The Angel of Death comes to Riverdale

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Welcome back to Riverdale! Last season’s mid-season hit for The CW is back and we’re right where things left off with Fred Andrews just having been shot and Archie rushing him to the hospital while the rest of the town goes about its usual morning business. But each of Archie’s friends day is interrupted with a phone call about the shooting and Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Betty’s parents and Ronnie’s mother all head to Riverdale Hospital to support Archie.

The episode spent most of its time with Archie and Fred and Fred’s dreamstate while being unconscious. He dreamed of Archie’s graduation but couldn’t believe he lived to see that day, but everyone reminds him that he didn’t. He dreamed of Archie taking over the business because Archie’s uncle and grandfather were waiting. Except they’re dead too. He dreamed of Archie showing him Veronica’s engagement ring and Pop Tate saying, “Time dies.” Most significantly, he dreamed of Archie and Veronica’s wedding, everyone in attendance including Archie’s mom (yes, Molly Ringwald returns!) and the entire Blossom family, except for grandma, but all sitting in the same row with Mary Andrews. All the redheads all in a row. Could that have any significance? Mary Andrews isn’t a Blossom too, is she???

There were a few other developments. Fred’s wallet was missing, so Betty and Jughead went back to Pop’s to see if it was there and Juggie was in the mood for a burger. Betty was worried about seeing him put on a Southside Serpents jacket, but he assured her that he is not joining the gang, however they will be watching out for him. Best news of all, he’s not moving to the wrong side of the tracks with his new foster family. They’re going to cover for him so he can stay in his dad’s trailer. Needless to say, Alice Cooper is still not happy about her daughter’s relationship with the son of a Serpent.

Archie is certain the shooting was no simple robbery and Veronica flat out accused her mother of putting a hit on Fred since he wouldn’t sell his part of the business to her and Hiram. Which Hermione did not take well at all, saying Veronica needs to get back on the program and be a Lodge since her father is coming home, and that she should smack her for the accusation … but she’s not a violent person. I don’t know what’s going on with her, but Hermione is suddenly a much darker, more malevolent presence than she was last season. Perhaps with the Blossoms out of the picture, the Lodges will become the town’s new villains, especially with the equally malevolent Hiram (Mark Consuelos) back in Riverdale.

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Speaking of the Blossoms, while Archie was at home getting showered — with Veronica’s help — Cheryl Blossom was seen accompanying someone wrapped in bandages head to to into a room. Turns out it’s Cheryl’s mom who heroically raced back into Thorn Hill to save the sleeping Cheryl, suffering third degree burns in the process. Cheryl managed to escape unscathed. Of course, she set the fire but no one knows that. And Mrs. Blossom suffered her burns trying to save a portrait, but Cheryl is sticking to the story and she’s going to make sure her mother does too, ever so slightly cutting off her oxygen supply to make sure she gets the message. Oh, by the way, WHERE’S GRANDMA BLOSSOM???

While dealing with her own issues, Cheryl was unaware of Fred’s shooting, and after he was moved into a room she paid him a visit. Archie walked in and she was kissing Fred on the forehead. She told Archie that he had given her the gift of life when he pulled her out of the icy river, so she was giving the gift to Fred. And it worked. Fred awoke, Archie swore he would protect Fred from now on (because of his guilt for not doing anything to stop the shooter before he got away), and Fred told him he came back to protect Archie.

But the biggest question we’re left with now is who is this person Pop Tate dubbed “The Angel of Death” and why did he shoot Fred? Or was Archie the actual target? That option becomes all the more probably in the episode’s coda in Greendale (yes, home to Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and oddly enough the same town Community takes place in), in a small house where a young man is taking piano lessons from … “Miss Grundy”! The boy leaves but not before she plants one on him, and afterwards she notices the window is open. As she gathers up the sheet music, the masked man who shot Fred accosts Grundy, apparently slitting her throat in the process. I guess we have seen the last of her now. Could this be her jealously abusive husband?

The season premiere was a pretty good episode in setting up the mystery of this killer and the return of Hiram Lodge, and having Fred hospitalized was the perfect opportunity to have all of Archie’s friends come to visit, including Kevin Keller, Josie and the Pussycats and … Reggie Mantle?! They’re best of friends now that he’s been re-cast? Let’s hope so because Reggie was always a core member of the group in the comics and animated series, even if he was Archie’s rival for Veronica’s affections. Perhaps that will come into play this season and Reggie will finally get some real face time on the series.

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Let me pose one crazy idea here about the killer. As he was wearing a mask, the only feature Archie could give any detail about was his green eyes. In Fred’s dream about Archie’s wedding, Fred looks quizzically at Cliff Blossom who looks right into the camera and he appears to have green eyes. Is Cliff not dead or is he … undead? Could we be heading into Afterlife with Archie territory? It was just very odd how Cliff was looking at Fred and turned to look right at us.

What did you think of the season premiere? Who is the masked killer? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

 

Riverdale: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]

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Afterlife with Archie

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