Riverdale Ep. 14 recap “Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying”

WHAT an episode. WHAT. AN. EPISODE.

Ladies and gentlemen: Riverdale is back.

Last season’s cliffhanger was a tough one to deal with. Fred Andrews was shot in the middle of Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe, leaving everyone in a state of panic for the last several months. Or just me, but seriously. The death of Luke Perry will NOT be taken lightly.

Much of the episode revolves around the gang as they gather at the hospital to support Archie. I think literally everyone at Riverdale High is there, and it’s a hilarious way to bring back all the characters.

The second season still continues with Jughead’s voiceover. Despite it being ages for us, in the Riverdale world it really is only the day after the mayor’s jubilee. The happiness promised that night are clearly vanquished that next morning.

Juggie tells about Archie’s race through Riverdale (deemed by Juggie “a haunted town”) to get Fred to the hospital. Once there, Fred goes straight into surgery. Archie calls Betty, who sends out the Bat Signal and we see the wholesome quartet together again. Archie makes his excuses and goes to call his mom. He tells her to come to Riverdale “incase we have to say goodbye” which brings up all the feelings.

In the waiting room, Alice Coopers immediately begins stirring up trouble. Betty continues to be insanely honest with her mother. Over breakfast, Betty told her mom that she almost slept with Jughead and that he’s considering becoming a Southside Serpent.

But Alice’s concerns are not entirely misplaced. Despite the sheriff thinking otherwise, many people in the hospital waiting room suspect that there was an actual hit on Fred. Both Fred and Hermione Lodge had fired the Serpents that were working for them on the construction site. It wouldn’t be completely out of the question that one of them wanted revenge.

Jughead goes to his Serpent protectors and asks them to do some digging for him. He isn’t as convinced as Alice that the Serpents are involved, but sensibly doesn’t rule out that it could have been an individual acting alone.

After Archie gets the news that Fred is out of surgery, he’s convinced to go home with Veronica where they “clean up” and “take care of things” as young couples do. But Archie loses it when he realises that his father’s wallet is missing.

Betty and Jughead go to Pop’s together to look for the missing wallet. There they also question Pop Tate about the shooting. He tells them that the hooded man didn’t steal any money from the register. That eliminates the robbery excuse from the sheriff’s list.

At Pop’s, Jughead and Betty have a conversation about his alliance to the Serpents. He admits then that he’s not staying with the foster family, but will be staying at his dad’s vacant trailer. Despite not understanding initially, The Incredible Betty eventually tells him that she understands and will support him. But she’s probably be less happy when Jughead returns to the trailer and finds a bloodied man tied up.

Two of the Serpents tell him that they wanted to prove that they would do whatever he asked. The tied-up man is innocent, but they’d do anything to prove their loyalty to Jughead’s papa. Grim, but nice?

Archie later admits to the gang that he froze while at Pop’s. He didn’t even do anything when there was a gun to his head. He believes that while he was frozen, the hooded man stole his dad’s wallet. But why, kids? Certainly it wasn’t for the money.

So who’s the next likely suspect? Veronica thinks it’s her mother. With her father’s impending arrival, Veronica is convinced that her mother was trying to do away with Fred, whom she had an affair with. She straight up confronts her mom with it – saying that Hermione could have hired a hitman.

Probably not a great idea, poor girl. When her father does arrive it’s to a very frosty environment. But welcome to Riverdale, Hiram.

Ah, and Cheryl Blossom. Don’t worry. The crazy lady is back in her full glory. Remember her burning down her house? Her mother suffered third-degree burns from the fire. At the end of season 2, both women are seen standing outside the house, so why did Penelope go back into the house? Cheryl tells everyone that her mom went in to save her from the fire. But later, Cheryl threatens her mom: keep silent or she reveals what really happened to her father in the barn.

But it seems to be Cheryl who makes the different in Fred’s life when she gives him the “kiss of life”.

Throughout the episode, Fred has dreams of Archie telling him to move on. Fred sees Archie at different points in his life: graduating, taking over the company, his proposal and eventual marriage to Veronica. When Fred awakes, Archie begins to tell his dead that he will do anything to keep him safe. But Fred tells his son that he only came back to protect him.

And all seems well…relatively. The folks of Riverdale begin to settle down. But across the river in Greendale, Archie’s Angel of Death is ready to strike again. Poor Ms Grundy Jennifer sends off her latest prey, only to fall victim to the green-eyed man. He kills her off with her own bow. And this raises all sorts of questions.

Why Ms Grundy? Is it to get to Archie? That’s pretty unlikely. So what about Jennifer’s abusive ex-husband she was trying to escape? If it was personal, it’s a strange way to kill someone. But boy, has Riverdale opened up another good mystery.

At MCM Comic Con in London last May, Archie actor KJ Apa spoke about how close he was with Perry, and it’s incredibly evident throughout the episode. Apa is great in this episode, particularly when Perry is in the scene with him. I’m so happy Fred Andrews lives, because I’m not sure I could handle the show without his boyish charms.

Bonus points for the use of Rosemary’s Baby “Lullaby” at the end of the episode. Chills everywhere.

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