Over the past three seasons we’ve seen the this teen Twin Peaks go from a cult favourite to big budget, small screen smash. From solving Jason Blossom’s murder in season one, to taking down the cult-like Gargoyle King, along the way the brilliantly implausible TV show has earned a small army of fans.
And now the fourth season is upon us, here’s everything we know about it so far.
Spoilers ahead – you have been warned!
Will there be a season four of Riverdale?
Yes! It was announced in January 2019 that the teen drama would be back for a fourth season.
— Riverdale (@CW_Riverdale) January 31, 2019
What is the UK release date for Riverdale season four?
Netflix UK have revealed that season four of Riverdale will come to the streaming service in October 2019. Episode one will land on October 10, with new episodes every following Thursday.
“No idea what’ll happen but I’m sure Archie will take his shirt off for no reason and fight a bear again, idk,” they theorised. Probably won’t be far off, we’d bet.
Riverdale s4 returns weekly from 10 October. No idea what’ll happen but I’m sure Archie will take his shirt off for no reason and fight a bear again, idk.
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) August 14, 2019
Will Riverdale season four be available on Netflix?
Yes! Netflix have confirmed that episodes of the show will drop every Thursday from October 10, 2019.
Are there any trailers for Riverdale season four?
Yes, the first trailer for the fourth season dropped on September 11, 2019.
Who’s going to be in the cast for Riverdale season four?
It’s likely that the core four will be back, with Jughead (Cole Sprouse), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Archie (KJ Apa), who have all appeared in every episode so far returning. We can also expect fan favourites Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) to appear in the next season.
One person who won’t be returning is Ashleigh Murray who plays Josie McCoy. The actress has been cast in the pilot for Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene, which would see Josie relocate to New York to follow her dreams as a musician. It’s unconfirmed yet whether this will effect her current role in Riverdale.
How will Riverdale honour Luke Perry?
Many people have been wondering how Riverdale would handle the devastating death of Luke Perry in March 2019, who played Fred Andrews (Archie’s Dad) on the show. In season three we saw Molly Ringwald, who played Archie’s Mum, take a bigger role as Fred was “away” on a trip, but showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has confirmed that Fred won’t just be out of town for the series.
He explained to Entertainment Weekly that: “When Luke passed, we’d already more or less outlined the last two or three episodes [of season three], and we didn’t want to rush that or get it wrong. So we are 100 per cent going to deal with it narratively at the beginning of season four, and we want that episode to really honour the character of Fred and honestly, to honour the actor Luke and our friend Luke.”
Aguirre-Sacasa added: “I’ve read online that they’re like, ‘Ooh, Riverdale‘s not dealing with this. Is Fred going to just be on a business trip?’…we are 100 per cent going to deal with Fred’s death. We didn’t want to rush into that at the end of the season and give it short shrift or not make that story as great and emotional as it needs to be to honour both the character and the actor. I think that’s going to be a big part of Archie’s journey next season, honestly.”
He’s also Tweeted about the episode, saying it’s “probably the most important episode of Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever.”
Probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever. A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred. ❤️🏆💎👨🏻💻 pic.twitter.com/MH7xOjNyDu
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) June 19, 2019
We also know that Perry’s friend and co-star from his Beverly Hills: 90210 days Shannen Doherty will guest star in the next season, to pay tribute.
What will happen in Riverdale season four?
Season three saw a ton of loose ends tied up, with the sprawling Gargoyle King plot being resolved; but if did finish on a huge cliffhanger when we saw Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Archie (KJ Apa) covered in blood and burning their clothes around a bonfire, in what looks like a murder coverup.
During the trio’s murder coverup, Betty also says they also need to burn Jughead’s hat, but there’s no sign of him. In addition to this, the first trailer for season four saw people out searching for Jughead, so it looks like the show’s narrator could go missing – and it could be the central plotline to the new season.
What happened in Riverdale season four?
We won’t list every minutia of detail, of course. For much of the fourth season, viewers were provided with flash-forwards of the night of Judhead’s supposed murder. Many other plot lines developed, from the death of Mr. Chipping to Riverdale families receiving video tapes of their houses being filmed (and even Archie and Bettie’s past love resurfacing).
Thankfully much was managed to be filmed before the coronavirus crisis halted production in March 2020. Producers were forced to make do with fewer than the planned 22 episodes (only 19 were broadcast in the end).
Overall, it turned out that Jughead had been hit on the head with a rock by his rival Stonewall Prep students, who’d tried to frame Betty as the culprit. After the incident (the details of which were shown in episode 13) and once Jughead had recovered on the down-low, a ploy was hatched between him and Betty to pretend he had died. Why? Well to work out – along with help of the ‘Core Four’ – to prove that Stonewall’s Bret and Donna were guilty of attempted murder.
There was another reason why Jughead faked his own death. Earlier on in the series, English teacher Mr Chipping (Sam Witwer) said he was going to help him reveal the truth about the true author of the Baxter Brother novels: Jughead’s grandfather.
However, shortly after agreeing to help Riverdale’s resident young writer, Mr Chipping threw himself out of a window in front of his writing class. The only plausible reason the teacher killed himself, Jughead deduced, was because he was being blackmailed by the Stonewall Prep students. Going underground therefore also gave Jughead more time to work on exposing the truth.
Eventually Jughead and Betty manage to force the truth of Mr Chipping’s death out of the Stonewall students. The teacher killed himself out of guilt because he’d orchestrated students to commit perfect murders.
How did Riverdale writers wrap up the season – and do questions remain?
The coronavirus crisis, as mentioned above, forced production on the fourth season to pause. As a result, writers had to wrap the season with what they’d already filmed, ending on episode 19 instead of the originally planned 22 episodes.
In the season four finale, the ‘Core Four’ are angry when Principle Honey threatens to cancel prom. Jughead must submit a story to the University of Iowa, so he writes a fictitious tale about the gang killing Mr Honey for ruining their senior year. In Jughead’s story, Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, Reggie, and Cheryl all murder Mr Honey and attempt to cover up the murder.
Mr Honey, outside of Jughead’s fictional tale, receives a videotape of the school and cancels prom, fearing the school to be in danger. Betty watches the full videotape and sees Mr Honey’s reflection in it, believing that he produced the video as an excuse to cancel the prom.
Charles and Betty have Mr Honey fired and prom is put back on the table. After Ms Bell tells the gang that Mr Honey was a good man for the school, she gives Jughead his letter of recommendation for college. Affected by the letter, Jughead changes his story to include the gang taking Mr Honey to hospital – not leaving him for dead.
Later, Betty and Jughead find another videotape in which they are invited to a cabin. They then discover another film, which this time shows a group of people wearing masks of the gang stabbing the real Mr Honey to death….
So what is the purpose of the videotapes?
There is no clear answer on this. As DenOfGeek writes, they simply could be to “further a sense of ease and terror in a town where no one gets a moment of rest.”
Who is behind the tapes?
Well, we thought it was Mr Honey, but the closing moments of the season four finale suggest otherwise. It could be Charles Smith and Chic, owing to them having historic issues with the town’s inhabitants – not to mention the Coopers.
Does Mr Honey actually die?
Riverdale hasn’t shied away from much violence before, so at this stage we can presume yes.
What will happen next?
The ‘Core Four’ are all off to study at universities in different states at the end of their final year, so it will be tricky to keep them attached to Riverdale’s locale. Perhaps producers will set the rest of the series after graduation and before they leave for college.
What would have happened in the remaining three episodes?
It was revealed that Skeet Ulrich (Sherriff) and Marisol Nichols (Hermione Lodge) were departing Riverdale at the end of season four, although it’s still not known how. As DenOfGeek adds, this will most likely be answered in the first three episodes of season five (as holdovers from season four).
Hopefully, the fates of these characters along with the revelation of who is behind the videotapes will be revealed. We can’t wait.