Riverdale Season 2 Episode 1 Review

Skyler Simpson reviews the much anticipated first episode of The CW's hit show Riverdale.

AP images

AP Images

Spoilers ahead!

I’m an avid fan of Riverdale – I ship Bughead, hate Grundy, and can’t stand the sound of Archie’s voice. For months I waited patiently, filled with excitement for the season premiere. So, when the day finally came, I grabbed a blanket, turned on my TV, and settled in for the full hour.

Contrary to what I had expected, I didn’t like it that much.

Let’s start from the beginning where Archie was haphazardly driving his dad to the nearest hospital, some heroic scene to reinforce the touching Archie/Fred relationship. Fred is actually one of my favorite parents besides FP, so although it was nice to see how much his son cared, the only thought going through my head was “Why didn’t he call 911?” When someone’s about to die, usually an ambulance would be called ASAP and the person injured would get some immediate care. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy the “Pop Tate called the ambulance and it never came” thing. Sheriff Keller was there in a pinch to interview Archie at the hospital, but an ambulance just never showed up?

How did Pop Tate even call an ambulance? Didn’t the thug hit him with a crowbar or something?


Fast forward to the hospital. Veronica, Betty, and Jughead all show up at the same time to comfort Archie. That’s great and all, but Veronica decides to take Archie away from the hospital to change and walk his dog. Yeah, great idea. Take Archie away from his dying father. I know you just said to Betty that you couldn’t give advice to save your life, but have some common sense.

Then, she decides to go through Fred’s stuff and refuses to leave when Archie gets fed up with her. She says she’ll never leave him, and he sobs into her arms. The whole interaction reminded me of the “I’m not leaving now, not ever” line from 13 Reasons Why. This time, however, Archie actually wanted her to leave his house… and stay out. 

Speaking of 13 Reasons Why, the new Reggie only had 2 seconds of screen time, and so did the Pussycats. Actually, nobody really had screen time except for the core four.

Meanwhile, Archie sends Bughead on a mission to find Fred’s wallet, even though we find out later that it was stolen, and Archie knows it was stolen. Personally, I think the whole Pop’s scene was just so Jughead could have an eating scene. People seem to like seeing Jughead eat, but I think it’s a waste of time.

Another reason for the Pop’s scene was probably to confirm what we already knew – the shooting clearly wasn’t an accident. Nice work, gang. Someone literally came in, shot Fred, and stole nothing. Obviously a robbery.

By this scene, my theory that the shooter was Grundy’s abusive ex-husband vanished. The shooter held a gun to Archie’s head, but didn’t shoot him. If I were Grundy’s ex, I’d be mad at Archie for having an affair with her.

Back to Archie: he’s trying to find the killer out of a lineup of masked criminals, but all he can see is a pair of bright green eyes. We get it – the thug has emerald eyes. That’s the only thing we know. No surprise here, he can’t find Fred’s shooter. As Archie is getting increasingly annoyed, poor Fred is having nightmares about his death. The Archie/Veronica wedding scene that the press photographed (and that we all knew about) was clearly no surprise. However, the Fred scenes were my favorite part. Maybe it’s because Luke Perry is one of the best actors there (besides Madelaine Petsch,) or perhaps I just feel bad for the guy.

While Fred is in surgery, Veronica and Hermione are “praying” for Fred’s recovery. The scene was a bit dry, but I found it interesting how quick Hermione turned bad. I assume it’s because of Hiram, but a new side of her was revealed. Who would threaten to slap Veronica? I mean, she’s really self-centered and all, but who would actually slap her? Apparently, her own mother would.

By this time, it’s around 45 minutes in and things are wrapping up. I realize I didn’t mention the whole Cheryl thing, but that’s because I didn’t find it all that great. Okay, you’re a huge jerk to your mom, things will be different, and you totally hinted that your dad didn’t die by suicide. I figured as much. Penelope, you evil red-head. What did I expect from you?

Archie’s mom is back, Fred is alive, but Archie insists on dramatically waiting by the door with a baseball bat. Sure, Arch, if you never sleep, I’m sure you’re able to protect your dad. I’m waiting for a future scene where the thug hits up Archie’s home to have another go at Fred, and Archie is totally knocked-out in a deep sleep.

Betty is still getting over the whole Jughead thing, having told literally everyone about their moment, including her mom. Kevin was shook, but Kevin isn’t even relevant right now, so who cares.

Jughead heads back to his trailer, where he’s somehow permitted to live, and walks in to find some Serpents and a poor, tortured guy tied up to a chair. Honestly, it was unnecessary, the scene was only there for the purpose of confirming that Juggy is an official Serpent. We know. We’ve know since last season. Jughead was the only person who seemed to be unaware, even after putting on the jacket, because the gang had to actually come to his house and tell him straight-up.

And then we get to Veronica. She gets back to her apartment to find her mother and father sitting at the table dramatically, no greeting whatsoever. Both parents start immediately laying into her; she’s clearly not having it. If you look close enough, there’s some artificial shade blocking Hiram’s eyes, as if the fandom actually thought that brown-eyed Veronica and brown-eyed Hermione were related to a green-eyed guy. It took forever to reveal them, probably because it was a popular theory that Hiram was the shooter, but they were clearly brown.

Just when I thought the episode was over, there’s a scene change to Grundy’s old, blue car.


Grundy pops out of her house for a minute to say goodbye to a student – and if you didn’t think she went after her students before, her kissing another student should help you see the light.

As I was attempting to accept the fact that Grundy is back, Mr. Mask swoops in with a crowbar around her neck and she falls to the floor, about to die/dead/who even cares. How exciting. A part of me still thinks it could be her ex, but then why would he leave Archie alive?

In all honesty, despite a bunch of action, I left the episode feeling like nothing really happened except Grundy’s demise. The producers just took the episode to reiterate what the fans already knew, which made it kind of repetitive for the people who remembered episode 13. Overall, I’d give it a 6/10, and I’m hoping that there’s some more action next episode. I’m itching to see Toni Topaz, more of Reggie, Kevin’s dark side, Betty’s personal development, the love interests for Cheryl/Josie, etc. Let’s all hope episode 2 is better.