The first couple of episodes for the new season of the CW's Riverdale are going to throw viewers for a loop. The original plan for the series was to see the show's fifth season jump ahead seven years, bypassing all of the usual college-era drama which would have likely seen the show retreading its first four years. However, Covid hit, and the series was forced to end its season prematurely, leaving a major plot point unresolved.
Thus, Riverdale returns to see its young cast wrap up their high school years by solving the mystery of the Auteur, who's been leaving those mysterious videocassettes on porches all over town. Also, we get to see the teens attend prom, which nods nicely to the impending future by exclusively soundtracking it with '90s songs, as opposed to the usual '80s tunes.
Because of all of this, the premiere doesn't feel quite as much like a kick-off as have the first episodes of past seasons. The show picks up right back in the middle of last season, where the illness of Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) is still freaking out Veronica (Camila Mendes), Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is trying to figure out what to do after high school, and Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) are in the middle of the Auteur mystery.
For that reason, the show's not exactly starting off with a bang, but it's nice to see that the writers are willing to wrap up the past season properly, rather than squeezing it into a cold open coda before throwing fans into the unknown, adult future of the characters over which they've been obsessing these last few years.