The Riverdale musical event ended with a murder and the return of the Black Hood, putting an immediate end to the feel-good antics of the episode.
The first part of the musical allowed everyone to express their inner singing talents (who knew Lili Reinhart had those pipes?!), but the final scenes turned towards the darkness. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) pulled a literal Carrie White by covering herself in pig's blood and putting her foot down to her terrorizing mom (Nathalie Boltt). Meanwhile, at Riverdale High, Carrie: The Musical ended abruptly when Midge's (Emilija Baranac) dead body arrived on stage with the Black Hood announcing he was back in town, and still ready to kill.
TV Guide talked to Riverdale executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa about what the big reveal means and how the Black Hood will only up the ante as Riverdale continues on a path to civil war.
Why did you feel like this is the right time to bring the Black Hood back into the fold?
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: We always knew we were going to bring the Black Hood back, and we always knew it would be the last handful of episodes. As kind of the last sort of movement of episodes or the last grouping of episodes is coming together...well, two things: One, we really, we kind of wanted to get to the Black Hood sooner rather than later. Two: we were thinking as we were doing the Carrie episode...obviously the end of Carrie is the horrific prom night incident, and it's like stampeding teenagers, like complete panic in the gym. We thought if we were doing the musical, our musical episode was based on Carrie, it would be great to end with something that was like a nod to the prom disaster. We thought, "Oh, you know, what would start a stampede is if someone like the Black Hood's victim was revealed." We also thought that there was something perverse about tricking everyone into tuning in to watch a musical episode of a series, which are usually traditionally lighter than the typical episodes, and a little more fun and souffle like, and we thought, oh, it'll be fun to go, to give that a really gut punch, violent, shocking ending after people have settled into, "Oh, this musical's really fun." We thought that might be a nice contrast.
Is it safe to assume that this is the same Black Hood that we were dealing with earlier or is it possible that someone else has taken up the black mask?
Aguirre-Sacasa: That very question is exactly what Archie, Veronica, Jughead and Betty are asking the next episode at Midge's funeral.
How is the Black Hood's return going to effect Archie? We've seen over the past couple of episodes that he wasn't over the Black Hood, at least mentally, so what is knowing this threat is still out there going to do to him?
Aguirre-Sacasa: In many ways it sort of takes Archie right back into that. In a weird way, he sort of has a little bit of PTSD, and as much as he's struggled to suppress that and to move beyond that, it sort of comes rushing back to him, and things that seemed to have taken on more importance sort of shift, but he's back in it emotionally, that's for sure.
The Black Hood is coming back right as the tensions between the North and the Southside are sort of exploding; does the Black Hood have a stake in that battle, does he have a side that he's on?
Aguirre-Sacasa: That's a really good question. I'm not sure that the Black Hood has a stake in that battle, but it is true that Northside and Southside tensions are growing. For the last group of episodes it does feel like all of the threats and enemies that have sort of constellated throughout the season start coming together at like the worst time. It's sort of a perfect storm of horror and violence in Riverdale. So I'm not sure. I can't speak to that if he does have a personal stake, but it's the confluence of a lot of things, and he certainly doesn't make things easier.
How wary should we be of Ethel and "vision board?"
Aguirre-Sacasa: Well, I think it might, that vision board might make Ethel a prime suspect, whether she is or isn't the Black Hood.
Cheryl had a major turning point at the end of this episode. What does her finally standing up to her mother mean for her arc this season, and what can we expect for her going forward?
Aguirre-Sacasa: Cheryl's been through the ringer, and she really saw this, doing the musical, as a chance to kind of make it clear to the town, and to her mother, and to herself and to her friends that she wasn't broken by the experience of the last few episodes. When that's taken from her by her mother she sort of takes the power back and does that great Carrie White-like move...We've seen Cheryl as victim. We've seen Cheryl as unraveling. This is a Cheryl at the height of her powers I think from now 'til the end of the series.
Is Cheryl at the height of her powers going to be good news or bad news for our core four?Aguirre-Sacasa: Let's say that for the remainder of the season Cheryl is fighting on the sides of the angels. Lets says for the next stretch of episodes for a change.
Veronica and Betty sort of made up in this episode, and it's great to see their friendship back on track, but the issues that divided them in the first place are still sort of very present. How are they going to navigate like staying friends when they are both on opposite sides of this little Riverdale civil war?
Aguirre-Sacasa: You're right, they haven't changed sides, or they're still, their families are still at war, or Betty still disagrees with what Veronica's parents are doing. I will say it seems like their friendship is going to transcend that...I wouldn't exactly describe it as compartmentalizing, but those issues — I will say that in the next couple of [episodes] things start happening so fast and furious. They're sort of focused on other things that are going to start happening in their lives.
Riverdale continues Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies)