It’s finally here, you guys! Yep, after months of waiting, Riverdale finally aired the highly-anticipated time jump episode on Wednesday, February 10, and boy, did a lot go down in it.
For those who missed it, the creator of the beloved CW show, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed a while back that the series was going to jump seven years into the future during Season 5, after the characters graduated from high school.
“We did decide very quickly because all of the kids were seemingly going to different colleges and we didn’t want them to all go to, like, Riverdale University. And in terms of drama, for me, college is a less appealing version of high school stories. In terms of what we’re most excited about is that after four seasons of pretty elaborate, complicated storytelling, this time jump allows us to start with a clean slate, drop in the middle of stories and then have people catch up,” he explained to Entertainment Weekly. “And it allows us to play new dynamics. Now it’s not just Betty in scenes with Jughead, now it’s not just Cheryl and Toni in scenes together. That’s what’s been exciting for the actors too, they’re really excited about playing characters closer to their age.”
And now, we finally saw it all go down! But wait, what are the characters up to seven years in the future? Some of them moved away, some stayed in the murder-stricken town, some got married, some broke up, some stayed together, some got their dream jobs and naturally, some of them found themselves in the midst of some trouble! Here’s what all of your favorite characters are doing after the Season 5 time jump.
Archie Andrews, who is played by KJ Apa, spent the last seven years in the army. But after he found himself in a military hospital for an unknown injury, he was told to head back to Riverdale to restart the high school’s ROTC program. But when he returned to his old town and realized that Hiram Lodge (Veronica Lodge’s dad) had taken over and nearly destroyed it, he decided to get the gang back together so that they could try to fix things.
But they weren’t too excited about the task. Aguirre-Sacasa explained during a recent interview with TV Line, “We thought it was very Archie of Archie to say, ‘Guys, we’ve gotta save the town! Let’s put on a show!’ And we thought Betty, Veronica and Jughead would be like, ‘What are you talking about? We have lives elsewhere.’ Their reluctance to go all in with Archie felt real, and it felt like that was the first big story we had to tell, which was to figure out a way that these characters would come to Riverdale and reinvest in Riverdale, a place where a lot of their times were fraught and not necessarily amazing.”
After high school, Betty Cooper, who is played by Lili Reinhart, went to Yale University. Then, she entered the FBI training program, and since she “caught serial killers in high school” the job seemed perfect for her. But some time during her training, the blonde beauty was kidnapped by someone named the “Trash Bag Killer,” and was held captive for two weeks. He escaped in the end, and now, she’s determined to catch him. But don’t expect the “Trash Bag Killer” to be the only problem that Betty faces this season.
“In a way, all of the characters are dealing with some form of trauma, and Betty for sure is focused on her experience with the Trash Bag Killer. That guy will be haunting the fringes of the show. But Betty’s big season mystery isn’t solely focused on the Trash Bag Killer,” Aguirre-Sacasa said.
Oh, and did we mention that she’s got a cute new boyfriend? Yep, she’s dating one of her FBI colleagues — a guy named Glen — and they seem as happy as could be together.
Veronica, who is played by Camila Mendes, is now a married woman! Over the last seven years, she went to work on Wall Street, which is where she met her husband, Chad. But after the couple got into a terrible helicopter crash, he told her he didn’t want her going back to a stressful stock trader job, so she is now selling jewelry. But she doesn’t seem very happy in her marriage or with her new job.
Aguirre-Sacasa dished to Entertainment Tonight, “Chad is sort of like a mini Hiram and I think we’ll learn why and how Veronica and Chad came together. But, you know, it’s funny, I think Veronica and Archie were really, really strong. Even after their breakup in the prom episode, we see in the graduation episode that they wanted to spend time together and they wanted to spend the night together and be together. I think their attraction, affection, and love for each other is pretty primal, so yeah, those two will also be looking for a way to reconnect. But I will say that Archie will not get back together with Veronica — or even start to think about that — while Veronica is married to someone else. He’s just not going to do that. That’s just not who he is.”
As for Jughead Jones, who is played by Cole Sprouse, he went to New York City to pursue his job as a writer. He’s already released a wildly successful book, but he is struggling to write the second one. He is facing severe writers block, on the verge of getting evicted, running from debt collectors, drinking too much and cheating on his girlfriend — so yeah, things aren’t looking good for the beanie-loving character. But wait, what happened to our favorite couple — Bughead, you ask? Aguirre-Sacasa explained, “One of the fun things about the time jump is that we see the kids have kind of gone their separate ways, and a more human mystery is: Why didn’t they stay in touch? How did they drift apart? Probably the biggest mystery is what transpired between Betty and Jughead, that they so completely are out of each other’s lives.”
He added in a different interview, “You know, I’ll be honest with you, as we unpack the seven years, which we’ll do throughout the season — they’re all pretty bad. Like, originally, Jughead’s was going to be the least traumatizing, but as we accumulated details, it’s now going to be, kind of, the most horrific. They’re all pretty bad and they’re all pretty dark as we will discover throughout the season. There’s no one who got spared in terms of the trauma quotient.”
What about Cheryl Blossom, you ask? Well, the character, who is played by Madelaine Petsch, is still in Riverdale, living at Thorn Hill with her Nana Rose. Hiram is trying to steal the maple farm from them, but her Nana wants her to reproduce fakes of famous (and valuable) paintings to stay afloat.
As for her ex-girlfriend Toni Topaz, who is played by Vanessa Morgan — sorry guys, they’re no longer together — she is also still in Riverdale. She is now the guidance counselor at Riverdale High, and get this — she’s about to become a mom! She is pregnant, but won’t reveal who the father of the baby is… Just yet.
“We are going to keep Toni’s baby daddy a secret for a while, but I’ll tell you that I think we reveal the identity in [episode] 508,” Aguirre-Sacasa revealed. “And I think I can say that up to 508 there is a push and pull between Cheryl and Toni. Both of them want to get back together, but they’re struggling to be in sync about why and the exact moment. And I will say, without spoiling anything, it has been fun writing for Cheryl and Toni as separate entities and not as Choni. It has been fun to break stories for Madelaine and fun to break stories for Vanessa sort of not under the umbrella of Choni, but there is a push and pull that happens. One hundred percent.”
Reggie Mantle, who is played by Charles Melton, did not go down a path anyone expected. He is now Hiram’s righthand man, which means he had a lot to do with the downfall of Riverdale. It’s still unclear how he got into this situation, but hopefully now that his old friends returned to town they will be able to bring him back to the good side!
Over the last seven years, Kevin Keller, who is played by Casey Cott, graduated from Carnegie Mellon college and returned to Riverdale, where he now teaches drama at the high school. Plus, he is still dating Fangs Fogarty!