Riverdale Season 3 Cast Reveals What to Expect

The stars of Riverdale give us some hints on what's to come in the third season.

When Riverdale Season 3 arrives on Wednesday, October 10th, it will be met with its biggest audience to date. Thanks to a combination of word-of-mouth, critical acclaim and Netflix bingewatches, the CW series is now firmly entrenched in the hearts and minds of viewers (for proof of this look no further to how it recently cleaned up at the Teen Choice Awards — where it picked up Best Show, Best Actress, and Best Actor Awards in the TV Drama categories).

As the credits rolled on the season 2 finale, numerous storyline dominoes were set up that we fully expect to be toppled in Riverdale‘s third season: How long will Archie be in jail for? What’s the deal with The Farm cult? How much more insufferable can Hiram get? Will Cheryl ever do anything that isn’t utterly fabulous? Can Josie and Kevin get decent plotlines already?

Like you, we can’t wait to find out what happens in the show’s third season. At San Diego Comic Con, we had the opportunity to talk with several members of the Riverdale cast. Here then are some tantalizing glimpses as what will go down in season 3!

Archie’s legal woes will worsen

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When Riverdale returns, Archie’s trial for the killing of would-be Lodge robber Cassidy Bullock will be the primary storyline. He already has his hands full with being set up for the crime by Hiram, and his life is going to get that much more difficult when Penelope Ann Miller (of Kindergarten Cop and The Relic fame) joins the cast as the subtly named Ms. Wright, Riverdale’s new district attorney determined to put Archie behind bars for life. From the press release:

The savvy, eloquent Ms. Wright is the prosecuting attorney in charge of handling Archie’s case. With a conviction in mind, she will weave together disparate moments of Archie’s young life to portray him as a dangerous, violent sociopath who is capable of committing a heinous crime.

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Given the journey into darkness that Archie took in the second season, what with forming a vigilante group and being ever so eager to “make his bones” for Mr. Lodge, it looks like the cards are stacked against our oft-shirtless, red-headed hero. I mean, I guess this subplot is still better than him resuming his songwriting though? Hopefully this plot will be put to bed quick enough so we can get to the really interesting stuff, namely…Ms. Wright will be successful, even if just temporarily. It has been revealed that Archie will definitely do at least some jail time, but as KJ Apa told reporters at San Diego Comic Con, not immediately at the start of the season. “He’s not in jail yet, but we do find him at the start of the season in court, on trial for murder for something that he didn’t do.” Apa went on to say that when our hero does hit the big house, there will be more happening than is visible to the naked eye. “From what I’ve heard and from what I’ve talked about with Roberto,” says Apa, “there’s definitely some interesting stuff happening in prison.”

Spolier alert: Ms. Wright will be successful, even if just temporarily.

It has been revealed that Archie will definitely do at least some jail time, but as KJ Apa told reporters at San Diego Comic Con…just not immediately. “He’s not in jail yet, but we do find him at the start of the season in court, on trial for murder for something that he didn’t do.” Apa went on to say that when our hero does hit the big house, there will be more happening than what is visible to the naked eye. “From what I’ve heard and from what I’ve talked about with Roberto,” says Apa, “there’s definitely some interesting stuff happening in prison.”

Apa also spoke about the journey into darkness that Archie took in the second season:

“It began with him wanting to impress his girlfriend’s dad, and we all go through that. I feel like he wanted his respect and he wanted to earn it somehow. And it started bit by bit, doing things for him, and then I think he became manipulated by Hiram and genuinely believed that his way was the right way for Riverdale.”

The star also added that Archie’s inherent goodness may have been his downfall.

“Archie has always wanted the best for everyone, and he genuinely believed that Hiram’s plan for Riverdale was good. The biggest mistake that he had made was turning his back on his dad, the guy who always been there for him.”

When asked about his thoughts on Archie getting locked up, Luke Perry was quick to share how he think it will impact Fred Andrews. “I don’t dig it, because my whole life’s about Archie and taking care of Archie,” says Perry. “Whatever happens in there will have a big effect on me.”

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While Archie’s past misdeeds have now caught up with him, the character’s change provided KJ Apa with plenty of opportunties to flex his acting muscles. “It did get pretty dark and I was actually stoked on that,” Apa told reporters at SDCC. “From an acting point of view it was more challenging, I was more anxious on set for sure. I think it’s always good to be uncomfortable, and I was definitely pretty uncomfortable and challenged for a lot of that season. But I think this season he’s really trying to redeem himself for the mistakes he made in the last season.”

Expect tension between the Lodges

Last season saw Veronica have her eyes fully opened to her father’s actions, fracturing the Lodge’s already delicate family situation. You can expect their troubles to worsen in the third season as Hiram tightens his grip on Riverdale while Hermione and Veronica try to cope with having a monster in their midst.

Speaking about the new family dynamic at SDCC, Marisol Nichols summed up the issues that Hermione now finds herself having with Hiram and how it will shape her future with Veronica:

“As a mom, anyone who hurts your daughter is an enemy. So what do you do when that person is your husband? For his reasons, right or wrong, he essentially had a lot to do with Archie going down like this. So I think that’s going to impact Hermione and Veronica’s relationship, and that they’ll hopefully get back to a point where they were in season 1.”

Mark Consuelos spoke of the fractured relationship between Hiram and Veronica. “There was a turning point where he said ‘if you dont do what I say you’re cut off from your legacy, from everything in your family’ and he didn’t think she would choose the other side. And she chose the other side.”

Consuelous also discussed the similiarities between Hiram and Veronica. “She’s dug in her heels, she’s choosing her path — which is very much like Hiram,” he says, “they’re both very stubborn.” But whether some shared character traits can help narrow the chasm between the pair remains cloudy.

There will be a new central mystery

And what would Riverdale be without a driving mystery? Season 1 was focused on who killed Jason Blossom. The second season was largely dedicated to figuring out who the Black Hood was. So it is safe for fans to assume that the third season would also have a mystery at its heart? Yep! This was confirmed by Marisol Nichols (Hermione Lodge) who told reporters at San Diego Comic Con:

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“There’s a new mystery, we know that. It’s going to be somewhat unexpected and different than the mysteries we’ve done the past two seasons. So its going down a different path.”

Intriguing. Our gut instincts is that said mystery will have something to do with the cult The Farm, but we shall see.

There will be another musical episode

We discuss this at length here, but thought you may be interested in learning about what other musicals the Riverdale High Drama Department could have put on last year.

“We almost did Sweeney Todd or Little Shop of Horrors,” says Lili Reinhart.

But what does Camila Mendes think is a must for any Riverdale musical? She says that it “definitely has to do with blood and murder.” And with this show, we absolutely agree.

The Southside Serpents will be in turmoil

Where do we find the Southside Serpents in season three? To answer that question, let’s hear from Serpent King Jughead Jones himself, Cole Sprouse. “The Serpents are definitely in a ragtag place,” he states, “they’re broken and their ranks are really depleted.”

Fortunately though there is hope for the gang due to everything that Jughead experienced last season, as Sprouse explains:

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“He’s in a much more calm and collected place now that he’s had this near death experience, so he’s not as hot headed anymore. He’s much more of a tactician in this season. But the Serpents  are also going to take a huge shaking when Jughead’s mother comes back, which is going to be one of his major narrative points of season three.”

Skeet Ulrich (FP Jones) also spoke about where the Serpents will be as the season gets underway. “They certainly run the risk of being obsolete if they’re not careful,” he told SDCC reporters, “and there are some things that happen pretty early on that are going to test that even further.” “They’re not disbanded but they’re certainly dislocated,” he adds, making us think that the Serpents have way more than just the Ghoulies and Mr. Lodge to worry about as their very existence hangs in the balance.

What do you want from Riverdale’s third season? Let us know in the comments

Chris Cummins is a Philadelphia-based writer, producer, and comics historian. Read more of his work here. You can find him on Twitter at @bionicbigfoot and @scifiexplosion