OK, Pussycats, Southside Serpents and River Vixens, it’s (finally) time for the return of Riverdale, our favorite small town with big secrets. Here’s all you need to know before Season 2 premieres Oct. 11 on the CW at 8 p.m.
The Jason Blossom murder mystery
Let’s start with the resolution to the murder mystery that started off Season 1. The death of Jason Blossom rocked the little town of Riverdale, but it turned out that his killer was as close as the town’s iconic maple syrup.
Jason is twin to Cheryl Blossom, Riverdale High School’s resident mean girl and captain of the cheer squad, the River Vixens. Jason, before he died, was the school’s golden boy and football quarterback. He was dating Betty Cooper’s older sister, Polly, who got pregnant, causing the two sweethearts to plan to run away together.
Cheryl was in on the scheme, and went with Jason to help fake his death so he and Polly could leave in peace (though that plan would have been foiled by Mr. and Mrs. Cooper anyway — more on that later), but their plan goes horribly wrong and Jason ends up dead for real.
It turns out that Cheryl and Jason’s father Cliff Blossom, the maple syrup baron of Riverdale, was using his maple syrup business as a front for a drug ring. When Jason found out about the drug trafficking and refused to take over the business from his dad, Cliff couldn’t handle the optics on the family name and shoots him, then planned to groom Cheryl for the position. But when he gets found out, he hangs himself.
All the ‘ships
On a lighter note … let’s talk about the relationships that emerge out of Season 1. The first and most talked about coupling off online has to be Betty and Jughead Jones, who fall in love while investigating Jason’s murder together. Yes, Betty began season one with eyes for Archie Andrews, but he doesn’t see her as anything more than friends and the forever girl-next-door.
We aren’t expecting the Bughead relationship to be all smooth sailing as we begin Season 2, however, as the end of the first season saw Jughead switch schools and join the Southside Serpents. Plus, Jug has been feeling misunderstood by Betty recently, especially after she threw him a birthday party everyone knew he didn’t want.
Next we have the other half of the squad, Archie and Veronica Lodge, the bad girl foil to Betty’s crime-fighting goodie-two-shoes (though Betty has her dark side, too). When Veronica first moves to town, she and Archiekins end up in a closet together during a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven. Betty feels betrayed, so Archie and Veronica vow never to let feelings for each other come between their friendship with Betty.
But by the end of the season — after Archie’s forbidden relationship with Mrs. Grundy and then his failed relationship with Valerie — the sexual tension and bonding over annoying parents is too much to withstand, and Ronnie and Archiekins agree to be Riverdale’s very own Bey and Jay.
The Serpents get a new recruit
So FP, Jughead’s dad, finally cleans himself up just in time to be implicated in Jason Blossom’s murder. As we recalled above, he’s not Jason’s killer, but he nonetheless confesses to the crime because Clifford Blossom threatened to harm Jughead if he told the truth. But a lot of what he confesses does end up being true: that he was working with Jason to deliver weed, and when he learned who Jason’s father was he decided to capitalize on the opportunity.
So when Jason and Cheryl were faking his death at Sweetwater River, FP kidnapped the twin and locked him in the Whyte Wyrm’s basement and then tells Clifford Blossom that his son is being held for ransom. It doesn’t turn out so well, though, when Cliff shows up, takes back Nana Blossom’s ring and then shoots Jason.
So FP’s name is cleared, though he refuses to snitch on other Serpents who might have been involved in the Blossoms’ drug ring. This causes them to show up to FP’s trailer jus tin time to interrupt Betty and Jughead from gettin’ it on after pronouncing their love for one another for the first time. Jughead–who had to transfer schools and his moving in with a foster family on the Southside–believes that’s where he belongs, and accepts the Serpents’ jacket offering, effectively joining the gang. Betty doesn’t seem too jazzed about it, though.
And now for the grand finale. After spending a night at Veronica’s, Archie heads to Pop’s Chok-Lit Shop for an early breakfast, expecting his dad to discuss something serious. But when Archie gets up to hit the restroom, he returns to find an armed gunman robbing Pop. He looks at his dad, who is definitely giving Archie the don’t-be-a-hero-son look, but when Archie makes a move, the gunman points at his dad, and the season ends with a cliffhanger: will Fred live or die? And who sent that gunman?
Season 2 of “Riverdale” premieres Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. on The CW.