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Welcome back to Riverdale for the second season that promises to be just as wild of a ride as the first. New threats are given more light, the season’s mystery is given its legs, and people are already at each other’s throats. It wouldn’t be Riverdale without drama across families, friends, and even allies. “Chaper Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying” was written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by Rob Seidenglanz. Here’s what happened.
A FATHER SHOT | We pick up minutes after we left in the season finale with Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) being shot. Archie (KJ Apa) frantically drives his father to the hospital where Fred is rushed into surgery. Throughout the ordeal, Fred has trauma dreams the first being of his son’s graduation that because of the shooter, he would never get to see. Everyone shows up to be there for Archie but the first ones there are the remaining members of the core four: Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse). He tells them (and the parents who they have in tow) that the shooter fled right after shooting Fred. Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins) arrives to take Archie’s statement and Jughead tags along either for moral support or to do some sleuthing – might be a little Column A/Column B situation. Archie describes the shooter as best he can and Jughead brings up the possibility that this wasn’t a robbery. When they’re done with the Sheriff, Archie talks with a doctor who tells him his dad is out of surgery but that it will still be some time before he can see him so he should go home and take a shower. He doesn’t want to but Veronica says she’ll take him and Betty agrees that is for the best so he gives in. They also give him his dad’s personal things (shouldn’t those go to the police?) to take home. Fred has another trauma dream this time of leaving Archie behind to run the construction company while he sees (dead) relatives.
At the house, Archie and Veronica walk Vegas while he tells her about how they came to get the dog. It just reminds him of how much his dad loves that dog and in turn how much he loves his dad. After a shower (that he did not take alone) he comes downstairs to see Veronica has taken out his father’s things but when he can’t find his dad’s trusty wallet, he lashes out at her and tells her to leave. She is about to but then stands her ground, telling him he shouldn’t be alone right now and she won’t allow him to push her away. They get a call from the Sheriff to come down and look at a lineup of possible suspects but he rules them all out based on his memory, specifically of the eyes. Meanwhile Fred has another trauma dream of Archie telling him his plans to propose to Veronica that ends with a blood pool blooming on Fred’s shirt. Veronica goes back to the hospital to fill in the rest of the gang about the missing wallet so Betty and Jughead make their way to Pop’s to look for it. While they don’t find the wallet, they do get more information from Pop (Alvin Sanders) that not only was nothing stolen, but that Pop also believes this was more than a robbery gone violent. When Archie gets back to the hospital, Veronica shows him the temporary wallet she got for Fred and he is about to admit something to her when Betty, Jughead, and Pop arrive with food for the large crowd of Fred fans. The Core Four goes to the cafeteria where Archie confides in them what he had kept secret from the police. The shooter hadn’t run immediately after shooting Fred. Instead he stayed around to hold the gun to Archie’s head. Archie’s shame is that he didn’t fight back or try to get to his dad when the reality is that would have likely gotten him shot too which is what his friends point out. He returns to his dad’s room where Fred has one final trauma dream this time of Archie and Veronica’s wedding. The audience includes characters who are very much dead and when Fred sees the shooter coming for Archie once more, he throws himself between his son and the bullet. This final dream action causes him to wake up at last. Once well enough, Fred goes home, accompanied by Archie’s mom (Special Guest Molly Ringwald) who has returned to help take care of him. Archie plants himself between the door and his father with a baseball bat, ready to stay up sitting watch over his family until the shooter is caught. Elsewhere, in a town not nearly far enough away, Ms Grundy (Sarah Habel) has taken up “music lessons” with another underage boy. Once he leaves, however, she is strangled from behind from what is most likely our same hired killer.
ONCE A SERPENT | Jughead is still figuring out what he is going to do regarding the Serpents and how it will affect his life. The most important thing on his mind right now is doing what he can for Fred, though, so he calls upon a pair of Serpents to do a little digging and see what they can find. Betty is already worried about what the Serpents showing up the night before and giving Jughead the jacket means for him and for their relationship. While they are at Pop’s looking for the wallet, she broaches the subject with him. He tells her he isn’t a Serpent, rather that having the jacket and the motorcycle and living in the trailer are his only ways of feeling connected to his father while he is in jail. Later, once Fred has woken up and the immediate danger is over, she brings it up again to tell him that no matter what he needs to do, she supports him. When he returns to the trailer, he finds the two Serpents from before but with a “friend” they have been “interviewing” with their fists. Apparently this guy had been running his mouth and these two took it upon themselves to conduct a follow up interview. Unfortunately, it was just talk so Jughead is back to square one. Before they leave they tell him that whether he accepts the jacket or not, he is a Serpent.
FAMILY LOYALTY | With her father returning from prison any day now, Veronica is doing all that she can to show her mother that she is not about to fall right back in line with his methods. Sometimes that means making herself a mimosa with his special bottle of welcome home Cristal. At the hospital, Veronica finds Hermione (Marisol Nichols) in the chapel praying and questions whether it is for Fred’s recovery or his death. She also suggests that maybe she and daddy dearest were responsible for the shooting. At this point Hermione has had enough and tells Veronica she is done with this disrespect in a cool and collected almost-threat that gave me chills. When Fred has woken up and Veronica returns home, she finds her mother not alone. Her father returned early and he is not happy with her behavior of late. Just like Hermione, Hiram (Mark Consuelos) is calm but threatening in his tone and his words that somehow makes him even scarier.
BURNED | Fred isn’t the only parent in the hospital this evening as while the gang is waiting on news, they see Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) and a very badly burned Mrs Blossom (Nathalie Boltt) arrive and be taken to a room. When pressed, Cheryl tells Betty and Kevin that the fire was an accident and her mother got burned saving her life. The truth, as we saw part of in the season 1 finale, is that the fire was no accident. Cheryl torched Thornhill and what we learn in the hospital is that her mother was burned trying to save a portrait from the blaze. When her mother wakes up, Cheryl is there not for comfort, but with threats. If she breathes a word of the truth about the fire, Cheryl will tell everyone, “what really happened in the barn with Daddy.”
• Is “the jingle jangle” the new hit drug of the youths in Riverdale? Is Sheriff Keller onto something huge?
• The theme of Archie and Veronica’s wedding was just someone’s plot to get Luke Perry in a kilt and I tip my hat to that person.
• Was the kiss on Fred’s forehead a metaphor or did Cheryl genuinely think that was the same as saving someone via mouth to mouth? It’s hard to tell with her.
So what did you think? Is Fred really out of the woods? How long until this mysterious killer strikes again? Who is the killer? What do you want to see this season? Let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments below!
Tune in to Riverdale Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW!