The title of Riverdale‘s season 2 premiere, “A Kiss Before Dying,” wasn’t just an example of the show being poetic, creative and referring to famous cinema and literature. It was literal. Fred Andrews didn’t die after a kiss but someone did. Moments after Ms. Grundy kissed her newest underage beau goodbye, she was brutally murdered in her own home. Another season of Riverdale is underway and with it there’s already another mysterious murderer on the loose.

Riverdale Season 2 Premiere Recap: One Riverdale Resident Is Gone for Good While a New One Arrives>>> The death of Ms. Grundy came by a complete surprise (unless you happened to notice the actress’ name in the credits and were waiting for her sudden reappearance.) Nearly every Riverdale viewer was prepared for the possibility of Archie’s dad dying, but no one figured it would be his ex-lover / predator to kick it instead. This is perhaps the chief reason that the newest killer is such a mystery. There’s seemingly nothing to connect the shooting / attempted murder of Fred and the actual killing of Grundy, which leads to the first theory:

A Riverdale Serial Killer 

There were a few details dropped about Riverdale season 2 before “A Kiss Before Dying” premiered. The two big ones that pertain to this newest mystery is that the season would have the feel of a horror movie, with paranoia running rampant, and a villainous character called “The Candy Man” would make an appearance.  While the initial tease of The Candy Man was related to the Blossom family, it’s hard not feel after the season premiere that we’ve already met the baddie. “The Hooded Man” could be The Candy Man and the rest of season 2 will be devoted to the fear that he could strike anyone at any time.  

While it probably shouldn’t be discounted that the killing(s) will be a source of tension throughout the season, it does seem unlikely that Riverdale will go down a complete serial killer route. It just sets a very bloody precedent for the show. If a filicide is the first season’s big event and a serial killing is the second season, there are very few places left for Riverdale to go in season 3 and beyond. 

Of course there are other ways that people can die that wouldn’t feel quite so much like Riverdale is jumping the shark.

The Grundy Killing Is a Cover-Up 

Ms. Grundy being murdered was a shocking moment that called into question everything about Fred’s shooting. Fred getting shot seemed too much like an organized hit, if not by Hiram Lodge then by somebody with a grudge, like a Southside Serpent. The randomness of the Grundy kill makes that seem much less likely which could, of course, be the point. 

Fred Andrews was meant to be killed but since Riverdale’s Lil’ Detective Agency figured that out in a couple hours, the killer needed to cover their tracks. So they struck out against the one (known) person in Riverdale that pretty much no one would miss, the disgraced teacher and confirmed pedophile Ms. Grundy.

If true, this keeps everything in line with Riverdale season 1. The two main suspects for Fred’s shooting, the Southside Serpents or a Lodge, are well-known dangerous elements. Season 1 firmly established that it’s well within the realm of possibility that either of them could kill a man, or a woman. 

Still, the theory might a little too expected. Which leads us to the most likely option…

Grundy Was the One and Only Target 

It was utterly bizarre how Riverdale season 1 dropped and ignored the Ms. Grundy storyline four episodes into season 1. It wasn’t totally outrageous, as the “romance” was the show’s worst element, but a lot of things were introduced about Grundy in her season 1 swan song that were never brought up again. Mainly that Geraldine Grundy wasn’t her real name but it was Jennifer Gibson and she was fleeing an abusive husband. Perhaps season 2 is opening by pulling that dangling thread from season 1. 

Quiz: Who Is Your Riverdale Girlfriend?>>>

The killer might very well be Grundy / Jennifer’s yet unnamed ex-husband. The killer didn’t really want to shoot Fred Andrews but he needed information from Fred (he did steal Fred’s wallet) to find out where Grundy was hiding. Fred was a big part of why Grundy fled Riverdale in the first place. It’s conceivable that Fred knew, just for Archie’s safety, where Grundy was hiding out. The attack on Fred wasn’t an attempted murder but a robbery (for information) gone awry. The shooter did, after all, shoot Fred in the side, not in the head or chest. 

If The Hooded Man is Grundy’s ex it might also explain why he pointed a gun directly at Archie’s head. He might have been toying with killing Archie from behind (just like he killed Grundy) because Archie was his ex-wife’s lover. Only the ex backed away from killing a kid. As much as Pop called the shooter a soulless “angel of death,” The Hooded Man seemed very antsy and uncertain in the diner. He acted much more like a jealous and vengeful lover than a ruthless serial killer. 

Of course, there’s a catch. The information about Grundy’s tragic past came directly from Grundy. She’s not the most reliable source. There might not even be an ex-husband. However, the chances are very good that the murderer is someone who was after Grundy and no one else. 

But what do you think? Who do you think killed Ms. Grundy and shot Fred? Is it possible they’re not even the same person? Is it a serial killer? Was it a hit on Fred and a cover-up? Could it be Grundy’s evil ex back again? Sound off with your theories in the comments below! 

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Riverdale Facebook page!

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.