Riverdale isn’t exactly known for its subtlety, and when a new character shows up out of nowhere, there’s reason to be suspicious. When that character also happens to be in the FBI, that suspicion grows tenfold.
Agent Arthur Adams (John Behlmann) arrived in the town of Riverdale midway through the current season with an agenda: to get crucial information about Hiram Lodge’s criminal activity with the help of Archie Andrews (KJ Apa). As the boyfriend of Hiram’s daughter and the son of a man employed by Lodge Industries, Archie is in a unique position to assist. And he’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, which could make him FBI malleability material.
But Archie’s lack of prowess also makes you wonder why Agent Adams trusts in him at all. Surely there are better people to safeguard an FBI masterplan than a high schooler with a history of bad decision-making. Wouldn’t Agent Adams know about the Andrews family’s ties to the Black Hood? The kid is still getting over the shock of seeing his father gunned down and almost killed, an event that triggered a violent protective streak and a brawl with the South Side. A brawl that involved Archie purchasing a gun off the black market.
But maybe those events have more to do with Agent Adams arrival than we’re lead to believe. Put your theory caps on and hear us out...
What if Agent Adams is Archie?
Sure, it would be a little out there. And even though Riverdale can get whacky from time to time, it’s never gone the full-blown hallucination route. But it wouldn’t be totally out of line for the show to introduce a storyline that reckons with Archie’s PTSD. Remember that earlier this season, shortly after his dad’s encounter, he brushed off the suggestion of therapy. Has his mind created some sort of coping mechanism? A way of feeling important, like he’s protecting his girlfriend and father?
Think about it: No one has seen Agent Adams besides Archie. He’s always filmed in a vaguely dreamy way, with light pouring in over his shoulders. He conveniently sneaks into the Andrews’ soundproof garage unnoticed by Fred and presumably the neighbors. And what do we really know about the guy? Well, he’s originally from Riverdale, for starters. When he first meets Archie in the park, he tells him how he used to come there with his dad and dog. Archie lives with his dad and has a dog. The also both have the same initials. Arthur Adams. Archie Andrews.
What’s more, Agent Adams is constantly assuring Archie that Veronica and his father will be protected when the Lodges go down. This is exactly what Archie wants and needs to hear. That his loved ones are safe. That he’s doing his best to protect them.
It’s a big leap for sure, but Riverdale also loves its movie references, and a big twist ala Fight Club seems like just the sort of juicy call-out the writers would go for. And the show is already dipping into conversations about mental health with “Dark Betty,” who made her wigged reappearance this week.
Maybe we’re thinking too hard about this, but on a show where Veronica sings “Bittersweet Symphony” in a virginal white dress at her own confirmation, surely anything is possible.
Images: The CW
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