If a new trio of casting notices are to be believed, it seems as if Riverdale has revealed what Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) will be doing after high school. The series, which will feature a seven-year time jump a few episodes into the 2021 season, will reportedly see Archie heading off to the Army, likely on short notice and in the present day. Following the flash-forward, Archie will apparently be a firefighter back in Riverdale, and bring at least one of his old Army buddies back home with him. A total of three roles had casting notices go out to look for actors ,one of whom is pretty major and the other two of whom are fairly small -- but all of them tie to the Army storyline.
Moving Archie to the Army rather than college is an interesting choice -- especially unusual for a lead character -- but it certainly has a bit of realism to it. The U.S. Army gets a disproportionately high rate of recruitment from rural areas, and for Archie, doing something that makes a difference and pays him likely feels more appealing than going to college.
The character has, more than most of his peers, struggled with finding a clear identity during the show's four seasons so far. Whether it's choosing between football and his music, or struggling to acclimate to high school after spending time in prison, one consistent thing about Archie has been his inconsistency. In some ways, it's easy to understand why he's resistant to committing thousands of dollars to go to college when it's hard to picture him figuring out his major without taking months to agonize over it.
As one of the casting breakdowns notes, the military is more of a commitment than college -- but it's likely that Archie would thrive in an environment where he does not have the opportunity to bail out halfway through something, and where there are people around him whose job it is to recognize his strengths and weaknesses and help him develop.
You can see the three casting breakdowns, as reported by That Hashtag Show, below:
Eric Jackson: Male, 20s. Open ethnicity. A veteran who lost his leg and suffered third-degree burns while fighting in the Army with Archie. Ironically, Eric joins Archie to help run the fire department in Riverdale. But Eric is still dealing with his own trauma, which leads him into a darker place. ACTORS WHO ARE LEG AMPUTEES ARE ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT… RECURRING GUEST STAR.
Bus driver: Male, 40s, any ethnicity. Drives the bus Archie takes out to the Army. Takes his job seriously but still pulls over when Archie’s friends want to give a final goodbye…
Officer Bradshaw: Male, 30s, any ethnicity. Works the Army recruitment table at Riverdale High. Happily gives Archie information about the Army but stresses the seriousness of the commitment…
In the comics, it's usually Kevin Keller, rather than Archie, who is depicted as the one with a military future (his father, who on Riverdale eventually got together with Josie McCoy's mom, is a retired Colonel). No word on whether Kevin, too, will have a military background as the series' future unfolds.
While Riverdale doesn't shy away from commenting on the issues of the day, the time-jump element makes it harder to picture Archie's military career addressing specific conflicts or issues. While the show is generally "current," it also exists in its own, kind of Twin Peaks-ian version of the world, so don't expect them to be commenting on current events, or trying to predict future events, too much.
Are you excited to see Riverdale's time jump in Season 5? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Riverdale returns in January 2021.