Penelope Ann Miller joins the Riverdale cast in a first look image from the Archie Comics TV show's fast-approaching third season. The Kindergarten Cop and Carlito's Way star is now one of the many 1980s and '90s movie/TV actors who plays a member of the series' adult ensemble, along with Luke Perry, Molly Ringwald, Skeet Ulrich, Mädchen Amick and (starting with season 3's Breakfast Club-inspired flashback episode, "The Midnight Club") Anthony Michael Hall.
When last we saw Archie (K.J. Apa), he was being marched off in handcuffs after being framed for committing murder by Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos): his girlfriend Veronica's (Camila Mendes) father and Archie's former mentor-turned nemesis. While the Riverdale season 3 SDCC trailer appeared to indicate the series would pick up once Archie's brush with the law was over and done with, that no longer seems to be the case. Rather, it now looks like Archie's trial will be a major narrative thread in the show's present-day, when it resumes in October.
Miller's character, Ms. Wright, will lead The Town with Pep's prosecution against Archie during his trial - and knowing Riverdale, it's a fair bet that Hiram is pulling her strings, in order to ensure that Archie takes the fall for a murder that Hiram technically ordered. You can get your first look at Miller's (probably crooked) lawyer in EW's exclusive photo below, followed by the new season 3 poster that The CW only just released online.
As suggested by this poster, Archie's lovable frenemy Reggie Mantle (Charles Melton) and Southside Serpent Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) are both being upgraded to series regular status for Riverdale season 3. Speaking of which: Toni and her fellow Serpents - which now includes her girlfriend Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) - will apparently be growing in number over the coming episodes. It seems that even Archie will be joining their ranks at some point, as evidenced by the recent trailer footage that shows him sporting a shiny Serpents tattoo on his right shoulder.
All things considered, that actually makes sense. With Hiram sinking his claws deeper into Riverdale's legal system and starting to construct the prison he was secretly planning for a good part of season 2, the town's local gang is probably more trustworthy and reliable now than the police - much less someone like Ms. Wright. Not to mention: with what appears to be a twisted cult on the loose in season 3, Archie and his friends will need all the help they can get... if they want to make it through another year of high school in one piece (and not in jail).
Riverdale season 3 premieres Wednesday, October 10 with "Chapter Thirty-Six: Labor Day" on The CW.