Riverdale Showrunner Breaks Down That Surprising Reveal About Season 6's Finale (Exclusive)

At the end of Season 6 of Riverdale, Cheryl Blossom used her witch powers — enhanced by the combined powers of all of her friends — to stop Bailey's Comet from destroying Riverdale. But her efforts appeared to have an unexpected side effect when the dust cleared and they had all been sent not just back to high school, but high school in 1955. Now, Riverdale is back for Season 7 and we're finding out a bit more about what really happened when Cheryl took on that comet and what it means for the final season.

Warning: spoilers for the Season 7 premiere of Riverdale beyond this point.

At the end of the episode, the real time traveling guardian angel Tabitha Tate pays Jughead a visit — who is the only one of the gang that remembers their lives in the "future" — and explains to him what is going on. It turns out that Cheryl actually did not save everyone in her efforts against Bailey's Comet. She failed, but rather than everyone dying, Tabitha managed to shunt everyone off into an alternative timeline, albeit in the past and now they have to sort of correct the path, as it were, and ensure that this timeline "bends towards justice" if there is any hope of surviving. She also makes Jughead forget so as not to endanger the process making this the biggest challenge the group will ever face.

According to showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, it's the biggest challenge they'll ever face. The stakes cannot get higher.

"I think for us in the writers room, I think we believe in our characters. We believe in our characters, and I think we believe in the inherent goodness of our characters. And they've gone to dark places, they've all gone to dark places. But by the end of season six, we were like, 'There's very few characters on our show who haven't killed at least one person, and many have killed more than one person.' But I think for us, and especially since it's our last season, I think we believe in our characters," Aguirre-Sacasa told ComicBook.com. "And I think we believe in our characters doing the right thing, not just for themselves, but for their friends and for their town. So, we did set up that challenge and we did want to position them as young people kind of rebelling against the generation before them and the generations before them, to set Riverdale on a path to being on the right side of history, in storylines very personal and against the much larger canvas of America, if you will, kind of thing. But you've hit the nail on the head. That is exactly the stakes of this season. 100 percent."

He added, "I mean, listen, when we were finishing season six, we looked at ... I mean, a lot of this, we looked at stuff, Betty was an FBI agent, and Jughead was a struggling writer and a teacher, and Archie was sort of like a construction worker. And we really looked at ... And we were looking at, 'Okay, well, what would season seven look like if we continued with the kids in their mid to late twenties?' And Betty becomes a therapist, and Archie sort of is tracking down his uncle's son and being a father figure. And it was like when we got word, it was like, 'Okay, we have one more go around with these characters. What are the most special and meaningful stories we can tell with them?' And that's kind of how we ended up where we ended up."

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.