[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Wednesday's episode of Riverdale, "The Watcher in the Woods." Read at your own risk!]
Episode 3, "The Watcher in the Woods," revealed that Kevin has developed a rather dangerous habit of trying to pick up guys during his "night jogs" through the woods. That seems reckless under the best of circumstances, but Kevin's nightly activity is also happening at a time when a masked serial killer is looking to kill secret keepers and sinners in the small town.
The good news is that Kevin's night jog led him to being the first to discover that Moose (Cody Kearsely) and Midge (Emilija Baranac) had been shot. The bad news is that once his friends realized what he was doing out so late at night, it drove a serious wedge in his relationship with Betty (Lili Reinhart) and got Kevin busted for lying to his dad (Martin Cummings). It seems one scare with a potential killer and a heart-to-heart with his Sheriff father has brought Kevin back from the edge — but where does he go from here?
TV Guide talked to Cott about Kevin's big episode and what it means for him going forward.
The cruising for dudes aside, Kevin is doing risky stuff just going out at night while there's a killer on the loose. Do you think he has a death wish or is he an adrenaline junky if he keeps going out despite the risk of getting shot?
Casey Cott: Death wish might be a pretty far term. Kevin is just sick of feeling lonely and sick of hearing about everyone else's drama. He wants to kind of feel something outside of all of his friends' issues that he's been dealing with. I think that is the motive behind just doing something risky for the first time that we've seen and exploring what's going to happen if he puts himself in that situation.
Specifically when it comes to searching for guys in the woods — that's a really brave choice for Riverdale because typically, the gay high school stories we've seen on TV have been pretty sanitized. This is addressing that kids in small towns don't always have a lot of "safe" options. What was your reaction when you found out [going into the woods] is how Kevin is having to find people that are interested in him?
Cott: I think this is one of the many times really where the writers have gone to a certain level where it gets interesting. Specifically with "Dark Betty" last year. That was also really far. We're at a place with our writing staff where whatever they give us we really just trust them. They really know what they're doing with Roberto at the helm. There's a sense of trust and our job is to deliver. I thought this episode articulated wonderfully from the beginning [to] the end with the last scene between Kevin and his dad. I thought it was really beautifully written and I hope it translated.
Is being able to talk to his dad about these things going to help Kevin or has it made it worse for him that his father knows what he's been up to?
Cott: Absolutely! I think that's one of my favorite scenes that I've been able to shoot so far. Number one, Martin Cummings, who plays my dad, is so wonderful to work with. Second of all, I really love the way that they wrote that scene and the fact that Kevin doesn't speak much. Sheriff Keller just takes the reins of the conversation and lets [Kevin] know, "You can talk to me about whatever," and there's a lot of love there...I definitely think it's going to make it better. I think the relationship is going to continue to blossom, no pun intended and we'll see what happens from there.
It did not make it better for Kevin and Betty. What does she need to do to prove that she's the type of friend that Kevin really needs right now?
Cott: Kevin and Betty are best friends. Whenever best friends get into a fight, I feel like it is always quick to resolve. I think it was good to finally let Kevin say some things that he's really wanted to say for a while and in doing so, I think Betty is really going to come around and realize that she was not treating him very well. They'll grow from there. We'll have to see what happens, but I think it'll be on the up.
Do you think Joaquin leaving has had an effect on how Kevin is looking for guys now?
Cott: Joaquin ended up being a pretty bad guy. He's literally a gang member that's mopping up buckets of blood. I definitely think that Kevin is in some ways trying to get over that and figure out what that is and figuring out why there isn't someone for him while all of his friends are in these cookie cutter relationships that, I think at the end of the day, are what Kevin really wants. I definitely think Joaquin is definitely stirring the pot. It's definitely there.
If you could pick a suitable love interest for Kevin so that he didn't have to go cruising in the woods, what kind of guy would he be like?
Cott: That's a good question. I am excited for the writers to introduce a love interest for Kevin that really suits him in a way that compliments the goofy guy that he is. Probably someone that is caring and hopefully someone that is not dumping bodies in rivers. That would be the number one sign that they might be a suitable suitor for Kevin.
I don't think that's a lot to ask...but should we hold out hope for Kevin and Moose?
Cott: I love the hospital scene in Episode 3 with Moose! I think Moose is great. It seems like he's pretty into Midge right now so we'll see what happens, but I think he could definitely pop up there. We'll have to wait and see.
We've gotten this letter from the killer that he's going after sinners. Is Kevin at all worried that this sinner thinks that being gay is a sin and Kevin is a potential target?
Cott: I think in the town of Riverdale at the moment, I don't think anyone is ever safe when there's a serial killer going around. I think that everyone is afraid for a specific reason. I don't know if that is the reason, but I think everyone is definitely freaking out.
What are the chances that we'll see Kevin [join Archie's Red Circle group] put on a red hood this season?
Cott: You'll have to watch and find out!
Riverdale continues Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies)