Riverdale aired its Season 4 finale earlier this week, albeit under some unusual circumstances. The hit The CW series aired its final episode for the foreseeable future, after production on the series was shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With only 19 of the 22 planned episodes able to hit the airwaves, the series is in an interesting place going into Season 5 -- and now we have a bit of an idea of what that entails. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa detailed how far Season 4 had gotten before production was shut down, and how the episode that ultimately became the finale was a bit of a blessing in disguise.
"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. "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."
"However, when I saw the cut of 19, what's great about it is all of the kids are in one big story together united against Mr. Honey. And it does end on a pretty shocking, disturbing cliffhanger," Aguirre-Sacasa continued. "So, it sort of was like, "Oh wait a minute, this could be a great season finale" and then prom would be a great season premiere next year. So it worked out in kind of the best way possible given everything. Obviously we would have loved to have finished the full season, and the last three episodes are fantastic. But to me, this one is fun. It's a special conceit and it brings everyone together, which I think people love."
According to Aguirre-Sacasa, the show will definitely pick up on key moments like prom and graduation, whenever it is able to return for Season 5.
"We had written episodes 20, 21, and 22 and when we talked about season 5 and some of the big events like prom and graduation, it would feel like a cheat if we somehow didn't do those," Aguirre-Sacasa revealed. "So we're essentially starting the season with the last three episodes of season 4, and partly because they're dynamite episodes. I mean big, big, big changes happen. We are continuing the mystery and the relationship drama straight into season 5."
"I'm really proud of the last episode," Aguirre Sacasa added. "Actually, the last two. The prom is really classic Riverdale. And I thought 21, it was a real emotional episode and a lot of people's emotional stories kind of climaxed but really, it's graduation. It's such a rite of passage. So many graduations were canceled this year. I really, really loved that episode. So I'm looking forward to doing it at some point."
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