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Kiernan Shipka Wants a 'Sabrina and Archie Moment' If She Returns to Riverdale

One witchy reunion wasn't enough!

Megan Vick

[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Tuesday's episode of Riveradale, "The Witching Hours." Read at your own risk!]

It was a witchy reunion on Riverdale that we didn't know was possible until several weeks ago. Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) showed up in Riverdale — excuse us, Rivervale — in Tuesday's episode to assist Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) with a spell to help transition Nana Rose to the next phase of her life. It was a tricky spell that Cheryl couldn't handle on her own, and it not only brought Sabrina over from Greendale but also her Netflix companion series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which never managed to cross over with Riverdale before it ended last year. It also informed viewers that Cheryl and this Sabrina are old friends. 

The reunion brought up a lot of questions, especially considering that Sabrina did not survive the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series finale. While explaining a spell to one of Cheryl's students, the young witch confirmed that she came back from the dead, but she didn't elaborate on how. We still don't know the exact methods that brought Sabrina back, or what lies ahead in her future. 

TV Guide spoke to Kiernan Shipka about her exciting return to the Riverdale universe, her theories on how Sabrina is alive, and whether she'd like to return to Riverdale proper — not just its shadow double — in the future. 

The burning question is: How is Sabrina alive? It isn't really answered in the episode, so what are your theories?
Kiernan Shipka: I think the question is [actually] how is she not alive? Her family and her friends care about her so much, and Sabrina is such a brilliant girl. I think she would get herself out of the Sweet Hereafter so quickly... I really think that between Sabrina and Nick's power in wherever they ended up, and Sabrina's family and friends back home, there was no way that she wouldn't make it out alive. I think that it makes a ton of sense that she came back. I mean, anything in Greendale [goes], as we kind of know. Witches have many lives and different iterations, and I can absolutely see Hilda, Zelda, and Ambrose plotting some insane thing to get her back. I know we don't see any of this, but I see how it could have happened.

Kiernan Shipka, Riverdale

Kiernan Shipka, Riverdale

The CW

We also did not get a lot of info about how Sabrina and Cheryl actually know each other. What were your conversations like with Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa, showrunner] and Madelaine about figuring out that dynamic?
Shipka: The first thing is that they felt like old friends. They felt like they had a rapport already. I didn't want them to feel like strangers. That was really easy to do with someone like Mads, who's just such an incredible actress. I would like to think that chemistry was there, and we sold the idea they had known each other for a very long time.

What was the most exciting thing about coming to Riverdale and returning to this character?
Shipka: I think going back to Vancouver and stepping onto set, just hanging out with the people was wonderful. Working with Madelaine was just such a thrill, and she's so brilliant. We've never really gotten the chance to hang out before, so that was just so fun and wonderful. I think she's amazing. I really loved watching her work and watching her do her thing. That was such a treat, and getting to see Roberto and work with him again in this capacity was just lovely.

Sabrina spends most of her time with Cheryl in this episode. She's the only core Riverdale character she gets to hang out with, so are there any others you'd like to see if Sabrina returns?
Shipka: I think that a Sabrina and Archie moment would look so iconic and cool. I've always loved what KJ [Apa] has done with Archie, and the two characters together, it's just such an image.

Is the door open for Sabrina to return to Riverdale proper in the future?
Shipka: Yeah, totally. I think the door's unlocked. I think that Sabrina could very well find herself in Riverdale. I would love to see it.

Is there anything specific you wish you could still do with Sabrina that you didn't get a chance to do on the Netflix series?
Shipka: I got to do so much with that girl. It was so fun to play her. Next up would be playing a version a little bit older, maybe a little bit more mature. As I've gotten older and more mature, I think implementing that sense of self into the characters is really important to me. Sabrina was always tenacious and very passionate, and very good at what she did, but she was also really young, and I think seeing a side of her with a bit more maturity, growth, and nuance — that's something that's really interesting to me.

Riverdale airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.