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Who Is KO Kelly On 'Riverdale'? Why Archie Is Boxing This 'Katy Keene' Character

- Riverdale -
Who Is KO Kelly On 'Riverdale'? Why Archie Is Boxing This 'Katy Keene' Character

Remember that time Archie boxed a bear? Well, in the Season 5 premiere of Riverdale, titled "Climax," he's boxing an even tougher competitor: KO Kelly, a character from elsewhere in the Archie Comics universe.

In the new Riverdale episode, both KO and Archie are vying for a spot in the Naval Academy. When Veronica learns that her New York City bestie Katy Keene's boyfriend is also in the running — an absolutely insane coincidence — she declares it so fun to have the boys get together IRL to face off for the slot. KO heads to Riverdale, and he and Archie go head-to-head in a boxing tournament that takes place at the gym Archie owns. (Fun fact: Every teen on Riverdale has a business license.)

Image: The CW

Ultimately, Archie loses the fight to KO, who secures his spot in the Naval Academy. A salty Archie doesn't even want to take a year and then reapply: His dream is done. KO had a good day, though, and heads back to NYC, presumably to tell his girlfriend the good news.

Even if you didn't recognize KO, you probably sensed that his presence was a bigger deal than the typical boxer facing off against Archie. That's because the Season 5 premiere attempts to bridge the gap between Riverdale and its spin-off, The CW's Katy Keene, by bringing in the titular character's longtime love.

For the uninitiated, Katy Keene is a spin-off set in New York City, about seven years after the events of Riverdale. It stars Lucy Hale as Katy, a "department store girl" and an aspiring fashion designer who, along with her equally creative best friends, strives to achieve her big dreams in the Big Apple. Josie, of Josie and the Pussycats, even left Riverdale in order to star on Katy Keene and reform the band with a new crew.

Image: The CW

KO is Katy's long-term boyfriend, but, in the first few episodes, it's clear that their relationship isn't exactly on the steadiest ground — especially when he considers a move to Philadelphia in order to pursue boxing at an elite gym. You'll have to watch the series, which is currently streaming on HBO Max, in order to see how that all works out for the couple.

Katy Keene is essentially Riverdale's sunnier sister: an NYC fairytale, wrapped in optimism and romance. In its first season, Katy Keene found a way to tie itself to Riverdale, outside of Josie's presence as a series regular. Season 4 of Riverdale showed Katy and Veronica hanging out during V's trip to Manhattan. Katy Keene brought Kevin into the fold to pal around with stepsister Josie, and even featured a dramatic hanging thread of Veronica's dad Hiram attempting to buy a city block in the finale of Season 1.

Image: The CW

With Riverdale jumping ahead seven years, to the timeline of Katy Keene, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have characters crossover between shows, without the complication of the shows being set in slightly different time periods. Unfortunately, Katy Keene never really got the opportunity to live in the same time as Riverdale. In July 2020, The CW cancelled Katy Keene.

There is some good news, however: It seems the characters of Katy Keene are sticking around the Riverdale universe, even if they no longer have their own home show. On Jan. 15, Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa teased there's more Katy Keene crossovers to come.

"This Wednesday, #Riverdale returns with our first (and definitely not LAST) crossover with #KatyKeene of the season," he wrote on Instagram. "Watch on 1.20.2021 on @thecw!"

Will KO return to the ring for a rematch with Archie? Only time will tell.

Images: CW

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