It's finally time to head to the future in Riverdale, with the series time-jumping to seven years after Archie (KJ Apa) and his friends graduated high school. In that time, Archie went to war, Betty (Lili Reinhart) joined the FBI, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) published a novel, and Veronica (Camila Mendes) got married. A new mystery will bring them back to their hometown, but it won't be the same place that they left behind.
"Riverdale has been a crime town. Riverdale was haunted by a serial killer... And we thought, 'Well, what if in the seven years, it had become kind of a ghost town with most families going away, leaving a skeleton crew of people hanging on?' That felt like a new sort of paradigm for the town and it would allow us to tell the story of a true rebirth," showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa teased to TV Guide ahead of Wednesday's episode.
The town won't be the only thing that's different. Everyone who graduated from Riverdale High seven years ago and finds themselves back in town is not the kid we used to know, and Wednesday's episode will drop us right in the middle of their new lives. The time jump allowed the show to give each character a fresh start of sorts.
"We liked the idea of sort of opening coldly, with all of our characters in radically different places that hopefully made sense so that we could sort of jettison some of the baggage and just start from scratch," Aguirre-Sacasa explained. The differences in their lives will also draw them to different characters than we've seen them hang out with in the past. "I think one of the things we were excited about, and I think the actors were excited about, is getting to play new dynamics and shaking up the cast members that they normally have scenes with."
Each of the major couples on the show broke up after graduation, and giving the cast new scene partners not only changes up relationship dynamics but also allows Riverdale to reinvest in individual characters.
"What's the fun [in] jumping seven years if everyone's in exactly the same place?" Aguirre-Sacasa said. "[The time jump] allowed us to focus on each character, and make sure that we were servicing each character and not just couples."
Does that mean some new ships in order? We'll have to see.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.