We gave it a B+
Welcome back to Riverdale, everybody! It’s a place where time stands still, milkshakes have zero calories, and murder happens about as often as Cheryl reapplies lipstick. Or, as Jughead’s voiceover put it, at its heart, it’s a “haunted town.”
And right now, all of the action is focusing on Archie, who’s attempting to “outrace death” without a driver’s license as he transports his father — who was shot in the season 1 finale — to the nearest hospital. And let’s just say it’s a miracle they get there, because based on those ridiculously bad driving skills, I’d bet Archie Andrews is never going to get a driver’s license.
But long story short, he gets his dad to the hospital, where Fred is rushed into surgery and we get our first trip inside Fred’s mind, where he’s taking a photo of the core four on graduation day. But when they remind Fred that he didn’t live to see graduation day, we snap back to reality — a reality where Betty is far too honest with her judgmental mother when Mrs. Cooper asks “if that beanie-wearing cad defiled you.” Betty’s response? OF COURSE NOT. But also, almost. Actually, I wanted him to but we were interrupted by Southside Serpents.
Okay, Betty. Let’s have a chat. From a former teen to a current teen, your parents do not need to know that you wanted to have sex with someone. They only need to know when you do. And even then, I wouldn’t tell YOUR mother anything unless you want to end up living with nuns.
Thankfully, before Betty can overshare any more, Archie calls her, and she quickly spreads the news. First, she updates Veronica, who’s enjoying a morning mimosa with the Cristal that Hermione had bought for Hiram. Fun fact: Apparently, drinking their expensive booze is the No. 1 way to piss off rich people!
Then, Betty calls Jughead, who hops on his father’s motorcycle — so Archie is a terrible driver and Jug can navigate a motorcycle on icy roads?! — and heads to the hospital. There, they hug Archie and his bloody cast — that somehow never gets replaced despite most of this episode taking place in a HOSPITAL — and get the full story of what happened. Or at least what Archie is ready to tell them. He explains that the perp shot Fred and then ran. So really, it’s a pretty boring story. But hey, at least Jug is there to propose a truly terrible superhero name for his best friend: Pure Heart the Powerful. (Writer to writer, you might want to workshop that one, dude.)
After Mrs. Cooper uses Fred’s shooting as a chance to blame the Serpents, Archie calls and updates his mom before sitting down with Sheriff Keller. According to Archie, the shooter wasn’t wearing a ski mask; it was a HOMEMADE HOOD! Geez, know the difference, Keller. The shooter also had green eyes, and that’s all Archie is willing to say at this point. Keller’s professional opinion? The guy was “probably out of his head on meth or the jingle jangle.” I’m sorry, WHAT?!
1. Is there a big meth business in Riverdale?
2. What is the jingle jangle?!
But when the sheriff mentions that it could be someone who had a grudge against Fred, Archie tells Jug that his dad fired the Serpents who had been working on his crew. With that, Jug heads off to ask his new serpent buddies to do some digging.
Meanwhile, Betty assures Veronica that she can be a good girlfriend and suggests V accompany Archie home so that he can shower and change. At this point, Fred is out of surgery and Archie won’t be able to see him for at least an hour. In the end, Archie decides a shower is a good idea, mostly because Mrs. Cooper offers him these great, consoling words: “Your dad is strong stock.” That he is, Mrs. Coop. That he is. (Next: The angel of death picks a second victim)