WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Riverdale
Riverdale's freshman season ended on a cliffhanger that will have huge implications for its central character, Archie Andrews. An instant hit for The CW, Riverdale, based on the Archie Comics characters, drew audiences in with a chilling murder mystery at the heart of the show, and a group of friends who were determined to find out the truth. Once it had been discovered that the late Jason Blossom had been murdered by his own dad, fans of the show might have been hoping for a brief reprieve before season two picked up with a new plot, but that wasn't to be.
In one of the final scenes of the season, Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) went to meet his dad Fred (Luke Perry) for breakfast at Pop's Diner, the local hangout and the one place where everyone feels at home. It was at that point that a masked gunman burst in and shot Fred, in an attack that we later learned was targeted. It certainly left fans reeling, and in an interview with Vulture, Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed the impact it has on Archie, comparing him to another famous comic book character who's parents were killed in front of him:
"This is a huge impact for Archie, obviously. What happened to Fred is like Bruce Wayne seeing his parents gunned down in Crime Alley in Gotham City. It completely changes him and it galvanizes him and gives him purpose."
Sacasa refused to confirm or deny Fred's death, but did confirm that he will appear in the season 2 premiere, at least. Don't get your hopes up, though; it could well be the only episode Perry does appear in. The shooting of Fred reflects the steadily darker path that Riverdale has taken throughout its first season, so we can no doubt expect even more to come in season two as we (along with Betty, Jughead, Veronica and Archie, no doubt) try to work out who shot Fred and why. He was the mainstay of Riverdale; steadfast and dependable, and well-liked by everyone, but there were hints that he had angered Hiram Lodge by having an affair with his wife, Hermione. With Hiram's arrival in Riverdale now imminent (he's to be played by Mark Consuelos), could jealous revenge be a motive, or has Fred made an enemy elsewhere that we don't know about?
Undoubtedly, the mystery over who shot Fred Andrews will be the driving force of season 2, and the effect it has on Archie and in turn, his relationship with Veronica, and his friendships with Betty and Jughead. That said, there's also plenty more plotlines to be explored in Riverdale season 2, such as Cheryl's recuperation from her father killing her brother and then committing suicide, and Jughead joining the South Side Serpents.
Riverdale season 1 is now available for streaming on Netflix. Season 2 will air on The CW in 2018