- "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; safe, decent, innocent. Get closer, though, and you start seeing the shadows underneath. The name of our town is Riverdale."
- —Jughead Jones
SERIES PREMIERE — As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom. Archie Andrews is still the all-American teen, but the summer’s events made him realize that he wants to pursue a career in music — not follow in his dad Fred’s footsteps — despite his forbidden relationship with Riverdale’s young music teacher, Ms. Grundy. With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Archie must look for a new music mentor and turns to Josie McCoy but she is focused solely on her band, Josie and the Pussycats. Weighing heavily on his mind is also his fractured friendship with budding writer Jughead Jones. Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she’s not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty’s nerves, which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice, aren’t the only thing holding her back. When a new student, Veronica Lodge, arrives in town from New York with her mother Hermione, there’s an undeniable spark between her and Archie, but Veronica doesn’t want to risk her new friendship with Betty. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom, Riverdale’s Queen Bee, who is happy to stir up trouble amongst the others even though she’s keeping a few secrets of her own.
- Kevin: "Oh my God!"
- Betty: "What?"
- Kevin: "Game changer - Archie got hot! He's got abs now. Six more reasons for you to take that ginger bull by the horns tonight."
- ―Kevin and Betty discuss Archie's physical transformation
- Veronica: "I'm filled with dread."
- Archie: "Why's that?"
- Veronica: "Are you familiar with the works of Truman Capote? I'm "Breakfast at Tiffany's" but this place is strictly "In Cold Blood.""
- ―Veronica arrives in Riverdale
- Kevin: "Is it true what they say about your dad?"
- Veronica: "That he's the devil incarnate? I stand by my father. Does everyone here know?" [awkward silence] "Wonderful! Ten minutes in and I'm already the "Blue Jasmine" of Riverdale High."
- ―Veronica starts at Riverdale High
- Cheryl: "I'm senior captain of the River Vixens."
- Kevin: "Is cheerleading still a thing?"
- Cheryl: "Is being the gay best friend still a thing?"
- ―Cheryl introduces herself
- Betty: "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."
- Kevin: "Too Season 5 Betty Draper, it was a great line."
- ―Betty considers trying out for cheerleading
- Cheryl: "Veronica, welcome to the River Vixens. Betty, better luck next time."
- Veronica: "Wait, what? Why? Because you couldn't bully Betty into being a bitch?"
- Cheryl: "I need girls with fire on my squad."
- Veronica: "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. Or... 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, 'CherylBombshell', my specialty's ice."
- ―Betty and Veronica try out for the River Vixens
- Moose: "For the record, I'm not gay."
- Kevin: "Obviously not, Moose. You're on the football team. But if you were gay, what would you like to do?"
- Moose: "Everything but kiss."
- Kevin: "I love a good closet case."
- ―Kevin and Moose sneak away together
- "By morning, everyone would be talking, texting, and posting about it. We'd all be feeling it. But the world around us had changed. Maybe forever. The Riverdale wasn't the same town as before. That is 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."
- —Jughead in narration
- This is the first episode of the series.
- Hiram Lodge is mentioned for the first time.
- The episode concludes with a dedication to producer JB Moranville, who died three months prior to the premiere.
- "The River's Edge" is named after the 1957 film.
- This episode marks the first kisses Betty and Veronica as well as Archie and Veronica.
- In the episode, Veronica references "Blue Jasmine" which is a 2013 film directed by Woody Allen. In the film, Cate Blanchett portrays the character Jasmine, a wealthy Manhattan socialite that falls on hard times and has to move in with her working class sister. Notably, Jasmine's husband is arrested for fraud as well.
- "In Cold Blood" is a journalistic novel by Truman Capote detailing the murder of a farmer's family in Kansas.
- Ansel Elgort is an American Actor best known for his part as Augustus Waters in "The Fault in our Stars". He also has a music career under the name Ansolo, his most notable hit being the single "Thief".