Tonight's episode of The CW's Archie Comics-inspired "Riverdale" will send Archie behind enemy lines, and with the dreaded Blossom family. The preview (watch it below) showcases not only Archie spending time with the Blossoms but kissing the queen Blossom herself, Cheryl -- a romantic pairing no one saw coming, even if Cheryl and Archie have some comic book history. In case you're wondering, there is a method to Archie's apparent madness. This forthcoming turn of events was discussed by executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater, plus Betty Cooper actress Lili Reinhart at WonderCon this weekend.
Aguirre-Sacasa described tonight's episode, which is titled "Chapter Nine: La Grande Illusion," as "Archie in the honey trap that is the Blossoms." He also said that the episode will be very "Cheryl-centric," a deviation from the last few episodes which have spent less time with Cheryl and more time revealing Polly's story. Based on the episode preview for "Illusion," we know that Archie accompanies Cheryl and her family to their annual maple syrup tapping event, which according to Schechter is something we'll learn all about, "You learn a lot about the maple syrup tapping business, which I didn’t know anything about." Apparently maple syrup is big in Riverdale -- who knew?
Lili Reinhart, whose character is currently leading the investigation into Jason's murder, weighed in on Archie's forthcoming crossover to the Blossom-colored dark side. Apparently, Betty and Jughead will use Archie's budding intimacy with Cheryl to get near her parents and their tribe. "Archie gets kind of close and wrapped up with the Blossoms a little bit," Reinhart said, "Betty and Jughead are kind of like, ‘OK, do some sleuthing for us, get in there and get information.'" Archie will essentially be Betty and Jughead's eyes and ears inside the Thornhill Estate, which could provide useful for getting information on Jason and Betty's sister Polly, whose decision to leave home last week left the Cooper's heartbroken.
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So far, "Riverdale" has found a well-developed balance between diving into family arcs, like Jughead's relationship with his dad or Polly's relationship with her mother, but the mystery surrounding Jason's death always lies beneath the surface. "The way that it comes into and out of focus is the way tragedy affects a community. You do have to get on with your daily living, but you can’t forget that rotting corpse," Schechter said. That rotting corpse may have been buried at Thornhill just a few weeks ago, but as they used to say on "Twin Peaks," it is filled with secrets.
"It waxes and wanes a little bit, depending on what the episode is. Some are very mystery-centric, some are more standalone. For instance, [episode] nine, the Blossom episode, is a big Jason mystery episode," Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed. Now that "Riverdale" is officially past the half-way point in the series, certain episodes will increasingly deal with Jason's death. "Our next to the last episode is almost all mystery," Aguirre-Sacasa said. "It’s one of our strongest episodes."
It's clever of Betty and Jughead to use their friends to investigate the Blossoms, especially since that family is so closed off to outsiders. "Because our characters aren’t the detectives -- they are the kids at the high school, you don’t want to make it seem like ‘Oh, they’re literally working with the police,’ so it’s a balancing act," Aguirre-Sacasa said. Archie going undercover at Thornhill this week should help Riverdale's amateur sleuths, Betty and Jughead, discover something else about Jason's death, especially since they learned so much last time they were there, including Jason's proposal to Polly and his parents' awareness of that fact.
You can find the preview and episode description for "Chapter Nine: La Grande Illusion" below:
ULTERIOR MOTIVES — Archie (KJ Apa) reluctantly agrees to escort Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) to her family’s official start of maple syrup tapping because he gets an offer that could help his future. Archie starts to become skeptical of the real reason the Blossoms are so eager to help him, however he gets some helpful information for Betty (Lili Reinhart) about her sister. Veronica (Camila Mendes) is trying to be nice and unbeknownst to her, befriends a classmate that her father’s illegal doings has hurt. Hermione (Marisol Nichols) is conflicted about telling Fred (Luke Perry) the truth. Meanwhile, Alice (Madchen Amick) is ready to get revenge on the Blossoms once and for all with the help of her two daughters. Cole Sprouse also stars. Lee Rose directed the episode written by James DeWille. Original airdate 4/6/2017.
Airing on the CW network weekly on Thursdays at 9:00 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.