When The CW and EP Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Riverdale premieres its fifth season tonight, it will kick off a three-episode arc that wraps up senior year for Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), Veronica (Camila Mendes), Toni (Vanessa Morgan), Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch), and the gang before they jump into the timestream for a seven-year jump to the future. So far, we know Veronica marries a d-bag Wall Street dude, Betty is a trainee with the FBI, and that something happens to Cheryl. But what about Archie? Apa spoke with EW to offer some insight into what the future holds for Mr. Andrews- followed by his with the "Senior Year Time Capsules."
Much like how his co-stars are feeling, Apa is excited about playing Archie closer to his actual age. "It's nice, honestly, it's really refreshing. Coming back to the season, that was something that I didn't realize it'd be nice to be able to play, to add that certain level of maturity to the character that wasn't necessarily there before," he explained. And if viewers are getting the feeling that the fifth season will be like having two different Riverdale series, Apa says they're right to feel that way. "Yeah. I mean, it has to be. Although we are still in Riverdale and we are still tied into the school in certain ways, in the time jump I feel like we had to refresh our audience with a new theme, which is the fact that we're all a lot older," Apa explained. "And I feel like that in itself, the fact that we're all older and a lot of time has passed, no one's really kept in touch over that six years, it adds a lot more things to play with."
And while he didn't offer specifics, Apa does offer some deeper insight into how the years will have changed Archie. "He's been through a lot in that little period of time. And I feel like he really has matured," he revealed. "I think years 17 through to 25 are life-shaping years for any young adult. At least for me — and I know my circumstances are different, being on a show and stuff — but most of the tough things that I had to go through and am still going through were in that short little period of time. Who knows, it's still going though, so maybe that's just life."
Here's a look at what viewers can expect when the pre-time jump season-opener "Chapter Seventy-Seven: Climax" (written by Ace Hasan and Greg Murray, and directed by Pamela Romanowsky) premieres on January 20 on The CW:
Riverdale season 5, episode 1 "Chapter Seventy-Seven: Climax": PROM NIGHT INTERRUPTED — Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead's (Cole Sprouse) investigation into the auteur leads them to the discovery of a secret underground for red-band screenings. Elsewhere, in order to impress the visiting Naval Academy Commandant, Archie (KJ Apa) agrees to participate in a boxing exhibition against another candidate — KO Kelly (guest star Zane Holtz). Meanwhile, as Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) prepares for prom, she stumbles upon a major secret that Toni's (Vanessa Morgan) been keeping from her. Camila Mendes, Mädchen Amick, Mark Consuelos, Casey Cott, Charles Melton, Vanessa Morgan and Drew Ray Tanner also star. Directed by Pamela Romanowsky, and written by Ace Hasan and Greg Murray.
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.
Erinn Westbrook (The Resident) 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. Broadchurch star Chris 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. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, 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.