“Riverdale” is racing towards the finish line of its freshman season as the entire town searches for the truth behind the mysterious death of Jason Blossom. As the season winds down, “Riverdale’s” executive producers are beginning to look ahead to Season 2 at which characters they want to introduce, what mysteries they want to hold back and what traditions they want to create in their second season. They’re also excited about tonight’s episode, “To Riverdale and Back Again,” which will bring past and present Riverdale students together.
During WonderCon, “Riverdale” executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater discussed the conclusion of the current season and what’s in the works for “Riverdale’s” forthcoming second season. When asked if the show’s renewal caused them to change or rewrite the Season 1 finale, Aguirre-Sacasa said, “No, we’d written and shot the finale and then two or three weeks later heard about the renewal. No, no, no, we wrote and shot most of the season before we even started airing.”
“I think in that way it’s almost good we didn’t know, ” Schechter added. “We love the show so much, we really wanted it to be satisfying no matter what.”
So far, “Riverdale” Season 1 has only spanned the fall semester of Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead’s sophomore year, a season that Schecter calls, “A book in a series of books. We wanted the season to be cohesive, we really wanted it to stand on its own.” While there will be many stories to tell on “Riverdale” in the season(s) to come, there will be a finality to this season that will bring certain storylines to a close.
When asked if the Hiram Lodge would make an appearance in the season finale, Aguirre-Sacasa said, “We want to keep as many surprises in the finale as possible.” So far in Season 1, the mysterious Hiram Lodge has only been mentioned by name. Nevertheless, he’s been able to pull strings from within prison, which has put the Lodge family at odds with both the Blossoms and the Andrews. This sets the stage for even greater family showdowns in Season 2.
Unfortunately, the series EPs weren’t able to incorporate a Halloween episode in Season 1, even though that would have aligned with Archie Comics’ darker brand series like “Afterlife with Archie,” “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and “Jughead: The Hunger” — but don’t count a Halloween episode out just yet. “We want to see what Riverdale is like on Halloween. That’s just so much fun! We just have to figure out the timing for it,” Schechter said.
She followed up by calling attention to another teen show that was famous for incorporating Halloween into its seasons. “We’re big fans of the ‘Buffy’ Halloween episodes,” she shared. Aguirre-Sacasa added, “We’d all love to do one — it would be a nice tradition.” That could be a way to introduce some more mystical elements to “Riverdale” without completely shifting the tone to become a supernatural thriller — a bit like “Scooby Do,” a bit like “Buffy.”
While “Riverdale” won’t be featuring a Halloween episode this season, it will showcase a Homecoming episode, which will air tonight. According to Aguirre-Sacasa, “Archie and a surprise partner are going to sing a cover of an ‘80s song for a retro Homecoming episode.” Will this retro Homecoming episode pay homage to eighties queen Molly Ringwald, Archie’s estranged mother who returned home last week? According to the episode synopsis “Chapter 11: To Riverdale and Back Again,” it will be both Homecoming and a High School reunion:
SUSPICIONS CONTINUE TO GROW — Betty (Lili Reinhart) is slammed overseeing Homecoming and Reunion weekend, but Alice (Madchen Amick) wants her to help with the Jason Blossom investigation. Alice turns to Archie (KJ Apa) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) for help, but when Betty discovers they are working with her mom, she is not happy. After seeing his father FP (guest star Skeet Ulrich) start to clean up his act, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) wonders if it’s the right time to give him another chance. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) and Polly (guest star Tiera Skovbye) have both decided to go to Homecoming in Jason’s honor, until a revelation waylays their plans. Meanwhile, Fred (Luke Perry) and Mary (guest star Molly Ringwald) attend the Homecoming dance, leaving Fred to possibly reconsider the divorce. Ashleigh Murray and Marisol Nichols also star. Kevin Sullivan directed the episode written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Original airdate 4/27/2017.
The “Riverdale” executive producers were also asked about the show’s connectedness to the comics that are being produced right now and specifically if “Riverdale” is influencing “Archie Comics” or vice versa. “We have a brand new ‘Riverdale’ comic book out, that’s written by Roberto and the team, which is a companion piece to the show,” Goldwater explained. “The comic books are maintaining their same storyline. They’re lighter, they’re fun, they’re the same.”
Aguirre-Sacasa followed up with, “It’s a little fun, though. We’ll be talking in the writer’s room and we’ll say, ‘Oh, by the way, in the comic book, this is going to happen’ and I was like, ‘Wow, we’re all tapping into some creative subconscious that’s there.’ I think in taking the new ‘Archie’ book that [Mark] Waid is writing, that is more slice-of-life than coming of age. There are very weird echoes and I think, ‘Did Mark read that script?’ So they are speaking to each other.”
Airing on the CW network weekly on Thursdays at 9 p.m., “Riverdale” is a modern take on the Archie Comics universe starring K.J. Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge, Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller and Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom.