We're pleasantly surprised by how little time The CW and EP Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Riverdale wasted before giving viewers a look at the next two time-jump chapters of the long-running series, "Chapter Eighty: Purgatorio" and "Chapter Eighty-One: The Homecoming." It's seven years later and to say that time's been rough on the town would be an understatement- "thanks" in large part to Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos). When Archie (KJ Apa) returns home from the military, he's shocked to see what Riverdale's become as Toni (Vanessa Morgan) gets him up to speed on what went down. So it's going to take the reunited efforts of Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), Veronica (Camila Mendes), Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch), Kevin (Casey Cott), and more to not just save Riverdale High- but also the future. But after seven years, how much do they really know about one another- or what's happened to each of them since they last saw one another? Adding to the drama are the new faces joining the cast this season, with Erinn Westbrook (The Resident) as Tabitha Tate and Broadchurch star Chris Mason as Chad Gekko, Veronica's sleazy husband.
So with all of that in mind, viewers have a new set of preview images and a new trailer for what's still to come starting next week-and just to throw out a ten-second theory about the season? Between Jughead dropping the "mystery" teaser this week and Hiram being portrayed as the "big bad" who's ruining the town- could we be looking at a Dallas/"Who Shot J.R.?" murder mystery? Or even more out of left-field… Veronica kills her father in an act of righteous rage but then looks to bring him back via Kiernan Shipka's Sabrina Spellman (you know she's not really dead) and that's when "Afterlife with Archie" happens. Objectively and realistically? We're leaning more towards the former- not so much the latter. But with The CW and Aguirre-Sacasa releasing so much so soon, we can't help but wonder- what is it that they're trying to not show us? We know that everyone's returning with enough personal baggage that they'd go broke checking them all at the airport. Hmmm… time to throw another log on our dumpster fire of speculation.
Riverdale Season 5, Episode 4 "Chapter Eighty: Purgatorio": SEVEN-YEAR TIME JUMP — After spending seven years away from Riverdale, Archie (KJ Apa) returns to find the town is now under Hiram Lodge's (Mark Consuelos) grip and on the verge of becoming a ghost town. When Toni (Vanessa Morgan) catches him up on what's been going on, Archie reaches out to the rest of the gang to return home. Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Casey Cott, Charles Melton, Drew Ray Tanner and Erinn Westbrook also star. Steve Adelson directed the episode written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Riverdale Season 5, Episode 5 "Chapter Eighty-One: The Homecoming": THE FIGHT FOR RIVERDALE HIGH — Toni (Vanessa Morgan), Alice (Mädchen Amick), Archie (KJ Apa) and Kevin (Casey Cott) fight to keep Riverdale High's doors open after learning that its budget had been cut by Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos). Veronica (Camila Mendes) gets creative when she discovers Chad (guest star Chris Mason) is having her followed. Jughead (Cole Sprouse) starts a new job after debt collectors show up in Riverdale. Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch, Charles Melton, Drew Ray Tanner and Erinn Westbrook also star. Steve Adelson directed the episode written by Michael Grassi
In the following promo "The Future Is Now, viewers also get another look at two of the new faces entering the scene. Westbrook joins the cast for the fifth season as Tabitha Tate, the ambitious, entrepreneurial granddaughter of Pop Tate. Seeing serious business potential in her family's business, Tabitha's come to Riverdale to take over Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe in the hopes of franchising the iconic diner, even as the town around it struggles to survive. Mason will be taking on the recurring role of Chad Gekko, Veronica's husband. Set to make his debut during the fifth season's fourth episode, Gekko is a controlling and jealous husband who works on Wall Street and sees himself as an "alpha dog," Gekko is threatened by Veronica's Riverdale life- especially her bond with Archie.
The CW's Riverdale stars KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge, Madchen Amick as Alice Cooper, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller, Mark Consuelos as Hiram Lodge, Skeet Ulrich as FP Jones, Charles Melton as Reggie Mantle, and Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and Jon Goldwater executive produce. Filmed in Vancouver, BC, Canada, the series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios in association with Berlanti Productions.