In the ‘Riverdale’ recap for the season 2 debut, Archie waits for word on whether or not his father will survive as his friends and family gather for support…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s so good to have ‘Riverdale’ back.
After an outstanding freshman season, the CW series based on the Archie Comics returned in the fall this time rather than debuting in the winter and if the first episode was any indication, this show hasn’t lost an ounce of momentum since the finale.
Archie Andrews is dealing with his father Fred being shot in the waning moments of last season while all of his friends and family gather around him to show support. Unfortunately, Archie is holding onto a secret about the moment that his father got shot that he’s ashamed to share with anybody.
Meanwhile, Jughead being the resident conspiracy theorist is the first to suggest that perhaps there’s more to Fred’s shooting than just some random tweaker looking to grab a handful of cash from the register at Pop’s Chock-Lit-Shoppe.
Then there’s Veronica trying to play the dutiful girlfriend and Betty trying to come to grips with her boyfriend now being associated with the biker gang in town.
And of course there’s Cheryl Blossom — the fiery spark plug who saw her family fall apart a season ago when she found out her father murdered her brother and she decided that the best way to rebuild was to burn it all down and start over again.
With that said, let’s recap the season 2 debut of ‘Riverdale’ titled ‘A Kiss Before Dying’….
Race Against Death
In the moments just after Fred Andrews was shot and left for dead by a thug with a gun, Archie took his father in their family truck and raced across town to the hospital. Archie doesn’t have a driver’s license but with the ambulance taking too long, he had no choice but to barrel across town with his dad in the passenger’s seat as he tried to save his life.
In another part of Riverdale, Betty is trying to stave off her mother’s inquiries into her night along with Jughead after the jubilee that nearly ended in bed, but an interruption from the Southside Serpents to induct their newest member brought an end to their evening. It’s unclear what Alice Cooper is more upset about — that her daughter nearly had sex or that she’s dating a Southside Serpent?
Either way the conversation is interrupted by a phone call from Archie sharing the news about Fred. From there the telephone game begins as a call goes to Veronica, who is feasting on a gourmet croissant and drinking a mimosa made with the Cristal that was reserved for the celebration for her father’s release from prison. Jughead is still living at his father’s trailer and when he gets the call, he decides this is the time to hop on F.P.’s motorcycle to make it his own.
Finally everyone meets at the hospital to offer support to Archie, who is a ball of emotion, covered in blood and not sure where to turn with his father barely clinging to life. He calls his mother to share the news and then speaks to Sheriff Keller about what unfolded inside the diner.
It’s clear that Archie is holding back on some information but the facts are these — the gunman acted alone, he was wearing a homemade hood with the eyes in the mask being cut out by the assailant and the shooter had green eyes. Archie doesn’t remember much else outside of the criminal fleeing the scene just after shooting Fred.
The sheriff says that the perpetrator could have just been a meth head looking for his next fix but it’s also entirely possible that this could be someone with a grudge against Fred. That puts a thought into Archie’s head that perhaps this was someone gunning specifically for his dad. Archie asks Jughead to speak to the Southside Serpents because he knows Fred fired a bunch of them from his job site just recently and he wonders if it’s possible someone gunned him down as revenge.
As for Veronica, she’s not sure how to be the caring girlfriend who deals with her boyfriend’s grief. It’s a role she’s never played before but Betty reminds her that she’s a different person since moving to Riverdale and she’ll know exactly what to do when the time comes that Archie needs her.
Finally the doctor emerges from the operating room and declares that the bullet has been pulled from Fred’s body but he’s unconscious and still not breathing on his own. With about two hours until Fred will be set up in his own room to receive visitors, Archie’s friends suggest he go home and get cleaned up as he’s walking around with his dad’s blood splattered across all of his clothes.
Archie reluctantly agrees and Veronica joins him as they try to wrap their heads around what just happened to Fred.
Everybody’s a Suspect
Considering that Clifford Lodge — a once highly respected patriach in Riverdale — gunned down his own son a season ago, it’s impossible to ignore that this latest tragedy could have been planned by Fred’s best friend or even his neighbor. Everyone is a suspect and that makes all of the people close to Archie suspicious about the true motives that led to Fred’s shooting.
Veronica confronts her own mother mid-prayer and wonders if she was responsible after warning Fred that he needed to sell his shares of this new development project because he wouldn’t get along with her husband Hiram, who is on his way out of prison. Veronica knows that Hermoine feins like she’s innocent, but in reality she believes her mother is actually her father’s right hand on the street while he’s been in jail. Hermoine fires back at her daughter that she would never do such a thing but the mere suggestion should earn her a slap in the face. Hermoine then warns Veronica that her demeanor will not be tolerated any longer and she might want to remember that her first loyalty is to family and hers is named Lodge.
Meanwhile, Jughead asks the Serpents to look into any possible connection to the club with Fred’s shooting. The Serpents definitely do their digging after finding a member laughing about what happened to Fred so they give him a brass knuckle shower before finally telling Jughead that he wasn’t behind what happened. Of course, Jughead finds all of this out after returning home and finding the half-dead Serpent in his trailer but the rest of the members of the club want him to know that they’ve done their due diligence and looked into the situation. They hope he’ll share that information with his father.
If we’ve figured out one thing this early into the season it’s that F.P. was quite the leader for the Southside Serpents and none of the members would ever dare cross him.
As for Archie, he goes home with Veronica by his side as they walk the dog and he tells the story about getting Vegas and how his father ended up as the one who took care of him just like he takes care of everybody in his life.
Afterwards, Archie takes a shower to wash off the blood and stains from the shooting. Veronica decides to comfort him by climbing into the shower as well as they engage in some grief sex that makes both of them forget about what’s going on at least for a few minutes (he is a teenager after all).
Following his shower, Archie finds Veronica unpacking his dad’s belongings from the bag provided by the hospital. Unfortunately he can’t find Fred’s wallet and Archie lashes out at Veronica for even touching his dad’s things. Archie then erupts and tells Veronica to leave because he just wants to be alone.
The old Veronica would have left and done so with anger, but instead she composes herself, turns around and tells Archie that she’s not going anywhere. She then embraces Archie as he lets the tears flow for the first time since his dad got shot.
On the way back to the hospital, Archie is called into the sheriff’s office to take a look at some potential suspects that may have been involved. Unfortunately, Archie will never forget those emerald green eyes staring back at him after his dad was shot and none of these guys match his memory.
Angel of Death
Upon hearing bout Fred’s missing wallet, Jughead and Betty offer to go to Pop’s to look for it. Betty is already concerned about Jughead’s connection to the Southside Serpents and her worries are only compounded when she finds her boyfriend driving his father’s motorcycle. Still they have to stay focused on Archie and what he needs right now.
When they arrive at Pop’s, he’s still mopping up the blood leftover from the crime and the wallet is nowhere to be found. Jughead then asks Pop how much money the criminal stole before shooting Fred and he responds that not a single dollar was taken. Pop then goes on a long diatribe about the look he saw in the shooter’s eyes and how he looked more like the angel of death than someone trying to score some quick cash.
Jughead talks him down from the overdramatic talk but the fact is he now knows that Fred being shot wasn’t some random act of violence — someone was gunning for him.
As they return to the hospital with a pile of food for Archie and the rest of the Riverdale gang who have shown up to give their support, Jughead, Betty and Veronica finally find out what’s been haunting their friend this entire time besides watching his father get shot.
Archie comes clean that when the gunman shot his father, he fell down on the ground in fear. The assailant put the gun to Archie’s head and he sat there paralyzed by fear with his eyes clinched closed until he heard the bell ring on the door, which let him know the shooter was gone. Archie is ashamed of himself that he was such a coward that he could have tackled the gunman or at least ran to protect his father after he was shot. Instead, Archie sat there crippled by fear and now he feels like nothing more than a coward.
As for Fred — throughout surgery and his recovery, he continues to have dreams about the future where he’s already dead. From Archie proposing marriage to Veronica to their wedding day, Fred keeps flashing to these huge moments in his son’s life yet he’s haunted by visions that tell him he’s not supposed to be there because he’s dead.
As for Cheryl Blossom — she gets the only other real story taking place this week as we see the aftermath of the fire she set at Thornhill at the end of last season.
It seems after she set the Blossom estate ablaze, her mother Penelope ran back inside to rescue a family portrait and got trapped. The majority of her body was caught in the flames and she’s now covered in third degree burns. Cheryl tells her friends that she was asleep when the fire started and Penelope ran into save her. Of course the reality is Cheryl is the one who set the fire and she doesn’t seem all that upset that her mother got burned.
In fact, Cheryl tells her mother — while tightening the hose that’s providing oxygen — that their roles have now reversed. Cheryl is the caregiver and her mother will depend on her for everything. Penelope Blossom isn’t allowed to breathe without her daughter’s permission. That’s the new pecking order at the Blossom household.
The one good deed Cheryl does involves Fred Andrews as she wanders into his room and kisses his forehead just as Archie walks in. Cheryl thanks him for giving her the kiss of life when he saved her from an icy and watery grave after she attempted to commit suicide and now she’s paying that forward by offering the same to Fred Andrews. She then assures him that his father will be fine.
Soon enough, Fred wakes up from his near death slumber as he embraces his son sitting by his bed. Archie apologizes for not taking care of him in that diner but from now on his only job will be to ensure no one ever hurts Fred again.
A few days later, Fred returns home with Archie’s mother there to take care of both of them. In reality, however, Archie is the one keeping watch as he sits steadfast in the middle of his house, his hands with a white knuckle grip around a baseball bat, just waiting for someone to make a move against his family.
As for Veronica, she returns to her home and finds her father Hiram Lodge there waiting for a kiss from his daughter. He comments that it’s disrespectful that she drank his Cristal but he’s still so happy to be home.Veronica then shares the news that Fred is awake and will make a full recovery — a revelation she’s certain is being made to the people responsible for putting him in the hospital in the first place.
And finally with Archie standing guard, the voiceover from Jughead Jones notes that the real threat isn’t sitting just outside the Andrews’ front door.
Instead the killer is two towns over and that’s when we get our first look at Miss Grundy since she was run out of Riverdale for having an affair with Archie. She’s back at work teaching piano lessons and getting intimately involved with her students. That’s when Miss Grundy is attacked by the same masked assailant that shot Fred — who then lifts her from the ground with an iron bar at her throat.
Miss Grundy is strangled and killed by the masked man who appears hell bent on destroying anyone and everyone who means anything to Archie Andrews.
“Fortitude” by HAEVN
“You Belong to Me” by Cat
“Start a War” by Klergy with Valerie Broussard
‘Riverdale’ returns next Wednesday with an all new episode on the CW