Riverdale Season 6 kicked off with a sharp turn toward horror: Tuesday’s premiere introduced us to the town of “Rivervale,” where things were even weirder than usual. Jughead and Tabitha’s new apartment was infested with bugs, and Cheryl and her minions stuck a bunch of creepy dolls on sticks to scare the rest of town from getting into the maple syrup business.
She hosted her own maple harvest festival, where Archie won a number of competitions (of course), and that night he was called to Thorn Hill, where Cheryl declared, “A sacrifice must be made.” Archie was tied up with a crown of antlers… and Cheryl stabbed him to death and pulled his heart out to show the other townspeople, who all seemed happy to see Archie headed for his doom. (Oh, and Betty is pregnant with Archie’s baby?!?)
When we lifted our jaws off the ground, we reached out to Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, confirming that, yes, Archie is no more. (At least for the rest of the five-episode event starting with Season 6.) Plus, he sheds some light on how “Rivervale” works and what horror movies and books influenced its premiere — and hints that Archie isn’t the only major victim on tap. .
No, one of the things that we’ve been working really hard on is making sure that these five episodes… obviously we wanted to make them as fun as possible, and we wanted to eventize them and all that kind of stuff, and we wanted to kind of clean slate and a fresh start with these episodes. But it was really important to make sure they were what we call “in continuity,” meaning that the things happening in Rivervale would continue or echo or speak to the events of Riverdale.
Every year we start with very different storylines and we always try to weave them all together, and this year is no exception. I’m not going to talk about alternate universes or dreams or anything like that, but I’ll say this is all happening, and we’re going to play like this is all happening even after the first five episodes.
You’re right, we’re jumping in a bit. I will say that in an upcoming episode Betty and Veronica are having a conversation about Betty and Archie, and Archie and Reggie are having a conversation about Reggie and Veronica. So they’re coming, even if they’re in the middle of the rest of their lives. But we do have those conversations, and we keep a record of that.
Oh, sure. We all love that. And for me it goes back even further. One of my favorite movies is The Wicker Man… Anyone who knows me or has seen other things I’ve done, they know I love The Wicker Man. They know I love folk horror. I love the Shirley Jackson story ‘The Lottery’. It’s one of the classic small town stories, and I’ve always wanted to do a version of “The Lottery” in Riverdale because it’s such an iconic American town where unspeakable things happen. It felt like, “Ooh, this would be really great.” We’re always talking about how Archie sacrifices everything for the good of the city, and we thought, “Okay, let’s make that literal.”
i loved too Children of the corn, which is another folk horror film. So they all go in. The beauty of The Wicker Man is this cop goes to this town and is a little bit hypocritical, and he goes to an island and they sacrifice him. We loved the idea of Archie being such a Dudley Do-Right he’s always trying to do the best and tell everyone how they don’t live up to the expectations of the city we thought it would be really, really funny to watch the city take revenge on Archie.