Riverdale Returns: “A Kiss Before Dying” Recap

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Riverdale returned last night, and season 2 looks like it’s going to be packed with drama.

A blood-soaked Archie is racing his father to the hospital, and Riverdale is waking up to the news that Fred was shot. At the hospital, Archie watches desperately as his father is rushed off to surgery. An unconscious Fred dreams of possible futures, but death lingers there too.

Archie (K.J. Apa) rushes Fred (Luke Perry) to the hospital. Photo by the CW.

Betty deals with her mother’s anger about Jughead, but a call from Archie sends them rushing to the hospital. Veronica is defiant in the face of her mother’s anger, but both rush to the hospital after receiving the call from Betty (did anyone but me question why Archie called Betty and not Veronica?!?).

Jughead jumps on his father’s motorcycle as soon as he receives the call. They all arrive at the hospital to find a distraught Archie, who tells them what happened. But his story seems to be incomplete. Lodge reminds Archie to call his mother, and when he goes off to do that, Betty’s mother confronts Jughead about possible Serpent involvement, but Jughead holds his own in defense of his father. Meanwhile Archie tells his mother of the shooting and that Fred may not be with them much longer.

Sheriff Keller arrives, so Archie and Jughead go off to tell him what happened. Jughead and Archie deny Serpent involvement, and Jughead raises the possibility that this might be more than just a simple robbery. In the waiting room, Veronica worries about her ability to comfort in times of trouble, as she typically doesn’t deal and prefers to walk away. As they return to the waiting room, Archie speculates that the Serpents might have information, even if they’re not involved, sending Jughead off to the Serpents for help.

Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and Betty (Lili Reinhart). Photo by the CW.

Betty convinces Archie to leave the hospital to get cleaned up and take his father’s belongings home, while Fred continues to waver between life and death. Archie and Veronica get home and take the dog for a walk and a touching conversation, returning home for some romance in the shower. Meanwhile, Jughead meets up with a Serpent to ask for help in finding out who shot Fred.

At the hospital, Betty and Kevin Keller see Cheryl as her severely burned mother is wheeled in, failing to mention her own role in the fire and claiming her mother rescued her.

At Archie’s, when it’s discovered that Fred’s wallet is not in his belongings, Archie finally cracks under the pressure of his father’s shooting. He tries to send Veronica away, but this time Veronica is determined to stay.

Archie is called to the Sheriff’s department to identify potential suspects. Betty reluctantly jumps on the back of Jughead’s motorcycle to go search for Fred’s missing wallet.

Veronica and Hermione visit a church to pray, where Veronica confronts her mother on the possibility of ulterior motives in Fred’s shooting. Hermione gets tough with Veronica, reminding her that she needs to fall in line as part of the Lodge family. Archie gets to go see his dreaming father.

At the diner, Pops tells Betty and Jughead that this was no robbery, but that an “angel of death” had come to Riverdale. Betty can’t stop thinking about Jughead joining the Serpents, and expresses her concerns. Jughead explains how the Serpents are just one of many things that tie him to his father.

Cheryl (Madeleine Petsch). Photo by the CW.

Cheryl gets downright evil with her mother at the hospital, threatening Penelope if she doesn’t fall in line with Cheryl’s story and the new rules she’s laying down. Veronica is back at the hospital, bearing a gift of a new wallet for Fred. Archie finally tells Veronica, Betty, and Jughead how ashamed he is about panicking and freezing at the diner, and tells them his fears that the guy might know where to find him and come back.

In Fred’s hospital room, Archie finds Cheryl hovering over his father for an awkward kiss on the forehead. After she leaves, Archie has a heart to heart with unconscious father, who still dreams of life and death, finally waking up. Archie and Fred are determined to protect each other.

Betty gives Jughead her support as he figures out where he’s going in life, in spite of her reservations. But Jughead returns home to find out just how dangerous that might be. The Serpents have gotten rough in search for answers about Fred’s shooting, and they want Jughead to tell his father how they’ve helped.

Returning home, Veronica finds that her father has returned, and the Lodges are showing a united face, threatening Veronica to get in line, but Veronica’s not bowing to her parents’ pressure.

Archie’s mom returns to care for Fred and Archie, clearly traumatized from the shooting, stands vigilant at home to protect his father. They’ll be safe tonight, but Ms. Grundy, who is still up to her old tricks, is not so lucky.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays 8:00/7:00c on the CW .


Cara spends way too much time thinking about subtext and, when not watching TV, can generally be found with her nose in a book.