It’s been a long, wretched summer without my Riverdale. But at long last Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s twisted spin on Archie comics is back! Okay. So it came back last Wednesday. I had an ugly head cold, so waited to watch the season two premiere once the fog had cleared. Now that I have, let’s dig into the questions “Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying” has posed.
Who Is The Man With The Green Eyes?
As you might recall, hot dad Fred Andrews (played by the one, only, and still smoking hot Luke Perry) was shot at in the very final moments of season one’s finale, leaving fans stunned, and this fan a puddle of screaming and tears. The good news: Fred is not dead. After a string of creepy coma nightmares, he was conscious once more, assuring Perry won’t be leaving the show just yet. But who is the man with the green eyes that gunned Fred down?
This is the mystery that will play at the center of season two. But the clues so far are sparse. This “angel of death” has green eyes, a black jacket and homemade black hood. He didn’t steal from Pop’s, so Jughead’s probably right that this was a hit, not a robbery. It’s unlikely this guy is a Southside Serpent, and he may not even be a Riverdale resident, considering he was last spotted in Greendale, across the Sweetwater River. But more on that in a minute.
What Does Archie’s Mom Have To Do With The Blossoms?
The whole shared red hair thing has launched a thousand fan theories about how the Andrews clan might have ties to the Blossoms. Yet that came to nothing in season one beyond Cheryl and her parents uncomfortably ogling Archie as a Jason substitute. But in Fred’s vision of Archie’s wedding, he realizes something is wrong when he sees the deceased Clifford Blossom in attendance. Then he sees Jason Blossom, also redheaded, also dead. THEN he sees his wife Mary (Molly Ringwald), who winks at him. THEN the green-eyed gunman comes charging down the aisle, the Blossoms and Mrs. Andrews in the foreground smiling.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?! Is Mary on the killer’s hit list, and Fred’s subconscious is trying to clue him in? Or is she so closed to the father who killed his son because maybe the bullet wasn’t meant for Fred but for Archie, and she was paying the gunman? Or—considering the gunman’s final victim—is this Archie’s real dad, and the dream is cluing Fred into the bio dad’s existence, his wife’s duplicity, and how this fucked up father is gunning down anyone he finds unworthy of his redheaded son? It’s a stretch and early days. But hey, who among us predicted the maple empire was actual a heroin front?
Why Were They Wearing Kilts In The Wedding Vision?
Are we just assuming all redheads are of Scottish heritage? Is this canon? Is Fred Andrews just really into Outlander? Or is this a clue? Please please speculate wildly in comments.
What Went Down At Thornhill?
All hail the return of the HBIC (Head bitch in charge), Cheryl Blossom! At the end of season one, we saw this poor little rich girl burn down her family’s grand home, Thornhill. In that scene, both she and her mother made it outside the house, unscathed. But in the premiere, mother Penelope Blossom has third degree burns and smoke inhalation. So clearly, she went back inside. But why? I suspect just as this ep circled back to reveal the moments between the gunshot at Pop’s and the shooter’s exit, a future episode will reveal what demented biz went down between these Penelope appearances. In a related question: Where the hell is Cheryl’s gypsy-blooded Grandma Blossom?
What Happened In The Barn?
Last season, even the most ardent Riverdale fans admitted disappointment in the big reveal of Jason’s killer. Not so much because it was his dad, but because he’s found out an immediately hangs himself in his maple syrup/heroin barn? It seemed abrupt and sloppy. But oh wait faithless fans! Because Cheryl’s threat to her burned up mummy reveals there’s something more to that story. Now, Penelope couldn’t possibly have hoisted her bulky husband to a noose on her own. So let your mind wander down the orchards to consider what sticky secrets still lie in the Blossom family closet.
Whatever Happened to Miss Grundy?
The one question Riverdale set up and answered in this premiere involved the music teacher who molested and manipulated Archie is season one. This felt a bit like fan service. Because while hot Grundy got the show a lot of attention and eye-brow raises out the gate, it quickly became a plot line that sickened fans. And many of us were pretty damn peeved that this sexual predator basically got off with a warning. Turns out she fled, but not far. Just across the river in Greendale, Miss Grundy set up shop, grooming another boy for statutory rape. But like a slasher in a horror movie, the Angel of Death snuck into her window and brought her a painful and bloody end. So is he an avenging angel—perhaps for Archie? If so, what did Fred do to incur his wrath? Or is there even more to Miss Grundy’s backstory that we might see later this season? I’m hoping it’s not the latter. Let’s leave Grundy’s thread like its central predator, dead.
Is Cheryl A Witch?
My favorite theory our of this ep comes from my friend and fellow Riverdale obsessive Kase Wickman. (Check her out on The Podcast With Pep.) You can read her full analysis atTV Guide, and should. But between Cheryl’s spooky “kiss of life” seeming to bring Fred back from the brink, her ability to be dressed in pristine white even when her damn house was burnt to cinders, and the one-two delivery that The Chilling Tales of Sabrina is in TV development and the reveal of the teen witch’s Greendale stomping grounds on Riverdale, it seems more than feasible Cheryl is HWIC. Head witch in charge. And besides, the Blossoms having extra abilities was teased in season one when her creepy granny predicted Betty’s sister is birthing twins. Maybe Cheryl’s brush with death in the Sweetwater River sparked his magic powers?
We’ll be looking for answers next Wednesday on Riverdale.