Hello my River-kins! Welcome back. Season 2 is here and I’m going to give you the low down on the first three episodes.
First, how about those Season 1 cliffhangers? The finale left us with Daddy Blossom taking his own life while the truth about who killed Jason Blossom surfaced and Cheryl Blossom – longing to be with her deceased twin – nearly drowns in a lake and is saved just in time by Archie. Then, fresh off her near-drowning, she of course looks perfect as she torches her family home Thornhill Manor, with her mother inside(!), as payback for her role in her brother’s death.
Elsewhere, Jughead’s dad (played by “I always need a shower” actor Skeet Ulrich) is in jail, while Jughead is given protection from the South Side Serpents (the biker gang his dad is affiliated with) in the form of a sweet leather jacket with a giant snake on the back. Meanwhile we see Fred Andrews (hunky Luke Perry) lying on the floor of Pop’s Chok’lit Shoppe bleeding out from a gunshot after a robbery gone wrong.
And now, Season 2
I’m going to be honest; the first episode was a bit of a snooze fest. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue watching. Seriously, I thought it was that boring. Although, one thing I will say about episode 1 is we do get to see some more of Molly Ringwald as Archie’s Mom Mary! I hung on and watched episodes 2 and then 3 and I am glad I did. Because folks – It… Got… Good! And by good, I mean “ridiculous good.”
In Episodes 2 and 3, we find Archie’s dad is on the mend, Betty and Jughead are happy, Archie and Veronica are officially boyfriend-girlfriend, Cheryl Blossom’s Mom is in the hospital recovering from her injuries sustained in the fire, and we finally get to meet Veronica’s Dad Hiram Lodge (played by uber-handsome Mr. Kelly Ripa – Mark Consuelos). That sounds like enough to get a season going – but wait, there’s more.
Jason’s Murder Trial – Jughead meets up with a Southside Serpent lawyer named Penny Peabody that tells him the only way to keep his dad from doing serious jail time is if they can convince Cheryl or her Mom to testify on his behalf. Even though he is in prison for being a part of Jason Blossom’s death, testimony from the victim’s family, after all, will surely get him off the hook. However, upon making this request on his dad’s behalf, Jughead and Betty are abruptly denied by a burnt to a crisp, yet starting to heal, Mrs. Blossom and daughter Cheryl. It takes another visit and a little“Dark Betty”voodoo to get Cheryl to obey. At this point I should probably explain “Dark Betty.” You see our sweet innocent Betty has a dark side. In season 1 we saw her don a short dark wig and a choker while she seduced and almost drowned a football player who has been known to date rape a local girl or two.
Pop’s Chok’lit Shoppe– The Diner is in danger of closing and has now been dubbed the Death Diner by some vandals. After being denied landmark status by the Mayor’s office, the gang decides to throw a Retro Night fundraiser to try to save it. Retro Night looks to be a bust until Josie and the Pussycats appear for an impromptu, yet conveniently fully costumed and choreographed, cover of Kelis’s“Milkshake” up on the diner’s roof. Side note: one of the Pussycats was sick, but Cheryl Blossom graciously stepped up and took her place for this special occasion.
“The Black Hood” – Archie becomes obsessed with finding the man he saw shoot his father. He begins his vigilante mission by staying up for days on end, baseball bat in hand waiting for whomever it was that is after his family to come back. After news of a murder of an old friend in a nearby town rocks Archie’s world, he springs into action. In order to get the job done Archie might need a little pharmaceutical assistance and we find out there is a new drug in town called The Jingle Jangle. More on that later. Archie also gets a gun and starts to assemble a group of like-minded pals to keep Riverdale safe – they call themselves The Red Circle. The Red Circle is just in time because Betty’s mother, Alice, gets an anonymous letter from a man claiming responsibility for the recent crime wave. He calls himself, “The Black Hood”. The show makes no inference to who “The Black Hood” might be. We know “The Black Hood” is a man because we saw him commit his crimes. But in my opinion it may be more than a coincidence that “The Black Hood” reveals himself through Betty’s mother.
Daddy Drama – There is a lot of daddy drama going on in these first few episodes, and we’ll perhaps have to track it to see if the trend continues for the whole season. I’ve already told you all about Archie’s Dad and Jughead’s Dad, but then there is Veronica’s Dad. Hiram Lodge, the New York money man that was arrested for some serious embezzlement charges, has somehow managed to weasel his way out of whatever white-collar prison was holding him. He’s back in the penthouse with Veronica and her Mom, Hermione. He’s unnervingly close to both ladies and seems to be able to easily play them against each other as they vie for his attention. When the diner was threatened by an anonymous buyer, Veronica is sure it’s her daddy’s doing. She also thinks he could be involved with Fred Andrew’s shooting – since Fred was about to land a deal that the Lodge’s wanted. All this drama and he’s only been in town for a day or two. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what this guy has in store for us.
Now I’ve got to stop here – but just so you know we have yet to discuss the following: At Betty Cooper’s home, the recent crimes spook pregnant Penny and she threatens to leave Riverdale to have the baby in peace. One side note about this unborn love child: in Season 1 it was teased that back in the day there was some Grandpappy on Grandpappy violence between the Blossom clan and the Cooper clan, apparently as part of some sort of family drama which in turn reveals the fact that the modern day Blossom’s and Cooper’s are cousins! So not only is Betty’s sister Penny carrying a deceased Jason Blossom’s twins – Penny and Jason were also distant cousins. Meanwhile on the Southside, Jughead’s been transferred to a new school, where they’ve got Serpents, Ghoulies, Jingle-Jangle and a defunct newspaper that Jughead seems dead set on reviving. In addition, a new friend for Jughead emerges named Toni Topaz.
Stay tuned for more Red Circle, more Daddy Drama and of course, more Jingle Jangle. Because… RIVERDALE!!
(Riverdale airs Wednesday’s at 8:00/7:00 Central on The CW)