'Riverdale' Season 4: All Your Burning Questions Answered
Clink! The Riverdale gang had much to celebrate over milkshakes at Pop's diner in the Season 3 ender. Senior year is coming up, after all. Oh, and they survived the Gargoyle King, who was unmasked as Cooper imposter Chic (Hart Denton); the Farm, Edgar Evernever's (Chad Michael Murray) organ-harvesting cult; and the return of the Black Hood (Lochlyn Munro).
"Season 4 is the last time these friends may be together," teases executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. "We'll see college visits, spring break, graduation — and a new big bad." He previews the next sinister turn.
The flash-forward of the blood-spattered Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) around that bonfire freaked us out. Is Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) dead?!
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: They weren't burning his beanie for nothing. Expect the scene to be revisited by Season 4's midseason finale, but for the episodes ahead, Jughead is alive and well. OK, alive. Aguirre-Sacasa says the Joneses are "picking up the pieces" after matriarch Gladys's (Gina Gershon) departure, and the exec producer also promises future trouble for Bughead: "As Jughead and Betty grow into adults, they might drift apart." Wait, what?
Will Betty be working with her long-lost brother, FBI agent Charles Smith (Wyatt Nash)?
You bet. The half siblings are teaming up to save mom Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick) from the Farm, where she was working undercover. Betty will also look to her new bro while dealing with the discovery that she supposedly has the serial killer gene, MAOA — which is a real thing, apparently. According to Aguirre-Sacasa, Betty will be "turned toward goodness and her brother will, at first, help her do that."
What could imprisoned Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) be planning for daughter Veronica?
Nothing good. "There's a very big bombshell Hiram is dropping on Veronica," says Aguirre-Sacasa. And no one — including her mayor mom Hermione Lodge (Marisol Nichols), whom Hiram had arrested for conspiracy to commit murder — can protect her.
Has queen bee Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) lost it?
While Cheryl's "Welcome home, JJ" moment with her brother's corpse was very creepy, "Cheryl is not off her rocker," Aguirre-Sacasa promises, adding that Riverdale aims to "recapture" the Blossoms' gothic, Flowers in the Attic vibe.
With the Black Hood dead, the Gargoyle King in jail and the Red Dahlia/Penelope Blossom (Nathalie Boltt) MIA, what's next?
"We will introduce a threat very different from any we've had before," says the exec. "It's a huge spoiler if I tell you any more!"
Beloved actor Luke Perry, who played Archie's dad, Fred Andrews, passed away unexpectedly during production of Riverdale Season 3 after a massive stroke. How will his tragic death be handled onscreen?
Time will tell. "We didn't want to rush into anything, but it will shape the trajectory of the season," Aguirre-Sacasa explains.
Riverdale, Season 4 Premiere, Wednesday, October 9, 8/7c, The CW
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