Tonight, Hermione Lodge (Marisol Nichols) will play a significant role in shaping the future of the town of Riverdale when she, acting as mayor, decides to close down Riverdale High due to parental fears about the seizures students have been having recently.
What do the seizures have to do with Gryphons and Gargoyles? Or with her husband Hiram's ever-growing criminal empire? And what good will closing down the school do at all, if it turns out the seizures are not viral but rather something more sinister?
We spoke with Nichols, in New York City to promote a new line of Vicks DayQuil and NyQuil SEVERE with VapoCOOL products, about tonight's episode and what fans can expect moving forward.
"I think that Hermione, for her, she wanted to keep that mayoral thing separate" from Hiram's life of crime," Nichols told ComicBook.com. "She's always trying to go legit, and doing her best to gain some power for herself so that they can be legitimate so that she doesn't always have to live in fear."
That is going to come to a kind of head in tonight's episode, as Hiram asks her to use her official authority to do something that will almost certainly not end well for anyone but Hiram.
Without saying whether or not Hiram's plan is a success, Nichols explained why this is a hard choice for Hermione, where other things he has asked for have been less of a struggle for her.
"She's the one in charge of that town. So, if anything goes wrong, she knows that's on her," Nichols explained. "And so already having to compromise her needs and wants and her moral compass as mayor with already one hit, and the second hit is that, and guess who's going to be responsible?"
Nichols herself is celebrating the winter finale in New York as part of the publicity tour and ribbon-cutting for a line of products from home health giant Vicks. She came from Los Angeles, which explains the trip to New York. If she was not on break from Riverdale, there would be no need to go find a city with snow and cold, since it shoots in Vancouver.
"It is cold and flu season, so the timing couldn't have been better," Nichols said. "Just like most people, like most everyone, you get sick, you don't have time to take a sick day. You don't have time to lay in bed. You've got to do what you can to keep moving and keep being productive, so hence Vicks."
The new line includes Vicks NyQuil VapoCOOL and DayQuil VapoCOOL as well as a line of severe medicated losenges.
Riverdale airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT, before episodes of Legacies on The CW.