Teen drama Riverdale returns for a second season on The CW in the USA on October 11th with net episodes of the show landing on Netflix for UK viewers just a day later on October 12th.
The show, which exposes the darker side of the fictional world first created for the Archie comics, has been something of a sleeper hit since it debuted in 2016 and is fast becoming a firm favourite among teens and adults alike.
In season one Archie (KJ Apa) and his pals became embroiled in a murder mystery and season two picks up after a cliffhanger shooting – here’s everything you need to know before the gang hit our TV screens once again.
What happened at the end of Riverdale season 1?
What DIDN’T happen at the end of Riverdale season 1? That’s the real question.
It seemed like the season had come to a neat conclusion when we finally discovered the answer to the show’s biggest mystery. Jason Blossom – the boy found floating in Sweetwater River with a gunshot wound to the head – was murdered by his father Clifford because he was about to expose the maple syrup mogul’s dodgy dealings. Jason found out Clifford had been dabbling in the drug trade and when he threatened to reveal what daddy had been up to he paid for it with his life.
But it turned out that revelation merely marked the beginning of a series of very unfortunate events, including Jason’s twin sister Cheryl’s attempted suicide and a shocking cliff-hanger shooting.
Archie Andrews – who spent the season struggling to choose between his love of music and his football career while attempting to help solve the mystery of Jason’s murder, find his best friend’s missing sister, and pull Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) out of the frozen river alive – was last seen cradling his dying father Fred (Luke Perry) in his arms in the middle of his favourite diner.
Archie, who’d recently struck up a romantic relationship with new gal in town Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), was distraught to see his father shot by a mystery assailant in local hangout Pop’s, and we’ve all been left wondering whether Fred will live or die?
Fred had his fair share of enemies, thanks in no small part to his work in the construction business and his dealings with Veronica’s mother, Hermione Lodge (Marisol Nichols). Hermione – who had quite the romantic history with Archie’s father – returned to town after her husband Hiram’s imprisonment for embezzlement and fraud, and seemed to strike up quite the partnership with her old flame.
Daughter Veronica was not best pleased and spent the season trying to make up for her father’s misdeeds, while becoming BFFs with Betty (Lili Reinhart) and giving misogynist school bullies a taste of their own medicine.
It wasn’t long before she discovered her mother was involved in some dodgy dealings herself, with a sinister group called the Southside Serpents – the boys from the wrong side of tracks, whom Hermione seemed to have a mysterious link to. By the end of the season Hiram was due to be released from prison and Hermione tried to convince Fred to let them buy him out of the business. Fred stood his ground and said no, though – could that be why we last saw him lying in a pool of blood?
Archie’s best friend Betty – who declared her love for the redheaded Romeo before falling head over heels for his best pal, Jughead Jones, instead – ended the season with another mystery to crack too. As if tracking down your missing pregnant sister and helping solve the murder of her baby daddy wasn’t enough for one girl to handle in 13 episodes, mother Alice (Mädchen Amick) revealed that she’d fallen pregnant as a teenager too, but Betty’s dad Hal had forced her to give her baby boy up for adoption.
Boyfriend Jughead (Cole Sprouse) thought all his problems would be solved when his father was cleared of Jason Blossom’s murder, but Southside Serpent F.P Jones (Skeet Ulrich) wasn’t getting out of prison that easily. He remained behind bars for his role in the cover up and Jughead was sent to live with a foster family. Social services also withdrew him from Riverdale High, sending him to a new school on the other side of the tracks.
Betty stood by her man, though, promising that nothing would change between them. And she would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those pesky Serpents. They returned to claim their little Juggy, giving him his own leather jacket to begin his transformation. Think Sandy at the end of Grease. It’s a look and one we think he can pull off.
The arrival of Jughead’s new pals seemed to worry Betty, though. And with Archie giving off some rather jealous vibes – much to Veronica’s dismay – we can’t help but wonder if the redhead might come between Betty and her almost-bad boy?
Chances are Archie won’t be thinking about anything but his dad for the foreseeable future though, regardless of whether Fred lives or dies.
What’s going to happen in Riverdale season 2?
Season two will pick up where season one left off and the first episode will be called ‘A Kiss Before Dying’. The gang will all gather to await news of Fred Andrews after the shooting, and we’ll find out whether he pulls through or not at the same time as they do.
Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa promises a new dark Archie in season two and says our boy is set to go on a Bruce Wayne style journey of self-discovery following his father’s shooting.
“For Archie, he is the hero of our show, but before he gets to that heroic journey, it’s going to be a journey more of revenge, and a journey of darkness and violence begetting violence. So it’s going to be a really different Archie for season two”, he told Entertainment Tonight.
It sounds as though it’ll be a difficult season for everyone, though. Aguirre-Sacasa told TV Line that a “civil war” is about to erupt between Riverdale’s residents and the Southside Serpents, a conflict that certainly doesn’t bode well for Betty and Jughead’s Romeo and Juliet-style relationship.
Speaking of Betty, the show’s big boss says he “wouldn’t be surprised” if her mysterious big brother – the one Alice gave up for adoption – makes an appearance. And we can also expect to see the birth of big sister Polly’s Blossom twins on screen.
There’s good news for fans of Pussycat Josie (Ashleigh Murray), who will FINALLY become a series regular this year.
As will the brilliant Kevin Keller, played by Casey Cott.
And there’ll also be a whole host of new faces popping up around town.
We’ll finally meet Veronica’s dad, Hiram Lodge, who’ll be played by Riverdale newcomer Mark Consuelos (that’s him in the middle below).
Charles Melton (to the left above) takes over as Riverdale High’s football captain Reggie Mantle (original actor Ross Butler couldn’t return to the series as he’s filming the second season of 13 Reasons Why).
And Vanessa Morgan joins the cast as Toni Topaz, a Southside Serpent who’s described as the female Jughead, and is charged with introducing him to his new world on the other side of the tracks.