The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper

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Television Review

Riverdale Returns

The second murderous season shows no sign of murdering itself

Riverdale ― Netflix, Thursdays

After last season’s tragic cliffhanger, in which we saw Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) shot by a rogue gunman in Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe, the return of Riverdale to Netflix has been highly anticipated by fans.

And it’s darker and sexier than ever.

“Fans are welcomed back with open arms by the familiar darkness, the bleach-dyed hair, the sex appeal, the ‘I’m a weirdo’ beanie and the blue neon lights of the diner’s sign.”

The premiere’s focus shifts back to Archie Andrews, the football player-come-musician who’d lost his voice by the end of last season, and become no more than a passive passer-by in the investigation of Jason Blossom’s murder. But now, in a desperate attempt to support his father, Archie is back centre stage, taking the status of ‘vulnerable hero’ in a vengeful and gripping narrative even more compelling than his washboard abs.

Already this episode is delivering the heightened theatrics which kept last season’s viewers hooked to the very end. Fans are welcomed back with open arms by the familiar darkness, the bleach-dyed hair, the sex appeal, the ‘I’m a weirdo’ beanie and the blue neon lights of the diner’s sign (as seen in the ominous season two posters with some letters flickered out to spell ‘DIE’). There’s a new killer in town, and despite viewers getting an up-close look at the hooded gunman’s face and green eyes, we are just as clueless about the identity of the killer as last season.

“With the Angel of Death looming in the shadows of this ever darkening and electrifying town, you’ll find yourself hugely satisfied and eager to tune in for more.”

You may be thinking, ‘Really, can the Riverdale writers stretch this storyline out for another season?’ Perhaps you are right to have your doubts, but with the Angel of Death looming in the shadows of this ever darkening and electrifying town, you’ll find yourself hugely satisfied and eager to tune in for more.

As if there wasn’t enough going on in this noir-style whodunit, the writers appear to be adding more weight to each character’s storyline. Jughead seems to be getting uncomfortably close to the Southside Serpents, Cheryl is taking control of her abusive mother, Veronica is unapologetically hostile towards her returning father, Hiram Lodge, and after last season we can only assume that Betty’s darker side (aka ‘Dark Betty’) is yet to be resurrected.

From the amount of conflict raised, it’s not surprising that the musical refrain of “So you want to start a war?” was chosen to echo over the final shots of the premiere. With a new character being picked off by the masked gunman at the end of each episode, we are left with the question: who will be the next casualty of the town’s ongoing battle with darkness?

Jughead’s corny A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Friday the 13th references aside, Riverdale’s return will not disappoint. The opening already being packed with drama, a steamy shower scene and even a wedding, viewers are guaranteed another addictive season.

Make sure to tune in to the latest episode every Thursday on Netflix.

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