Holy roller coaster, Riverdale!
Another season is in the books for the CW soap and once again Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is in a very dark place. Season 2 capped off with our ginger hero thinking he was on top of the world. He was elected student body president. He had reunited with his moral compass and was going to clean up the mess caused by Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) — except Archie made the boneheaded move of telling Hiram he was going to bring him down. Just as Archie was taking the podium to accept his presidency, the Riverdale PD showed up and put him in handcuffs for murder.
That's right, Hiram is framing Archie for the murder Andre committed during the core four's weekend away in the woods. Ugh, Archie, get a better poker face, man.
Of course that's not the only drama that went down. Jughead (Cole Sprouse) survived his Ghoulies beat down and FP (Skeet Ulrich) handed leadership of the Serpents over. Now Jughead — with Betty (Lili Reinhart) as his Serpent Queen — will run the gang together.
TV Guide talked to executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa about these big developments and what he has in store for Season 3 if Archie is behind bars!
Archie has been arrested! Is it your plan for every season to just traumatize this poor kid in each finale?
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: It felt like a big part of Season 2 found Archie siding with Hiram and being attracted to Hiram's money and power, the way he did business, his ideologies and his point of view, and though towards the end of the season Archie's sort of moral compass pulls him back to Fred and the side of righteousness and the angels, it felt like there needed to be consequences for what Archie did in Season 2. He went toe-to-toe with a mobster — a much older, much more experience mobster — and it felt like he couldn't come out of that unscathed. It felt like when you looked at everything Archie had done this season with the dark circle, with the red circle, going after the Black Hood, wanting to make his bones, it felt like something pretty dramatic had to happen to him. If Hiram couldn't kill him, this felt like the next best thing.
How are Veronica and Hermione gonna react to this? At least Hermione has gone along with Hiram all of this season, but Archie always sort of felt like an untouchable thing. Is this gonna cause a civil war within the Lodge family?
Aguirre-Sacasa: Absolutely. You know, it's gonna set off a giant Veronica-Hiram story. I think after being a daddy's girl for a lot of Season 2, Veronica and also Hermione's sort of seen the real Hiram — the kind of operator Hiram was. The idea of Hiram having Archie thrown in jail, it sort of is like there's no way to reconcile that, if you're Veronica. There's no way to explain that away. There's no way to justify that, or mitigate it, or equivocate that. It feels like it's set in motion a big, big, big conflict between the two.
Should we assume that Hiram is behind the copycat Black Hood or are there other possible explanations for that?
Aguirre-Sacasa: It hasn't been confirmed. A lot of people are operating under that assumption. I think it's a safe assumption, but never say never... things are never quite what they appear in Riverdale.
I never expected Betty to officially join the Serpents let alone become Serpent Queen. What are you envisioning with her and Jughead running the Serpents in Season 3?
Aguirre-Sacasa: As iconic as their relationship has become, a lot of Season 2 involved Betty excluding [Jughead] from her quest with the Black Hood and Jughead excluding Betty from his Serpent business. A lot of couples share their life together, and it felt like this was one last wall that could break. It's not just, "Will you join the Serpents?," it's, "Will you be my Serpent Queen?" That feels like it promises something for them romantically, which I think is true [and] taking their relationship even more seriously... to the next level.
What is Jughead's vision for the Serpents now that he's in charge? Because they were at the lowest point that they've ever been.
Aguirre-Sacasa: You know, that's absolutely where we find Jughead in Season 3. It's what does he do with this gang that is in tatters? What does he do with this gang that has been ousted from their territory? How is he gonna be different from FP? Will he be able to do that? His girlfriend and one of the most erratic, unpredictable characters in Riverdale is now part of the Serpents as well, Cheryl. Do they help Jughead? Do they complicate things for Jughead? Probably a little bit of both, but yeah, I think that's exactly the question that Jughead is wrestling with.
When all hope was lost, FP fell off the wagon and went back to drinking. Are we gonna see him continue to regress or is there a chance that we're gonna see the FP we've grown to know and love over the course of Season 2 back when we return for Season 3?
Aguirre-Sacasa: That's a really good question. There's a tragedy to that character. He did fall off the wagon. It's really hard to get back on the wagon. That sort of cloud always hangs on over him. It's very possible that this is only the start of a slide. You know, honestly it's a little too early to tell. I'm not trying to be coy. It's something we started to talk about.
Riverdale returns this fall on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies)