This Thursday on Riverdale (The CW, 9/8c), Archie and his dad will get a blast from the past… and viewers will, too.
After we caught a fleeting glimpse of her last episode, ’80s teen-movie queen Molly Ringwald makes her formal debut this week as Archie’s mom Mary, who’s been absent for years and is in the midst of divorcing Archie’s dad Fred. And Ringwald’s retro appeal does help, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa says: “It is nice when Mary appears, and it’s Molly Ringwald… That does give us a shorthand.” But it’s not just stunt casting, he insists: “It does have to work on every level.”
Mary comes back to check in on her teen son… but her return to Riverdale isn’t all smiles. Luke Perry hints that Fred is “scared to death” when his estranged wife comes back home: “It took Fred a really long time… to be able to rise to that challenge of single parenthood. And now that could all go away, and come crashing down.”
As for Archie, he’s still hoping his mom and dad can find a way to patch things up, star KJ Apa says: “There’s definitely a part of him that wants his parents to get back together.” Mary living in the same house again is “bringing back all these memories of them being a proper family,” he adds. “That was kind of ideal to him.”
And Mary’s arrival also reminds us that the drama on Riverdale isn’t only limited to the kids. The parents all went to Riverdale High together, too, and Aguirre-Sacasa says that “shared history” helped spark some story ideas for him and the writers: “When we were bringing Mary in, one of the nice things was, ‘Oh my God, they all know each other!’ You could immediately get into a story with them… they know things about each other that their kids don’t know.”
In fact, Aguirre-Sacasa promises that some “game-changing secrets” will be revealed as a result of Mary’s return. Hmmm… could Archie’s mom be hiding an unsavory past? Well, she’ll fit right in on Riverdale, then.
What’s Mary hiding? Could she be involved in Jason’s death? Riverdale sleuths, share your theories in the comments.