Riverdale fans will have to wait a little longer for more clues to the mystery of the Gargoyle King. The show is currently taking a break and there will be no new episode this week - or next week, for that matter. In addition to the usual mid-season break, many shows on The CW are now taking multiple breaks of a week or more in between episodes, and Riverdale unfortunately suffers from this as well. The next new episode will air on February 27, 2019.
There are several reasons why shows like Riverdale - fall shows with 22-24 episodes per season - tend to take frequent breaks. One of the most basic reasons is that these shows are expected to premiere in October and arrive at their finale in May the following year, and with only 22-24 episodes that schedule isn't possible without taking a few breaks. The schedule is important because it enables networks to target Nielsen's "sweeps" periods - weeks during which ratings are monitored more closely and advertisers pay closer attention to them. These periods take place in July, November, February and May, with November and May being the most important sweeps weeks for fall shows like Riverdale.
On a more practical level, Riverdale needs to take breaks in order to actually finish filming and editing upcoming episodes. While shows with shorter seasons can often be filmed and completed in advance of their premiere, longer shows continue filming while episodes are airing. This wouldn't be possible if seasons aired without any breaks at all, since filming alone takes about a week. The one upside to all the breaks, from fans' perspective, is that it means the wait between seasons is shorter.
The major downside to Riverdale's regular breaks is that the mystery of the Gargoyle King, which has already been drawn out through several fake reveals, is taking even longer to resolve itself. The mysterious figure brainwashing Riverdale's teens through a role-playing game has been speculated to be everyone from Hiram Lodge to the enigmatic cult leader Edgar Evernever, but while the Gargoyle King has been unmasked, we've so far only seen red herrings like Tall Boy and Marcus Mason underneath the mask.
With 11 episodes of Riverdale season 3 left to go, we may still be led down a few more false trails before we finally get all the answers to this season's big mystery. Who is the Gargoyle King? Will Archie recover from his time spent in the wilderness? Will Hiram Lodge ever pay for his crimes? And most important of all - will Bughead prove to be endgame?
Riverdale returns to The CW on February 27 at 8/7c.