Step aside gritty reboot teens, it's time for the real hero of Riverdale to rise up in the back half of season 2: Nana Rose.
While this week's mid-season finale saw the unmasking of ho-hum, bad-aim serial killer the Black Hood, revealed as Sketchy Janitor We Met, Like, A Few Weeks Ago I Guess, and teased that that mystery is maybe not quite over yes (ugh), I'm more interested in the juicy Nana Rose reveal. Or should I say, reveals, plural.
First of all, we were clued into the fact that Nana Rose is actually still alive. Since we literally haven't seen Cheryl's (Madelaine Petsch) creepy psychic grandma all season, it wasn't a small worry that she had, well, kicked it when Cheryl casually set Crimson Peak Thornhill ablaze toward the end of Season One. She had her reasons, I'm sure, I just don't fully remember what they were because they weren't that good. We know her mom, Penelope, made it out, and recovered well enough by this episode to make out with some stranger with her whole previously burned face (that was weird, right? Maybe that guy's the real Black Hood and he's just been busy macking for most of the season), but nary even a mention of poor, spooky Nana Rose until now, when she materializes beside the over the top red Christmas tree Cheryl got solely to troll the heck out of her mom.
But, arguably, the surprise was when Nana Rose revealed that, oh sure, she was part of Riverdale's secret live burial vendetta gang back in the day. Except she wasn't allowed to do any of the actual digging because, as she reminds us viewers, boys rule, girls drool, etc. Typical Nana Rose shenanigans.
Since we don't really have any firm markers of what year it actually is in Riverdale, or how time passes (seriously, maybe it's a time loop), why not use this opportunity to blast to the more interesting past for the back half of the season and explore Riverdale's "original sin" and the genesis of the great Blossom family schism (remember, Betty's Grandpa Cooper was originally a Blossom, pre-maple syrup blood feud), starring young Nana Rose, possibly even with two functioning eyes. In all seriousness, the showrunners have commented that they want Riverdale to feel modern, but not tied to a specific time. Hence, the smartphones but also the totally occasion-blind way Archie (KJ Apa) wears his letterman jacket without prejudice. (Still not over him wearing it to the Whyte Wyrm in Season One, to be honest.)
In the same way that it feels like it would be totally plausible to bring zombies or magic to the world of Riverdale (hello, subliminal hints and more constant ventures into spookydooks Greendale and also Nana Rose having actual powers), it would in no way be out of the question to go vaguely back in time for an extended arc that can try to explain how, exactly, the town with pep became the town with truly effed up. For a small town, the murder rate is...not encouraging, to say the least.
Plus, imagine the outfits young murderess Nana Rose would get to wear. Just imagine.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)