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Riverdale Returns in Classic Form

An exciting and thrilling return to the town of Riverdale.

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And so, our story continues, says Jughead Jones in the opening moments of the Season Two premiere. Riverdale wasted no time in its return, stepping on the gas, not letting go until it’s final scene has concluded. Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) are back; it’s time for Season Two of Riverdale. Four months have passed for us, but Riverdale drops the audience right where the Season One finale left. The break neck pace of the episode is exciting, and works so well you nearly forget about the bad moments, before being moved to another great moment. There is a lot to cover in the premiere, so let’s take it by bits and pieces.

 

Archie and Veronica

When season one ended, Archie’s dad Fred Andrews had been shot in Pop’s by a hooded figure, distinguishable only by his green eyes. Archie rushes to get his dad to the hospital to save his life. The season premiere primarily focuses on this plot line, and its effects on the group.

KJ Apa is given a lot of emotional scenery in this episode, something he didn’t get much of in season one and it turns out KJ Apa is more than capable of handling the scenes. Apa absolutely sells the pain that Archie is going through with his expressions, and makes you worry about Fred just as much as Archie is.

The situation becomes just as hard for Veronica, who doesn’t know how to console Archie, and is dealing with family issues of her own. In-between consoling Archie, accusing her mother of murder, and welcoming back her crime lord father, Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) , it was a big week for Veronica. Camila Mendes continues to sell Veronica’s actions, however irrational they continue to be. Veronica does her best to make her parents as mad as possible, which is one of the more frustrating aspects of the episode, as it does not make much sense on Veronica’s part. It does set up interesting set ups for the season however.

Speaking of Hiram Lodge, his entrance is one of the more exciting developments of the premiere. His introduction is the best scene of the episode, as Mark Consuelos perfectly gives shows why he is to be feared, and sells the crime lord perfectly. It will be interesting to find where Hiram fits in the town of Riverdale, and looks to be one of the most interesting plot lines going forward.

 

Jughead and Betty

Jughead and Betty are given less screen time in the premiere, and are generally in the same place they left off in. Jug realizes he’s in too deep with the South Side Serpents, and Betty continues to be concerned. Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart continue to have perfect chemistry, but their storylines have yet to really begin.

 

The Others

The supporting characters are going through the motions for now, for better or worse. Cheryl’s (Madelaine Petsch) descent from normal teenage jerk with unresolved family issues, to full on psychopath with more unresolved family issues has been great to watch, and Cheryl’s control over her mother’s life, is certainly entertaining. Kevin (Casey Cott) continues to play comic relief, and Josie, Reggie and others have not gotten enough screen time yet.

Riverdale shows no signs of slowing down in its season two premiere, but it is also just getting started. It’s break neck pace is one of its most exciting aspects, but also a weakness, as the show can tend to rush its pacing at points; one of season one’s biggest weakness. While the focus is rightfully placed on Archie in this premiere, the show doesn’t seem to have a place quite yet for many of its supporting characters. Whether season two can help find a spot for them like season one failed to do is yet to be seen.

While the season two premiere isn’t perfect, it’s an exciting return to the small town of Riverdale.

Other Notes

  • Reggie being recast was one of the bigger storylines during the summer break, but he only has one line in the premiere
  • I almost gave up on the show as soon as Mrs. Grundy entered in the episode’s final scene, but her death at the hands of the same hooded man that shot Fred is a nice fake out and excellent cliffhanger. Well done Riverdale.
  • Jughead’s comment that eating that hamburger at Pop’s was his first food since the day before, questions must be raised about how well he’s living in that trailer.

 

Final Rating: 8/10

 

 

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