Riverdale's first season wanted desperately to be a soapy, teenaged Twin Peaks, but the investigation into the murder of Jason Blossom that kicked off the visually surreal CW series quickly stalled and became an afterthought as Archie's (KJ Apa) musical aspirations and raging hormones took center stage. It certainly didn't help matters that the series wasn't concerned with developing Jason as a character after his death -- he was merely a name, and the only character shown to be personally affected by his murder was his twin sister Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch).
But now that is over, and the series has returned for its second season, picking up immediately where the Season 1 finale left off -- with Fred Andrew (Luke Perry) bleeding out after being shot by a mysterious, masked stranger in Pop's Diner. Over the course of Wednesday's Season 2 premiere, Riverdale revealed it hadn't changed all that much during the summer hiatus. The darkness on the edge of town is now creeping within the city limits, kicking off a new mystery. The narrative is still unbalanced, with hormones once again taking over as melodrama masquerades as intrigue. It was everything we've come to expect from Riverdale. Let's celebrate the show's return with the 10 times the premiere was basically a jingle jangle-induced fever dream.
1. When the blood on Archie's jacket remained bright red???
No one would accuse Riverdale of being a terribly realistic portrayal of human existence, but you'd think someone in the show's makeup department would know that blood turns dark red and then brown as it dries. Without getting into the scientific explanation, this is fairly common knowledge for anyone who's ever seen blood before. Still, the blood on Archie's clothes, including his precious letter jacket, remains hilariously bright red for hours after Fred is shot. As time goes on and the blood remains red, it begins to feel more and more ridiculous, and Riverdale begins to feel more and more like a high school theatrical production that could only afford one can of paint.
2. Archie reveals he doesn't think Veronica can walk a dog???
What advanced skills does Archie think dog walking requires? He's seen Veronica (Camila Mendes) walk, right? He's seen her hold objects in her hands? There's really not a lot more to it, unless he thinks she can't do both things at once, in which case Archie has a very low opinion of the young woman he's dating. Also, Archie isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, which means, if he can do it, anyone can do it.
3. Archie and Veronica have sex in the shower after his dad's shot!?!
Ordinarily we wouldn't find this development all that strange -- teenage hormones and all! -- but Archie was literally washing his father's (still bright red) blood from his body when Veronica stepped into the shower to comfort him. The scene, set up by a previous conversation with Betty (Lili Reinhart), makes it appear as if Veronica thinks the only way she can help or comfort Archie in this difficult time is through sex. If that's the case, girl, you know you've got more to offer than that!
Also, Archie got his cast wet in the shower. Do you want to revisit your horribly judgmental opinion of Veronica's ability to walk a dog, Arch? Yeah, we thought so.
4. Riverdale has something called Bean & Beluga???
Did we hear this correctly? Is that a play on Dean & DeLuca? It sounds like they only sell coffee and whale blubber. Honestly, all of this is very confusing. And now we just want to watch Felicity again.
5. Pop is forced to mop up Fred's blood???
First, shouldn't Pop's still be an active crime scene? Why does it look as if the police haven't even been there with a forensics team to collect evidence? They were all over Sweetwater River when Jason died. Second, if someone is shot or attacked in an establishment that you own, do you have to clean up the bloody mess? Is that how that works, because that doesn't seem right. Or hygienic.
6. Fred apparently thinks we all just get to decide if/when we die???
Look, we don't want to challenge Luke Perry, but that's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. We don't just get to choose when we die.
7. Cheryl believes her kisses can saves lives like a literal Disney princess???
That's not science Cheryl. What is even happening in this town? Is there a gas leak?
8. Jughead is apparently the de facto leader of the Serpents now???
After Jughead (Cole Sprouse) asks one of the Serpents to look into Fred's shooting, said Serpent brings a rando back to the trailer -- a rando who didn't have anything to do with Fred's attack, as it turns out -- as proof that the Serpents look after their own. But why did they listen to him? Why are they acting as if Jughead pulls any weight? Yes, he's FP's (Skeet Ulrich) son, but why would they listen to a kid who self-identifies as a weirdo and a loner because he thinks that makes him different?
9. Ms. Grundy was murdered with a cello bow?!?
Are we supposed to be upset that someone murdered a child predator? Asking for a friend.
10. Fred's actual dream in which Archie marries Veronica!!?
Why is this what Fred is dreaming about on the operating table? Sure, he's technically dreaming about all the things he'd miss if he died -- including Archie's high school graduation -- but the focus on Archie's relationship with Veronica is a little weird, especially for a grown a-- man. Fred deserves to have more in his life so he's not dreaming about his son's love life.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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