Riverdale is back with more drama! The first episode of season 5 jumps right into the aftermath of season 4’s finale cliffhanger with Betty and Jughead investigating the latest Auteur videotape. As the pair start digging deeper, things get creepier, and we make another visit to Blue Velvet Video. To get closer to the Auteur and their murderous doppelgängers Jughead and Betty have to get invited to a party. And to get an invite, they need to make a snuff film. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Archie is trying to get into the Naval Academy. But he learns another candidate is also vying for his spot: a one K.O. Kelly. Veronica purposes Archie and K.O. duke it out in a boxing competition and to the victor goes a place at the Academy. Back at Riverdale High, Cheryl dreams of the prom queen crown perching on her head while Toni is pondering how to reconcile her family and girlfriend.
The episode drags up the conflicts we’ve been waiting all year to resolve. The most pressing one is the kiss shared between Archie and Betty at the end of last season. The song Archie wrote for Betty makes an appearance and in the most awkward way possible. Throughout the episode, we see the weight of this huge secret overwhelming Archie as he acts out the part of the dutiful boyfriend. To make matters worse, Veronica’s dad Hiram offers Archie a job. And Veronica announces she’ll be deferring Barnard for a year.
Cheryl and Toni’s relationship is also on the rocks. Not because of any lover’s quarrel but because of the bad blood between the Blossom and Topaz families. The couple has already been through turmoil due to Cheryl’s intolerant mother. And it’s heartbreaking to see them being torn apart again by the feud. All Cheryl wants is to have Toni by her side as her co-queen on prom day. But as she says in this episode, she’s once again the victim of her family’s curse. Maybe this conflict will mean Cheryl and Toni’s next storyline will involve bringing the families together for reconciliation.
Once more, Betty and Jughead make a great investigative team, and they quickly get invited to the underground party. Betty goes the extra mile by giving up a video depicting her father’s trauma, which would later fuel his psychopathic killing sprees. As Jughead and Betty strive to uncover who’s behind the mysterious videotapes, we’re left wondering if Betty is carrying any of the guilt Archie is harboring about their illicit kiss.
The first episode of season 5 ends with prom, and we get to see all the characters decked out in their finery. But emotions have been simmering all episode long, and the night ends with two breakups and two more disturbing videos. The investigation to unmask the Auteur and the doppelgängers is getting more intense. The gang will need to band together to apprehend them before someone gets hurt. In this episode, the couples shared their last dance as high school students, making us realize they only have a few more episodes before they’ll all go their separate ways. Will we finally understand what the Auteur wants from the core 4? And will even more Riverdale couples be forced apart? Let’s buckle up for another wild ride at Riverdale High.