We’ve been waiting five months to find out if Fred Andrews died after being shot at Pop’s, and while the Riverdale season 2 premiere, titled “A Kiss Before Dying,” did answer that question, it also posed many more. Let’s talk about the episode’s biggest moments.
Archie Steps Up
Much of the premiere focused on Archie (KJ Apa) coping with his dad’s shooting. While Fred (Luke Perry) spent time in surgery, Archie stayed strong and focused on catching his father’s shooter. Arch’s friends lauded him for saving his dad (Jughead dubbed him “Pure Heart the Powerful”), but the redhead was hiding something.
He later admitted to the other members of the core four that he’d been paralyzed by fear after his dad was shot and he thought he hadn’t done enough to protect Fred. With Fred’s wallet missing, Archie worried the assailant would come after his dad, so he vowed to protect him as long as the masked man was still out there.
Veronica Lodge, the Best Girlfriend Ever
Veronica (Camila Mendes) stayed by Archie’s side, even though she told Betty (Lili Reinhart) she wasn’t good at handling grief or comforting people. After some steamy (literally!) shower sex, Archie tried to push Veronica away, but she wouldn’t allow it. The new couple was strong after weathering their first crisis together, but Veronica had other problems waiting for her at home — not the least of which was that she thought her parents might’ve put a hit on Archie’s dad.
By episode’s end, her father, Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos), had returned. Hermione (Marisol Nichols) had already warned V to get back in line with the family, and Hiram seemed to back up that sentiment. Two minutes of screen time and we’re already scared of him? Uh oh.
The Unofficial Serpent
Speaking of worried girlfriends, Betty was concerned that Jughead (Cole Sprouse) was going to join the Southside Serpents. Juggy assured Betty that he wasn’t, although donning the leather jacket and riding his dad’s motorcycle helped him feel close to his father while he was in jail. Jughead might have thought he wasn’t in bed with the Serpents, but when he asked them to investigate who shot Fred, he came home to find a bloodied, tied up man who’d been beaten within an inch of his life. The Serpents wanted Jughead to tell his dad that they’d done what Juggy asked of them, because according to their code, “with or without the jacket, you’re a Serpent.”
Cheryl in Charge
Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) resurfaced at the hospital after burning her house down. She lied and told everyone that the fire was an accident and her mother had rushed in to save her. Then, she threatened to tell the truth about what happened in the barn the night her father died if her mother ever breathed a word of the fire’s true origin. And, in case it wasn’t clear, Cheryl made sure her mother knew she’s in charge now.
The Kiss of Life
Fred spent the majority of the premiere unconscious, but while he was out of it, Archie’s life flashed before Fred’s eyes — Archie graduating high school, taking over the family business, proposing to and marrying Veronica. After Cheryl gave him the “kiss of life,” Fred awoke and told Archie he came back to protect him.
A Familiar Face Is Murdered
Just because Fred Andrews survived doesn’t mean the Riverdale premiere ended without bloodshed. While Archie was fearful the masked shooter would return to finish off his dad, the “angel of death” was actually in the nearby town of Greendale taking care of his next victim: Ms. Grundy, the music teacher who was up to her old ways of making out with teenage boys. The shooter surprised her in her home and killed her. And just like that, we have a murder.
Riverdale airs on The CW Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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