The second season of Riverdale has been bananas, to say the least. I mean, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s thrown everything at us but the kitchen sink. Archie made some blood pact with the Lodges, and now he’s their lackey; Betty’s casually trying to burn her stepbrother; Cheryl had to undergo gay conversion therapy; and Jughead’s…still receiving too much screen time. It’ll be interesting to see how the last six episodes of the season play out. Will the Black Hood reappear? Who’s going to win the election for mayor? Is Sheriff Keller going to take his shirt off again? So many questions yet not a lot of time left for answers.
Riverdale‘s cast and creators, naturally, were pretty tight-lipped about the finale at PaleyFest in Los Angeles, but we managed to get a few details from them. “As chaotic [as things] were and as things changed, they’re going to keep being chaotic and they’re going to keep changing. Maybe you’ll get some answers to some things, maybe not. Things are in flux. A lot of things are in flux right now,” Riverdale executive producer Jon Goldwater told Glamour. When asked whether we’ll learn the real identity of the Black Hood—because, let’s be honest, the original reveal was obviously a fake-out—Goldwater said, “Maybe. There may be an answer to the Black Hood.”
“I will tell you that the stakes are really high as the season wraps up,” Goldwater said. “I won’t say all of them, but for the main character, the stakes are very high.”
Who he means by “main character” is a mystery, but statements we snagged from the other cast members suggest it’s either Archie or Jughead. “I would say Jughead. Yeah,” KJ Apa (Archie) said when we asked him who we should be worried for during the season finale. Apa added that the final episode is “tragic, thrilling, and overwhelming,” so, yeah, things will be intense.
Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead, echoed a similar sentiment. “Well, I can’t say much about the finale, but I will say that Jughead’s made a lot of enemies in season two,” he said. “Big ones. His war path has put a target on his back and he’s put in a very vulnerable position and has a lot of eyes on him, and I think it all comes to a head.”
One of those big enemies is Hiram Lodge, Veronica’s father. Marisol Nichols, who plays Hiram’s wife, Hermione, suggested to us Hiram might be the one who puts this “target” on Jughead’s back. “I think there’s no chess piece that Hiram won’t put into play, and I think he will even surprise Hermione with how far he’s willing to go in this game that he’s playing, and she’s playing,” she said. “I think at one point we’ll see Hermione pushed as far as she’s going to go, and fight back in only the way that she can.” For what it’s worth, Nichols hinted it’s the Serpents who are in trouble in the season finale.
On the other hand, Camila Mendes (Veronica) and Lili Reinhart (Betty) say it’s Archie who fans should be sweating come episode 22. “I think you can be worried for Archie. I’m not going to say anything, but the Andrews men have it rough when it comes to season finales is what I’ll say,” Reinhart said. Interestingly, Luke Perry, who plays Archie’s father, Fred, also said viewers should “definitely be worried” for his character. Yeesh.
It’s not all death and destruction, though. Remember, Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) is seemingly developing a romantic relationship with Toni Topaz, and all signs point to a pleasant ending on that front. “I think you’ll be happy with the end result,” Petsch said about the finale. “I think [it] comes out of nowhere and no one will expect it.”
And it looks like Betty and Jughead are headed for happiness too, which is a relief given all the drama they’ve experienced this season. “They’re both dealing with huge issues, massive, mind-breaking issues, and I think they still try to hold on to that communication that makes them strong, and I think the end [of season two] is a good [place] for them,” Sprouse said.
Don’t forget the family dynamics still at play on the show, as well. Nichols hinted to us Chic and Betty’s icy sibling relationship will come to a head in the season finale; plus, we’ll see what comes from the mayor race between Hermione and Fred.
“I think, everything has kind of been leading to the election and the announcement that all our families are running for mayor,” Mendes said. “So it’s going to tie in with that a little bit, and it also parallels with who is running for student council. And I think there’s going to be conflict within that storyline.”
Gosh, this is…a lot—but that’s why we love Riverdale, right? The season two finale airs May 16 at 8:00 P.M. ET on The CW.