Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa promises that the show will get back to basics in the second half of season 2. Now that The Black Hood Killer has been discovered, it's time for the main characters on Riverdale to go back to being kids, and for the show to focus on their relationships and what is happening at school.
No matter how much Riverdale deviates from the source material - whether that means turning a lovable and goofy character from the comics into a killer with a dark past or the sexualization of the characters and town who are just so wholesome in the books - there is a core story always there. And that story is about a group of friends, and a love triangle between Archie Andrews and the two ladies in his life who could not be more different - Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge.
The first half of season 2 has been amazingly dark for the characters. Archie suffered from a near breakdown after his father was shot, Betty was psychologically tortured by The Black Hood, Veronica learned just how dirty her parents are when it comes to business, Jughead became a gang member, and Cheryl's near sexual assault and her obsession with Josie ever since have dominated the series. But Aguirre-Sacasa spoke to EW recently about how the show is going to get back to the relationships between these characters - who are just 15 years old - and bring the plot mostly back to high school.
"The second half of season two gets back to a little bit of Riverdale basics, which is focused on stories at the school, kind of getting back in deep on the relationships and the friendships."
While the show has never completely forgotten the classic Archie, Betty, and Veronica love story, at times it has only offered occasional reminders. The beginning of season one seemed to indicate that the triangle would be a huge story, with Archie's instant attraction to Veronica and Kevin referring to Betty and Archie as "endgame" when talking to Veronica. But once Archie's affair with Miss Grundy was broken up he instead went out with Valerie and was pursued by Cheryl, while Veronica went on a single date with Chuck Conners and Betty eventually started dating Jughead. By the time Archie and Veronica became an item, Bughead had become one of the show's most popular elements and Archie and Betty seemed like a thing of the past. Until Archie noticed Betty in her room one night and not long after the two shared a kiss.
With the midseason premiere promising the closing of Southside High and Jughead therefore returning to Northside, the first episode of 2018 certainly delivers a return to focusing on school as well as on Jughead's friendship with the others. With Jughead's return - and the first hints in a long time of the classic love triangle returning to the forefront - it's clear that Riverdale wants to remind audiences that no matter how many murders and crimes happen to them, the show is at its core still about teenage Archie Andrews and his relationships to the people in his life. In the town of Riverdale though, it surely won't be long before another body - and another mystery - come into their lives.
Riverdale season 2 returns to The CW on January 17.