- Riverdale -5 Theories About Charles On 'Riverdale,' Because This Guy Is Either Good Or Pure Evil
The identity of F.P. and Alice’s secret child has been an intriguing mystery on Riverdale ever since it popped up in Season 1. First, everyone involved thought Alice had an abortion, but turned out that was a lie: she’d really given the baby up for adoption.
Then, Alice and Betty thought they found the child in Chic, but he turned out to be an imposter who claimed the real son (Charles) was dead. Then, Charles Smith popped up as an FBI agent assigned to take down the Farm, a cult that had invaded Riverdale (of course).
Charles was reunited with his birth parents, as well as all his half-siblings, and even stuck around to continue investigating all the weird happenings that plague the town of Riverdale on the reg. He even started training Betty to be a Junior FBI agent. That’s sibling bonding if I ever heard it!
In Season 4, however, we learned that Charles and Chic — now in prison — are in a relationship... a relationship Charles is hiding from his family. The two guys concocted a plan (which revealed the Season 2 murder of the Shady Guy) to get the Coopers and Joneses to fully trust Charles.
So what’s really going on with Charles? Why hide his connection to Chic? Why orchestrate the elaborate blackmail plan re: the Shady Guy to get Betty et al. to trust Charles? Are they planning something together?
Here are a few theories to consider…
R is for Riverdale Revenge
One of the simplest and most logical explanations is that Charles is out for revenge on the biological parents who gave him up, conscripting him to a life of foster care. Charles, their first child, must have a lot of built up resentment toward the robust families they each then went on to start.
Archie, who used to run @RiverdaletheCW and now just uses @DearArchie, told me that he thinks “Charles and Chic are just out for revenge.” He also brought up an interesting idea: What if “Chic [is] an illegitimate child of Hal’s that no one knew about?”
That would give both Charles and Chic individual reasons to resent the Cooper-Smith-Jones family, now wouldn't it?
Charles Sees All… And Makes Tapes About It
There’s also the chance that Charles is actually Riverdale’s Voyeur. He’s always around. As an FBI agent, he’d surely have access to files detailing all the crazy murders that have happened in Riverdale (thus, could easily recreate them for the VHS tapes).
He also has access to surveillance equipment. Archie pointed out that the initial Voyeur and Charles/Chic reveal plotlines “were basically forgotten by the writers around the same time” in Season 4.
So perhaps they are connected.
He’s Just A Helpful Dude Without Ulterior Motives
Look, what if Charles is just a helpful FBI agent who longed to find his biological family and finally found them, only to find out that his boyfriend has previously tormented them? Wouldn’t you hide your relationship then, too?
Maybe the Shady Guy blackmail plot was just the only way he could think up to gain the trust of a group of people who are — rightfully — pretty hard to win over, trust-wise.
As Cameron Scheetz, host of the Dial M for Maple podcast, told me, “We've met a lot of long-lost relatives on this show over the years, and most of them have turned out pretty rotten, so I'd love if Riverdale worked against the expectations it set for its viewers long ago and finally gave us a family member who could be trusted.”
Cameron also tossed out another idea when we spoke: “What if Charles is actually good, or, at least, working in Betty's favor? Sure, we saw Charles talking to his current(?) beau Chic in prison, but what if he's trying to pull one over on Chic?
What if Charles is actually working to clear his family's name in the aftermath of Hal "Black Hood" Cooper, Alice's relations to The Farm, etc, etc..?”
Honestly, I’d love to see it!
He’s An Imposter, Too
Maybe Charles isn’t even really Charles (just like Chic wasn’t really Charles) and he’s merely trying to sow chaos in town and ruin the Cooper-Smith-Jones families for a whole other reason that’s yet to be revealed.
But would Riverdale really repeat this imposter twist? It seems unlikely, but maybe that’s just what they want us to think…
Riverdale Avengers: Evil Edition
Another suggested Cameron posited is that Riverdale is gearing up to reveal an intricate web of connected villainy — perhaps “Charles, Chic, possibly Penelope, and maybe even Evelyn Evernever (who's also being kept in the same prison as Chic... interesting) are all working in cahoots to get revenge on the Core Four.”
It’s not like the show has never done this before (“Remember when Hiram was working with the Blossoms, Penny, and the Ghoulies?” Cameron asks), so it’s certainly a possibility that Charles and Chic could be connected to more than one another, for better or for worse.
If we get the “Charles is actually doing good” outcome, it would be more of a twist than anything else. In Riverdale, no one is ever who they seem to be, so wouldn’t it be refreshing if someone actually was just being honest?
Maybe Charles will reveal his relationship with Chic, everyone will demonstrate their capacity for forgiveness, and the Cooper-Smith-Jones-plus-Chic family will live happily ever after… at least, until the time jump of Season 5 brings a whole new set of mysterious horrors to town.
Images: Shane Harvey/The CW