The CW’s Riverdale premiered last Thursday, introducing television audiences to a darker, edgier universe featuring the beloved characters from Archie Comics. Executive produced by current Archie CEO (and creator of the zombie apocalypse themed Afterlife with Archie) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the series is described by the network as “a bold and subversive take on the wholesome town of Riverdale and some of its teen residents… as they discover the darkness and dangers that bubble underneath their town’s wholesome façade.”
Archie’s here, now updated as a muscular aspiring songwriter played by KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart is his BFF Betty, Camila Mendes is new girl in town Veronica, Jones Madelaine Petsch a suspicious Cheryl and former Disney Channel favorite Cole Sprouse channels a moody, mysterious Jughead. Adding more than a nod to previous generation dramas like Twin Peaks and Beverly Hills 90210 are cast members Mӓdchen Amick as Alice, Luke Perry as Fred, Marisol Nichols as Hermione, and an anticipated guest role by Molly Ringwald as Archie’s mother, Mary.
The CW has now released a synopsis for Riverdale episode four, giving fans of the show plenty to look forward to. The episode, due to premiere on February 16th, is slyly named ‘Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show’ and is described as follows:
When Jughead (Cole Sprouse) learns that an anonymous buyer has plans to tear down the local drive-in, he fights desperately to keep it open. Betty (Lili Reinhart) finds her friendship with Archie on the line after stumbling upon some startling information she’s uncovered about Miss Grundy’s (guest star Sarah Habel) past. Elsewhere, Veronica (Camila Mendes) confronts her mother Hermoine (Marisol Nichols) about a suspicious meeting she witnessed between her mother and a shady Southside Serpent. Finally, after uncovering Betty’s diary, Alice (Madchen Amick) finds the perfect opportunity to destroy Archie’s golden boy image.
The first three episodes of Riverdale were named after intense crime thrillers River’s Edge, Touch of Evil and Body Double, adding even more meta-narrative substance to the show’s current storyline, and inspirational touchstones. In Riverdale, the characters may seem familiar, but they’re more likely to encounter murder, betrayal and lots of secrets between milkshakes and hamburgers at Pop’s Chock’lit Shop.
Whereas traditional dramatic tension in the Archie Comics universe centered around never-ending love triangles and high school stress, Aguirre-Sacasa has nurtured the property into a more diverse, and frankly more fun, update for the 21st century. As in its 2010 comic counterpart, Kevin (Casey Cott), the Archie property’s first openly gay character is a major figure on the Riverdale TV show. The more established Archie staples, like Moose and Josie retain their basic characteristics with a few new surprises.
Part of Riverdale‘s intrigue is in discovering just how modernized the showrunners will be taking things. So far, in just the first episode, we’ve been treated to a steamy tryst between Archie and his music teacher, suspected foul-play involving the death of Jason by his twin sister and a seemingly all-knowing, possibly asexual, Jughead narrating the whole thing for the audience. If this new episode four synopsis is any indication, a lot of these set-up secrets are about to be revealed.
Riverdale episode 2, ‘Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil’, airs this Thursday on The CW at 9 pm EST. ‘Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show’ airs on February 16th.
Sources: The CW