We’re back for another season of Riverdale, and another round of Jughead waxing poetic. As the citizens of Riverdale wake up for the day after the Jubilee, Jughead proclaims that the town is still haunted.
Archie drives Fred’s truck down a winding, snowy road, despite, as Jughead points out, not having his license yet. He tries to console Fred, who lays in the passenger seat bleeding.
Archie gets his dad to the hospital without wrecking the truck, something Jughead calls “a miracle.” He carries Fred into the hospital, screaming for help, as nurses quickly come to his aid. Fred is wheeled off in a stretcher, and Archie watches as the staff prep him for surgery.
Suddenly, a camera flash! Archie and the gang stand in graduation attire, as Fred hesitates to take a group photo of them. He says that he never thought he’d live to see the day that Archie graduates from high school, and Archie’s friends proclaim that he didn’t live to see it. The masked man from Pops lurks in the hallway, before entering and firing off a gun.
Surgeons begin to operate on Fred.
Alice asks Betty what she did after the Jubilee. Once Betty says that she and Jughead went to FP’s trailer, Alice begins lecturing her on safe sex. Betty explains that nothing happened, because the Serpents interrupted them. Alice starts ranting about how she knew Jughead would end up joining the Serpents. Betty ignores Alice, answering a phone call from Archie.
Veronica sits down for breakfast, and Hermione raises an eyebrow at the mimosa she’s drinking, saying that the champagne Veronica used was supposed to be for Hiram’s return. Veronica interrupts her, getting a phone call from Betty.
Jughead then gets a phone call from Betty too, and leaves on a motorcycle.
The trio arrive at the hospital, along with their parents, and console Archie. Archie recounts the shooting to his friends. Jughead applauds him for saving so many lives recently. Archie leaves the group to call Mary.
Alice groans at Jughead, accusing the Serpents of shooting Fred.
Archie calls Mary and cries as he tells her what happened. He asks her to come help them.
The title card flashes onscreen.
Sheriff Keller asks Archie what he remembers about the shooter. Archie says he had no symbols on his jacket, and that he most remembers his “black hood.” Archie clams up, saying that nothing happened in between the gunman shooting Fred and leaving the diner. Jughead asks if robbery really was the motive, and Keller suggests that someone shot Fred because they had a grudge against him.
Veronica confides in Betty, saying that she feels like she doesn’t know how to help Archie through this.
Jughead confronts Archie, asking if he was hiding something from Keller. Archie brings up the feud between Fred, Lodge Industries, and the Serpents. Jughead offers to ask around the Serpents to see.
Fred’s doctor comes in. He says that although they removed the bullet, Fred isn’t able to breathe on his own. Veronica decides to take Archie back to the Andrews house.
Fred and Archie stand in the Andrews & Son construction trailer, with Fred proclaiming that he doesn’t want to leave yet. Archie tells Fred that he can’t change his mind yet, because his family - or rather, his dead family members - are waiting for him.
Archie returns home and tries to take Vegas out for a walk. Veronica volunteers, while Archie changes his clothes.
Archie, with a different jacket on, joins Veronica and Vegas on a walk. He talks about how Vegas has grown close to Fred, even though he was initially supposed to be Archie’s dog.
Jughead meets with the Serpents outside of the hospital. They agree to help him find something out.
Archie takes a shower. Veronica checks in on him, and then decides to join him in the shower.
Keller and Betty talk about what happened with Jughead at the trailer. Keller is delighted to hear that they said they loved each other, but thinks its bad that Jughead is joining the serpents.
Cheryl arrives in the hospital, with her mom covered in burns. She recounts the fire, and how her mom saved her from dying in it.
Veronica and Archie unpack Fred’s bag of clothes. Archie realizes that his wallet is missing, and gets frustrated that they’re even here. He asks Veronica to leave, but she decides that she isn’t going anywhere. Archie starts crying, and they embrace.
Archie answers a phone call from Keller. He goes to the station, where Keller has accumulated a lineup of suspects. Archie doesn’t recognize any of the suspects.
Veronica tells Betty and Jughead about the missing wallet. Jughead reiterates that it could be a planned attack against Fred.
Betty reluctantly agrees to ride Jughead’s motorcycle.
Veronica confronts Hermione, who’s praying in the hospital’s chapel. She brings up Jughead’s theory - that someone tied to the Serpents ordered a hit on Fed. She accuses Hermione of ordering the hit. And Hermione tells Veronica to behave around her parents or else.
Reggie and the Pussycats console Archie at the hospital. Archie is allowed to go into Fred’s room.
Archie talks to Fred by his bedside.
Suddenly, we’re in Pop’s. Archie tells Fred that he’s planning to propose to Veronica. Fred shares the news with Pop, who points out something new - a growing wound in Fred’s abdomen.
Jughead and Betty enter Pop’s. They update Pop on Fred’s status, then search for his wallet. Pop reveals that he knows very little about the robbery, but that he knows the thief didn’t steal any money. He accuses him of being more than a thief - more like an angel of death.
Betty doesn’t find the wallet, but Pop offers them food, which Jughead accepts. Betty addresses her worry of Jughead becoming a Serpent. Jughead explains that the Serpent stuff makes him feel closer to FP. Betty still worries that Jughead will hurt someone in the process.
Cheryl talks to Penelope, who’s finally awake in her hospital bed. She tells her that she’s lying to everyone about what happened with the fire. In reality, Cheryl started the fire. Penelope ran back into the house to save the Blossom family portrait. She threatens to tell the truth about Clifford’s suicide, if Penelope tells anyone the truth about the fire. Cheryl then calls out her mother for abusing her, and says that she’ll be in control now.
Veronica returns to the hospital with a new wallet for Fred. Archie gets choked up, saying that Veronica doesn’t deserve him. He begins to tell her the truth about what happened at Pop’s, but Jughead and Pop come in with burgers for everybody.
Later that night, Archie tells Veronica, Betty, and Jughead about what really happened with the shooting. He reveals that he didn’t immediately rush to Fred’s aid, instead being frozen in fear that the gunman would shoot him as well. He accuses himself of being a coward, and worries that the gunman will come back to hurt someone.
Archie finds Cheryl standing by Fred’s bedside. She says that she’s trying to help Fred, as payback for Archie saving her own life at the river. She leaves, and Archie sits by Fred’s bedside. He starts talking about the conversation they would’ve had at Pop’s - about Veronica, and how Fred doesn’t want them to rush things.
Suddenly, Veronica and Archie are getting married in a field. Fred watches from the wedding party, before realizing who’s in the crowd - Clifford and Jason Blossom. The gunman walks down the aisle, and Fred runs in front of Archie to shield him from the gunfire.
In the present day, Fred wakes up.
Archie apologizes for not having done more during the robbery, and promises to protect Fred. Fred argues that he came back to protect Archie.
Jughead offers to drive Betty home on his motorcycle, but she declines. She acknowledges Jughead’s comments about the Serpents, and says she supports him through it. They kiss.
Jughead returns back to the trailer on his motorcycle. Two of the Serpents are inside, with a man they believed to be the gunman. They eventually learned he wasn’t, but still wanted to bring him to the trailer to prove they’d done what Jughead asked.
Veronica arrives home to find both Hermione and Hiram. Hiram accuses her of being disrespectful, and gets her to kiss him on the cheek. She then tells her parents that Fred woke up.
Jughead waxes poetic again, as Mary helps Fred recover in the Andrews house. Jughead reveals that Archie now has a vendetta, to protect his dad, and all of Riverdale, from the Black Hood.
But as Jughead puts it, the Angel of Death was stalking somewhere else - the nearby town of Greendale. A teenage boy gets piano lessons from Ms. Grundy, and then leaves her house with a kiss. Grundy picks up things around her house, before the Black Hood comes up behind her and strangles her.