The second season of The CW’s Riverdale ended with approximately 75 major revelations (give or take): Betty’s dad was unmasked as the Black Hood, Jughead officially became the leader of the Serpents, Cheryl Blossom became a Serpent, Jughead asked Betty to be his Scorpion Queen (whatever that is), Hermione Lodge is now the Riverdale mayor, Kevin and Moose made out, and, oh, by the way, Archie was arrested for murder.
Just another day in idyllic Riverdale!
While there’s still a wait until the next season’s October premiere, Rotten Tomatoes has gathered everything we know about season 3, including intel from our own cast interviews and new details revealed on the show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel.
Penelope Ann Miller will play the “savvy and eloquent” prosecutor going after Archie, Ms. Wright. According to The CW’s official character description, “with a conviction in mind, she will weave together disparate moments of Archie’s young life to portray him as a dangerous, violent sociopath who is capable of committing a heinous crime.”
After being arrested for murder in the season finale, Archie (KJ Apa) will be on trial when the show returns. While it’s unclear whether he’ll be stuck in juvie awaiting said trial, KJ Apa told Rotten Tomatoes he would be thrilled to get a chance to play that.
“As an actor I’d love to be in a jail cell,” Apa said, but did admit that the number of shirtless push-ups he’s already had to film is “many.”
As the new leader of the Serpents, Jughead will be tasked with rebuilding the gang’s presence in Riverdale.
“He’s not really dealing with the same gang that his father was dealing with, but I think Jughead’s a kind of tactician, and I think he’s a cerebral leader,” Cole Sprouse said at Comic-Con. “I don’t necessarily think might is right, in his opinion. He was kind of a pacifist for much of 2A, and I think he’s going to be bringing that kind of feeling to the Serpents. How do we rebuild without making so many enemies and simultaneously standing our ground? It’s going to be interesting.”
No, he won’t be going after the Ghoulies for the beatdown that left him clinging to life in the penultimate episode of season 2.
“I don’t know if revenge is part of his leadership quality. And I don’t know if revenge really suits him,” Sprouse said. “I think he’s gonna be calm and collected, and much more tactical about how he approaches leadership. I don’t know if he’s just gonna be that hotheaded kid he was.”
Plus, his dad, FP (Skeet Ulrich) isn’t stepping away from the Serpents completely, acting as a consigliere to his son.
“He just takes on a new role helping him make the Serpents strong again so we can live out the big plan,” Ulrich said on the show’s Comic-Con panel.
After giving up her trust fund and being cut off financially from her father in exchange for Pop’s, Veronica (Camila Mendes) is a busy woman.
“I think Veronica is going to be an entrepreneur in season 3 on top of being a high school student,” Mendes said on the show’s Comic-Con panel. “She’ll be running a speakeasy inside of Pop’s … It’s a side of her that will show that she’s not a spoiled rich girl. she’s trying to prove herself to everyone.”
With Archie going on trial (and presumably to juvie), the separation will have a detrimental effect on his relationship with Veronica.
“I think definitely the distance and separation between them, if he were to go away, would be hard,” Apa said on the panel.
Mendes, too, confirmed that Archie and Veronica are “going to run into some problems.”
There may be trouble in paradise for two of the show’s core four characters, but the other two are doing just fine. Jughead and Betty (Lili Reinhart) will be going strong.
“Right now, I think, they’re rock solid,” Reinhart said on the panel. Plus, the two of them will be spending a lot of time together as the “investigative duo” they were in season 1 when they begin looking into one of the season’s new mysteries.
Starting in episode three, Aguirre-Sacasa teased “an unlikely romance” for Reggie (Charles Melton). The creator also mentioned that Reggie will be working at Veronica’s speakeasy — so fans can draw their own conclusions as to what that particular tidbit means.
First of all, Madelaine Petsch wants you to make sure you’re pronouncing the portmanteu of Cheryl and Toni (Vanessa Morgan) correctly. It’s “show-knee,” not “cho-knee.” Second of all, everything is good in the romance department for the two teens, who are actually moving in together.
“Everything’s very good for the two of us in season 3 — so far,” she told Rotten Tomatoes at Comic-Con. “We’ve got a cute relationship. Very happy. It’s the first time you see Cheryl genuinely happy.”
They’ll only get closer now that Cheryl is a Serpent too.
“I, personally, think that all Cheryl’s ever needed is this support system and I think that’s literally exactly what the Serpents are for her right now,” she added.
If you want to see the lovebirds before then, you might be able to see the many, many moments between the two characters that wound up on the cutting room floor.
“Wait for the DVD,” Petsch teased. “All of the deleted scenes are ours.”
Kevin (Casey Cott) reconnected with Moose in the finale, and Cott teased that the duo’s tryst will turn into something more in season 3. And his new pseudo-stepsister Josie (Ashleigh Murray) has a new love interest of her own.
“There’s a little something something happening, but she’s still not tied to anyone,” Murray said. “I think that a good reason that she isn’t is because she’s probably dealing with a fear of commitment due to her mom’s infidelity.”
Speaking of her mom, the former mayor and Sheriff Keller are moving in together, which means Josie and Kevin are moving in together too.
“I might not really be happy about how our parents are together but now I’ve got this cool sibling, and we can make jokes,” Murray said.
And Cott has an idea of how they can do some sibling bonding: “I think we should do a band.”
While Betty will be doing everything she can to forget the fact that her dad is a serial killer, Alice (Mädchen Amick) and Polly (Tiera Skovbye) will fully embrace the cult life as a way to deal with the news.
“Alice was in a really vulnerable place at the end of season 2, and I think that was a really good opportunity for Polly to present something she thought would be a good fix,” Amick said. “When Alice goes in, she goes in all the way, so let’s just say Alice is really searching to try to heal herself. So, yeah, she might be exploring some things.”
So, what’s so appealing about this cult? There’s tea, crystals, and “a really handsome cult leader.” Plus, Amick teased, they grow “a lot of greenery.”
As for Hiram (Mark Consuelos), the man who framed Archie for murder, he’s going to continue to rule with his “legion of doom,” as Aguirre-Sacasa put it (referring to his alliance of fellow evil-doers who want to control the town). And Hermione (Marisol Nichols) will have major power of her own now that she’s Riverdale’s new mayor. But things might not be smooth sailing between them.
“I think there’s going to be discord for sure, because they started as united fronts and I think in Hermoine’s mind, he went too far. Once you start messing with Veronica, it’s too much,” Nichols told Rotten Tomatoes. “I think we’ll see them more like that.”
But Consuelos thinks Hermione’s infidelity is where she might have crossed a line.
“There’s always new lines being drawn. That’s how it started. Loyalty to him is really a one way street. I think loyalty in the family is a one way street. It’s super transactional,” he said. “What’s fascinating is they’re both making moves. At least Hiram knows what’s going on behind the scenes. He’s smart. I can’t speak for [Nichols] but I think Hermione knows exactly what’s going on, too.”
Confirmed Nichols, “Always.”
While season 1 of Riverdale was universally lauded, there was more of a mixed reaction to the second season. Part of that uneven response was due to growing pains from a short, tight, 13-episode first season to a full 22-episode second season. But season 3 will hopefully feel more balanced because the writers were able to learn from their experience writing a 22-episode season.
“I think part of it was learning how fun it is to take a time out,” executive producer Sarah Schechter told Rotten Tomatoes. “We had two really exciting episodes last year, obviously the musical, and then the episode where we did the three separate storylines of that trip across the river, and so I think we want to continue what we’ve learned from that — how fun it is to do that for the cast and crew.”
Riverdale returns to The CW on Oct. 10.