Spoilers ahead for the Season 4 finale of Riverdale, called "Killing Mr. Honey."
Riverdale Season 4 came to a premature end due to the production shutdowns that brought many of The CW's biggest shows to a standstill, but any episode called "Killing Mr. Honey" was bound to end on a crazy note. While Jughead, Betty, Archie, and Veronica only got really bloodthirsty in Jughead's fictional version of the struggle against their principal, the arcs of Mr. Honey and the voyeur finally overlapped, and the episode came to a gruesome cliffhanger.
While it seemed for a bit like Riverdale was setting Mr. Honey up as the voyeur, he ultimately seemed to care more about cancelling prom than anything too nefarious. The cliffhanger of Season 4's nineteenth episode featured a new video from the voyeur, showing teens wearing masks stabbing Mr. Honey to death, just like what happened in Jughead's story. How does the voyeur know about Jughead's story? How many people are in on the voyeur's operation? Why did Riverdale have to end Season 4 without prom or graduation?
Riverdale executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa weighed in to TVLine on the events of Season 4, what's ahead for Season 5, and how the production shutdowns impacted the series. Although the Riverdale team did finish filming the prom and a decent amount of what would have been the episode following "Killing Mr. Honey," Aguirre-Sacasa explained why Episode 19 works as an ender:
And then I saw the cut of Episode 19, which I loved. The fun thing about [Episode] 19 is all of the kids are in the story together, which is very rare for us. It had a really fun conceit that made it feel special, which is the story that Jughead is writing. And it had a really shocking, gruesome cliffhanger, which really took the videotape mystery to the next level. So I thought, 'You know what? Since we are cutting the season short, maybe the best thing to do is end with [Episode] 19, which is a really strong, fun episode, and then come back and have prom as our season premiere next season.' So we made that decision, and I’m feeling good about it.
Rather than tack prom footage onto "Killing Mr. Honey" or cobbling together an Episode 20 with insufficient content, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa decided to embrace the "gruesome cliffhanger" at the end of Episode 19 as the finale. It did manage to deliver some twists on Mr. Honey and the voyeur, and there are plenty of unanswered questions. It may not be the finale Aguirre-Sacasa and Co. imagined, but it leaves fans with plenty to think about.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa went on to share how Riverdale Season 5 will pick up after the gruesome Season 4 finale cliffhanger:
Yeah, it felt like since we have such big events like prom and graduation, and we’d already written [Episodes] 21 and 22… they’re big, emotional episodes, and there’s a lot of stuff with the characters that we’re still playing out, so it felt like maybe what we’ll do is start with the last three episodes. After being with the kids at the high school for four years, you kind of don’t want to take graduation away from them. So what we’re doing is picking up right where we a off for the first three episodes.
Fans don't have to worry that Riverdale will deliver a time jump to open Season 5 and totally skip prom and graduation! The executive producer shared that the show will pick up where it left off. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa also confirmed that Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols will return for the first three episodes of Season 5, even though they were slated to depart at the end of Season 4.
Since Riverdale was renewed for a fifth season months ago, there was no need to worry about eventually getting to finish the story following "Killing Mr. Honey." Even if Riverdale does return later than usual in the fall, it will be back. And hey, there are plenty of summer TV options (including some must-see shows on the way to Netflix) to keep fans busy!