The CW has released the official synopsis for the season five premiere of Riverdale, titled "Chapter Seventy-Seven: Climax." The episode, which would have been part of the show's fourth season wrap-up if not for the production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, sees all hell break loose on prom night, while Betty and Jughead's latest investigation puts them on a crach course with the rest of the Riverdale gang. The episode -- and the end of last year's mystery generally -- will set up a major time-jump, which will give a new status quo for Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, and all the rest.
Besides Betty and Jughead's mystery, we get more of Archie's boxing career, and a subplot for Cheryl and Toni going into prom night. The series is set to not only jump forward a few years, but also to lose some of its "adult" cast, with Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols leaving the series.
"It's funny, we had shot almost two-thirds of episode 20, which was going to be our prom episode. And we looked at that footage and tried to see if there was a way we could cobble together that episode," Aguirre-Sacasa explained back in May. "We actually had shot the prom, where a lot of very dramatic things happen, but we still hadn't shot some big character moments between Archie and Veronica and Betty and Jughead. So we kind of just couldn't do that."
How similar the final product will be to what was planned before COVID is anybody's guess, given that they may want to abbreviate some of the finale in order to set up what's next and what would have been the fifth season.
You can see the official synopsis for the season five premiere below.
PROM NIGHT INTERRUPTED — Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead’s (Cole Sprouse) investigation into the auteur leads them to the discovery of a secret underground for red-band screenings.
Elsewhere, in order to impress the visiting Naval Academy Commandant, Archie (KJ Apa) agrees to participate in a boxing exhibition against another candidate – KO Kelly (guest star Zane Holtz).
Meanwhile, as Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) prepares for prom, she stumbles upon a major secret that Toni’s (Vanessa Morgan) been keeping from her. Camila Mendes, Mädchen Amick, Mark Consuelos, Casey Cott, Charles Melton, Vanessa Morgan and Drew Ray Tanner also star.
Pamela Romanowsky directed the episode written by Ace Hasan & Greg Murray. "Chapter Seventy-Seven: Climax" will premiere on January 20, 2021, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.