Warning: Spoilers for “Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter” below!
The CW’s Riverdale has always set itself apart, crafting a Lynchian “teen-noir” potboiler that’s refreshingly different from the predictably angsty high school soap opera efforts on other networks. Dirty dealings, murders, fight clubs, serial killers, and a cult that uses an evil board game that causes its players to commit suicide are all part of the milieu of the bonkers thrill ride that is Riverdale.
At the heart of it all, however, are the core four: Archie, Veronica, Jughead, and Betty. Jug and Betty are lovers and meddling kid investigators, much like the “Hardy Boys Go to Hell” duo of Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern from the David Lynch film Blue Velvet.
Archie and Veronica fight the good fight as well, but in a different way, mainly against V’s evil crime boss dad Hiram Lodge. Archie and Hiram have had a hate/hate relationship from the jump, which caused V to choose Archie, much to daddy’s dismay. Hiram has done horrible things to both Archie and Veronica in an effort to break them up, with the latest being trumped up charges that put Archie behind bars.
After a thrilling prison break episode and Archie’s exoneration, Veronica thought everything would be puppies and rainbows from then on, only to have her heart torn out and stomped flat by the beefy redhead in a “Dear Veronica” breakup phone call (at least it wasn’t a text!). The last image we saw was Archie and Jug doing their best hobo thing, walking down the railroad tracks into the sunset, leaving Riverdale (for good?).
Collider recently visited the cast of Riverdale in Vancouver and got some of them to dish on the shocking split. First up, the man himself, KJ Apa:
Collider: Breaking up with Veronica had to be a terrible decision for Archie to make. Was it out of a desire to protect her?
KJ APA: Yes. I think Archie being in Riverdale puts her in danger because of the whole thing with Hiram and stuff like that. I think Archie being in Riverdale kind of puts a lot of people in danger, but most of all it puts Veronica in danger. But that being the reason for them having to part ways means that there is still something there, you know what I mean? They didn’t part ways because of someone doing something.
Collider: And she’s not going to give up, obviously.
APA: Exactly. And I don’t think Archie is either. So, I think at the moment it’s just the best thing for them.
Hiram has definite thoughts about the breakup, as expressed by Mark Consuelos, who portrays Big H:
“Well, he loves it. He left her alone and he’s abandoned her. It was like what could be better than that? But yeah, of course, he capitalizes on the fact that she’s upset. So, there’s a lot of fun stuff, really fun stuff coming up in the next episodes.”
Collider: How will Hiram react when he finds out that Archie has skipped town? Will he hunt him down?
CONSUELOS: Yeah, I think it was his plan. I mean, obviously Archie took the deal and nobody made him take the deal to go to jail. But he liked him where he was. I think he doesn’t like the fact that Archie’s on the run and doesn’t know exactly where he is. That’s a little loose end that he needs to tighten up.
Hermione Lodge, the long-suffering wife of Hiram, looks at the breakup as an opportunity to rebuild the relationship with her estranged daughter Veronica. This from Marisol Nichols:
“I hope so. I miss that. I think Hermione, to justify everything that she does, she does it to protect Veronica. Sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly, sometimes to teach her lessons, but the end goal is always to protect her daughter. And then the deeper that Veronica goes into this world, the harder and harder that becomes. But I, for one, miss their relationship when they were all on the same side and Hermione didn’t have to fight so hard. So, I’m hoping that we see more of that as well.”
While nothing in Riverdale is predictable, one thing is a pretty good bet: Varchie will end up in each another’s arms again, probably sooner rather than later, so all you shippers out there just relax!
Did the Varchie breakup hit you right in the feels? Venting is beneficial and encouraged in the comments section.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays on the CW.