Riverdale Is a Whole New Show After a 7-Year Time Jump

If you've stopped watching Riverdale or never even started, now is the time to take that leap.

By Lauren Piester Feb 10, 2021 10:24 PMTags
Watch: "Riverdale" Season 5 Has Big Changes

Starting tonight, Riverdale's got a whole new vibe. 

It's seven years after high school and seven years since Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) have seen each other, and a whole lot has changed.

Archie went to war, Betty joined the FBI, Veronica got married and Jughead is...still a tortured writer, because not everything has changed. 

It's a whole new Riverdale, in more ways than one. Gone are the nonsensical high school murder plots that are peppered with SATs and promposals, replaced with grown up murder plots peppered with money concerns and the ability to legally drink. Finally, the stars get to act their age now, and their character's actions now suddenly get to make a lot more sense.

Critics have only seen one post-time jump episode so far so we can't really speak to what's coming, but there's an awful lot of potential for a really great new beginning. If you've fallen off the show (or never got on in the first place) and are curious, now would be a great time to jump back in. 

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There are certain season one vibes to the show that are certainly intentional, and it was also intentional to simplify the show a little bit. Even showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa can acknowledge that storylines on Riverdale have been a little "intricate" and "Baroque" over the past four seasons, but this is a way to start over. 

"There's something really nice and exciting about kind of starting from ground zero again and a clean slate," he tells E! News. "The stories are a little bit—not lighter, because some of them are really heavy, but there's a sort of freshness to it that recalls season one that I'm really excited about." 


Last week's graduation episode revealed that while the core four made a plan to meet back up at Pop's one year after graduation, only Jughead actually showed up. At that point, we only knew that Archie was joining the Army while Betty, Jughead and Veronica all had separate college plans. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) and Toni (Vanessa Morgan) had also broken up as Cheryl told Toni to go on to college without her. 

While the show now takes place seven years later, we will get to find out what happened in those intervening years. 

Aguirre-Sacasa says that the show will "unpack" what happened during the years apart and will "absolutely" explain why Jughead's friends didn't meet him at Pop's. Aguirre-Sacasa also teased an episode focused solely on Jughead. 

"We see flashbacks to their lives periodically," he says. "Then there's one episode a little bit further deeper into the season where basically you follow Jughead from leaving for the University of Iowa to when he returned to Riverdale." 


We're all going to have to wait a bit to find out what else is in store, and based on what we've seen so far, we can't wait.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW. 

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