Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13
Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19 | Chapter 20 | Chapter 21 | Chapter 22 | Chapter 23 | Chapter 24 | Chapter 25 | Chapter 26 | Chapter 27 | Chapter 28 | Chapter 29 | Chapter 30 | Chapter 31 | Chapter 32 | Chapter 33 | Chapter 34 | Chapter 35
For the recap index, go here.
After Fred Andrews was shot by a mysterious man in Pop's diner, Archie loads his father into his truck and takes him to the hospital. Archie is quickly joined by Jughead, Veronica and her mother, and Betty and her parents.
Sheriff Keller gains a description of the shooter from Archie and calls him in for a lineup, but Archie concludes that none of the men in the lineup are the shooter, remembering clearly that that the robber had bright green eyes. Archie goes to his house with Veronica to shower, where they make out. At the house, Archie and Veronica goes through his father's things and finds Fred's wallet missing. Betty and Jughead go to Pop's looking for the wallet, but find nothing. However, Jughead learns from Pop that the shooter didn't take any money from the register, meaning that it was not a robbery, and further's Jughead's suspicion that the shooting was a hit.
Jughead asks a member of the Southside Serpents to investigate the shooting, and later finds two serpents in his trailer violently interrogating another Serpent, proving that the Serpents have Jughead's back. Jughead himself, however, is less than comfortable about the zeal they put into the task. Veronica suspects that her mother Hermione was the one who placed the hit on Fred; Hermione vehemently denies this and tension develop between the mother and daughter.
Cheryl Blossom arrives at the hospital, as her mother is being hospitalized for the burns she suffered after Cheryl burned down the Blossom estate. Cheryl tells many of the Riverdale students, who are there to support Archie, that her mother saved her from the fire. Archie talks to his father in his hospital room, who awakens. Veronica's father Hiram arrives in Riverdale, further escalating the tension in the Lodge family. In the nearby town of Greendale, Mrs. Grundy, Archie's former lover and music teacher is strangled and killed by Fred's shooter.
- Adventures in Comaland: While in a coma, Fred dreams about all the future milestones of Archie's life (high school graduation, taking over the family business, engagement and marriage to Veronica) that he will miss if he dies. Each one quickly escalates into a Nightmare Sequence where Fred is either shot or reminded that he's dying or dead. Ultimately, his desire to continue living to protect Archie evoked by the last dream brings him back to consciousness.
- Alliterative Name: This episode reveals that Archie's grandfather was named Arty Andrews.
- Anachronism Stew:
- The outfits worn by the doctor and nurses at the hospital were discontinued decades before the show's setting.
- Hermione recites the trinitarian formula in Latin while praying at church, something highly unusual for someone her age, who wouldn't even have grown up hearing it in common use.
- Back for the Dead: Miss Grundy, aka Jennifer Gibson, appears in the final scene of the episode after being absent since The Last Picture Show, only to be killed by the same masked man who shot Fred.
- Blatant Lies: When Kevin and Betty meet Cheryl at the hospital, she gives them the story in a remarkably level, clearly-rehearsed voice. Apparently there was an accidental fire, and Mrs. Blossom suffered third degree burns over her entire body saving Cheryl, who doesn't even have singed eyebrows. The other teens are too creeped out to call her on it.
- Converse with the Unconscious: Archie does this with Fred at the suggestion of his doctor, who believes it may help him regain consciousness sooner. It works.
- Group Hug: Veronica, Betty, and Jughead all envelop a terrified Archie in one when they arrive at the hospital.
- Improvised Weapon: The Angel of Death uses the bow from Miss Grundy's cello to kill her, instead of bringing his own weapon like he did when trying to kill Fred.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The Serpents beat a man claiming to be the shooter to get info. Turns out he was just bragging.
- Man Hug: Archie and Jughead share a solid one at hospital before Jug goes off to investigate with Betty.
- Mythology Gag:
- Jughead joking calls Archie a superhero, with the superhero name Pureheart the Powerful.
- The town across the Sweetwater River where Miss Grundy has been holding up all this time is Greendale, and time will tell if it also is an Early-Bird Cameo. (The crew has stated they want to create a whole spin-off for it.)
- Sheriff Keller refers to a drug called Jingle Jangle, which was the name of a 1969 hit by the Archies.
- Sex for Solace: Veronica decides to comfort her traumatized boyfriend by having shower sex with him.
- The Angel of Death's black hooded mask is a reference to the superhero/vigilante Black Hood from Archie Comics or as they were known in the Golden Age MLJ Comics. The Black Hood is also known in most modern depictions, such as in Archie's Red Circle superhero imprint, as being more or less the Archie equivalent to The Punisher but far more lax in his vigilantism as far as innocent and guilty goes which, so far, seems to be the case here. While shooting Fred is up for debate on motivations, his killing of Miss Grundy who chronically sleeps with underage boys could be seen clear act of vigilantism.
- When Cheryl comes to her mother in the hospital, she calls her Baby Jane. All before she informs her abusive mother that the tables will be indefinitely turned.
- Alice refers to Jughead as Snake Plissken in a conversation with Betty.
- Shower of Angst: Archie has one halfway through the episode to wash away Fred's blood. Quickly becomes Shower of Love when Veronica joins him.
- Shower of Love: Archie and Veronica.
- Spoiler Opening: The return of Miss Grundy at the end of the episode is spoiled by Sarah Habel's name appearing during the episode's opening credits. It doesn't spoil that she dies at the end though.
- Title Drop: Throughout the episode, the title "A Kiss Before Dying" seems like it's referring to Fred's predicament, particularly after Cheryl kisses him on the forehead. Subverted when it turns out it's actually referring to Miss Grundy. Her music student Ben kisses her goodbye, and then she walks back into her house, where she is strangled to death.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Angel of Death uses a cello bow to kill Miss Grundy, meaning he both strangles her and slits her throat. It is as brutally messy as it sounds.
- Wham Line: Cheryl implies that Clifford's suicide may not have been a suicide after all.Cheryl: If you tell anyone the truth about what happened with the fire, I'll tell everyone about what really happened in the barn with Daddy.