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RIVERDALE Boss On Season 2 Spoilers and the Cliffhanger That Didn’t Happen

RIVERDALE Boss On Season 2 Spoilers and the Cliffhanger That Didn’t Happen

Warning: this story contains major spoilers from Riverdale’s season one finale, “Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter.” Do not read until you’ve watched the finale. You have been sufficiently warned …

Sex, murder, arson … the Riverdale season one finale had everything. But where did The CW’s modern revamped adaptation of Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) leave everyone’s favorite redhead and his friends moving into season two?

Thankfully, the network already renewed the dark, gritty Riverdale for a second season, so the cliffhanger of Archie’s dad Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) getting shot in a robbery gone wrong in Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe will eventually get paid off. And that storyline is what executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is most excited to explore when Riverdale returns.

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“It’s a very intense cliffhanger, that’s for sure,” he told Nerdist with a laugh. “The biggest thing based on that cliffhanger is Archie and Archie’s journey next season. Archie in season one didn’t have a super strong connection to Jason Blossom [Trevor Stines] and because of that, he wasn’t super connected to the mystery. Because of what happened at the end of the finale with Fred being shot, Archie is very much the focus of next season.”

According to Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie watching his father get shot and bleed out on the floor of Pop’s will be a turning point for the previously innocent teen.

“What is he going to do on the other side of that?” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “When we talk about what happened, when Archie sees his father shot before his eyes, we really compare it to a moment like when Bruce Wayne sees his parents gunned down or when Peter Parker learns his uncle had been murdered by a burglar. That is a huge, galvanizing moment for those characters and so it will be for Archie. He’ll go on a hero’s journey but it will go to a dark place of revenge, a place of violence before he starts to turn back towards the light of being a hero.”

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He continued, “I’m most excited to explore Archie’s psychology and his actions on the other side of this. Gone will be the days of the kid who was most scared about performing in a variety show. This is a new, much more grown-up, complex Archie swimming in much darker waters.”

Should fans be worried about Fred making it to season two alive? Aguirre-Sacasa thought for a moment before answering carefully. “We think of Peter Parker and Uncle Ben in that it’s difficult to imagine Archie without his father, but I will say he has an amazing mother played by Molly Ringwald,” he said. “Fred has done an amazing job raising Archie and instilled some very core values, so even should the worst happen, I think Archie would be able to carry on with the spirit of Fred advising him.”

That’s not a very reassuring answer, huh? Unfortunately that’s all he would say regarding Perry’s future on the series, so time to start speculating now: is Riverdale season two going to kick off with a funeral?!

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While the showrunner was cagey about Fred’s fate, he did reveal that the season one finale wasn’t always going to end with Fred getting shot.

“That came about later in the season,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “For a long time, the cliffhanger was going to be the arrival of Hiram Lodge [who will be played in season two by Mark Consuelos]. But because we hadn’t met him yet, we hadn’t invested in his character. We invested in Veronica [Camila Mendes] and Hermione [Marisol Nichols], and so for them it’s a big deal when Hiram arrives to town but really in the world of this show, it felt low stakes.”

That’s why the writers decided to put the focus on Fred’s fate instead. “One of the relationships we most invested in was Archie and Fred, and Fred really does symbolize the best of Riverdale,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “He believes in the promise of Riverdale, and it’s where he grew up and settled down and chose to raise his son and build his business. This series is about revealing the darkness underneath the wholesome, sunny façade of a small town so it felt like the most ironic and gut punching finale we could have is for the encroaching darkness and criminality that’s been on the edges of the show to hit the character that is the most moral and the least compromised. That’s Fred.”

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While it seems like Fred was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, the robber who shot him wasn’t just a faceless burglar prone to violence. Jughead’s (Cole Sprouse) narration at the end of the episode hinted that it wasn’t random at all, introducing a new mystery for season two: who was under the mask and why did he target Fred?

“Who might have been gunning for Fred? I can think of a couple off the top of my head,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “As Hermione says to Veronica, ‘Your father is coming back and he and Fred will not get along so Fred better sell [his company].’ And then Fred doesn’t sell, so people might extrapolate that maybe Hiram didn’t want Fred in the picture. And then the Serpents were fired by Hermione from Fred’s construction site so maybe an angry Serpent might have took it upon himself to get a little payback. There are a few other suspects who are going to emerge as well.”

But the finale wasn’t all about tying up the loose ends of Jason Blossom’s murder and Clifford Blossom’s (Barclay Hope) drug ring and the new Fred mystery. The hour also had some big dynamic shifts for the two main couples as Archie and Veronica slept together for the first time after telling Betty (Lili Reinhart) that they were together, and Betty and Jughead were also going to sleep together … but were interrupted in the heat of the moment by Jughead’s surprise induction into the Southside Serpents gang out of respect and as thanks for his father F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) not snitching on any of them in jail.

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“For Veronica and Archie, this is for both of them their first serious, grown up relationship,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “They’re fun and really into each other; it’s a sexy couple. But almost immediately they’re going to be put through the ringer because the first big test of Veronica as a girlfriend will be helping Archie get through what happens to Fred. She’s the happy-go-lucky sophisticate, so for her to sign on for a relationship as fraught as it is, that’s going to be a real challenge.”

As for “Bughead,” that look of unease on Betty’s face as she watched Jughead happily put on his new Southside Serpent leather jacket should tell you that things aren’t going to be easy for this couple either.

“For Betty, she’s afraid she’s losing Jughead and him going down the same path that F.P. went down,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “That’s going to make her anxious and even more worried that she and Jughead are drifting apart. When Betty gets an idea in her head, she attacks the problem ferociously, sometimes even irrationally, so they’re in for some drama as well.”

But what is most interesting to note about the finale is that Betty seemed to be completely over her crush on Archie while it looked like Archie may have started discovering new feelings for Betty. Are we going to see that iconic Archie/Betty/Veronica love triangle resurface again next season?

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“The love triangle will always be a big part of the show and the mythology,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “Archie and Betty have a very deep history. They’ve known each other for a long time and there are feelings there. They will bubble up at the worst time. In a weird way, I do believe Archie is committed to Veronica and in that scene with Betty, what he’s trying to articulate, it’s sort of like saying goodbye to his childhood and how things were so much simpler when it was just him and Betty. Now there’s Jughead and Veronica, and he did think when they were older, eventually they’d get together. It’s not that he’s in love with her but he thought he was going to marry her when they were kids. We’ll be playing that love triangle 100 percent.”

And last but not least, Riverdale‘s reigning MVP Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), after trying to commit suicide by drowning in Sweetwater River, took out her frustrations over learning her father killed her twin brother before taking his own life and being spurned by her own mother by burning down Thornhill Manor.

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“She was baptized in ice and walked through the fire. She’s a phoenix, so she’s rising from it,” Aguirre-Sacasa said of Cheryl in season two. “It’s just Penelope [Nathalie Boltt] and Cheryl now, and Penelope was very cruel to Cheryl. What we’re going to find in season two is that there’s a new sheriff in town and a new world order, and that is Cheryl. They’re going to be locked in a psychological and literal, physical power struggle.”

What are you most excited to see from season two? What did you think of the season one finale? Tweet me all things Riverdale at @SydneyBucksbaum and let’s chat!

Images: The CW

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