We’ve waited so long since the last episode of Season 1 of Netflix’s Riverdale–the brilliant re-imagining of the classic Archie comic books that transforms it into a serious teen drama. Last season was thrilling. From Archie’s romance with Riverdale’s youngest teacher to the shocking finale in which the murderer of Jason Blossom hung himself, it’s no surprise everyone’s been talking about Riverdale and waiting anxiously for the second season to finally come out.
The episode starts off exactly where it left off from season 1 with Archie’s dad (Fred Andrews) getting shot. Archie and his dad were at Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe when a robber came in with a gun and shot Fred. Archie rushes his dying dad to the hospital and his friends Betty, Jughead and his girlfriend Veronica are immediately there for Archie. The first 10 minutes of this season were already intense and electrifying, hopefully showing us what the whole season will look like and avoiding last year’s mid-season slump of slow and boring episodes.
However, Archie isn’t the only one with problems. At the end of the last season, Jughead puts on the South Side Serpent jacket given to him by his father who is currently in jail. Betty witnesses this and says to him, “It fits you like a glove,” which makes her worry about Jughead possibly joining the gang. Now, in the first episode of the second season, Jughead walks into his trailer to find a beat up man tied to a chair. Standing next to him with bloody knuckles are two South Side Serpents. Jughead had previously asked them if they knew anything about the shooting of Fred Andrews. The beat up man had been a suspect and the South Side Serpents tell Jughead this was their way of showing him they always have his back.
These two scenes displayed the pain and conflict between two worlds that Jughead is feeling. On one side is his friends but the other is his family. Jughead is extremely loyal to Betty but right now there is no way of knowing what path he might go down later on in the season. All we can predict is Jughead’s conflicting worlds will be a huge plot line. This will also be one of the main challenges Jughead will have to face in the second season.
Despite the pressure to join, Jughead reassures Betty he won’t if that’s what makes her happy.
Fred Andrews goes into surgery. Everything is tense because if Fred dies, who knows what will happen to Archie. Archie’s parents are divorced and his mother lives far away, leaving Fred to raise Archie on his own. Archie is brave and strong but he needs support and Fred is the reason he is where he is. If Fred is gone, a lot of Archie is gone too. Archie is a person who is very attached to the people he loves. When someone he cares about is hurt, he feels pain too. Archie is sympathetic which makes him a complex and lovable character, but it is also his greatest flaw because he feels more pain than most. He carries all of his friends burdens with him so if Fred passes away, he will feel like it is his fault.
While he is in surgery, Archie and Veronica go back to his place to clean up.They start to suspect the robbery at Pops wasn’t just a robbery. Was the robbery personally targeted at Fred or just a horrible incident where Fred came out unlucky? Fred has people that want him dead and I predict this is not a regular robbery based on other events that have happened in Riverdale. This wouldn’t be the first attempted murder and I doubt it will be the last. I think the writers’ goal from this scene was to show how Archie would react. Archie is going crazy and is losing who he is trying to protect: his dad. Like Jughead, he will also suffer and will have to learn how to handle difficult situations without breaking down.
In addition, Hiram Lodge (Veronica’s dad) is coming to town from jail and already has something against Fred. This is the first time we are actually introduced to Hiram. He spent the first season in jail after was put behind bars for embezzlement and fraud. While Hiram was gone, Hermione had an affair with Fred. This leaves many suspecting that Hiram is the one behind the shooting as he has a motive to want Fred Andrews dead. However one interesting scene includes Veronica accusing her own mother Hermione of being behind all of this despite her love for Fred.
There may be some foreshadowing involved. As Sheriff Keller talks to Archie about the shooter he says “this man was probably out of his head on meth.” One of the biggest cliff-hangers from the last season was that we found out the Blossoms family business was not selling maple syrup, but transporting meth. There is only two in the Blossom family now but is the business still being run? If so, by who? This is a hint that the Blossom family and their business will be included in upcoming episodes.
The other main storyline involves Cheryl, Archie’s classmate and queen bee of Riverdale. We saw in the last episode after finding that her father having hung himself, Cheryl burns down her house and her mom is hospitalized. Her mom is in a terrible state but Cheryl squeezes her mother’s breathing tube and says, chillingly, “If you breathe it is because I let you breathe.” Cheryl is capable of many things and is extremely powerful so I’m excited to see how her character will develop and the type of person she will become. She has suffered a huge amount of loss and pain. In the previous season, after losing her twin brother, grief did not bring out the best in her. Now she just lost her dad so I believe we will see an even darker side of Cheryl in Season two.
As the episode ends, Fred comes out alive; however, the kids find out the robber didn’t take a single penny. They come to the conclusion that the shooting was planned and targeted at Fred.
Riverdale is unique in the way that there are strong female leads. We see that in Veronica who is a leader and keeps people calm in a crisis. Betty is strong because she does the right thing under pressure. We even see this with Cheryl. She may be evil but she is making her own decisions. Every female character is powerful and has a voice of their own. I am glad to see popular shows and movies nowadays don’t only have male heros. It is more realistic because not only men run the world. Women do just as much or even more so we should be appreciated not only in real life but on TV too and Riverdale is a good example of that.
Fans are excited to see how these characters will develop through this tough time and how they’ll deal with different challenges. With Hiram back in town, Archie and Veronica’s relationship will definitely face difficulties. Betty is against the South Side Serpents but will her opinions be influenced by her boyfriends decisions in upcoming episodes? We can only hope our favourite four will get through it all. It is important to remember that in Season one, the only way any of the teenagers got through it all was if they stuck together.
Right as Fred Andrews got shot, it was clear this season was going to be one hell of a ride. From Jughead having to make hard cruel decisions about his life and Veronica and from the blood, tears, betrayals and the events from just the first episode, this season is going to be riveting, although darker and more grueling than the last.