Post Mortems

Riverdale Boss Answers Burning Qs: Hermione, Chic… and the Black Hood

Wednesday’s Riverdale was packed with so many dynamite revelations, we might need a soothing milkshake at Pop’s to calm down. Hermione is a crime boss? FBI Agent Adams was just a plant to test Archie’s loyalty to the Lodges? F.P. and Jughead helped Alice and Betty get rid of that dead body? Mayor McCoy had to resign after her affair with Sheriff Keller was nearly exposed? Cheryl has a real talent for archery?

Luckily, executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is here to help us make sense of the latest Riverdale drama. In a post-episode chat with reporters, Aguirre-Sacasa explained the thinking behind that big Hermione twist, teased a “gangbusters” storyline coming up for Cheryl… and hinted that we might be hearing more about the Black Hood killer soon. Take a big sip of your milkshake, and read on for answers to your biggest burning questions.

Wait, Hermione is a crime boss, too? How does Hiram feel about this?
Archie was taken by Hiram’s right-hand man Andre to a remote wooded area to meet “the boss”… and surprise: Hermione was there! “We wanted to make sure that Marisol [Nichols], the actor, had great stuff to play,” Aguirre-Sacasa explains. “And we wanted to make sure that Hiram and Hermione were more equals, and that she wasn’t just the gangster’s moll — or like with [The Godfather‘s] Michael Corleone, [his wife played by] Diane Keaton was just at home with the kids. We’ve been trying to build her up as well to be a formidable player in this.”

And that means she and her crime-lord hubby may be butting heads in the near future: “It was fun when there was a little bit of friction with them… we’ve been playing them kind of in lockstep, so I think coming up, we might get back to them disagreeing about certain things.”

Why is Archie cozying up to Veronica’s gangster parents?
Aguirre-Sacasa points to the cliffhanger that opened Season 2: “When Fred was shot and the Black Hood had his gun on Archie, I think Archie felt powerless and paralyzed… he never wants to feel that way again. And there’s something attractive about the way the Lodges do business, and the way Hiram wields power, that Archie is drawn to.” But Fred might not be thrilled about Archie breaking bad, the EP hints: “Of course it’ll put him at odds with his dad, who’s such a great salt-of-the-earth, honorable guy.”

What really happened in the Coopers’ kitchen that led to the dead body?
Alice told Betty that the dead guy tried to hurt her, and Chic killed him… but she didn’t seem to agree when Betty said it must’ve been self-defense. “We will find out exactly what happened in the kitchen,” Aguirre-Sacaa promises, “but it’s more like the chain reaction that the murder and cover-up sets up going forward as well.” We’ll also learn “so much more about Chic in the coming episodes,” the EP says, and circle back to Betty’s dark connection with him: “We’re very much continuing that story, but… it takes some big twists and turns before resolution.”

What was with that hand-holding we saw between Alice and F.P.?
No, you weren’t imagining things: Betty’s mom and Jughead’s dad really did have a moment after F.P. stepped up to help by disposing of the dead guy’s body. (And remember, Alice used to be a Southside Serpent, too.) “We’re going to find out much more about her relationship with F.P.,” Aguirre-Sacasa teases. In fact, all the Riverdale teens’ parents will be getting their own plotline soon: “We’re starting a bigger story that involves all of the grown-ups in a more full-blooded way in the second half of the season. Everyone’s going to be drawn into one big story.”

Will poor Betty ever catch a break?
“Lili [Reinhart] asks me the same thing every time she gets a script,” Aguirre-Sacasa laughs. “She’s like, ‘Why me?’ And it’s because she’s such a great actor. She’s one of the strongest archetypes: the perfect girl next door. And I think that sort of lends itself to deconstructing, and to putting poor Betty through the wringer.” But he promises Betty’s mood will lighten up soon: “She has fun. There are some fun episodes coming up. The next episode is a really, really fun one.”

Is Mayor McCoy leaving the show?
No, Robin Givens isn’t going anywhere, even though Mayor McCoy stepped down this week to avoid having her dirty laundry aired out by the Lodges. “Mayor McCoy is now going to be Attorney McCoy,” Aguirre-Sacasa reveals. “She’s very much going to be a part of the show. In fact, we see her as legal counsel in the very next episode. We have a big family story for her and Sheriff Keller and Josie and Kevin coming up as well.”

But her absence does leave a void in Riverdale’s highest office. You know what that means: an election episode! “I don’t think there’s even been a small-town show that hasn’t had everyone running for mayor,” the EP notes. “So yeah, there’s definitely going to be a power vacuum, and there’s definitely going to be people running for mayor, for sure.”

When the heck is Cheryl going to get the screentime she deserves?
Fans of Riverdale‘s snarky redhead have noticed her conspicuous absence lately, and Aguirre-Sacasa concedes that she’s “been a little bit on the back burner” this season. But that’s about to change, he hints: “Starting from next episode on, her story is gangbusters through the end of the season, in a really, really great way. She’s pushed into places she hasn’t been before… We’ve hinted that she’s going to start a relationship. That is very much going to happen.” And yes, “we’re absolutely going to address the crush, or obsession… she had for Josie” that we glimpsed earlier in Season 2.

Is the Black Hood case really closed?
Yeah, we were led to believe that school janitor Mr. Svenson was the lone culprit… but we didn’t really buy that, did we? Aguirre-Sacasa admits that the scenes of Betty saving the Black Hood mask from the fire and of Archie asking Agent Adams if he thought they caught the right guy were meant to “allude to the fact that the Black Hood story isn’t over… I think it’s safe to say it’s going to continue, but maybe not in the way you might expect.”

Got thoughts on tonight’s Riverdale? (And more burning questions that are still unanswered?) Grab a booth in the comments below.

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