Riverdale Recap: Chapters One and Two

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By: Packy Smith (@nerfedllamas)
 
What is Riverdale? Riverdale is a new TV series based on the popular line of Archie Comics currently, airing on the CW Network. Advertised by the network as “A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade,” Riverdale is a bit of a departure from what you may have read in an Archie’s Digest comic, as it takes a more grounded real world approach to the source material, one where a town can have long rumored secrets, family rivalries, and teenagers who have genuine problems that are not always relatively harmless. The core of the story hinges on the murder of a popular student, and the bizarre investigation that threatens to expose ugly truths, hidden agendas, and the fact that there is a dark element hiding amongst the everyday people that live in this seemingly perfect town. Honestly, Riverdale is a difficult show to explain for the sole reason that it is so different than what you are likely expecting, especially if you an avid reader of Archie Comics, and yet in its own way it quite similar to the source material at the same time. It is one of those shows that you have to experience for yourself because it is a hard show to peg, and the trailers have simply not done the series justice. On its own merits, independent of any connections to Archie Comics, Riverdale is a perfectly soapy teen drama that is a wonderfully entertaining show that you should most definitely check out. However, it still works quite well as a modern day real world take on the Archie franchise and how those characters would react in a starkly different atmosphere from the “always sunny” disposition of the books. Effectively, giving the characters such a uniquely dense and contemporary sandbox to play in gives them vastly more complex lives than they normally would have in the comics, and yet they still maintain the spirit of who Archie and the gang are at their core. It is an odd balance that the show strikes, but it maintains it consistently.
 
Now that you know what kind of show Riverdale is, let’s head straight to the recap. Be advised: FULL SPOILERS AHEAD!

Recap: Chapter One – “The River’s Edge”

The intro begins with multiple sweeping views of “Riverdale: the town with pep!” and narration from high school student Jughead Jones, an amateur novelist who is recapping the events (how topical!) of the summer, specifically those that relate to July 4th. On the day in question, popular teenage twins Cheryl & Jason Blossom went to a local river for a casual boat ride. Before boarding the small 2 seater vessel, Cheryl ominously asks Jason, “Are you nervous?” Her brother unconvincingly shakes his head “no”, and away the 2 go on a pleasant boating journey. Unfortunately, that all changes when Dilton Doiley leads a troupe of Boy Scouts bird watching at the same river and finds Cheryl all alone on the shore, soaking wet from head to toe, and crying. She shakenly mutters one word, “Jason…”, and just like that, an entire town is turned upside down as the local authorities perform an exhaustive search of the river and surrounding area, but are unable to turn up any sign of Jason Blossom. Shortly thereafter, fearing the worst has happened, the Blossoms have a funeral for their beloved son.
 
Hermione Lodge and her daughter Veronica move back to Riverdale after a series of unfortunate events plague their family in New York. Smithers, a friend to Hermione and employee at the apartment complex that she owns, escorts the women in and welcomes them into town. He offers to give them food menus, but Hermione insists on having a freshly cooked burger from Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe, a popular Riverdale diner.
 
The night before school starts, Betty Cooper is getting ready to meet Archie Andrews (her best friend and next door neighbor) at Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe. This is the first time she’s seen him all summer long and she’s nervously excited to reconnect with him. Kevin Keller is with her, and he is helping to psyche her up into asking Archie to be her boyfriend. Keller is a charming little scene stealer, and a whip smart adolescent gay male with an endless supply of pop cultural references. As if any other motivation was needed for the young Miss Cooper, Archie is getting dressed within eye shot of the 2 schemers, and it is revealed that young Mr. Andrews has become quite fit over the summer break. Now sporting a well chiseled body, both Kevin and Betty swoon for the handsome lad.
 
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At the Chock’lit Shoppe, Archie and Betty talk about their busy summer activities. Betty had been setting up special events and Archie had been working at his father’s construction company pouring concrete and in the late evenings writing song lyrics. Archie explains to Betty that he believes that music is his passion, and that it will be the major thing that he pursues this year. Just as Betty is working up the nerve to ask Archie about his feelings for her, Veronica Lodge enters the restaurant and begins the classic Betty-Archie-Veronica love triangle, now in convenient TV form! The three introduce themselves, and 2 things become painfully clear: Archie is way too enthusiastically interested in Veronica, and Betty is awkwardly uncomfortable with having Veronica there. Veronica doesn’t stay for long, but her presence was just enough to derail Betty from asking Archie to go steady with her.
 
The first day of school is here and Archie is late for class. Some things never change, no matter the medium. Archie’s father, Fred Andrews, asks his son to come by the business after school so that he can train Archie on running the office. Archie declines, insisting that he has football tryouts.
 
Before leaving for class, Betty has a motivational conversation with her mother. Mom wants Betty to remain focused, make good grades, and to be of outstanding moral character, because her future college and life depends on it. On top of that, her mother has re-filled Betty’s Adderall prescription (presumably for ADHD), noting that Betty must have forgotten to take care of it herself. Betty looks less than thrilled to have the pills, but takes the container from her mother, if only just to get her to go away.
 
At Riverdale High School, Reggie Mantle and Moose Mason meet up with Archie at his locker and tease their red-headed friend about how buff he has gotten over the summer. Betty gives Veronica a tour of the campus, as Kevin Keller swoops in to give Veronica the details about Riverdale’s woefully lame social scene. Kevin asks Veronica “if what everybody is saying about your father is true?” This flusters her, but she answers that she stands in support of her father.
 
Archie makes his way to a remote classroom, and finds Josie McCoy and her bandmates the Pussycats rehearsing a song together. He asks for Josie’s help with some of the music that he has written, but she shuts him down completely, citing that she is focused on the Pussycats brand and making them a more popular music group.
 
Betty and Veronica talk about Archie, and Kevin let’s Veronica know that Betty is in love with Archie… it’s just that she needs to let Archie know that. She might tell Archie at the upcoming dance, but it might be cancelled due to the recent disappearance of Jason Blossom, and if so she’ll have to wait for another opportunity.
 
An assembly of the students is called, and Cheryl Blossom gives a bizarre “twintuition” based speech about her brother. Citing that she believes that her twin brother wouldn’t want the “Back to School” dance to be cancelled on account of his tragic situation. Cheryl then announces that she has convinced the school board to go forward with holding the dance. All the while Archie longingly stares on at the young attractive teacher Ms. Grundy. At the end of the scene, it is revealed that Archie and Ms. Grundy met serendipitously during the summer and started a very physical relationship… like of the super steamy forbidden variety.
 
After the assembly, Archie asks Ms. Grundy for help with his music. She seems concerned that he is interested in talking about more, but is relieved to hear that it is just about the music. She sets an appointment with him and they both go their separate ways.
 
At the construction office, Hermione meets with Fred to discuss getting a job as a bookkeeper. Although he appreciates her offer, Fred politely declines her inquiry noting that it would not look good to his clients if he let the wife of billionaire Hiram Lodge, who is currently under investigation for fraud and embezzlement, take care of his company’s finances.
 
At lunch time, Kevin and Betty listen to an MP3 of one of Archie’s new songs. Veronica shows up just as they all agree that his music is really good. Cheryl crashes the party to introduce herself to Veronica, casting Betty to the side of their picnic table. Cheryl urges Veronica to join the Riverdale Vixens cheerleading squad, but scoffs at Veronica’s assertion that Betty should try out too. As she makes her leave, Cheryl invites Veronica to follow her on Twitter: @CherylBombshell.
 
Archie meets up with Ms. Grundy to let her sample his music. She notes that it is very personal. She tells Archie that he should definitely pursue his music, but not with her guidance as she does not feel that it is a good idea for them to be alone in a room together.
Cheerleader tryouts are in full swing, and it is now Betty and Veronica’s time to impress the captain of the squad, Cheryl Blossom. They perform a standard cheer routine, and Cheryl immediately criticizes them for not having any “sizzle”. Veronica asks Betty to trust her, and then plants a super sultry kiss on her lips. The kiss definitely has the “sizzle”, but Cheryl is still unimpressed. In a bid to test Betty, Cheryl attempts to get the timid girl to yell out her frustration at the Blossoms, specifically on how Betty’s sister Polly’s relationship with Jason Blossom had gone sour and made her a mental case, in front of the entire cheerleading team. Although she is beyond frustrated at Cheryl, Betty won’t do it, choosing to sympathize with Cheryl’s loss instead. Having failed the test, Betty is told that she doesn’t fit the bill to be a Riverdale Vixen, but that Veronica is in. Veronica pushes back and declares that Betty and Veronica are a package deal, you either take both or you get neither. On top of that, Veronica declares that Cheryl is in for a reckoning, “and perhaps that reckoning is me.”
 
Later on during football team tryouts, Coach Clayton tosses a jersey to Archie and offers him a spot on the varsity team. The number on the uniform is the one that belonged to Jason Blossom. Archie tells the coach that varsity is a lot of responsibility and he will have to think about as he has to work for his dad’s construction company. Coach Clayton tells Archie to sleep on it and then give him his final answer later.
 
Betty and Veronica try on their new cheerleading outfits, and have a nice little heart to heart. Veronica tells Betty about the trouble her father is in and why she hoped a move to Riverdale would help become detached from the rich elitist that she was and ultimately help her become a better, more humble version of herself. Betty dishes on Polly and Jason’s relationship. How it meant everything to Polly and nothing to Jason. Betty goes so far as to mention that her mother had effectively disowned Polly over the matter. Archie is running with the football team off in the distance. Urging Betty to ask Archie to the dance, Veronica calls him over. Betty begins to ask Archie, but then chokes and asks if he’d like to take both her and Veronica to the dance. At first he refuses, stating that he isn’t in the right headspace for a dance, but Veronica tells him that his answer is totally unacceptable. Not wanting to let the ladies down, Archie agrees to take them both to the dance.
 
At the Cooper residence, Betty is overjoyed to be going to the dance with Archie. That happiness is soon dashed as her mother comes in to the room and immediately disapproves of the cheerleading and Cheryl Blossom. She urges Betty to quit the Squad. Betty refuses and tells her mother that she’s going to the dance. With that, Betty then leaves in a big hurry to go buy a dress for the big date with Archie.
 
Hermione Lodge returns to the apartment. She is confused to find that Smithers has produced a “lost” bag for her. The initials “H.L.” are engraved on a metal crest on the bag, and upon opening it up Hermione finds a large stash of cash inside. She laments, “Oh Hiram, what have you done?”
 
Sitting on the porch strumming a guitar, Archie is trying to get a song down when his father approaches him. Fred asks Archie about why he told the Coach that he couldn’t join the varsity team because he had to work the family business, when he told his dad early that he couldn’t work the family business because he had to join the football team. Archie admits that he lied to both his Coach and his father because he has changed over the summer and wants to pursue music as his future path. Fred asks Archie what changed over the summer, but Archie won’t answer. Disappointed, Fred lets Archie know that he can choose whichever path he wants, but that he should be confident enough in his choice that he doesn’t have to lie to anybody.
 
Archie, Betty, and Veronica arrive at the dance. Eager to hook Archie and Betty up, Veronica leaves to get some punch so that Betty can make her move. Archie excuses himself briefly to discuss music lessons with Grundy in exchange for him not divulging their secret. Ms. Grundy reluctantly agrees. With that settled, Archie returns to Betty and asks if she’d like to dance as Josie and the Pussycats take the stage to perform a cover of the classic ballad, “All Through the Night”. During the dance, Betty asks Archie to be more than friends, and he hesitates at the idea. Betty is despondent over the matter, which prompts Cheryl to invite her, Archie, and Veronica to an after party at the Blossom mansion.
 
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At the after party, Cheryl suggests that they play a classic game of “7 minutes in heaven” and selects Archie as the first candidate. Upon spinning the bottle, it lands right between Betty and Veronica. Choosing to stick it to Betty, Cheryl chooses Veronica as the victor. At first Veronica refuses, but Cheryl makes it clear that if Veronica doesn’t go in the closet with Archie that house rules decree that the host, Cheryl of course, would go take Archie into the closet and have him to herself. Hoping to save Betty the frustration of Cheryl’s humiliation, Veronica reluctantly agrees to go with Archie. In the closet, things start out innocently enough. They ask each other questions to pass they time. Veronica mainly wants to know what Archie’s interest in Betty is. Archie maintains that they are simply best friends and that he does not have romantic feelings for Betty. Their proximity in the closet mixed with the pointed questions about relationships ultimately leads to Veronica kissing Archie. Once the 7 minutes are up, Archie and Veronica emerge from the closet and find out that a furiously upset Betty has left the party.
 
Veronica goes back to her apartment as a great swell of guilt overcomes her.
 
Archie heads to Pop Tate’s hoping to find Betty there, but she is nowhere to be found. Instead, Jughead is sitting in a booth typing on his novel. Archie asks his erstwhile friend if he has seen Betty. Jughead replies that he has not, but that if Archie truly wants to save their friendship than he needs to be honest and go talk to her, emphasizing that it would go along with her, and that it would have gone a long way with him as well.
 
Taking Jughead’s advice, Archie goes directly to Betty’s home to talk to her. She is visibly devastated at the way her night went. Betty asks if Archie loves her, and he replies that he does… as his best friend, and then continues to tell her that he can’t give the answer that she wants right now. Upset and tired, Betty goes back inside.
 
The episode draws to a close with Jughead’s narration. He states that the night was not over yet, and the scene shifts to Kevin and Moose sneaking off together to the river to go skinny dipping together. The 2 young men never make it into the water, as they discover Jason Blossom’s dead body in the river with a gunshot wound in his head. The authorities recover the body as nearly all of the main cast look on. Jughead continues by announcing that Jason’s body held a litany of secrets that would change Riverdale forever, and that by the coming Tuesday the police would make their first arrest in connection to the murder.
 

My hot take on the premiere episode:

 
– Not nearly enough Jughead in the first episode. Sure he does the narration, but he’s hardly in the episode otherwise. Hopefully his role expands as the season progresses. He does wear the crown beanie though, which is nice! Also, he never has a cheeseburger in his hands once in the episode… what’s up with that?
 
– The Betty and Veronica friendship ark was set up way better than I expected it to be. I figured they would start with a rivalry that eventually became a friendship, but they thankfully went a different direction and decided to make them good friends first.
 
– The Pussycats better not be the typical teenage “Mean Girls” clique of the show. Josie was the only Pussycat who had any meaningful dialogue in the premiere, so we don’t know what kind of personalities Melody and Valerie will ultimately have. I would like for the Pussycats to interact with teens outside of their band, and to perhaps not be as closed off as Josie appears to be in the premiere.
 
– That being said, the music by the Pussycats was quite good! I am looking forward to hearing more tunes from these talented ladies, and also from Archie as well. The little snippets that we heard of Archie’s demo songs had potential.
 
– Cheryl Blossom, twin sister to the recently murdered Jason Blossom, needs to be more than the mouthy/bitchy captain of the cheerleaders. She needs to be smarter and more Machiavellian in her manipulation of the Riverdale student body. It’s too soon to tell with this version of Cheryl, but I want her to be pulling the strings on a very high level that no one sees coming.
 
– Kevin Keller was quite the charming little scene stealer. For reals, Keller had some of the best dialogue of the bunch and the actor nailed the delivery.
 
– Jughead’s narration at the end of the episode was on point and gave the audience a massively compelling reason to tune into episode 2. It was different than the ordinary premiere cliffhanger or hook. It was an ironclad promise of more wild twist and turns to come on the show, and they are coming really quickly. ‘Nuff said!
 
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Recap: Chapter Two – “A Touch of Evil”

We return to a new episode of Riverdale with Jughead narrating that an autopsy of Jason Blossom’s body was primed to reveal many secrets.
 
Meanwhile, Archie is lying in bed restless, unable to scrub the thought of his July 4th early morning date with Ms. Grundy and the gun shot they heard at the river at the same time that Jason went missing. Hoping to talk to his best friend, Archie texts Betty, but she decides that she is still not ready to talk to him after the rejection that she suffered at the dance. Needing an outlet for his frustration, Archie decided to take a midnight jog over to Ms. Grundy’s home. She is frazzled to see him appear at her doorstep, but hurries him in so as not to wake the neighbors and draw attention to the situation. Archie wants to tell the truth about what they heard on the date on that very specific morning, but she urges Archie to drop it, stating that it would get them in way too much trouble, possibly even jail time. Her core argument being that they only heard a loud noise, and did not see anyone that could be linked to the crime.
 
Early morning at the Andrews residence, Fred is feeding their dog Vegas a snack. As Archie comes into the kitchen, presumably to go to class, Fred asks about his late night jog. Archie said it was to clear his mind about Jason’s death. His father is understanding, but tells Archie that there can’t be anymore midnight jogs until the Police catch the killer.
 
Betty’s parents pop into her room as she prepares for school. They let her know that now that Jason is no longer a missing person, but in fact a homicide case, that they will be working many late nights gathering information. It is not clear what their profession is, but it is eluded that they may be some form of journalists. Betty’s mom also wants her daughter to be smart and to not fall back into bad routines, which essentially means no reconnecting with Archie or Veronica.
 
Which leads to Betty going straight to Archie’s house and asking him to walk her to school. During the walk, Betty lets her friend know that she definitely wants to salvage their friendship but that the rejection still hurts. Also, she forbids Archie from letting her mom know that they are talking again.
 
Jughead approaches Archie at class and asks him if he thinks it’s OK to use Jason’s death as an excuse to not be able to participate in gym class today. Archie is unamused.
 
Betty is called into the office to receive a lovely bouquet of yellow friendship flowers from Veronica. Kevin is with her, and marvels at how beautiful they are. Veronica joins them with a box full of fancy cupcakes that she had flown in from New York, as well as a mani-pedi for 2, complete with blowouts, as an apology gift for Betty, who graciously accepts much to Kevin’s chagrin.
 
Principal Weatherbee and Sheriff Keller, along with Cheryl, host a school wide announcement informing the student body of the murder and urging anybody with information to step forward immediately. Archie is walking by the office during the announcement and looks away from the Principal. Jughead finds Archie and confronts him about July 4th. Apparently, they were both going to go on a road trip on July 4th, when Archie mysteriously backed out at the last minute without any reasoning as to why. Archie has no answer for him.
 
In science class, the teacher calls for people to group up into Lab partners. Archie immediately chooses Cheryl, Moose selects Kevin, and Veronica pairs up with Betty. Kevin lets Moose know that he doesn’t think that they should start a relationship. Archie asks Cheryl questions about Jason’s death. The line of questioning perturbs Cheryl, but she maintains that she has her suspicions on who killed her brother.
 
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At the morgue, Betty’ parents bribe the Medical Examiner for information about Jason’s autopsy. The M.E. tells them that Jason had marbling of the veins, ligature marks on his arms, scavenger activity, and cryo-necrotic preservation.
 
Back on campus, Betty, Veronica, and Kevin find Archie strumming his guitar at a picnic table. Veronica implores Archie to sing them a song, and reluctantly he agrees. As he is singing a song about dancing with a lover, Betty breaks down crying. Archie sees that she is unhappy and asks if she is OK. She states plainly that she is not and walks away. Archie follows and tries to talk to her, but she lets him know that it is still too soon and that she still isn’t over the events from the last episode.
 
As Betty is leaving, Principal Weatherbee stops Archie from following her. The principal notes that Archie wouldn’t make eye contact with him during the announcements and tells him that if he knows anything related to Jason’s death that he needed to come forward with it now.
 
In a panicked rush, Archie runs to Ms. Grundy’s classroom and freaks out about Weatherbee. Grundy maintains that they cannot tell the truth. She continues by stating that her feelings for Archie are real and that telling the truth would mean that they could not be together again. The forbidden pair holds hand, but do not realize that Jughead notices their intimate activity from the classroom door.
 
Pep Rally rehearsal for the cheerleading squad is in full swing, but unfortunately Cheryl isn’t feeling it at all. She decides that the only way to save the routine is to call in a favor with Josie and the Pussycats. Meanwhile, Betty and Veronica bicker over Archie’s affections (or lack thereof) for Betty. Cheryl gleefully walks in to their little tiff and is rewarded when Betty decides to ditch Veronica and take Cheryl for the mani-pedi and blowouts.
 
Hermione has landed a job as a waitress at Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe. Veronica visits her mom and is surprised to see Archie coming in to pick up a to-go order. Archie meets Hermione, and she asks the young man to walk her daughter home. During the walk, Archie and Veronica talk in detail about Betty. Archie tells a story of Betty tutoring him in 2nd grade, to the point that he passed the class. As a reward, he planted a kiss on her and asked for her to marry him. Betty laughed it off at the time and told “Little Archie” that they were far too young for marriage, but to ask her again when she was 18 and she would say yes. Veronica lets Archie know that Betty is the best friend that she could have found at Riverdale and wants to keep it that way.
 
With their mani-pedis and blowouts complete, Betty and Cheryl go back to Betty’s bedroom. Cheryl proceeds to dote on Betty while at the same time pumping her for information about what Polly, Betty’s older sister who now lives in a mental institution, may or may not know about Jason’s death. Betty sees through Cheryl’s faux nice act and asks her to leave when she accuses Polly of killing Jason. When Cheryl goes into full on bitch mode, Betty threatens to kill (EEK!) her if she doesn’t leave.
 
Having returned from walking Veronica home, Archie makes it back to his own home only to find Jughead waiting on the porch. Jughead lets Archie know that he saw what was going on with him and Grundy. Then Jughead puts it all together that she was the reason that his road trip with Archie was cancelled. Archie comes clean and tells Juggie what’s going on. The crown beanie wearing novelist tells Archie that Grundy is using him, and that he needs to tell Weatherbee about what happened on July 4th. Fred walks onto the porch just as the boys’ conversation is getting more heated. Mr. Andrews offers for Jughead to join them for some of the delicious take out from Pop Tate’s. Archie lets his dad know that Jughead was just leaving.
 
At the Cooper residence, Betty’s mom burns some sage around her daughter’s bedroom, saying that it will help to ward off evil spirits. Mrs. Cooper questions why Cheryl was even in the house to begin with, and then lectures Betty on not associating with Archie and Veronica.
 
Later on at school, Betty ignores her mother’s advice and has a pleasant bridge rebuilding conversation with Veronica. Then during a break from class, a bunch of students are hanging out. Reggie is going into full douche-nozzle mode calling Moose out for spending strange alone time with Kevin Keller, and the accusing Jughead of being Jason’s killer just because he is weird by Reggie’s standards. Archie takes offense to the accusation and a fight between Archie and Reggie ensues.
 
With a fresh shiner on his left eye, Archie is approached by Fred at home. Fred asks if Archie got that in a fight with Jughead. Archie tells him that it was with Reggie, and that it had nothing to do with his verbal altercation with Jughead. The dutiful son goes one step further and tells his dad that his beef with Jughead was over a girl, and about doing the right thing. Fred advises his son to do the right thing, no matter the consequences.
 
Flash forward to a rainy night in Riverdale as the Pep Rally is just about to start. Archie lets Grundy know that he’s going to tell Weatherbee the truth in the morning, and that he wants her to join him, but will tell the Principal with or without her. Afterwards, Archie finds Jughead and apologizes for everything and asks if they can still be friends. Jughead jokes that it might be possible, but that it would require meeting over many burgers for many days. The festivities kick off with a special speech about Jason Blossom by Mayor McCoy. The Mayor invites Josie and the Pussycats on stage and the cheerleaders perform a routine set to new version of the classic Archies pop hit Sugar, Sugar. As the song comes to a close, the football team runs onto the field. When Cheryl sees Archie in her brother’s jersey, she sees Jason instead, and then freaks all the way out and runs away. Veronica follows her and offers comfort. Cheryl let’s an interesting tidbit about Jason’s death out during this scene when she tells Veronica that he shouldn’t be dead, “he was supposed to come back.” Betty sees the emotional moment between Cheryl and Veronica and comes to the understanding that Veronica is really trying to be a better person. Afterwards, Betty apologizes to Veronica and invites her to Pop Tate’s for milkshakes.
 
Now with fresh milkshakes in front of them, Betty and Veronica make a vow to never let a boy come between them again… just as Archie and Jughead walk in the door of Pop Tate’s. Betty invites the boys to join, and Jughead agrees, so long as they are buying. As the scene continues to show all 4 of them laughing and having a good time, Jughead’s narration comes back to let us know that despite appearances, there were only 3 people in that booth: Betty, Veronica, and the luckiest red-headed kid on the planet.
 
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The next morning, Archie goes to the principal’s office to tell the truth about what he knows about July 4th and Jason Blossom’s death, but never gets the chance to talk as the Principal and the Sheriff leave the office in a big hurry. They walk into a classroom and then Cheryl Blossom immediately knows why they are there. She stands up and turns herself in, stating that she is guilty.
 
In an interesting final twist before the episode comes to a close, it is revealed that the coroner’s report indicates that Jason did not die on July 4th but lived a whole week afterwards before finagling expiring.
 

My hot take on the second episode:

 
– We finally got a decent amount of Jughead! Still no cheeseburger, but at least he mentioned them this time. Baby steps perhaps, but we better see a big ol’ greasy burger in his hand when episode 3 gets here. Also, seeing Jughead in action was quite rewarding, as he is one of the more interesting characters in the series so far.
 
– The balance between the darker elements of the show and the lighter elements of the source material are starting to find a good balance in this episode. For all of its differences from the comic books, especially a murder mystery, this show really shines when it exemplifies what works best from the comics and puts it on screen. With so much set up in the premiere, the second episode was able to find a natural harmony between the 2 sides of the coin.
 
– Betty threatening to kill Cheryl was super cray-cray. It also underscores a potentially larger problem than ADHD for everyone’s favorite nice girl next door.
 
– With 2 full episodes under the show’s belt, it becomes increasingly clear that Archie needs to cut Grundy loose ASAP. It was steamy in the premiere, but came off completely different in the second episode. Now Grundy seems very selfish, looking out for her job without much concern for how keeping this secret is affecting Archie.
 
– The music on this series is quite terrific. I said the same during the premiere as well. If you are interested in hearing the songs outside of the episode, they are available for purchase on iTunes right now at this link: Riverdale Original Television Soundtrack
 
– The Archie Comics connections are really starting to come through. The Andrews family dog Vegas shows up, Lil’ Archie and Madame Satan (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) get a serious name drop, and the performance of reworked version of Sugar, Sugar have helped to make this series feel a bit more like a true Archie experience.
 
– Jason Blossom’s murder is legitimately interesting. Each new tidbit that is unveiled about Jason’s demise makes me question every character’s motive even more. When it is all said and done, I feel like this will ultimately play out as a wide spreading conspiracy with multiple players involved. Hopefully Jughead isn’t the killer after all… that would gut me.
 

Be sure to tune for the next episode, as the mystery deepens and we get to meet another classic Archie Comics character: Ethel Muggs.


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