Hold onto your jingle jangle, Riverdale fans, because the characters are finally adults! Season 5, Episode 4 — titled “Purgatorio” introduced viewers to Archie Andrews and the gang seven years after they all graduated from Riverdale High School, and there’s a lot to uncover.
“As we were working on season 5, it became clear that this was a season where all of the characters were wrestling with different kinds of trauma,” the show’s creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Tonight in February 2021, teasing what’s to come. “As we unpack the seven years, which we’ll do throughout the season — they’re all pretty bad … They’re all pretty bad and they’re all pretty dark as we will discover throughout the season. There’s no one who got spared in terms of the trauma quotient.”
Avid Riverdale watchers know the characters have already been through their fair share of trauma with multiple deaths, mass murderers and creepy videos showing up at their doorsteps, and we truly didn’t think it could get worse. But according to Roberto himself, we’ve seen nothing yet.
“I’ll say that all of the characters are reaching out and trying to reestablish connections, friendships or relationships in the wake of their traumas,” he also told ET. “Now after seven years, I think our characters need different things than they needed in high school.”
Josie McCoy, for one, doesn’t initially return to Riverdale like her former classmates. In fact, the character (played by Ashleigh Murray) shows up about mid-way through season 5.
“The reality is I’ve always seen Josie as a superstar,” the actress told Entertainment Weekly ahead of her September 2021 return. “It really wasn’t so foreign to find that comfort in where Josie is now. The biggest difference was being able to give her an emotional life that we hadn’t been able to see. I think that’s really what it’s about, is seeing Josie as a human with emotions and with problems and with struggles, which is something that I feel like viewers have been asking for for a long time.”
The CW star continued, “This episode showcases her from beginning to end, and whatever that end may be or lead to is for us all to find out, but at least you have a full picture of what’s going on.”
After going their separate ways and growing up a lot, our favorite Riverdale residents have officially found themselves back home. Scroll through our gallery to see what all the characters are up to following the show’s seven-year time jump.
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