Riverdale -- the CW's dark retelling of the classic Archie comics -- loves to subvert its squeaky-clean origins. Maple syrup is a front for heroin, Miss Grundy is a hot 20-something, and the humble all-American town is plagued with murder, adultery, and addiction. And now, in its second season, the perfect, blond Cooper family is corrupted after the arrival of their eldest son, Chic.
In the comics, Chic Cooper is as wholesome as his girl-next-door sister, Betty. But the Riverdale version of Betty isn't so easygoing: she suffers from an unnamed mental illness that manifests as self-harm and sexual sadism. She's not the only Cooper kid with a darkness. Her older sister, Polly, has twins with her dead boyfriend – and cousin – Jason Blossom. And now there's Chic, with his own cabinet of curiosities, the contents of which are far more layered and mysterious than what his siblings or mother could ever guess.
The revelation that Betty even had a brother didn't come until the end of Season 1, when her mother Alice confessed that she had a baby in high school that she gave up for adoption. That baby was Chic, who Betty tracked down midway through Season 2. He wasn't the healthy, happy person she expected to find. He's a hollow-cheeked criminal who was never adopted, and spent his life in a foster system that hardened him. Alice's guilt over what happened to the son she never gave a chance has already created extreme rifts in the Cooper clan. She kicked her husband, Hal, out of the house for not warming to him, and even killed a man who showed up on her doorstep threatening Chic. Or did she?
One thing is for certain: Chic's arrival has already united the Cooper women in a web of darkness. But how far will it go? And what does Chic – who grins from the sidelines as his family panics – really want?