “Things are going to be different now mummy.”
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Still not creeped out? How about when she wanders into Fred Andrews' hospital room and Archie finds her kissing him on the forehead? Honestly, Cheryl is creepy AF and I’m here for it. We didn’t get nearly enough Cheryl screen time, but remember, it’s all a set-up.
Speaking of set-ups, Veronica thinks that her mother and father are behind Fred’s shooting. Hermione is in church when Veronica accuses her with the line, “if the Manolo Blahnik fits.” But it’s a power move gone awry. If you thought Veronica was the queen bee, think again. Hermione warns her that she’s a Lodge above all else before saying, “I should slap you for what you’re insinuating...but I'm not a violent person.” Can you say chills?
Throughout the episode, we’re treated to a hazy, dreamlike sequence where Fred Andrews is trying to avoid crossing over to the other side. There’s even a wedding — with Archie as the groom and Veronica as the bride — but it’s ruined by the gunman appearing out of nowhere. It’s enough to jolt Fred awake, back into the land of the living.
Archie immediately apologises to his father and reveals the secret he was hiding before — that he froze after his father was shot and didn’t fight the gunman. Honestly, Archie, honey, nobody expects a teenager to attack a gunman. You did the right thing. You’re not a coward.
The episode ends with a few twists: Jughead returns home to two Serpents “interrogating” a gang member. Why? Because he asked them earlier if another Serpent had tried to kill Fred Andrews, so they wanted to double check. With their fists.
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But if you still don’t get why they had to torture a man, it’s simple. Because, “with or without the jacket, [Jughead is] a Serpent.” So much for what he said to Betty, huh?
At the Lodge house, daddy’s home. Hermione and Hiram (Mark Consuelos) look like sexy, evil #PowerCoupleGoals. Of course, Hermione is petty AF and rats out Veronica on the whole Cristal thing. Hiram seems intimidating, handsome and dangerous. Basically, I can’t wait for more!
The final scene leads us to Miss Grundy. Yes, she’s back on her bullshit — seducing a new student. But it’s the last time she ever will. Before you can scream “Sweetwater River,” Miss Grundy is murdered by our masked man with green eyes.
We’re low on clues and the body count is starting to climb. Why is someone trying to kill people with connections to Archie? And who could the killer be? Truth be told, everyone’s a suspect.
As Jughead says, “Think of where we live, fathers are killing their sons.” He has a point.
Other Gossip:
Is Riverdale P.D. so short-staffed that Jughead Jones is their best detective?
Will we ever learn more about Alice Cooper’s relationship with FP? Because she’s obsessed!
Why does Jughead think it’s acceptable to use the term “hidey-hole”?
Was that shearling jacket really Archie’s only warm weather coat?
Does the Riverdale P.D. still just believe the Blossom family when something happens? Like no investigation? 'Cause that didn’t turn out so great last time.
Did Cheryl Blossom purposefully quote Sade when she said “You gave me the kiss of life” to Archie?
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Is Archie really going to stay up all night with a bat?
Does Archie know that a bat isn’t great against guns?
Does Pop’s deliver?
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