SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Chapter Forty-Five: The Stranger," latest episode of Riverdale Season 3.
Last week's episode of Riverdale may have left Archie Andrews on death's door, but fans didn't have to wait long to learn his fate in "Chapter Forty-Five: The Stranger." The latest episode opened with a shot of Archie walking through the woods with his dog Vegas, then down a quiet street. This eventually led him to the door of his father's house, where he explained what happened and how he survived.
"I don't remember the rangers finding me. I woke up in the hospital knowing that I couldn't keep running," he revealed. "It was time to come home, back to a normal life, if that's even possible."
When Fred asked about Hiram, who has been on the hunt for Archie ever since he escaped from prison, Archie laughed and added, "I survived a bear attack, Dad. I can't live my life in fear of when he might come after me anymore."
With that, Archie returned to his life at Riverdale High School. Now, he'll have to grapple with everyday struggles like SAT prep and high school relationships instead of prison fight clubs and placating his girlfriend's mafioso father. As seen in the episode, that adjustment hasn't been easy for him and it will probably only get worse.
"I think it's not easy because he comes back and the high school problems seem ridiculous when compared to what he went through in prison," Archie actor KJ Apa revealed during a set visit attended by CBR. "Because of not being able to settle that well, we see him turn to other options, which are not good."
This will also impact his relationships with friends like Jughead and Betty. "It creates a huge divide, but again, we don't really get to explore that too much; but for a while, it creates divide where, without kind of spoiling it too much, he is kind of just spiraling into a dark kind of place, but is saved by a person and by music," he teased.
Airing Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW, Riverdale stars KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Miller, Casey Cott, Mark Consuelos, Skeet Ulrich, Marisol Nichols, Madchen Amick and Luke Perry.