Throughout its first season CW's Riverdale delivered a show full of murder, plot twists, high school relationships, and a surprising amount of incest. The show takes the classic comics about Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) and his friends and turns them on their head, adding Gossip Girl style drama and Veronica Mars teen sleuthing alongside Twin Peaks vibes. The freshman show kept fans guessing while thoroughly entertained.
Riverdale's shocking season finale left fans immediately clamoring for the second season, which will begin production next month. There are plenty of questions that need to be answered, new characters set to appear, and perhaps another death that will need to be investigated. There are also plenty of things to look forward to seeing.
There are also a lot of places where Riverdale could look to improve in the future. The first season had a lot going on as the show rushed to wrap up the murder of Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines) before the second season was a guarantee. With more time (and potentially more episodes) to work with the show can flesh out the supporting characters while still giving us Archie, Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse).
Here is What We Need To See In Season 2 Of Riverdale.
15 Sabrina The Teenage Witch
It's no secret that Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is a Sabrina the Teenage Witch fan. He writes the spin-off comics Afterlife with Archie and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which feature the character. Aguirre-Sacasa has spoken about his desire to get the character onto the show, but not being able to because of the story the first season was already telling.
Fans were hoping to see the teenage witch in the season finale after hearing Betty's "Something wicked this way comes" in the trailer for the episode (and remembering that Apa promised as much at San Diego Comic Con Last year). However, despite all the clues, Sabrina was nowhere to be found.
Riverdale has started out in the mystery genre, but that doesn't mean they cannot add supernatural elements. As Aguirre-Sacasa has pointed out Twin Peaks did this with much success. The show's supernatural elements have already been teased with the appearance of Jason in both ghost and zombie forms. And with the second season already promising to be darker, adding a witch to stir things up wouldn't be out of the question.
14 Themed Episodes
Episode seven of Riverdale, "In a Lonely Place", opened with a dream sequence that featured the characters dressed in their classic Archie comics attire. It was a really fun moment for fans who were excited to see Archie in his crooked bowtie and Jughead in his crown (not just a beanie). Now imagine an entire themed episode that pays homage to the comics in a similar way.
At WonderCon, the show's stars expressed their enthusiasm for the idea of an Afterlife With Archie Halloween-themed episode. If the show isn't going to fully embrace a stranger tone, a themed episode could be a fun way for everyone to get what they want. Or having other episodes that revolve around holidays. Who wouldn't want to see an episode centered around a joint Blossom/Cooper family Thanksgiving?
There are a lot of fun ways a themed episode could bring in storylines from the comics without completely derailing the season's storyline.
13 More High School Drama
The question of who killed Jason Blossom was answered by a group of high school students (who later wrote about in their school's newspaper). Much of the season revolved around the Riverdale gang sneaking into places they shouldn't be going, putting themselves in dangerous situations, and mostly making us wonder what the adults on this show were doing (scheming themselves, probably). Riverdale is one of those shows that has to deal with the fact that its characters are still in high school and all that entails. They are still kids, for the most part.
Some of the show's best episodes have taken place at Riverdale High School, including Betty and Veronica's take down of slut-shamer Chuck Clayton (Jordan Calloway) and the events leading up to the homecoming dance. Being a teenager is a complex space to navigate, especially with all the drama that is regularly occurring in Riverdale. How does Betty feel after being bullied by her fellow students for supporting FP? Are any of them thinking about college?
The balance of teenage life and a murder cases is something Veronica Mars did very well. Riverdale could learn from their example and find a way to balance real issues alongside all the sleuthing.
12 Storylines for Kevin and Reggie
Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) and Reggie Mantle (Ross Butler) are two important characters in the history of Archie comics. In 2010, Kevin was introduced as the comic's first openly gay character. Reggie Mantle has been around since the early days of Archie acting as a fellow jock who and sometimes rival love interest for Veronica. However on Riverdale, both Kevin and Reggie are sidelined for a majority of the series without any real storylines of their own.
There is good news regarding both characters, though. Cott has been promoted to a series regular, which hopefully means fans will be getting to see a lot more of Kevin and his hilarious quips next season. Aguirre-Sacasa also promised we will see more of Reggie and made that clear when they recast the character because of his importance (due to Butler's busy schedule). There is plenty the show could explore, from Reggie's reaction to Archie being labeled the town's hero to Kevin's feelings about being caught in the middle of his sheriff father (Martin Cummins) and his friends.
11 More '80s & '90s Guest Stars
Usually on teenage shows the parents are an unwanted distraction from the adventures of the main characters. Riverdale is the exception and that has everything to do with casting. Having the parents of these kids played by actors who were teenage stars themselves is a nice passing of the torch and a nod to the lasting cultural power of these shows. A whole new generation is now being introduced to Madchen Amick, Luke Perry, Skeet Ulrich, and Molly Ringwald because of this show.
There are plenty of fun opportunities to add more of these actors to the Riverdale. We still haven't seen the mysterious family from across town who took Jughead in-- or his mother for that matter. Maybe Neve Campbell can reunite with her Scream and The Craft co-star Ulrich or Tiffani Thiessen with Perry from 90210 if they need someone to play her.
10 The Birth of the Blossom/Cooper Twins
One of the many shocking reveals of the first season of Riverdale is that Polly Cooper (Tiera Skovbye) and Jason Blossom are actually related. (Well, they're third cousins, but still.) This adds another complicated layer to the upcoming birth of their twins. There is already so much bad blood between the families it's hard to say if adding children to the mix will make things any better. Are they just going to split the babies up and give one to each family?
Kids can drastically change the dynamics of a show. Riverdale could use this as an opportunity to demonstrate how being a young, single mother affects Polly. It could also serve as a moment that brings the Cooper family closer together, putting their rocky season one past aside and look to the future.
However, when the Blossoms are involved you know things won't stay peaceful for too long. Penelope (Nathalie Boltt) and Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) are the last Blossoms left and some new blood could be the perfect way to rebuild their family name. They're not going to go down without a fight.
9 Deeper Look At Mental Health
The kids on Riverdale have been through a lot. One of their friends was killed. Almost all of them have had their parents accused of murder at one point or another. Jughead's dad is in jail. Veronica has learned about her father's dark side. Cheryl's father and brother are dead. All the characters are handing the events of the first season in different ways, but not all are handing it well.
In the season finale, Cheryl tried to kill herself in order to be with her twin brother. While Archie and crew managed to save her, the act is never discussed and Cheryl is seen at Veronica's house after, rather than at a hospital. Later she goes on to burn down her family's home, an act of symbolic cleansing, but also not one of a healthy individual.
The second season of Riverdale should take a look at how these events have changed the characters. Cheryl's actions were a cry for help - as indicated by her text to Veronica - and one that should not go unmentioned. Betty's self-harm also has yet to be addressed. The show would be stronger for making a point to discuss these issues that many real teenagers face.
8 A More Emotionally Mature Archie
In a show that is supposed to be all about Archie Andrews, the character has come off as one of the weakest in the main cast. Compared to his classmates, he comes across as naive and the least emotionally mature, despite his good intentions. The season finale was when fans got to see who Archie could be for the first time, until all that was dashed by the shooting of his father.
This is the moment when Archie officially loses his innocence. He was always the character who could see the good in Riverdale despite the problems lurking underneath. He believed the best in people. Now with his father bleeding out (and potentially dying) in his arms, all that is set to change. It will be interesting to see how Archie will change over the season as he is forced to come face to face with this disillusionment - and as a result, face the darkness inside himself. It could help give the character the emotional depth he's been lacking in this first season.
7 An Exploration of Jughead's Sexuality
In the 2016 Jughead comic written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Erica Henderson it was revealed that the character was asexual. Since then and before Riverdale even came out, some fans have been outspoken about wanting the show to portray the character in the same way. Many were disappointed when Jughead began to romance Betty. The two even almost managed to consummate their relationship after saying "I love you", but were interrupted.
Aguirre-Sacasa has spoken about the fluid nature of sexuality and the fact that people discover where they are at different times. Sprouse has also voiced his desire to keep the character asexual. However, the CW loves nothing more than good love triangle. And many other fans have already hop aboard the "Bughead" train.
Only time will tell if things will change for Jughead, but the show could use a storyline about his asexuality as a way to bring more visibility to a group of people who are severely lacking representation in mainstream media.
Riverdale High School is home to not just Archie and his friends, but their parents as well. Throughout the first season, the show hinted at the history the adult characters share. This includes the uneasy relationship between FP Jones (Skeet Ulrich) and Alice Cooper (Madchen Amick), who used to be a South Side Serpent herself. As the lives of these characters become more and more intertwined, it would be interesting to see where it all began.
Flashbacks would help give another layer to the relationships and characters we already know. They could be used to call comparisons to their children or to parallel the current drama taking place. Plus, seeing Riverdale in the 1980s would be a fun way to play with costumes and to show how much the town has (or hasn't really) changed over the years.
5 Reveal of Betty's Secret Brother
In the season finale of Riverdale, Alice revealed to Betty that she had another child before Polly. Because Alice was in high school at the time, she gave up this baby for adoption. The pregnancy was apparently the reason Alice and Hal (Lochlyn Munro) were fighting before their prom as FP reminds them during dinner before the homecoming dance.
But what if that wasn't the only reason? What if Hal and Alice were fighting not just because she was pregnant, but because she was pregnant with another man's child? All the other families are already connected, why not the Coopers and the Joneses too? It would help explain the animosity between Hal and FP.
No matter who the father is, it's safe to bet that Betty will be putting her Nancy Drew skills to use to track down her long-lost brother in the upcoming season.
4 More Josie & the Pussycats
It has been refreshing to see Josie (Ashleigh Murray) and her Pussycats, Valerie (Hayley Law) Melody (Asha Bromfield), played by black women. However, the Pussycats haven't had much to do throughout the first season outside of performing at school functions. Their characters have been defined in terms of the characters around them, especially Archie. Their first season storylines revolved around the Pussycats temporarily breaking up because of Archie, allowing Archie to play with them on a number of occasions, and Val briefly dating him.
In the second season, Josie, Val, and Melody deserve storylines of their own. Besides the fact that Val dated Archie, we know little about her character. And we know even less about Melody. Josie's fraught relationship with her musician father Myles (Reese Alexander) was touched upon, but there is definitely room to expand more on the pressure she faces as the perfectionist child of two Type A parents.
It is great that Riverdale is such a diverse show, but it is important not just to cast diverse actors. These characters need as much agency and development as the rest of the cast for any real progress to take place.
3 "Dark" Betty
In the third episode of Riverdale, "Body Double", fans were introduced to a different, darker side of good girl next door Betty Cooper. Betty tortures Chuck, who keeps a notebook ranking girls the football players have had sexual encounters with, by putting on a wig and chaining him in a hot tub. It was a shocking moment, especially when Betty didn't seem to remember what happened later on. For awhile fans speculated that maybe "Dark" Betty had killed Jason.
We have seen the pressure Betty faces from her mother to be perfect and the toll it takes on her. She has been seen digging her nails into her hands to make herself bleed as a way to cope. There is a lot lurking under the surface of this character. With her boyfriend possibly turning into a South Side Serpent and her best friend's father potentially dying, there is a good chance we will see this darker side of Betty again.
2 Hiram Lodge As the New Big Bad
One of the most anticipated parts of the next season of Riverdale is the introduction of Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos). The character loomed large in the first season despite the fact that he wasn't seen (and in jail). His character will shake up things not just for Veronica and Hermione (Marisol Nichols), but the whole town.
One of the recurring themes in the Archie comics is Hiram's disapproval of Archie. He does not think Archie is good enough to date his daughter and is not afraid to let the red-headed football player know. His arrival will definitely have an impact on Veronica and Archie's budding relationship and may be one of the factors that helps push Archie back towards his blonde best friend.
Hiram also has a hand in a lot of Riverdale's shadier dealings. He looks to be a big player in the upcoming season, whether he had a hand in Fred's shooting or not.
1 The Answer To Who Shot Fred Andrews
In the closing minutes of Riverdale finale, Fred Andrews was shot in Pop's Diner. At first it seemed like a robbery gone wrong, but as Jughead explained in his voiceover, it was no accident. Fred was the target. But why? Was it Hiram Lodge who wanted his business and romantic rival dead? Is this somehow connected to the Blossoms and their drug dealings? Is it a new villain we have yet to meet? The wheels of next season's big mystery have already been set in motion and it's anyone's guess as to what will happen next.
Another question that has been left unanswered is Fred's fate. Will he survive? And if he doesn't what will it mean for Archie? Whether Fred lives or dies, things will change for the Andrews family and the rest of Riverdale as they deal with the fallout of the shooting and what it all means for their once idyllic town.
We'll be eagerly awaiting the return of Riverdale to see how they answer this question and more in season two.
What are you hoping to see in Riverdale season 2? Let us know in the comments!