Fred's life was in critical condition, Hiram Lodge returned to the town of Riverdale, and a familiar character was murdered by the mysterious gunman on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 1.
Below, TV Fanatics Paul Dailly, Jack Ori and Justin Carreiro debate Cheryl standing up to her mother, the curious case of evil Hermione, and their predictions of the gunman's identity.
1. Archie is now protecting his family at night with a baseball bat. Do you think the gunman will return to his house to finish the job?
Paul: Considering that the gunman went after Ms. Grundy, that confirms whoever it was wanted both Fred and the disgraced teacher dead.
Jack: I doubt it. It seems like the gunman is going after people tangential to Archie, not Archie himself. At any rate, I don't know what Archie was doing with that bat. I don't think it would do him any good if the guy pulled a gun on him.
Justin: I think Fred is safe for now. The attack was a way to make a message and potentially murder Fred in the process. We should worry about Archie doing something reckless to stop this person from ever returning.
2. Cheryl finally stood up to her mother about the abuse. Do you think Penelope will keep the house fire secret?
Paul: For sure. Who would really take anything Penelope says seriously these days? She's been the icy Queen of Thornhill for years, and now the town knows the true extent of the deceit that went on behind closed doors. Everyone will be talking about her, and nobody will stop to check how she's doing.
Jack: I think she's forced to for now. Cheryl literally has her life in her hands. But, I'm willing to be she's going to try to find some way to get the upper hand again.
Justin: Penelope will have to keep the secret. She's hiding many secrets of her own, and even Cheryl brought up one looming secret still left about Clifford and the barn. The Blossoms still have too much to lose.
3. Fred dreams of attending Archie's graduation, engagement and wedding. What did you think of the hallucinations?
Paul: I liked the hallucinations. He was thinking of all the things he would miss if he died and that made his fight for survival more intriguing.
Jack: These sequences were my favorite part of the premiere! They really humanized Fred and showed how much he stood to lose if he died now.
Justin: I'm happy we got to see Fred's inner thoughts and goals. It showed his desires that at this heart, he is a good father who wants to be there for Archie and share those milestones with him. It's pretty heartwarming.
4. Hiram Lodge made his first appearance on Riverdale and it was eerie. Could he and Hermione be the new villains of the series?
Paul: Of course. Hermione's demeanor changed dramatically on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 1, and I think part of that is down to having Hiram back around. The town best prepare for the worst if those two are waiting to take it over.
Jack: I think so. Hermione was creepy during the prayer scene, and Hiram demanding a kiss from his daughter was equally scary. Plus, I'm still not convinced Hiram doesn't have anything to do with the masked man shooting Fred.
Justin: It's no secret my thoughts about Hermione's ever-changing personality. As I mentioned in the review for Riverdale Season 2 Episode 1, I think the writers have settled on her being evil. With Hiram in town, both of them will try to reclaim the power and authority the Lodge name once had.
5. Ms. Grundy was murdered. React!
Paul: This was such a random development, but I knew it was happening because it was the final minute. The only thing interesting about it is that whoever made the call has a link to both Fred and Ms. Grundy.
Jack: That was shocking. I'm not sure why the killer targeted her. From the preview video, it seemed Archie believes people are going after those he cares about, but Ms. Grundy disappeared a long time ago and surely it would make more sense to go after Jughead, Betty or Veronica if that was the motive.
I keep thinking about Ms. Grundy's claim that she was running from an abusive ex and wondering how that will play into this story. I guess the killings are connected because of the call, but I keep thinking there's a twist and they're not anyway.
Justin: I knew Ms. Grundy would return at some point to Riverdale; her goodbye seemed too open-ended. The fact she was murdered, however, is something I didn't expect. Whoever wanted to kill her had to go out of their way to find her and get their revenge.
6. Prediction time! Who do you think killed Ms. Grundy/shot Fred?
Paul: I have absolutely no idea who is behind the mask, but I have one theory on who could have orchestrated it. Right now, Mary would make the most sense to me. She has been vocal in the past about Riverdale being a terrible town and wanting Archie to move away with her.
What if she had this all planned so that Fred and Archie agreed to move with her? Then, taking Grundy out was just a little bit of revenge because she preyed on her son. Random, I know, but it's the best conclusion I could come to about the whole thing!
Jack: No idea! I thought Hiram was behind Fred's attack (why no one thought of that instead of assuming it was a Serpent is beyond me), but what would he have to do with Ms. Grundy?
I liked Paul's theory. That would be an interesting twist; though, I doubt she wanted her ex-husband to die. It will be more dramatic if it turns out the person is someone of importance to at least one of the kids...so the Lodges being involved or FP orchestrating it from jail would work. Though, I have no idea why any of them would go after Ms. Grundy.
Justin: I love Paul's theory! It makes sense for Mary to order the hit because it would give her sole custody of Archie and it got revenge on Ms. Grundy for taking her son's virginity. On the other hand, I'm not sure why, but Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy are some of my guesses too.
Hiram and Hermione are too obvious as suspects. Having Mayor McCoy "clean up" the town as it were could be a possibility, and Sheriff Keller is her loyal lapdog. But, that is my stretch theory; Mary seems like a good one at the moment.
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.