01x01 - Chapter One: The River's Edge

Jughead: Our story is about a town, a small town, and the people who live in the town.

From a distance, it presents itself like so many other small towns all over the world...




Get closer, though, and you start seeing the shadows underneath.

The name of our town is Riverdale.

And our story begins, I guess, with what the Blossom twins did this summer.

On the Fourth of July, just after dawn, Jason and Cheryl Blossom drove out to Sweetwater River for an early morning boat ride.

Are you scared, Jason?


Jughead: The next thing we know happened for sure is that Dilton Doiley, who was leading Riverdale's Boy Scout Troop on a bird watching expedition, came upon Cheryl by the river's edge.


Riverdale Police dragged Sweetwater River for Jason's body, but never found it.

If he is dead, Hal, I hope in those last moments he suffered.

May Jason Blossom burn in hell.

Jughead: So a week later, the Blossom family buried an empty casket and Jason's death was ruled an accident, as the story that Cheryl told made the rounds.

That Cheryl dropped a glove in the water, and Jason reached down to get it, and accidentally tipped the boat, and panicked, and drowned.

As for us, we were still talking about the "July Fourth tragedy" on the last day of summer vacation, when a new mystery rolled into town.

Now brace yourself. The apartment's small, a pied-a-terre, but "quality, always."

"Quality, always."

Plus, it's the only piece of property in my name and not your father's.

Ms. Hermione!

Welcome home!


Oh, you are a sight for sore eyes.

How was the ride?

No traffic, thank God.

Smithers, I'd like to introduce you to my daughter, Veronica.

It's a pleasure, miss.


I'll get the bags.

Would you?

Oh, and would you like some menus, ma'am, so you can order in?

Oh, no. I have been craving one of Pop Tate's cheeseburgers since noon.

Is his Chock'lit Shoppe still open?

What is a Chock'lit Shoppe and why does it sell burgers?

Are you excited? Nervous?

Both. I haven't seen him all summer.

Which is why nerves are acceptable, but we agreed, Betty... It's time.

You like him, he likes you.

Well, then why, Kevin, hasn't he ever said or done anything?

Because Archie's swell, but like most millennial straight guys, he needs to be told what he wants.

So tell him, finally.

Well, we'll see. I mean, it depends.

Oh, my God!


Game-changer. Archie got hot!

He's got abs now.

Six more reasons for you to take that ginger bull by the horns tonight.

Archie: So, what was the highlight?

Betty: Of my internship?

The Toni Morrison book release party I organized, by far.

At the end of the night, Toni Morrison, who is, as you know, my literary hero, says to me...

Yes. Yes.

"Don't rush this time, Betty.

"It goes by so fast at your age.

"One summer can change everything."

Wow. That's so true.

How was working for your dad?

It was... Pouring concrete, every day, all day long.

To pass time, I would start composing these poems, in my head.

And at night, I'd go home, I'd write them down...

You don't even like reading poetry.

They weren't poems, they were song lyrics.

And working on them made me feel like...

What, Archie?

It made me feel like I'd finally broken through to something real.

About my life and what I should be trying to do with it.


Starting this year, tomorrow.


Will you ask Ms. Grundy to tutor you?

I'm not sure, maybe.

What about football?

Can you do both?

I'll try out, at least.

Well, have you told your dad?


Until I've got things more figured out, you're the only person I'm telling, okay?

Well, I'd love to hear them sometime.

Your songs.



Yeah, I'm finishing a couple of demos tonight.

Great. Also...

I've been thinking about us, Archie, and our friendship, and how it's time we... (FADING OUT)

I called in an order, for Lodge?

Two burgers, yeah, almost ready, but you gotta wait.

Veronica: Hi.


How are the onion rings here?

So good.

Can we get some onion rings, too, please?

Pop: Yeah.


My mom and I just moved here, so...

From where?

New York.


Do you guys go to Riverdale?

We do. Both of us. Together.

We're sophomores.

Veronica: Me too.

I'm filled with dread.

Why is that?

Are you familiar with the works of Truman Capote?

I'm Breakfast at Tiffany's, but this place is strictly In Cold Blood.


Veronica Lodge.

Archie Andrews.

Uh, this is Betty Cooper.

Wait, are you...

Supposed to give you your tour tomorrow? Yes.

I'm your peer mentor.

Do you want to join us?

Hey, maybe we can un-fill you with dread.

My mom's waiting for me.

But, to be continued.


What were you saying?


Hey, Dad. First day of school and I'm already late.

Hey, Vegas.

Hey, you, uh, you stopping by the site later?

Dad, it's my first day.

Oh, we got to get you going in the office, so next summer you're not on the crew.

Well, I can't. I've got football tryouts.

Or is that not okay?

No, it's, uh... It's okay. Good luck.


Alice: Betty. This coming year is critical for colleges.

Grades are important, extracurriculars, athletics.

Maintaining a decent character is hugely important, they do look at that.

Mom, I'm a sophomore.

You've accomplished so much, I don't want anything jeopardizing that.

I mean, just think of your poor sister.

She was such a shining star before she let that Blossom boy ruin her.

Mom, I'm not Polly.

You missed curfew last night.

By seven minutes.

I was with Archie, who has red hair, yes, but is nothing like Jason Blossom.

Oh, but sweetie, all boys are like Jason Blossom.


I love you so much, Elizabeth.

I just need you to be smart, okay?

And stay...


I refilled your Adderall.

Seems you forgot to pick up your prescription.


Bro, you are ready for football.

I'm not kidding you, dude. You got ripped.

Dude, you're a beast. Look at this arm, it's diesel!

How much are you benching, like 220? 225?

You got to give me some tips, man.

Romanian deadlifts, right? Taking some T?


Maca root?

Tribulus terrestris?

It's from working construction, Reg.

Oh, yeah, yeah, that's right. Yo, Moose.

Look who grew up over the summer.

Moose: Hey!

Reggie: Yo, be honest with me.

You work on any houses? Any private homes?

Yeah, a couple.

Did you tap some cougar ass this summer?

You know what, I think that's more a fantasy from your wank-bank, Reggie.

I'll catch you guys soon.

Peace out, brother.

Totally did it, bro.

He totally did it.

So, I usually start off my tours with a little history and context.

Riverdale High first opened its doors in 1941 and...

And hasn't been redecorated since, apparently.

Honestly, I feel like I'm wandering through the lost epilogue of Our Town.



So what's the social scene like here? Any night clubs?

A strip club called the Ho Zone and a tragic gay bar called Innuendo.

Friday nights, football games and then tailgate parties at the Mallmart parking lot.

Saturday night is movie night, regardless of what's playing at the Bijou, and you better get there early, because we don't have reserved seating in Riverdale.

And Sunday nights... Thank God for HBO.

Veronica Lodge, Kevin Keller.

Veronica's new here. Kevin is...

...gay, thank God.

Let's be best friends.

Is it true what they say about your dad?

That he's the devil incarnate?

I stand by my father.

Does everyone here know?

Wonderful. Ten minutes in and I'm already the Blue Jasmine of Riverdale High.




Excuse me, this is a closed rehearsal.

I'm sorry, I...

Josie, right?

I was hoping I could talk to you about some songs that I wrote?

Josie: Let me just stop you right there.

You're staring at our pussycat ears, which is rude, but let me break it, and them, down for you.

The Pussycats are building a brand, creating a signature look, okay? We're telling a story.

Last year, we won Rockland County's Battle of the Bands.

That we did.

This year, we'd like to build on that success, continue telling our story with songs we write.

I get that. It's just...

Read my glossed lips, Justin Gingerlake.




Oh, and of course there's the Back-to-School semiformal dance this weekend.


There's the hottie we were with last night.

The red-headed Ansel Elgort.

Is he your boyfriend?

No, he's straight.

No, we're just friends.

In that case, mind putting in a word?

I've tried every flavor of boy but orange.

Actually, to clarify...

Betty and Archie aren't dating, but they are endgame.

You should ask him to the semiformal then.

She should, but I heard it might be getting canceled.

Because of what happened to Jason.

They're gonna tell us at the assembly.

Who's Jason and what happened to him?

Cheryl: Thank you for that moment of silence.

Many of you were lucky enough to have known my brother personally.

Each and every one of you meant the world to Jason.

I loved my brother.

He was and always will be my soulmate.

So I speak with the confidence only a twin could have...

Jason wouldn't want us to spend the year mourning.

Jason would want us to move on with our lives.

Which is why I've asked the School Board not to cancel the Back-to-School semiformal.


But rather, to let us use it as a way to heal, collectively, and celebrate my brother's too, too short life on this mortal coil.

Thank you all.

Ms. Grundy? Hey.


What are you doing walking in this heat?

Um... Building character?


Do you want a ride?

Ms. Grundy. Ms. Grundy.


What can I do for you, Mr. Andrews?

Can we talk, Ms. Grundy, please?

It depends. About what?


You're the music teacher. Can we talk about music?

Of course.

Make an appointment.

During my office hours, my official office hours.

Hermione Lodge.


Well, my day just got a lot more interesting.

Hello, Fred.

How are you?


Can I get you anything? Would you like a water?

A job.

I saw on your website that you are looking for a seasonal hire, someone to help with the books?

Yeah, my guy's on paternity leave.

You know, I think my daughter's going to school with your son, isn't that funny?

We'll have to tell them that we knew each other, that we even dated, for a little while...

Well, at least until I...

...chose the rich kid.

And now, a reversal of fortune.

How's Mary doing?

She's in Chicago.

We split up. We're civil.

How about you?

How are you holding up? Really?


I have a little money saved.

I was praying that someone in Riverdale, maybe an old friend, would be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt.

If it were up to me.

Isn't it up to you? It's your company.

(SIGHS) Well, I have clients.

I can't very well have Hermione Lodge, the wife of Hiram Lodge, on trial for fraud and embezzlement, balancing my books.

Can I?


I suppose you can't.




Can I join?


What are we doing?

Listening to one of Archie's songs.

I thought we were going to have to pretend to like it, but it's actually really good.

Wait, that was you singing?

Something you wrote?

It's rough.

No, it's great.

It's incredible, actually, the little snippet I heard.

Is that your thing? Music?

Are you doing something with that?

Yeah, that's the plan.

So how's your first day going? Good?

Not to be a complete narcissist, but I thought people would be more...

Obsessed with you?

Any other year, you'd be trending number one, for sure.

This year, though, it's all about Cheryl trying to win the Best Supporting Psycho Oscar for her role as Riverdale High's bereaved Red Widow.

Hey, I should go. I got that meeting with Grundy and then football tryouts, so.

You play football, too? What don't you do?

Before you ask, Blue Jasmine, no, she has not invited him to the dance yet...

Not yet, and don't talk about Archie.

Veronica Lodge, I'd heard whisperings.

I'm Cheryl Blossom, may I sit?

Betty, would you mind?

So, what are you three hens gossiping about?

Archie's Efron-esque emergence from the chrysalis of puberty?


Weatherbee wants me to sign up for a few.

Cheerleading. You must.

I'm senior captain of the River Vixens.

Is cheerleading still a thing?

Is being the Gay Best Friend still a thing?

Some people say it's retro, I say it's eternal and iconic.

At Spence, I sat at the top of the Elites' pyramid.

I'm in.

Betty, you're trying out, too.

Of course, anyone's welcome to try out, but Betty's already got so much on her plate right now and being a Vixen is kind of a full-time thing.

But open to all!

Follow me on Twitter and I'll do the same.

My handle is @cherylbombshell.

Okay. Go ahead and hate on cheerleading, but if Hipster Prince Harry...

I'd love to be a cheerleader.

It would look great on my college applications.

But last year, when I tried out, Cheryl said I was too fat.

"Too season 5 Betty Draper."

It was a great line, but not at all true.

Well, you're a total smoke show now.

I mean it.

As hot and as smart as you are, you should be the Queen Bey of this drab hive.

Look, if you want to be a River Vixen, I'll help you prep. I have moves.

Okay. You know what? Show me your moves.



Very real, very personal.

I took your advice and wrote them down.

Polished them.

But I was wondering maybe if you could help me...

With what, Archie? (LAUGHS NERVOUSLY)

You went to Juilliard, Ms. Grundy.

There is no one else in Riverdale I can take lessons from.

Believe me, I've looked.

Well, I don't think that's a good idea.

(WHISPERING) I don't think we should be alone together.

If this is you trying to restart something that never should've started in the first...

No, it's not. It is about the music.

But it's also... (SIGHS)

Come on, I need to be able to talk about what happened with someone.

We heard what we heard and afterwards, we didn't do anything.

We didn't say anything.


We heard fireworks.

Who's lighting fireworks at 6:00 in the morning?

How would we explain why we were together at Sweetwater River at 6:00 a.m. on the Fourth of July?

And you're right.

We didn't say anything.

We're both going to have to live with that choice.

Do you understand?

I think you should pursue your music, but not with me.

We're blue! And go!

We're dynamite!

We'll take you down, and fight the fight!

Whoo! Go, Bulldogs!


Ladies, where's the heat? Where's the sizzle?

Well, you haven't seen our big finish yet.

(WHISPERING) Don't freak out. Just trust me.

Check your sell-by date, ladies, faux lesbian kissing hasn't been taboo since 1994.

So let's see if you do better with the interview portion of our audition.

Betty, how's your sister doing?

Um, Polly's fine, thanks for asking.

Veronica, has Betty told you about her sister yet?

Uh, no.

Go ahead, Betty.

Tell Veronica about your sister and my dear brother.

Polly and Jason dated.

(SCOFFS) I wouldn't say "dated".

It didn't end well.

In fact, Jason's probably why your sister had a nervous breakdown and now lives in a group home, isn't it?

That's what my parents think.

What do you have to say about that, Betty?

Go ahead, the floor is yours.

Whatever you've been dying to spew about Jason and how he treated Polly, unleash it.

Destroy me. Tear me a new one.

Rip me to shreds. Annihilate me.

I just...


I just wanted to say I'm sorry about what happened to Jason.

I can't even imagine what you and your family must be going through.


Veronica, welcome to the River Vixens.

Betty, better luck next time.

Wait, what? Why?

Because you couldn't bully Betty into being a bitch?

I need girls with fire on my squad.

I know what you need, Cheryl, because I know who you are.

You would rather people fear than like you, so you traffic in terror and intimidation.

You're rich, so you've never been held accountable, but I'm living proof.

That certainty, that entitlement you wear on your head like a crown?

It won't last.

Eventually, there will be a reckoning.


Maybe that reckoning is now.

And maybe, that reckoning...

Is me.

Betty and I come as a matching set.

You want one, you take us both.

You wanted fire?

Sorry, Cherrybombshell, my specialty's ice.


Go, get around him. Get around him.


Let's move.


There we go. Looking good.

What's up, Coach?


This is Jason's number.

It's yours now.

Usually, sophomores, they only play JV.

This year, we've got an open spot in varsity.

From what you've been showing us, well, I want you to fill it.

Varsity's got longer practices.

More away games.

Yeah, bigger commitment, yeah.

Well, I need to think about it, Coach. I...

Oh, what, you got something better to do?

My dad's company.

It's our family business, and he's sort of counting on me to help out after school, on weekends...

Hold up, Jackson, hold the ball.

You know what, why don't you sleep on it.

Let's go. Bring it in, guys. Come on.



Very Betty Draper, season 1.


Why did... Why did you defend me?

I know the crowd you ran with in New York.

Why are you being so... Nice?

When my father got arrested, it was the worst thing ever.

All these trolls started writing horrible things about us.

We'd get letters and e-mails saying that my dad was a thief, my mom was a clueless socialite, and that I was the spoiled rich-bitch ice princess.

And what hurt the most about it was...

The things the trolls were writing were true.

I was like Cheryl. I was worse than Cheryl.

So, when my mom said we were moving to Riverdale, I made a pact with myself to use this as an opportunity to become maybe, hopefully, a better version of myself.

That's a lot of pressure.

When Polly and Jason got together...

It meant everything to her and nothing to him, and... (SIGHS)

And things got super intense and weird and toxic and my mom turned on Polly.

Said Polly wasn't her daughter anymore, said all these awful things to her.

Jason hurt Polly, but it's my mom who broke her.


You're so doing this.


Slaying your dragons, Betty Cooper, one by one.

Hi, Teen Outlander.


Nice outfits.

Betty here has something she wants to ask you about the Back-to-School dance.

Go on, Betty, ask.

I was wondering if you wanted to come with both of us.



It's your first dance at Riverdale.

You should have someone to go with, even if it's just a friend.

I mean, I'd love to.

I'm not really in the headspace for a dance.

Oh. That's okay.

Totally unacceptable, Archiekins. We need an escort.

Take a break from being a tortured musical genius and come spend a blissful evening with not one, but two newly-minted River Vixens.

We'll text you time and place.

(CHUCKLES) Okay. Yeah, okay.





What is that?

I made the cheerleading squad.

Cheryl Blossom's cheerleading squad?

After what Jason did to Polly?

No, I'm sorry. I won't allow it.

Take that off right now.


What did you say to me?

I do everything for everyone.

Everything to be perfect.

The perfect daughter, the perfect sister, the perfect student...

Can't I do this one thing just for me?


Get out of my way.

Where are you going?

To buy a dress.

Because guess what?

I'm also gong to the dance with Archie.

And Veronica.

Wait. Hermione Lodge's daughter?

She's actually really nice.

And trying to be a good person.

You think so?

You think she's going to be your friend?

Let me tell you something.

Girls like Cheryl and Veronica Lodge, they don't like girls like us.

I don't want to hear it, Mom.

It's happening. I'm going.

Thank you, Smithers.

As always, you're a godsend.

Happy to help, Ms. Hermione.

Unlike the rest of Riverdale.


What's that?

Oh. Um...

A spot of good news. The car service found and dropped off your missing bag.

Missing bag?

Oh, Hiram... What have you done?


I, um... I got a call from your coach today.

He's under the impression that you can't play varsity football because I'm making you work for me.

Which is odd, because you made it seem like you couldn't work for me because you were playing football.

So my first question is...

Who are you lying to?

Me or your coach?




Dad... (SIGHS)

I want to study music, I want to write music.

Football takes you to college.

College takes you to business school.

Business school...

Takes me back here.

To work for you in Riverdale.

Not for me, with me.

And eventually for yourself, son.

The company would be yours.

No disrespect, Dad, but I don't want it.

Three months ago, you did.

What happened?

I've changed. Everything's changed.

This summer...

This summer what?


That's it?

We don't talk anymore?


I would never force you to play football.

I don't care if you play football.

And you don't have to work with me or for me, ever again.

But some advice, man-to-man?

These decisions that you're making now, son, they have consequences.

They go on to form who you are and who you'll become.

Whatever you decide, be confident enough in it that you don't have to lie.


Well, it's not the Met Ball.

Hey. When do you have to let Coach Clayton know about football?

This weekend.

Guys, can't we just liberate ourselves from the tired dichotomy of jock/artist?

Can't we, in this post James Franco world, be all things at once?

I've been working on it, Veronica.

Work faster. I'm getting punch.

(WHISPERING) You got this.

It's about following your heart, right?

What does your heart say? Music or football?

Betty, will you give me one minute?

And I promise, when I get back, I'll be a much better date, okay?

I have a plan.

Betty, you will not believe who just propositioned me in the bathroom. Give you a hint...

His name may be Moose, but I'd describe a certain appendage of his as horse-like.

Don't panic, I'm not stalking you.

Archie, didn't we have a deal?

No, Geraldine, we have a secret, Multiple secrets, actually.

And maybe we could've done something to help Jason that morning, or maybe we couldn't have.

And I won't tell anyone anything, but you need to help me.

This summer, the only thing that kept me sane was writing these songs.

So here's my not-so-indecent proposal.

I want to do an independent study with you, as many mornings a week as you can spare, and I swear that's all it'll be.

And I won't tell anyone about July Fourth, ever.


Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 7:30 a.m., before first period.

I'll set it up and see about getting you credit.

Cheryl: Good evening, friends.

Are you all having a good time?


As honorary chairperson and de facto queen of tonight's semiformal, it is my great pleasure to introduce this evening's main entertainment.

To know them is to be obsessed with them.

Though they usually perform their own material, tonight, they're making an exception and debuting a cover of the song my parents claim they were listening to the night Jason and I were conceived.

This one's for you, JJ.

Sorry about that.

I give you Josie and the Pussycats.




Wanna dance?


Did that go okay?

Yeah, yes. I'll study with Ms. Grundy before school, football practice after school, and work with my dad on the weekends.

It's going to be nuts.

So long as you don't give up your passion.



Now that I'm a River Vixen and you're gonna be on varsity football, I have this fantasy of us as a power couple...

Or maybe even just a couple.


Is that so impossible to imagine?


Make sure those two turtledoves come to my after-party.

Veronica too.

I'm in the mood for chaos.

Eryl: It's game time at Chez Blossom, kiddies.

We're going old-school tonight.

Seven Minutes in Heaven.

Who wants to tryst in the Closet of Love first?

My vote is "A" for Archie.

Anyone care to second it?

Wait, actually...

Yes, Andrews! Yes. (SNICKERS)

All right. Gather round, kids.

Let's see who's riding the ginger stallion tonight.

Reggie: (SNICKERING) Oh, no way!

It's clearly pointing to... The new girl.

This should be fun.

Um... I'm not doing this.

That's up to you.

But, if you don't, house rules decree the hostess gets to take your turn.


I know her brother died and everything, but...

Cheryl Blossom truly is the antichrist.


So, uh, do you miss New York?

It's been less than a week.

But... Yes.

Six minutes, twenty seconds.

Okay. Your turn.

Ask me a deep, probing question to kill time.


It looked like you and Betty were having fun at the dance.

Definitely. We've been friends forever.

My turn.

I didn't ask my question yet.

Is that all it is?

Just friends?

We're not just friends, we're best friends.


My turn. Did you have a boyfriend in New York?


My turn.

Could it ever possibly become something more?

Are you asking for Betty or for yourself?

For Betty, and you didn't answer my question.

I have never felt... Whatever it is I'm supposed to feel with Betty.

Have you felt it, though?

With anyone?


This summer.

Have you?

Maybe once.

You're a little more dangerous than you look, aren't you?

All boy-next-door-ish?

You have no idea.

Your turn.

Ask me a question, Archie.

Ask me anything you want.

We shouldn't do this.

We definitely shouldn't do this.


Reggie: Nailed it.


Where's Betty?

She spiraled and fled.

Between us, she's a lot more high-strung than she looks.

You shady bitch.

Crap. Betty's cell is off.

I'm getting an Uber.

Can I come with you?

We should probably try to find her.

Believe me. The last thing Betty wants is us tracking her down together.

We messed up.

Hey, you're home early. How was the dance?

It was fine.

I mean, it's not the Met Ball or anything...

Tell me about it. You can cheer me up.

I'm super tired, Mom.

Is everything okay?

Ronnie, what is it?

Jughead: It was midnight, and my old friend Archie Andrews arrived at the one place in town that was still open.

He was looking for the girl next door.

Instead, he found me.

Hey, Pop. Betty hasn't come in tonight, has she?

Nope. Just the night hawks in tonight.


Uh, can I sit, Jughead?

If you want.

What are you working on?

My novel.

It's about this summer, and Jason Blossom.

Seventeen years old and how will he be remembered?

As captain of the water polo team?

The Aquaholics?

Considering how he died, probably not.

No, what I mean is...

Was he doing everything he was supposed to do, everything he wanted. I mean, did he even know what that was?

Coach Clayton was in here talking to Pop Tate.


Does that make you, what, Mr. Popular Football God now?


In fact, I'm kind of terrified I lost my best friend tonight.

If you mean Betty, whatever happened, just talk to her.

You know, it'd go a long way.

Would've gone a long way with me.

I'm not going to ask what you did with Veronica at Cheryl's.

But I'm asking you now, right now, if you love me, Archie.

Or even like me?

Of course I love you, Betty.

But I can't give you the answer you want.


You are so perfect.


I've never been good enough for you.

I'll never be good enough for you.

Jughead: And so, it wasn't one heart that broke that night.

It was two.

And the night was far from over.

For the record, I'm not gay.

(CHUCKLES) Obviously not, Moose. You're on the football team.

But if you were gay, what would you like to do?

Everything but kiss.

(LAUGHS) I love a good closet case.

So, let's start with skinny-dipping and then see what happens?

Dude, are you okay?

Oh, my God, it's Jason.

He was shot.

Jughead: By morning, everyone would be talking, texting, and posting about it.

We'd all be feeling it.

That the world around us had changed, maybe forever.

That Riverdale wasn't the same town as before.

That it was a town of shadows and secrets now.

On Monday, the autopsy on Jason's body would take place.

And on Tuesday, halfway through fifth period, the first arrest would be made.