Riverdale went out with a bang. Literally.

[Warning, spoilers about the season one finale of Riverdale ahead. If you choose to continue to read and then complain about spoilers, we'll douse you in maple syrup!]

Is Fred (Luke Perry) dead?! That is the question Riverdale fans will be asking once they finish scraping their jaws off the floor after the season one finale's final scene, which found Archie (KJ Apa) cradling his father's body in his arms at Pop's after a masked man came in and shot Fred. You know what they say, when one murder investigation closes, another opens...that is if Fred really is dead.

To get answers on that shocking ending, Archie's dark turn, and whether or not we'll meet a certain teen witch and secret sibling in season two, E! News hopped on the phone with showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.


The CW

E! News: How. Dare. You. Fred, really?!
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: I know. I know. It wasn't originally expected, but then when it it happened it felt inevitable that Fred, who is of all our characters the one who most believe in Riverdale, the town, the one who loved it the most, who was born there and grew up there, started his business there, chose to raise his son there; the guy who was the least morally compromised of our characters, that he would be the one most affected by the darkness and the criminality that has been bumbling around the fringes of the show. The second you start thinking about who deserved it the least, it's sort of like it has to happen.

Archie is our hero of the series and what happens to heroes is that something happens in their lives that changes them forever, and it's sort of like when Bruce Wayne's parents are shot in front of him in Crime Alley and he vows to become the Batman. Or when Peter Parker learns that his beloved Uncle Ben, who is very similar to Fred, is dead he vows to become the Spider-Man. And I think for Archie, we were really looking for something like that and looking toward season two, it really does galvanize and change Archie. And in a weird way, it's going to be a little bit like Batman and Spider-Man. The impulse, the journey is going to be dark, like Batman. It is going to be driven by revenge and violence begetting violence, and payback. And then hopefully at some point, it will turn toward the light and being a real hero, being driven by more altruistic reasons and honoring the man that Fred raised. Archie was raised by Fred, he was raised by a good guy, and I think that will ultimately come true, but I think it's going to get worse before it gets better. 

See, as a jaded TV watcher, I immediately thought, OK, it's a cliffhanger ending, maybe he's not really dead. Are you confirming Fred is dead?
I am neither confirming or denying that, but I am confirming that we will see Luke Perry in the season two premiere. 

Will we possible see Molly Ringwald in the season two premiere?
That is a possibility. 

Are you looking at doing a time-jump at the start of season two or will it pick up where we left off?
It's funny, I'm of two minds of time-jumps. Sometimes I really like them and sometimes I think they're a cheat. We end on such a big cliffhanger that I think time-jumping over the aftermath of that defeats the entire purpose of doing that kind of cliffhanger. We always try to explore the consequences of the actions and the vents of our series, so no, I don't think there's going to be too drastic a time-jump. I  think it might be minutes, if not seconds.

Riverdale season 1 finale

The CW

How did Luke react when he learned what was going to happen to Fred, and how did KJ react?
I know KJ was shocked when he read it, but I did call Luke when we landed on this, which was later in the season. This was very, very different than what we had planned for Fred at the end of season one and honestly bigger picture for the series. It was very different...we thought a lot of different other things about Fred. It was a big conversation and it was a hard conversation to have, but Luke was always such a trooper. He's down for telling the best story, and he was like, 'Listen, if you tell me this is what's going to happen, I'm there.' And he's great. He was a little more prepared than KJ, and I think KJ was shocked. 

I was nervous at first when we heard the gun go off that our Archiekins may have been shot instead of Fred.
Absolutely. And in the comic books, we once did a very successful, very high-profile imaginary story, which is The Death of Archie. Riverdale is a little bit like The Walking Dead, a lot of people can die, but maybe not Archie! So that's kind of what it was like. 

Will the season two mystery really be who shot Fred and why?
I think that is absolutely the start of the season mystery, but it goes to more sinister waters very quickly.

You just mentioned The Walking Dead and there's been a lot of talk about whether or not you guys will bring even more of a supernatural element into the show. Can you talk about the genre twists we could see in season two?
We obviously have talked about the supernatural in the room, and at a greater level with the network and  the studio and things like that. It's no secret that one of my favorite characters is Sabrina the Teenage Witch. There will absolutely always be a genre element to the show, and in season one, there are hints of the supernatural, and there are visions and dreams. Cheryl sees Jason as a zombie, and she sees his ghost, and Archie sees werewolves...I can tell you that in season we are going to continue pushing the envelope on that. It's almost like a little bit more like Twin Peaks, as it went on, it got a little bit more metaphysical and supernatural. That's kind of what we're thinking of for season two, which isn't to say that Sabrina is off the table completely, but I think it's a big thing to introduce the supernatural into a naturalistic world. We want to be really, really careful about how we do it.

I did see a certain comic FP was reading in his jail cell. [FP was reading Chilling Adventures in Sorcery #1, which is narrated by Sabrina.]
Well, you are one of the few people that has picked up on that Easter egg...but it is absolutely true that we chose that comic book for a very particular reason, so well done!

Riverdale season 1 finale

The CW

One of the other major moments in the finale was the reveal that there is another Cooper child out there, which is very big. We only got the hint about his age, so I am just going to say a potential theory I have and you can weigh in. There is another Agent Cooper coming to TV (on Twin Peaks), but I'm thinking the person that could come to investigate all the crime going on in Riverdale is Agent Chic Cooper...
It's funny, in the comic books, it is true that just when you think things can't get any weirder, you're reading an old Archie comic book and it turns out Betty has an older brother named Chic Cooper and he's an FBI agent. And it's sort of like, wait a minute?! On Riverdale, we kind of have our cake and eat it, too. Sometimes we really honor what's in the comic books and sometimes we really subvert what's in the comic books, and it's like if that wasn't in the comic books, but we just knew that Betty had an older brother named Chic and he was in college or something, I think making him an FBI agent would be a great twist and a great Riverdale interpretation of that character. But since he's already an FBI agent, it's low-hanging fruit that's almost too low-hanging. But again, you're not wrong. There is an Agent Chic Cooper out there in the comic books, so the question is is that who is going to enter or someone else or are we not going to know who he is at first? Or have we already met Chic Cooper and we don't know it?

So what are you comfortable sharing about Chic Cooper?
Let's just say that you can't raise the specter of a secret older brother without hopefully paying that off in some really good way in season two.

Check back with us tomorrow for even more season two scoop from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, like what fans can expect from Mark Consuelos debut as Veronica's father, Hiram Lodge. 

Riverdale will return for season two on The CW.

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