Warning: Spoilers ahead for tonight's season finale of Riverdale.
Tonight's Riverdale finale had a lot going on; it dealt with the fallout from last week's revelation that Clifford Blossom was the one who murdered his son, Jason, as well as setting up a cliffhanger that will inform the direction of the beginning of next season.
During an interview earlier today, ComicBook.com had an opportunity to speak with Riverdale showrunner and Archie chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa about the episode, what it sets up, and some of what audiences can expect next year.
It starts, of course, with the shooting of Archie's father, Fred Andrews, at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe -- a crime that Jughead in his narration describes as not at all random.
Of course, since the criminal -- who looked suspiciously like Dark Circle's The Black Hood -- seemed to be committing a random crime at the diner where Archie and Fred happened to be, the question then becomes who shot him, and why, will drive much of the second season.
That's not the only question still lingering, of course...
It won't be long before fans know what happens to Fred -- although it likely won't be revealed in the promotional run-up to the premiere, so "not long" is relative. You'll have to wait until the start of season 2 to find out.
Still, it will be early in season 2, and whether Fred makes it or not, Luke Perry will be in the episode.
“Fred’s fate will be revealed at the top of season 2, and for Luke Perry fans, Luke Perry absolutely will be in the season premiere of season 2.”
To keep the cliffhanger alive until the show premieres, Riverdale will likely bring Molly Ringwald back as Alice Andrews in pretty short order.
During most of the first season, Archie's mom was out of the picture, living in Chicago without her ex-husband or son. She appeared at the end of the show's tenth episode, "The Lost Weekend," and stayed through the beginning of episode 12, "Anatomy of a Murder."
With Jughead dealing with his father being away and his mother unable or unwilling to take him in at her home out of town, though, it seems unlikely that both Archie and Jughead will be doing a foster parents storyline at the same time. It would just be redundant. Instead, to keep the suspense alive and prevent anyone from just assuming that Fred will live, it sounds like Riverdale will bring Ringwald back.
“I think Molly was so wonderful and iconic as Archie’s mom, and all the writers and actors and crew loved her, and I think the fans really loved her,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “Molly has an open invitation to come to Riverdale anytime she wants, but I think recent, tragic events suggest that Molly might be coming to Riverdale sooner than anticipated and might be staying longer than she anticipated.”
Since Mary has a pretty good relationship with her ex, bringing her back for a while makes sense if Fred survives; she would still want to help out. If he were to perish from his gunshot wound, that's even more reason to have Archie's mom around, possibly permanently.
The whodunit will, like this season, drive a lot of story...but it also sounds like there's more to it than just that.
When we spoke with actress Marisol Nichols, who plays Hermione Lodge, earlier this week she told ComicBook.com that she believed there was a good chance her character, and not her husband, was the one responsible for hiring the gunman to go after Fred.
“I think the season definitely is launched with the mystery of who shot Fred Andrews,” Aguirre-Sacasa said, “and I think two of the suspects for sure are Hiram, or Hermione, or Hiram and Hermione working together, but like all the best mysteries we’re going to see that there are actually multiple suspects. I can tease without giving too much away that things take a really big, sinister turn in that mystery at the end of the season 2 premiere.”
Throughout the season, the character who has acted most believably like a teenager has been Archie Andrews.
That's often been frustrating, especially since so many of his fellow Riverdale High teens are so mature and "adult," but at the end of the day a big part of that has come out of circumstance: Betty, Veronica, Jughead and others have all been tested by circumstance, whereas Archie has lived a fairly normal, some would argue charmed, life.
Aguirre-Sacasa has said repeatedly that naivete and innocence was an intentional part of Archie's character, and with the attack on his father, we now see why.
“Archie has not been tested, but by God, he’s been tested by the end of the finale,” Aguirre-Sacasa told ComicBook.com. “For me, it’s like Bruce Wayne watching his parents get gunned down, and it’s like Peter Parker learning that his uncle Ben has been murdered by a burglar. It’s a galvanizing, defining moment that changes those guys’ lives. What happened to Fred changes Archie’s life and sets him on his hero’s journey…but as always with Riverdale, it’s not a bright, fun journey. It’s a journey towards darkness, towards revenge, towards violence. The real question is, is Archie going to make that turn toward heroism? I think Archie was raised very well by Fred and that his basic nature is very good, but we’re really going to discover a different side of Archie in season 2.”
More Riverdale news:
- Riverdale's Cheryl Blossom Returns to Sweetwater River in Season Finale Poster
- Archie Performs With Josie And The Pussycats In Riverdale Season Finale Clip
- How Will Incest Revelation Impact Riverdale?
- Riverdale: The Movies That Inspired Season 1