Season two of Riverdale has gotten off to quite the bloody start, but creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has some good news: He has no intention of killing off your beloved characters, and we won’t see the level of violence seen in the first two episodes in every episode going forward.
Still, don’t mistake that to mean everything will be as bright and shiny as Betty’s ponytail. This is Riverdale, after all; as long as Cheryl Blossom, Hiram Lodge, and Southside Serpents are roaming the streets, then crazy, creepy stuff will go down. In fact, on tonight’s episode, Archie takes matters into his own hands to send the masked shooter a message (because, sure, that always works). Meanwhile, Jughead gets deeper into life on the Southside of town.
But by the episode’s end, we’re still not even close to figuring out who the masked killer is. Lucky for us, Aguirre-Sacasa is ruling out one major suspect, while raising eyebrows about another. Want to know more? Read on.
First things first: How could Moose and Midge have survived being shot like that at the end of last week’s episode?
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: I can tell you this: I think people really love finally getting to meet Midge, and people always like seeing Moose. It would be a sad thing if we met Midge and then she ended up one of the Black Hood’s victims so quickly. If we’ve learned nothing from season one of Stranger Things, it’s that we do not want to “Barb” any character.
I have to say, even though Miss Grundy was not a good person, I was very intrigued to see what you had in store for her before she got murdered at the end of the premiere.
RAS: I love Sarah Habel, who plays Miss Grundy, but she really took the brunt of a lot of fans vitriol towards that character. I thought she was a real sport to come back for season two. A lot of people thought Miss Grundy got her comeuppance. The Black Hood’s judgement is a terrible, terrible thing is all I can say.
Speaking of Miss Grundy, will we see more of the blonde-haired student that was with her the night she got murdered? My first inclination was that he was Betty’s brother.
RAS: Oh, interesting! Interesting, interesting.
And then I thought, well, no, he doesn’t look like the guy who was cast as Betty’s brother. But will we see that student later in the season, or was that it for him?
RAS: That’s really interesting. That’s a really good question. I will tease that may not be the last time we see him.
Interesting! So, will there be a shooting or a death in every episode? You’ve said this season is much darker, but I would assume you don’t want to be gratuitous with those moments either.
RAS: Right. Ultimately, as dark as it gets, I don’t think the show is a slasher show. I don’t think it’s Scream, for instance. The ambition is to do something that still keeps the characters in the foreground and the violence as a backdrop. In our lowbrow way, we’re kind of trying to follow the model of Zodiac, which is less about a serial killer. It’s not really a serial killer movie; it’s more about the psychological toll that the serial killer takes on this city. You always want a little excitement and horror, but there won’t necessarily be someone shot every episode.
There are a lot of theories about who the shooter might be, so how much of that do you read?
RAS: Very little.
We’ve written about a few of them, and one that intrigued us recently is Mary Andrews. It seems crazy, but there are some interesting observations why she’d want certain people out of her son’s life. Although, to be honest, that’s pretty demented if she wanted the father of her son gone.
RAS: I love Molly Ringwald as Archie’s mom; it would be a really perverse person to take Molly Ringwald and make her a serial killer. That might be even too perverse for Riverdale.
So have we seen the shooter without the mask on, or is this a new character who hasn’t been introduced yet?
RAS: I will not answer that, however, I can tell you that one of our character’s ask that very question in an episode very soon.
What about Hiram Lodge? We want to believe he’s changed enough that he can earn back Veronica’s trust, but this guy is shady.
RAS: Yeah, a character like Hiram is great because first of all, you have an actor like Mark Consuelos, who is so handsome and charming and so likable, but he’s clearly playing a character that has darkness and that has villainy. I’d be careful trusting Hiram, for sure. It already feels like there’s a lot of shadiness around him. Is he redeemed in some ways? Yes, maybe. And in other ways, no.
Switching gears, where is Betty’s sister, Polly? And when is she giving birth?
RAS: You are going to be seeing Polly very soon. As for when she’s due to give birth, we’re deliberately being fuzzy on the timeline, but that is an event that will happen this season for sure.
In a recent interview, Lili Reinhart said she thinks Betty and Archie are over and done with, at least for now. Is that how you’re looking at it as well?
RAS: Archie and Betty have been friends for a long time. There’s a history there, and there’s a lot of unspoken and spoken longing. Right now, Archie is in a pretty good place with Veronica, and Betty’s in a good place with Jughead. Does that mean they’ll always be in a good place? No, not necessarily. Not at all, in fact.
Until then, what about more romance for both sets of characters? Viewers love those scenes with Lili and Cole, as well as K.J. and Camila.
RAS: Oh, I know! That’s the challenge! Fans live for them, I live for them, but then we’ve got a pesky serial killer running around town. It’s hard to sometimes tell those personal character romance stories. [Laughs] But we try! We really do try.
We saw this great scene with Archie and Veronica in the shower, but will the show address important issues like safe sex or consent?
RAS: That’s a great question. We definitely address in an upcoming story the issue of consent. And yeah, our characters are more—especially Archie and Veronica—sexually active this season. I definitely think Archie and Veronica have had a conversation or many, in fact, about safe sex. I wouldn’t be surprised if a conversation like that happens soon on the show.
That’s great to hear. Lastly, I can’t get enough of Madelaine Petsch’s as Cheryl Blossom. What can you say about her upcoming story?
RAS: Yes, I’m with you. She’s a dynamo! She has an amazing story in episode five and an incredible story in six. In episode seven, her character takes a really, really intense left turn. She’s got some good stuff coming up for sure. She’s a star.