Riverdale delivered on a few promises in tonight’s Season 2 premiere: A conclusion (more or less) to last season’s cliffhanger, the return of Hiram Lodge, and more HAWF action — for real, though, we all know it’s about our boy Jughead Jones, who easily had the best moment of the night. But just as the dust (or gunpowder) settled on Pop’s diner and it looked as though everyone was relatively safe, the final moments of the premiere yielded a surprising return…and a shocking death.

First things first: Yes, Hot Archie does indeed F— in “Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying.” It happens in the shower with Veronica, who isn’t sure how to soothe her boyfriend as his dad, Fred, remains hooked up to a respirator in the hospital. Now that we got that out of the way: Yes, Fred Andrews will live to brood over the construction business another day.

But Riverdale sure does have fun toying with viewers — in the most obvious fashion — throughout the episode, as Fred has coma-dreams about all the major milestones he’ll miss in Archie’s life (hence that intriguing shot in the trailer of Ronnie in a wedding dress).

As for the rest of the crew: Betty continues to be concerned about Jughead joining the Southside Serpents, but her mom’s rude-as-hell comments are certainly warranted when Juggy employs the leather-clad biker dudes to find out who shot Fred. He doesn’t get far, but he does learn an important lesson in gang culture. Once you’re in, you’re in 4 life, bruh.

Cheryl Blossom
The CW

Mrs. Blossom is admitted to the hospital with third degree burns, but she has her darling daughter Cheryl, who is totally not plotting some delicious What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? revenge, to take care of her.

Veronica seems to be slightly regressing to her affluent mean girl ways thanks to the impending return of her daddy, Hiram (welcome Mark Consuelos to the show, everyone!), swilling Cristal mimosas and vaguely threatening her own mother. Hiram comes home early, but it’s clear that his attempts to intimidate Veronica aren’t going to work; her kiss on his cheek might as well have been a death threat.

…Which brings us to the episode’s conclusion. “A Kiss Before Dying” could refer to Cheryl kissing Fred, which, she tells Archie, is a “kiss of life” — not unlike the one he gave Cheryl when he rescued her from drowning in last season’s suicide attempt. But Fred lives. It could also be Veronica’s aforementioned kiss for her father, and even though he survives the episode (I mean, he just got here), I wouldn’t rule out future incident.

As it turns out, the episode title blatantly refers to the final moments, when — SURPRISE — we head over to the other side of the tracks to see Mrs. Grundy, Archie’s former music teacher / secret and very inappropriate lover. Guess who’s back, back again. Grundy’s back, hide your underage friends.

The CW
The CW

Geraldine Grundy is just finishing up a piano lesson with her latest student / sexual prey, and kisses him goodnight. The ominous music cue drops…and it’s the theme from Rosemary’s Baby. (I can think of nothing more appropriate than using music from a horror film directed by a sexual predator.)

Just then, the masked man who shot Fred comes up behind Grundy and strangles her to death. How’s that for a twist(ed) ending?

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