Riverdale Season 5: What to Expect

We look at what's ahead for Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead when Riverdale Season 5 hits on Jan. 20th!

Riverdale Season 5
Photo: The CW

When Riverdale‘s fourth season ended abruptly shut down production due to Covid-19 earlier this year, the show had to quickly narratively pivot. Instead of tying together several season-long plot threads — including revealing the true motives of Charles, whether or not the Stonewall Preppies would get revenge against Jughead, and, most importantly, who is behind the mailing of sinister videotapes to the town’s residents — the show wrapped with Mr. Honey leaving Riverdale High and the gang viewing a new tape in which masked doppelgangers of themselves act out their former principal’s murder. It’s all pretty creepy, and since the episode that aired wasn’t intended to be the season finale, it raises more questions than it answers.

Fortunately, like Betty and Jughead, we are on the case.

The CW has just released a trailer for Riverdale Season 5 that shows how wild things are about to get.

Take a look:

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So what does this all mean? Let’s break this trailer down and give you an idea of what to expect when Riverdale season 5 hits on January 20th.

The Truth of the Taper Revealed

“Someone is doing videos of us doing disturbing, violent things,” declares Betty in this trailer as footage from the psuedo-snuff films play. The truth behind these tapes was the main mystery of the show’s fourth season, and there seems to be plenty of potential suspects. From Bret and his Preppie colleagues to Evelyn Evernever to Chic and Charles, we’ve seen all of these characters maneuvering through Riverdale’s darkness.

Without a doubt, one of the aforementioned individuals will be responsible…perhaps several of them working in tandem? This is Riverdale after all.

Chaos at the Prom

It seems that whenever the student body at Riverdale High gets together, all hell breaks loose. Last season Mr. Honey was dead set against the school holding its prom for fear that some tragedy would occur. The finale illustrated that Honey was actually a decent guy (or was he?), so maybe his fears were founded. Then again, he could be this show’s equivalent of The Wizard of Oz‘s Man Behind the Curtain, quietly orchestrating everything going on for reasons that have yet to be revealed.

One thing that’s certain is this will be a night to remember. The series’ has already shown its penchant for hell breaking loose at the prom with its Carrie: The Musical episode, and the new trailer shows how this motif will carry through to the fifth season.

Not only is Katy Keene co-star Zane Holtz rumored to be reprising his K.O. Kelly role in the prom episode, but we see the masked characters looking sinister at the dance, as well as a body hitting the floor there. (Whether this is a dance move or a fatality remains to be seen). But the trailer indicates that whether there’s a body count or not, the prom will be fraught with drama because…

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Veronica Learns About Betty and Archie Kissing

Veronica had a hell of a season last year. She had to deal with the usual problems that come along with living in the United States’ murder capital, as well as her father’s degenerative illness. (One that he will apparently be cured of, if his appearance in the final episode of the future-set Katy Keene series is any indication). Through all of her troubles though she could always count on honorable BFF Betty and dumb-but-hot endgamer Archie.

So what happens when the people she’s closest to betray her? It’s the question that Riverdale shippers want to know more than any other. And one that may lead to a resolution packed with heartbreak, but more on that in a minute.

The Gang Graduates from Riverdale High

Seeing how Riverdale High has never been an essential part of this series, it’s understandable that the show’s producers want the characters to do something that their comic book counterparts have never done in mainstream Archie canon — graduate. We will see these characters grow apart from each other as they head off to their respective futures, probably with their relationships deeply fractured from the events we are about to see play out.

But fear not though, as showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has indicated that this new trailer merely covers the remainder of the gang’s high school episodes (expected to be three or four installments). It was revealed after that the show will jump ahead five years to explore the post-college — and in Archie’s case, Navy — lives of the characters. One that will be overflowing with the death, music, mystery and sex that we’ve come to expect from Riverdale. More on that later though.

What do you want to see happen in Riverdale Season 5? Let us know in the comments!