Spoilers ahead for the Season 5 premiere of Riverdale on The CW, "Chapter Seventy-Seven: Climax."
Riverdale has finally returned to The CW to pick up where Season 4 was cut short back in the spring, a few episodes before the time jump that could change everything. The Season 5 premiere was packed full of twists that involved everything ranging from an uncomfortable performance in the speakeasy to some Katy Keene mentions to a snuff film, but I'm left wondering: does this episode indicate that Archie and Betty will be the endgame couple of Riverdale after all?
For most of the series, Archie's main love interest has been Veronica while Betty's has been Jughead, but Archie and Betty's big kiss in Season 4 came back with a vengeance in the Season 5 premiere when Archie came clean to Veronica in a confession that ended in a breakup. It was a painful scene, not least because Veronica had been so convinced of their future together that she assumed the song Archie wrote for Betty was about her and intended to defer her first year of college to stay with him.
Even worse, while taking prom pictures of Archie and Veronica, Hermione Lodge announced that this would be a moment that they were "going to treasure forever," with Mary Andrews saying "smile and say endgame!" All of this said, the episode ended with Jughead still none the wiser about Betty and Archie's kiss, and Jughead and Betty were still going strong. Neither Archie nor Veronica intends to tell Jughead and ruin that relationship. So, why am I wondering if Archie and Betty are endgame?
Honestly, Mary Andrews explicitly saying that Archie and Veronica are endgame is the first thing that led me to suspect that Riverdale was going to deliver some heartbreak for Veronica before the end of the episode with a Betty/Archie twist, although I do have to give Archie at least a little bit of credit for coming clean. It would be a subversion for Riverdale to put Betty and Archie together at the end of the whole story, but also not one that would come out of nowhere.
We learn that everyone kind of went their separate ways. Archie enlisted in the Army after graduation, and when he returns, after all that time in the Army, he discovers the town is on the verge of becoming a ghost town, thanks to Hiram.
All of them going their separate ways means that Veronica and Archie aren't riding off into the sunset, but it also presumably means that Betty and Jughead will hit a rough patch at some point before they all reunite in Riverdale again after the time jump. KJ Apa went on to share that Archie and his high school pals return to Riverdale with the goal of reviving the town, and his character will play a key role. Here's how Apa put it:
Archie very much takes the lead on this. He came back and saw Riverdale turning to shit pretty much, and he’s like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to let this happen.’ So he wrangles the whole team in, and they figure out ways to revive the town, and the best way to do that is through Riverdale High.
KJ Apa doesn't confirm much about the character dynamics after the time jump, but reuniting at Riverdale High in their 20s at least indicates that the drama will continue despite the years away. There is no guarantee that Riverdale is done with Archie/Veronica and Betty/Jughead, but I definitely won't be surprised if the show at least revisits Archie/Betty. As for the endgame... well, only time will tell. New episodes air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW, with or without more snuff films to go with all the high school drama in this packed winter TV season.
Be sure to vote in our poll below about the Riverdale endgames! The time jump isn't happening just yet, so prepare to see the group graduate from high school before going their separate ways. If the first four seasons are proof of anything, it's that things can change a lot quite quickly on Riverdale, and the other shoe could well drop for Betty and Jughead before the time jump. Riverdale is losing some characters with the jump forward in time, so enjoy the final episodes before they're gone!