With episode one setting the scene for Riverdale’s second season, episode two builds off of that mood and tension for some darker material to bleed through. The episode starts off at Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe, abandoned by all except Pop and Jughead. Fred Andrews getting shot there was terrible for business. Archie makes an attempt at cooking breakfast in bed for his dad but ends up only burning toast.
Archie goes to the sheriff’s office with flyers of his dad’s shooter with the tagline, “Have you seen this man?” One thing I immediately recognized was that the picture was of the man still in his mask, with his facial features, other than his eyes, cloaked. Not quite the brightest choice of picture, since Archie was able to identify the man in the police lineup last episode. At night, Jughead sneaks into the Andrews household. Archie almost bludgeons him with his baseball bat, thinking it’s his dad’s killer returning.
Betty notices Archie hasn’t slept in his room the past few days and calls Veronica about it. Veronica discusses this with him and finds out he hasn’t been sleeping at all. She recommends him get counseling, which he declines. Betty and Jughead venture to the mayor’s office to help get Pop’s business back, but the mayor turns her back on both Pop and F.P. after their conversation.
There’s a drug going around at Riverdale High called “jingle jangle,” and it supposedly makes the user stay awake for days on end. Archie speaks to Reggie about acquiring some. Meanwhile, Betty reminisces about her good times at Pop’s to Veronica and Kevin. They plot to help Pop get his shop back in business. After the meeting, Hiram shows up to win Veronica over, to no avail. Jughead converses with another Serpent about breaking F.P. out of jail, which may hint at something that may happen in the future.
Josie joins the River Vixens with no clear motive. Mr. Weatherbee tells his class that “Mrs. Grundy” was murdered, which prompts Archie to dash out of the room. Later, Archie makes a connection between his father’s near-death experience and “Mrs. Grundy’s” death. Jughead meets with a Serpent lawyer, and Archie mentions his conclusions to Mrs. Cooper. In turn, Alice Cooper agrees to check out the autopsy.
Jughead and Betty venture to the new Blossom residence to get Cheryl to testify for F.P. in court. It doesn’t go over well with her or her mother. Reggie shows up at Archie’s house with a mask on to deliver Archie his drugs. Archie tackles him, thinking Reggie was the killer because of his mask. The autopsy report on “Mrs. Grundy” showed that she was strangled to death with her cello bow and that it was a crime of passion. There was no sign of forced entry, but there were signs of a struggle.
Pop’s gets bought out by a liquor store chain, but Betty vows to fix that. She blackmails Cheryl into sympathizing with F.P. in court and bringing the Vixens to Pop’s to repair the state of the establishment. Jughead and Veronica have a conversation about their fathers, with Jughead’s in jail and Veronica’s freshly out of jail.
Archie confesses to Sheriff Keller that he was in an illicit, illegal relationship with “Mrs. Grundy.” He believes that her ex-husband was her killer, though Sheriff Keller insists that he had an airtight alibi. The Vixens help clean up Pop’s and Cheryl comes through for F.P. in court, even lying to do so. The Pussycats perform at Pop’s with Cheryl, though I thought this scene was only in so the producers could sell some more music aside from the cover of “Kids in America”. Archie has flashbacks during this scene about his dad being shot again.
Veronica gives Hiram a second chance, and the Southside Serpents make an appearance at Pop’s. Midge receives drugs in the parking lot, but Pop’s stays open due to Hiram’s purchase of the establishment. Cheryl shows her mom the video of Jason and her father. F.P. warns Jughead about Peabody, the Southside lawyer who helped Jughead figure out how to lessen his dad’s sentence. Dilton is revealed to be an arms dealer, giving Archie a gun on Sweetwater Bridge. At the end, Moose and Midge are massacred by the masked murderer.