Sunday night, Riverdale came back from break with a bang. Season 6's sixth episode dove into the post-Rivervale arc and explained what actually happened during the explosion that went off.
The explosion has a ton of ramifications for everyone and it seems like the show may finally introduce some sort of supernatural element. Betty (Lilli Reinhart) can visualize people's auras and Archie (KJ Apa) has...super strength? Jughead (Cole Sprouse) seems to have suffered a good amount of hearing loss and the presumed culprit, Hiram (Mark Consuelos), has a hit placed on him by Veronica (Camila Mendes).
In summation, it is a lot!
Shadow and Act sat down with creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre Sacasa at length to talk about the show's return, this latest episode, where many of the characters stand, Kangs (Casey Cott and Drew Ray Tanner) and Toni (Vanessa Morgan) and if the show has finally gone supernatural.
Before diving into Sunday night’s episode, I do want to talk about the previous five episodes of the season. What was it like being able to dive into these things explored with the characters that necessarily wouldn't have happened if we didn't have this alternate dimension…universe, whatever you want to call it?
When The CW said they wanted to do a special five-episode arc and we be able to promote it and make it an event, it was sort of like, ‘Oh my gosh, OK let’s try to figure this out,’ but it actually was amazing. Because one, we got to play in a very different genre, the sort of the horror and the supernatural. But [it] allowed us to sort of jumpstart the season and test a genre out and see how it felt, which is continuing in a subtle way into the season. So really, that five-episode event arc, it really was kind of the gift that kept on giving. And when we were talking about the rest of the season, it was sort of like, ‘Oh, well what threads can we pick up not just in terms of genre, but relationships or stories that we alluded to, or dropped in to in Rivervale. Is there a way that those can echo and resonate in Riverdale as well? So it turned out to be a kind of an amazing, creative opportunity for the show. I mean, that in a really genuine way.
Like you said, I think that throughout the show's history, there have been a lot of things that could be potentially looked at as supernatural. But most of scenarios have had some sort of some sort of real world explanation to it. Though we're not deep in the season, could you speak to the fact if there is something supernatural going on? Are some of the aspects of Rivervale now in Riverdale? Is Betty actually seeing people’s auras light up?
Listen, people have been saying ‘Is Riverdale going supernatural?’ basically from season 1…or in season 2 saying ‘Oh, I hope it’s Sabrina and I hope it’s supernatural.’ And we basically danced very, very close to the edge of but always pulled back. Like even more recently, I was thinking about when we did aliens with Jughead. I would I remember at one point I was like, ‘Can’t they just be aliens?’ Like no, not really. [laughs] But I think that the good thing about that is that in season 6, when we turn towards the supernatural, we’ve hopefully kind of invested enough time in grounding–as grounded as Riverdale is–in the natural world…that now that we’re turning to it, we might be able to actually explore it. So I don’t want to give away too many secrets from season 6, but I will say that definitely, the supernatural elements from Rivervale are bleeding into Riverdale. And that that continues through the season.
Veronica has had it with her father and puts out this hit…and then she goes back on it… but then the deed has already been done. This has been such a complex relationship between Hiram and Veronica. What do you think this means in terms of how their relationship has progressed through the seasons? Also, we didn’t see a body and we know that Mark Consuelos has an open invitation to come back whenever he wants. Is Hiram dead?
There’s always been a push and pull kind of in the DNA of their relationship. And that’s why even in this episode, we had her put the hit out and then immediately try to take it back. And that’s the push and pull of their relationship. What we discovered, though when Hiram is revealed to be dead…I feel like five years or six years into this show, I can’t run around saying that is dead [laughs]. It’s very rare for someone to be dead forever on Riverdale. We love our actors. We love having them back. But he’s about as dead as you can get on Riverdale. Let me say that, but we realize that that’s he’s been such a huge presence in Veronica’s life that without retreading everything with Hiram and Veronica, that is her story and not that she is wrestling with that. And the shadow he cast is very long and large. And Veronica is kind of dealing with this sort of huge void in her life and that emotional void as an antagonist. She’s so defined herself by harm. So yeah, she’s going to she’s kind of going to go through it, I think.
I want to speak a little to what’s happening with Fangs, Tony and Kevin. The two told Kevin that they are a relationship now. Kevin mentioned something about want to go to Broadway, but he talks about staying there while they sort out the Ghoulies-Serpents stuff. What do you see coming down the line for them this season and what does the outlook look like for a Kangs reunion?
There’s a lot of domestic drama brewing between Kevin Fangs and Toni. I’m not gonna lie…things are going to get messy between the three of them. For Toni and Fangs we’re still playing that kind of as new parents, and kind sort of the dichotomy of Toni being a guidance counselor at a high school but also the leader of a gang. It is also going to cause a lot of friction. But there is a lot of domestic drama coming up between them and I don’t want to I don’t want to kill hope for a Kangs reunion, though I will say that there is romance coming up in Kevin’s life. There is a romance coming up, but I’m not going to say one way or the other if that is Fangs.
And we do see this story with Jughead and his hearing. Is this something that seems to be permanent and what can you tease as far what he's going to be going through this season dealing with that?
I’ll say this…[episode] 606 is the start of Jughead’s journey in terms of dealing with what happens to him on the other side of the explosion. And because it’s Riverdale, I can’t tell you that it’s going sort of a straight line, like ‘Oh my God, Jughead had lost his hearing and now he’s learning sign language’ and that that that’s what that story is going to be. There are elements of that for sure, but it’s Riverdale, so expect crazy curveballs…but it is a big story for the season. 100 percent.
Also, Nana Rose and Cheryl and Abigail. Nana Rose had an ulterior motive. What's she plotting?
Nana Rose always seems to have kind of an agenda [laughs]. And I think we will see that in the next episode. [We’ll] learn what that agenda is. And yeah, I think there’s definitely going to be friction between her and Cheryl. And I definitely want to say that it’s not just going to be Abigail moving forward, Cheryl is still the main player there, but there is fun story with that. There’s always fun story in the Blossom House.
Lastly, we talked about this earlier, but in a general sense...anything can happen in 'Riverdale,' but should audiences think that Rivervale was just in this five-episode pocket or is it something that could back? And is it influencing what's going on with Jughead, Betty and Archie?
I think that when Rivervale was happening, I was trying to say as much as possible that this wasn’t a standalone event and that it definitely was in canon and it definitely spoke to the rest of the season. So yes, I would say that Rivervale does exist and that we will be playing it again in unexpected ways. It’ll keep popping up, but absolutely, it’s very much in dialogue with the rest of the season and it is absolutely is informing what will happen in Riverdale.