Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) looks to be dead. That's right, Riverdale went full-on The Revenant meets Game of Thrones and left its hero to bleed to death in a dusty old Canadian cabin after a bear attacked him in the woods. I didn't make any of this up.
Riverdale's midseason premiere ended with park rangers finding a lifeless Archie covered in blood after he was attacked by what he called a grizzly (we didn't actually see the creature in question). He then spent several hours — based on the change in light from the time Archie called the rangers to the time they actually showed up — having vivid dreams about killing his demons, which included his innocent former self. Archie really went through a lot in this episode, like even more than the nuns who drank the poisonous blue juice so they wouldn't have to testify against Hiram (Mark Consuelos). It was an episode we will never forget.
Can Riverdale really kill off Archie though? Does it think it's The Vampire Diaries now? Not in Season 3! We refuse to believe it, and thus we at TV Guide have come up with five ways Archie can bring his beautiful ginger head back to life, because gosh darnit, we are not done staring at those fantastic abs. We will not be denied, Riverdale gods!
1. It was all a dream. Archie spent most of the episode in a series of fever dreams/hallucinations about literally killing the demons that were haunting him. Maybe his "death" is just an extension of that. He's just dreaming he died and he'll wake up with the cuts healed. Or maybe he was never attacked by a bear at all. The rangers didn't show up until after nightfall, so Archie's subconscious could just be screwing with him.
2. He's Riverdale's version of Harry Potter. Harry Potter technically died during battle with Voldemort, but the fates decided he wasn't ready to depart and sent him back to take on the Dark Lord once and for all. Maybe this death is how Archie actually meets the Gargoyle King, and when it's decided that his destiny is not fulfilled, he'll be sent to rejoin his body to actually complete the quest and people can stop drinking poisonous blue juice.
3. Sabrina brings him back to life. Sure, the producers have said numerous times that a Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina crossover isn't happening yet, but doesn't it feel just a little convenient that a witch with a penchant for necromancy is just over the border? If Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) does make the trip to save Archie, let's just hope she does a better job rejoining his soul with his body than she did with Harvey's brother in Season 1 of her own show.
4. Archie gets bitten by a werewolf. Oh, that sounds crazy, huh? Well, this season is about someone who has to spend at least an hour getting dressed in robes and a skeleton mask and who attaches giant twigs to his back in order to terrorize high school students and nuns, so hold your judgement. If the producing team is not ready to bring in witches, that doesn't mean we can't go supernatural at all. Maybe Archie was actually attacked by a werewolf that looked big enough to be a grizzly (and let's be honest, you would not be shocked if Archie mistook one for the other) and now he will come back stronger than ever (but will keep a waxed chest because this is The CW).
5. The Farm is involved somehow. The least exciting option would be if Edgar Never Ever and his culty farm has some way to revive people from the dead. They allegedly make babies float over fires, and we don't actually know the full extent of the Farm's influence, so it's not out of the question that it might be able to get all that blood back in Archie's beautiful body where it belongs. The question is, if the Farm is the reason he survives this horrifying attack, will he join? Would he be like their messiah? Roberto, call me.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies)