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Riverdale has shown us some pretty weird things throughout its run, but perhaps the weirdest was when it incorporated the classic costumes from Archie Comics. In what turned out to be a bizarre nightmare, Jughead awoke from the dream rather quickly, and the series never mentioned it again. Now, Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa finally explained the significance of the scene, and why the show decided to reference the past in such an odd way:
The tension of the show is the wholesome iconography and the Norman Rockwell looking back at the past, and the grotty, more noir, underworld-y side underneath it --- that's the thesis of the show. Every story we tell, we say, 'Okay, what's the dark underbelly of this?' That dream, which on the one hand is idealized and perfect and not a hair out of place, but then there's F.P. just out of frame, down on his luck, there's Archie with a knife in his back, there's Betty and Alice tilting their heads at the exact angle as if to say, 'If you don't conform, you'll die' --- that dream sequence captures the essence and the big theme of the show.
According to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, one of Riverdale's weirdest moments to date is actually one of the perfect moments to describe the overarching theme of the show. Indeed, a lot of Riverdale seems to revolve around the fact that the town seems like the perfect American dream, yet is very far from it. The CW series might be purposefully exaggerated, but it's certainly a tad more honest than the idealized Archie comics with the same characters.
As far as other reasons why Riverdale showed the sequence, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said it had always been a goal of the series to somehow work in the classic outfits of the characters. Aguirre-Sacasa tells EW several options were considered to work in the costumes, including flashbacks of the show's parents wearing the clothes in high school. Eventually, writer Aaron Allen presented a script that Aguirre-Sacasa saw had a very Leave It To Beaver type dream sequence, and the pieces fell into place. The team got to work transforming the scene to fit their vision of classic Archie, and the sequence of what was shown on tv was officially created.
While the sequence itself was very dark and twisted, the Riverdale team was very psyched to finally find a way to incorporate old-school Archie. The costumes for the sequence were straight ripped from the comics in terms of Archie and Jughead, and the team took a little creative freedom when it came to Betty and Veronica. That wasn't due to the fact they wanted to take creative liberties, but because Betty and Veronica frequently switched outfits in the comics. Hopefully, the team gets another shot to bring back the classic Archie style in the latter half of Season 2, because it sounds like they all had a blast creating it.