Riverdale Season 2 Introduces a New Mystery—but Is It as Compelling as the First?

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This post contains spoilers for Riverdale Season 2, Episode 1, “A Kiss Before Dying.”

It’s about time. After months of waiting, Riverdale fans finally get to see what happened after Archie’s dad, Fred Andrews, got shot at Pop’s—and whether Betty and Jughead can actually navigate Jughead’s invitation to join the Southside Serpents. Oh, and what might be on the horizon now that Veronica’s dad, Hiram Lodge, is coming to town.

That said, Wednesday’s Season 2 premiere was somewhat unorthodox. Rather than kicking things off forcefully with a lot of big twists and turns, the episode has a slower, more deliberate pace, spending most of its time flitting in and out of Fred’s dreamy subconscious as he lurks between life and death at the hospital. Still, it sets up what appears to be this season’s new mystery—the ongoing saga that Jughead will narrate like a knock-off Truman Capote, as is his wont: who is the masked serial killer who has already tried to claim at least two lives in Riverdale?

We say “tried” because luckily, it appears that Fred Andrews is going to pull through—but his ordeal has had a profound effect on Archie, who is bent on protecting his father. He’s apparently decided to set up a nightly vigil, sitting at the base of the staircase with a bat each evening until the would-be murderer is apprehended. You see, although the Riverdale police are apparently clueless, the teens quickly deduce that Fred was not shot accidentally during an attempted robbery: he was specifically targeted. But why?

The most obvious answer would be a business reason: throughout Season 1, Fred refused to sign over his business to Veronica’s mother, Hermione Lodge. That seemed to . . . displease her. And now Veronica’s fearsome father, Hiram Lodge, has come to town as well, complicating matters.

Veronica suspects it was her mother, not her father, who called in the hit—and for what it’s worth, we believe her. Concluding at this early stage that Hermione is behind Fred’s attempted murder seems wrong, though. After all, how many possible Jason Blossom killers did Riverdale pose last season before finally revealing who actually did it?

Still, if that tense kiss on the cheek from Veronica is any indication, Hiram will almost certainly prove to be just as bad as Hermione by the end of the season—and we’re guessing his arrival will do nothing good for Archie and Veronica’s relationship.

Speaking of relationships: Betty and Jughead also seem to be undergoing a rough time in Wednesday’s premiere. As Bughead fans well remember, last season ended on a tenuous moment in their romance: they said their “I love yous” just in time for the Southside Serpents to show up and pledge their support to Jughead. Betty wasn’t wild about this proclamation. They appear to make amends in the new episode, though it’s still unclear how strong Bughead is, really. Actors Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse still have incredible chemistry, which might be why they’re rumored to be dating in real life. But even as Betty vows to support Jughead on his upcoming journey of self-discovery, we’re not so sure she can handle what might be on the horizon. With a killer on the loose and Jughead seeming to embrace the possibility of having an extended family beyond his father, who’s currently stuck in jail, that’s a lot for a girl to process! Can Jughead really stay out of trouble as long as he’s associated with this crew?

But by far the biggest thread this season will likely be the new killer in town. Last season centered on who killed Jason Blossom; in this chapter, it looks like we’re along for the ride as Archie, Jughead, and the gang hunt down the guy who shot Fred and also, sadly, appears to have killed Ms. Grundy. Which leads us to our final burning question from the premiere: why target Ms. Grundy? Does this mysterious killer simply have it out for anyone Archie has ever loved? And cliched as their romance was, did she really deserve to die over it?

Let’s hope Archie and the crew figure this one out quickly—before the killer comes for Veronica next. Or worse, for Archie’s dog, Vegas.

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Full ScreenPhotos:7 TV Characters Who Have Gotten Stuck on a Subway Just Like You

Ilana and Abbi, Broad City

No tale of two girls’ misadventures in the Big Apple would be complete without at least one ill-fated subway ride. In Season 3, Abbi and Ilana experience just that in an episode titled, appropriately, “Getting There.” They just want to get to the airport—but as any New Yorker knows, the train has other plans.

Arnold and Friends, *Hey Arnold*

Arnold and Friends, Hey Arnold

There’s an entire episode of this 90s Nickelodeon staple about Arnold and the gang getting on a subway after dark, thanks to a movie that ran long. There’s a claustrophobic woman chanting “big open spaces,” a homeless guy telling everyone to “get out of my house,” and a dog that unexpectedly gives birth to puppies, bringing everyone together. The episode ends with everyone holding hands and singing—which, though imaginative, is perhaps the most unrealistic thing this cartoon ever did.

Photo: From Hulu.

Cory Matthews, *Boy Meets World*

Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World

What was it with 90s sitcoms and trapping people in trains? Cory, Sean, Eric, and Topanga get stuck underground on their way to a New Year’s Eve party—as a woman gives birth. But hey, they also manage to throw their own party on the train and find a P.S.A. starring Mr. Feeny.

The Tanner Family, *Full House*

The Tanner Family, Full House

Poor Uncle Jesse just wants to get to his long-delayed high-school graduation, but alas, Team Tanner gets stuck on a motionless B.A.R.T. train instead. (See, the subway is awful no matter where you live!) The silver lining? Jess convinces an aspiring high-school drop-out to stay in school, and ends up having an underground graduation ceremony of his own. Fun fact: something similar happened to a real-life Hunter College student this summer.

Oscar and Felix, *The Odd Couple*

Oscar and Felix, The Odd Couple

This one’s an oldie but a goodie: Oscar gets tired of New York City, so Felix tries to show him what a magical place this town can be. Unfortunately, they get stuck in a subway car with some very unfriendly company—including a woman who carries a defective flashlight just so she can hit people over the head with it, should they get too close. She’s clearly well versed in New York etiquette.

Photo: From CBS.

The Golden Girls

The Golden Girls

This one isn’t technically a subway story, but it’s a Golden Girls classic: remember the time our favorite four ladies got stuck at a train station overnight? They recall the incident in a flashback episode called “Bedtime Story” back in Season 2, remembering how they were stranded by the one train station from which trains actually left early. That’s how you know it’s fiction.

Photo: From NBC/.

Elaine Benes, *Seinfeld*

Elaine Benes, Seinfeld

Remember when poor Elaine gets stuck on a train that just keeps stopping? She also experiences that horror that every New Yorker knows so well: the lights cut out as the train sits motionless. Her silent, internal, vastly relatable screams of profane frustration will forever ring in our ears.

Photo: From Castle Rock Entertainment/Everett Collection.

Ilana and Abbi, <em>Broad City</em>

Ilana and Abbi, Broad City

No tale of two girls’ misadventures in the Big Apple would be complete without at least one ill-fated subway ride. In Season 3, Abbi and Ilana experience just that in an episode titled, appropriately, “Getting There.” They just want to get to the airport—but as any New Yorker knows, the train has other plans.

Arnold and Friends, <em>Hey Arnold</em>

Arnold and Friends, Hey Arnold

There’s an entire episode of this 90s Nickelodeon staple about Arnold and the gang getting on a subway after dark, thanks to a movie that ran long. There’s a claustrophobic woman chanting “big open spaces,” a homeless guy telling everyone to “get out of my house,” and a dog that unexpectedly gives birth to puppies, bringing everyone together. The episode ends with everyone holding hands and singing—which, though imaginative, is perhaps the most unrealistic thing this cartoon ever did.

From Hulu.

Cory Matthews, <em>Boy Meets World</em>

Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World

What was it with 90s sitcoms and trapping people in trains? Cory, Sean, Eric, and Topanga get stuck underground on their way to a New Year’s Eve party—as a woman gives birth. But hey, they also manage to throw their own party on the train and find a P.S.A. starring Mr. Feeny.

The Tanner Family, <em>Full House</em>

The Tanner Family, Full House

Poor Uncle Jesse just wants to get to his long-delayed high-school graduation, but alas, Team Tanner gets stuck on a motionless B.A.R.T. train instead. (See, the subway is awful no matter where you live!) The silver lining? Jess convinces an aspiring high-school drop-out to stay in school, and ends up having an underground graduation ceremony of his own. Fun fact: something similar happened to a real-life Hunter College student this summer.
Oscar and Felix, <em>The Odd Couple</em>

Oscar and Felix, The Odd Couple

This one’s an oldie but a goodie: Oscar gets tired of New York City, so Felix tries to show him what a magical place this town can be. Unfortunately, they get stuck in a subway car with some very unfriendly company—including a woman who carries a defective flashlight just so she can hit people over the head with it, should they get too close. She’s clearly well versed in New York etiquette.

From CBS.

The Golden Girls

The Golden Girls

This one isn’t technically a subway story, but it’s a Golden Girls classic: remember the time our favorite four ladies got stuck at a train station overnight? They recall the incident in a flashback episode called “Bedtime Story” back in Season 2, remembering how they were stranded by the one train station from which trains actually left early. That’s how you know it’s fiction.

From NBC/.

Elaine Benes, <em>Seinfeld</em>

Elaine Benes, Seinfeld

Remember when poor Elaine gets stuck on a train that just keeps stopping? She also experiences that horror that every New Yorker knows so well: the lights cut out as the train sits motionless. Her silent, internal, vastly relatable screams of profane frustration will forever ring in our ears.

From Castle Rock Entertainment/Everett Collection.



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