Oh Riverdale. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

For starters, the show is bananas in every possible way, and remains fully committed to the bit. It tackles everything from serial killers to cults to secret societies and more. Riverdale uses vintage Archie Comics characters to tell a modern horror story about teens in peril who just keep fighting for what’s good. It’s campy, it’s bizarre, it’s a whole lot of fun, and now it’s ready to jump seven years into the future. After last night’s episode, we were treated to our first preview of the big time jump. And it looks as wild as you might expect.

Post-graduation, our Riverdale heroes have pretty different lives. Archie goes to war and now heads up Riverdale’s “RROTC” program. Jughead is a published writer working on his second book. Veronica married some guy named Chadwick. Oh, and Betty? The daughter of serial killer the Black Hood who also has the infamous “serial killer gene?” Someone let her into the FBI, just like her duplicitous half-brother Charles.

Betty in the FBI is a clear homage to The Silence of the Lambs. In fact, the brief sequence we see of her running through the woods in this preview is a direct reference to Clarice Starling’s training in the 1991 film. We also see Betty stuck at the bottom of a well, taunted by some unseen villain. This also recalls Buffalo Bill’s creepy lair.

Betty runs through the woods in Riverdale.The CW

Clarice runs through the woods in The Silence of the Lambs.Orion Pictures

The CW also dropped another extended sneak preview of the time jump with even more new footage. This one shows Toni Topaz doing some kind of snake-filled lounge act, Hiram announcing that Riverdale is “dissolved,” and. Archie and Toni helping the town’s houseless population. Oh, and Jughead has a mustache.

Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has teased this seven-year time jump for a while. The fourth season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so season five is playing catch up before the kids graduate and head off to their new lives. And it looks like their troubles have followed them into adulthood.

The first episode of Riverdale‘s seven-year time jump airs next Wednesday, February 10 on The CW.

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