- Riverdale -This ‘Riverdale’ Season 5 “Spoiler” Includes A Wig, A Leather Mask, & A Huge Knife?
In the span of their high school career, the gang in Riverdale has been through a lot: Many heartbreaks, losing family members, a fight club, a serial killer, another serial killer, a cult, a prison riot, a murderous secret society, were there three serial killers?, a brothel, an underage club and booze factory, shockingly only one teacher/student affair, and a grizzly bear attack. That's just off the top of my head.
But none of those things — not even the time a classmate was found freshly murdered on the stage of the school musical — beats Cheryl Blossom wearing a curly black wig.
If you're looking for answers to show creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's picture, which he posted on Sept. 25, you're not alone. Just skimming the comments responding to the tweet suggest that not one single person knows what is going on here.
(To give you a quick taste of what I read while looking for answers: "Please someone tell me they have a good theory for this because wtf"; "When the actual f*ck?"; "What the actual fuck?"; "WHAT-"; "what on earth-"; "wait what is this"; "I have so many questions what's going on in the scene"; and "Whuuut"... to name a few.)
I searched high and low for theories as to what in the Archieverse could be happening in this image. I looked on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. I G-chatted friends asking who they thought Cheryl was dressed as. The results were, frankly, about as bleak as Archie dancing.
Luckily, I have a Creative Writing degree and 76 episodes worth of knowledge to try and make sense of it. Shall we?
The Episode Titles
Aguirre-Sacasa revealed on Twitter the names of Season 5 episodes early in September. From this we know that "Climax," "The Preppy Murders," "Graduation," and "Purgatory," are the first four episodes of the season, respectively.
If we consider that Aguirre-Sacasa said that production was two weeks into shooting the season, I would hypothesize that they're shooting one of these first four episodes. In fact, Madelaine Petsch may be able to help us narrow it down even more.
On her YouTube channel, Petsch showed fans behind-the-scenes of her first (FIRST) day back on set. Unfortunately, she couldn't show much because it included a "spoiler," which was... The Wig.
If the show is filming in episode order — which it's very possible it's not, productions do not always film sequentially — we may be looking at an outfit from "Climax" or "The Preppy Murders," the latter definitely leaning into the collar Cheryl's wearing on that dress and the former perhaps toying with Reggie's BDSM-like outfit?
Probability: Call me Jughead Jones, because I may about to solve a mystery. With that said, an idea of the timeline doesn't really give us many answers as to what is happening, just when...ish.
It's A Dream Sequence
If my years of sleuthing and watching mystery movies have taught me anything, it's to take a step back and examine the clues as a whole. When I do that I'm left with a whole lot of nonsense: Reggie in his leather, Cheryl looking like a mix of a '40s housewife, and Betty still wearing a ponytail and holding a knife.
Instead of trying to fit this image into something realistic, perhaps it's supposed to be completely unrealistic and play into some type of manic dream Betty is having. (The reason I single Betty out is because she's still rocking that ponytail, thus is most grounded in reality?)
With Season 4 ending in a sinister video showing Mr. Honey's murder by a terrifying group of impersonators, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to see the gang deal with the nightmares that come with it.
Perhaps Betty is having a dream that leads her to envision the gang as their "true selves," with her worrying that she's the daughter of a serial killer through-and-through (which, sorry, is kind of true?). In this alt-reality she's imagining, Cheryl may be a '40s housewife looking after Juniper and Dagwood and Reggie may have leaned into the tickling ring a little too much.
Probability: About the same probability of Veronica calling her dad "Daddykins," which is to say, there's a pretty good chance. From Petsch's YouTube video and Instagram, we know she isn't wearing the wig forever, so this could very well be a quirky nightmare that allows the show to have fun with the character's looks without being too committed.
It's The Halloween Episode
While saying, they're probably wearing Halloween costumes, is not nearly as fun, it could be the rationale we need in these ~unknown times~.
We've known Riverdale to go all-in with costumes in the past (still not over Archie's spandex superhero in Season 4), so it wouldn't be super shocking to hear that they're doing it again.
However, to play my own devil's advocate, Petsch said on her YouTube page that what she filmed in this costume was "a spoiler." While I've always loved a Dramatic Halloween Costume Reveal, I wouldn't say this is an incredibly shocking look that would ruin the show when it returns in 2021.
(And to just play the devil's advocate to my devil's advocate, Aguirre-Sacasa posted the photo, so he's obviously not too worried about it being a spoiler, is he?)
Probability: Chad Michael Murray has more of a chance of taking off in that rocket than this being the actual reason. It would be too tame, something Riverdale is not. Also, what would Betty's costume be? A "rational consumer" like Oscar in The Office?
A lot of crazy things have happened in the town of Riverdale — I didn't even touch on the time Cheryl kept a corpse in her home or Betty pole danced to "Mad World" — and this photo suggests that we're continuing on the wild ride — wigs, leather masks, and butcher knives galore.
Image: Katie Yu/The CW