Things were just heating up in Riverdale when The CW Series ended on an explosive cliffhanger during its season 5 finale. Literally. The last few seconds of the finale find Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) discovering a ticking bomb beneath his bed, and on the outskirts of town, exiled Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) gets in one last laugh as he drives out of town with the bomb's remote sitting next to him. This is just the tip of the iceberg where Season 5 of Riverdale is concerned, and there’s a whole web of crimes and revenge plotting to go over before season 6 arrives on Tuesday, November 16 with a 5-episode event. The premiere event has been dubbed “Rivervale,” and based on the season 6 trailer, the town with pep is no more.
Season 5 Recap:
First things first, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Archie and Betty have just discovered a ticking bomb that’s about to explode underneath Archie’s bed before the season 5 finale cuts to black. Thanks to the banished Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos), he commits one last act of revenge before leaving the town of Riverdale for good. The actor Mark Consuelos has officially bid adieu to playing the sinister villain of Riverdale, and after stirring up trouble since his arrival in season two, it’s only fitting that Hiram went out with a bang. But it seems to have all been in vain, as Archie and Betty appear to have survived the bomb’s explosion without a scratch on them in the season 6 trailer. Was Betty able to stop yet another bomb from going off, or were they able to escape the burning house thanks to the Riverdale firefighters? There are dozens of questions, and the newest season is sure to answer them.
It can get dizzying trying to keep up with the countless murder mysteries and breakups that go down in Riverdale, and this past season contained several memorable moments. With new love affairs, jobs, and schemes, it’s time to revisit what the various town members were up to before they began spewing curses and unleashing bombs. Let’s start with the core four, as they were at the heart of all the pandemonium that occurred throughout season 5.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead
Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), and Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) are all starting off with a clean slate as they enter season 6, and there's a lot to review. Archie has decided to return to his roots and is carrying on his father’s legacy by relaunching Fred’s construction. By doing so, he’ll be closer than ever to his new flame, Betty, who is now officially FBI special agent Cooper and has re-opened the FBI offices located next door to Fred’s construction. It looks like she’ll have her hands full, as the notorious trash bag killer is back in action. Calling Betty during the season 5 finale, he warns her not to come looking for him in exchange that he won’t come looking for her. It’s still unclear what exactly went down between the trash bag killer and Betty when she was an FBI trainee, but through her many terrifying flashbacks it’s obvious he held her captive for a time before she was able to escape. Knowing anything about Betty’s sleuthing tendencies, she won’t let the trash bag killer walk away that easily.
As for Veronica, her dreams of returning to New York City and reclaiming her title as the she-wolf of Wall Street have been dashed. Now referred to as the black widow after murdering her psychotic ex-husband Chad Decco (Chris Mason) in self-defense, the stockbrokers in The Big Apple have made it clear that they’re unwilling to welcome her back. Attempting to start over with the help of her partner in crime, Reggie (Charles Melton), the two have big plans to open up a casino in town, whether they get the Riverdale town counsel’s approval or not.
And good old Jughead Jones is back to doing what he does best, filling the minds of impressionable young journalists with ageless wisdom as the new supervisor of the Riverdale high school newspaper. In addition to offering Jughead the newspaper position, Principal Weatherbee also hinted that Jughead may be able to teach English again if all goes well with the newspaper. Knowing the daily grind and chaos of reporting on the various scandals throughout the crime-ridden town, this may be a tall order.
Cheryl and The Blossom Family
The Blossoms have always had a flair for the dramatic, and they were brewing a nasty stew of revenge when season 5 ended. Things left off on a foreboding note for Cheryl when we last saw her, and in a chilling twist, she’s seemingly in the process of blossoming into a full, cold-blooded witch. During the season 5 finale, Cheryl and her faithful sidekick, Britta (Kyra Leroux), discover old skeletons in the Thornhill mines while searching for palladium. Reliable as always, Grandma Rose (Barbara Wallace) has all the hot gossip and reveals whose skeletons the remains belong to.
The all-knowing Grandma Rose proceeds to tell Cheryl and Britta a dark tale of a centuries-old feud with Cheryl’s ancestor, Abigail Blossom, at its center. In 1890, Abigail ran an academy for troubled girls on the Thornhill property and was an outsider just like Cheryl. When she refuses to let the Riverdale townspeople invade her mines beneath the maple groves to search for palladium, they seek retribution by claiming she’s a witch and burn her alive at the stake. Helming the witch hunt are none other than Archiebald Andrews, Jedidiah Jones, and Beatrice Cooper, the ancestors of Archie, Jughead, and Betty. As Abigail burns at the stake, she places a curse on the trio and proclaims that she and Satan will haunt them for eternity in addition to taking their sons and daughters. Abigail’s prophecy comes true, and when the Riverdale men enter the Thornhill mines to hunt for palladium, the mine collapses and kills everyone in the process.
Back in the present day, Cheryl is furious by the newfound information and blames Archie, Betty, and Jughead for the crimes their ancestors committed. She proceeds to announce that Thornhill is seeding from the township of Riverdale, and that she’ll be starting up an academy for lost and troubled girls once again. But simply saying good riddance is not enough for Cheryl. She’s hungry for revenge, and at Grandma Rose’s suggestion, she re-utters the same curse Abigail spoke all those years ago and directs her words at Archie, Betty, and Jughead.
The beating heart of Riverdale, Pop’s Diner, is left in shambles at the end of season 5 after a Ghoulie gang member sets it on fire at Hiram’s demand. But never fear, as Tabitha Tate (Erinn Westbrook), proud owner of the diner, is here to pick up the pieces and ensure chocolate milkshakes and mouthwatering cheeseburgers will continue to be served. There to help her is the man himself, her grandfather Pop Tate (Alvin Sanders). Retirement looks good on Pop, and he’s returned from Florida with a newly grown beard and Hawaiian shirt to match. He offers to pay for repairs with his retirement fund and come back to work, claiming he misses the diner too much to stay away. The rest of the repair funds will come from whatever money they can make off selling Hiram Lodge’s worldly possessions. Turns out, he’s not completely useless.
The Southside Serpents
The Southside Serpents are ready to get their hands dirty again. After taking a backseat throughout the duration of season 5 and making their money as truck drivers, Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) and Fangs Fogarty (Drew Ray Tanner), King and Queen of The Serpents, have decided it’s time to go back to their old ways. First up on their agenda is pulling the truck drivers off the road and re-incorporating the Serpents back into Riverdale by helping reconstruct the town Hiram tried to destroy. From there, they plan on recruiting a younger generation of Serpents to join their workforce to improve their numbers. As Toni and Fangs brutally tortured the Ghoulie who set fire to Pop’s diner during the season 5 finale, audiences got a taste of what’s in store for the Southside Serpents, and rest assured it will involve dirty dealings and bloody crusades.
Opting out of the crime-filled Riverdale, Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) revealed to his father, Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummings), that he’s headed to New York City. Giving his Broadway dreams one last chance, time will tell if he’s successful or not, and if he returns to his hometown a hero.
Barchie: Archie and Betty
After a torturous on-again, off-again fling throughout season 5, Barchie is officially a thing. The couple has come a long way since the pilot, and they look to be diving headfirst into a serious relationship. Proving friends with benefits never works, Archie and Betty finally professed their feelings for each other over drinks during the season 5 finale. From there, the two were getting hot and heavy in Archie’s bedroom before being rudely interrupted by the bomb Hiram Lodge planted. Though they may be in mortal danger, it’s safe to say Betty and Archie’s love for each other isn’t going anywhere.
Veggie: Veronica and Reggie
It doesn’t take long for people to bounce back from heartbreak in Riverdale, and fresh off a break-up, Veronica has her sights set on her partner in crime, Reginald “Reggie” Mantle. Ever since the couple shared their first kiss in season 3 and entered a treacherous love triangle with Archie, Veggie has been written in the stars. They were bound to happen at one point or another, and it only seems fitting that the pair give their love another chance. Living for high stakes drama, Veronica and Reggie have always maintained a Bonnie and Clyde-like partnership, and as they head into the casino business together, they're sure to keep the charming banter, midnight rendezvous, and criminal misdeeds alive.
Jabitha: Jughead and Tabitha
After working together at Pop’s diner with undeniable chemistry, Jughead and Tabitha have fallen head over heels in love. They perfectly balance each other out, with Tabitha offering the free-wheeling Jughead stability while he brings out her wild side. Steamrolling ahead into season 6, the couple will be taking their relationship to the next level by moving in together at Tabitha’s suggestion. The days of Jughead crashing in Archie's garage are long gone, and hopefully, we’ll find the couple happily cohabitating at the season’s start.
Fopaz: Toni and Fangs
Thanks to the arrival of Toni and Fang’s newborn baby, Anthony, the royal family in Riverdale has finally arrived. Sadly, Choni was unable to stay alive in the tumultuous season 5, and the pair has gone their separate ways. While Cheryl is embracing her newfound independence, Toni has moved on and found security in her baby daddy. It’s only fitting that the King and Queen of the Serpents fall in love, and the happy couple looks to be embarking on a journey filled with romantic escapes and Serpent business. Working backwards in terms of how relationships normally go, Toni and Fangs deciding to have a baby together before dating is unconventional, but hey, that’s Riverdale.
Alice Smith and Frank Andrews
Poor Alice Smith (Mädchen Amick). She’s really been put through the wringer. First, it’s revealed her husband is the black hood serial killer. Then, in addition to the death of her long-lost psychopathic son, Charles, her beloved but troubled daughter, Polly (Tiera Skovbye), was murdered and found dead towards the tail end of season 5. As Alice attempts to pick up the pieces and move forward, it appears that there could be a new man in the picture. During the townhall meeting in the season 5 finale, sparks flew between Alice and the kindhearted Frank Andrews (Ryan Robbins), Uncle to Archie and brother to the late Fred Andrews. It wouldn’t be surprising if we find the two cozying up to each other in season 6, and let’s pray that Frank doesn’t turn out to be another secret serial killer.
What to Expect in Season 6
- Fans should expect drastic alterations this season, starting with the fact that Riverdale has transformed into Rivervale.
- Betty and Archie have survived the bomb and are closer than ever. Betty then drops a bomb of her own, and tells Archie she wants nothing more than to have his baby.
- Cheryl and her all-girls gang have taken a sinister turn into potential Satan worshiping. This leads to another major plot reveal, which is that the Devil has apparently come to Riverdale. After Cheryl summons Satan to help avenge her ancestor, Abigail, Veronica meets a handsome stranger who claims to be the Devil in the season 6 trailer.
- Magic has come to the town of Riverdale. Enter Sabrina Spellman, portrayed by Kiernan Shipka, who starred as the teenage witch for four mystical seasons on the Netflix original horror series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Based on Shipka’s Instagram post of her in costume as Sabrina on the Riverdale set in addition to a brief cameo in the season 6 trailer, the crafty witch is coming to town with a few spells up her sleeve.
These episodes embrace the sinister and compelling horror roots that have fueled the hit teen drama murder mystery.
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