Riverdale Season 2 started off with a bang, and the careening of a truck through the streets of Riverdale, as Archie desperately raced to get his father to the hospital, despite not actually knowing how to drive. The opening episode was full of tripping imagery from Fred's POV as he struggled to come back from the brink of death. But even though he survived this attempt on his life, will Archie's dad still die?
It turns out, for all the theorizing this summer that Fred Andrews was gunned down by an assassin hired by one of the Lodges (either Hiram or Hermione), or maybe taken out by someone with a vendetta, the killer is someone who is thinking far more... big picture, shall we say? Pops nicknamed the Man in the Black Mask "The Angel of Death," and though I've always been more partial to calling men in black masks the Dread Pirate Roberts, it seems that Pop's nickname has stuck.
This changes the game a bit. No longer do we think that Fred was gunned down over some silly land deal... or because of his affair with Hermione... or for knowing too much about the Blossoms and the Coopers... or any of those other theories that would have been small picture motives.
Instead, this is a man who is being hunted by, well, the Angel of Death himself – Azrael, as the religious among us might term him. And this murdering, wallet-stealing, green-eyed Angel, who is neither rounded up by sheriff's line up or by the Southside Serpents, isn't just taking out Fred. He's got a list of names, and there's more than one red underlined.
But here's the catch: Fred survived. The Angels of Death may have moved on by the end of the episode to other victims like Miss Grundy, what happens when he finds out that he's prematurely checked off the box of this line item? How long until gossip reaches our angle that Fred survived, and is home, convalescing just fine?
Archie might be in the wrong place at the end of this episode to stop the Angel from killing again, but that doesn't mean that eventually the Angel will find their GSP telling them to make a U turn back to the Andrews location to finish the job.
What then? It's one thing to stop a killer who is, say angry because they've been laid off from the job site. It's one thing for Hermione or Hiram to be sending an assassin to do Fred in. These can, in the end, have reason talked into them.
Someone who lost their job can be promised a new one. Someone who Hermione or Hiram paid to kill Fred can be rebought, and their fee redoubled for not going through with the act. But an Angel of Death? Someone who, from the looks of their second victim might be functioning as a vigilante type? Or maybe just going after people Archie cares for?
Or in the case of Fred, conducting affairs with the married mother of his son's best girl? This is not a one off killer who can be reasoned with. This is a serial killer on a mission. One might as well argue that their immortal soul is just fine, please ignore the stains of my daily sinning.
A serial killer in Riverdale will certainly up the stakes this season, and if he's the type to go around killing folks for their immortal sins, there's certainly enough to keep him going all season. We'll have to see if he comes back for Fred to finish the job next week.