Riverdale Returns


Lindsay Igoe, Editor

Includes spoilers for the first and second seasons of Riverdale.

It’s finally back! TV’s most impeccably dressed teens (well, besides Archie, who spent half the episode covered in blood) returned to the small screen last Wednesday in more trouble than ever.

Based on the Archie Comics, Riverdale’s first season was released last spring and centered around four teenagers – Archie, Jughead, Veronica, and Betty – investigating the mystery of a classmate’s odd disappearance. That plotline was neatly wrapped up last season, and it appears that this season will focus on a series of crimes committed by a man in a black mask.

The first of these assaults took place at the close of last season when Archie’s dad was shot by the mysterious man; the first episode of season two begins with Archie frantically trying to get his father to the hospital where he must then fight for his life. Of course, on a show with as many plotlines as Riverdale, there’s lots more going on: Jughead gets involved even further with the Southside Serpents, a motorcycle gang to which his father belonged; Veronica’s dad, the infamous Hiram Lodge, arrives in Riverdale; Cheryl joins Archie and friends at the hospital, bringing her mother in for injuries after Cheryl set fire to their house last season, prompting one character to ask flippantly, “Oh my god, is this the apocalypse?”

Comments like these show Riverdale’s reluctance to take itself too seriously, which is ultimately what makes its outlandish plotlines work. It establishes the writers’ complicitness in the implausibility of the stories, so that the viewers know that no matter how crazy things get, the screenwriters know it’s crazy, and they have a plan. Probably.

There will be lots of questions lingering in viewers’ minds at the end of the first episode. Will Jughead’s entanglement with the serpents harm his and Betty’s relationship? How will Hiram Lodge get involved with Riverdale’s small-town politics? And, most pressing, who is the murderer in the mask?

Riverdale airs on Wednesdays at 8pm on the CW.