Riverdale Season 5: Everything We Know So Far, Including New Plot Details And Which Cast Members Are Returning
The CW's subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead will be back with more murder and mayhem
Underage bootlegging. Voyeuristic stalking. Tickle porn. And murder--lots of murder. It's all par for the course on The CW's Riverdale, a dark and bizarre adaptation of Archie Comics.
Season 4 ends on a cliffhanger. Betty and Jughead get their hands on a creepy video cassette--the latest in a season-long series of them, mailed to Riverdale's prominent families. As they watch in horror, a gang of psychopaths stabs a man to death. The murderers are dressed in cartoon masks of the Riverdale teens, and the hapless victim is dressed as their principal, Mr. Honey. Is this latest snuff video real or staged? Who's been sending these videotapes to everyone in town? And will this somehow factor into the upcoming senior prom?
We were supposed to already have the answers to these questions. But then, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down filming, and Riverdale was forced to cut its fourth season short. The Season 4 finale was actually Episode 19 of an original 22-episode order, which would have shown the prom and tied up all the loose ends.
Here is everything we know about the upcoming season of Riverdale, including how they're going to resolve the current narrative problems.
2. Season 4 Followup
Due to the pandemic, there were three Season 4 episodes that were never completed. Riverdale will begin Season 5 with these three missing episodes, so we'll finally get resolution to all of the dangling plot threads from the prior year. It's been a long time coming, but the decision to wait was probably the best one. The writers only have one shot at this; it's better that they tell the story they want to in the manner they wish to tell it, instead of forcing a conclusion that probably wouldn't have held up to scrutiny.
3. Time Jump
Multiple sources have confirmed that after these three episodes air, Riverdale will do a time jump, which will bring the actors closer to the age proximity of their respective characters. In a recent Live Kelly and Ryan interview, Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica Lodge, confirmed the time jump, and said it will be five years into the future.
Since the characters are currently high school seniors, a time jump would pick up the story after they've attended and graduated college. It'll be interesting to see how everyone's life shakes out. Will Jughead fulfill his dream of being a writer? Will Betty follow her natural aptitude for crime and forensics? And how will everyone's romantic entanglements shake out after some distance from one another?
4. Former Cast Members
Two cast members will not be returning full-time for Season 5: Skeeter Ulrich, who plays F.P. Jones, and Marisol Nichols, who plays Hermione Lodge. This will be disappointing to fans who wanted to see more of the budding relationship between F.P. and Alice, or loved watching the Lodge family drama unfold.
5. Silver Linings
But there is good news as well. Firstly, creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa stated to Variety that Ulrich and Nichols are "always welcome back in Riverdale," which means their characters won't be killed off. It leaves the door open for possible reunions down the line.
Secondly, Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that both actors had agreed to wrap up their storylines from Season 4 before leaving for good. Nichols confirmed on Instagram that she would be appearing in Season 5 in a more limited capacity. So expect to see both characters for at least the first three episodes of Season 5. And once the time jump happens, it'll be easier to write them off the show or cut back their involvement.
A CW schedule announcement this past May included a synopsis for Season 5, which tells us that some couples will be breaking up in their senior year. We're betting that Archie/Veronica and Betty/Jughead will split, especially since Archie and Betty are secretly falling for each other. The press release further states that after the time jump, the teens will return to Riverdale "to escape their troubled pasts," which is especially interesting. One would think that leaving Riverdale would be escaping the past. What event would compel them all to reunite?
7. Katy Keene Information
Katy Keene, the Riverdale spin-off that debuted in February 2020, was canceled in July 2020. But before it went off the air, we got some interesting tidbits about Riverdale Season 5. That's because Katy Keene Season 1 takes place five years after Season 4 of Riverdale (the same as the planned time jump), which gives us a sneak peek into some, but not all, of the characters' lives.
Assuming Riverdale sticks to its own canon, we know that Kevin Keller will become the drama teacher at Riverdale High. We know that Archie is still in Riverdale and keeps in touch with Josie (maybe he never left in the first place, much like Fred?).
We know Hiram Lodge is still alive and up to no good; he appeared in Katy Keene's series finale to shake things up. If he has time to wheel and deal in real estate, he's probably not mayor of Riverdale anymore. It also means that his potentially fatal neuromuscular disorder in Season 4 was either cured in the past five years or was a bald-faced lie from the start.