HomeNewsCovens, cults, and ‘Cry Baby’? Everything we know about ‘Riverdale’ S3 from SDCC

Covens, cults, and ‘Cry Baby’? Everything we know about ‘Riverdale’ S3 from SDCC

The 'Riverdale' panel hit the San Diego Comic-Con with exciting plot tidbits for S3 and a teaser trailer with the first look at the new season.

Covens, cults, and ‘Cry Baby’? Everything we know about ‘Riverdale’ S3 from SDCC

Ready the hype klaxon, people! The Riverdale panel hit the San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend and with it came a bunch of exciting plot tidbits for S3 and a teaser trailer providing fans with their first look at the new season. Check out the trailer below (which features about a minute’s worth of a recap for S2 before dishing up a small S3 feast) and then delve into all the juiciest details we learned from the SDCC panel about Riverdale S3.

S3 will take place three months after S2 left off.

Considering the bombshell ending of the second season, where every character was left greatly changed and with a new perspective and set of challenges on the horizon, those three months could mean a great deal for the gang. According to Lili Reinhart, this means that Betty has spent the Summer undertaking an internship and “doing everything in her power not to think about her dad.” Meanwhile, for Archie it’s meant a summer locked in the vice of an uncertain future with K.J. Apa explaining, “S3 starts off with Archie on trial. I guess we’ll see if he’s gonna go away or not.”


Just a heads up, folks: Things aren’t looking great for Archiekins

In a press release regarding S3, the trial is highlighted as being a dirty one where Archie’s “freedom will hang in the balance.” Part of that comes down to the way that district attorney Ms. Wright (Penelope Ann Miller) will depict the local football and music hero unfavorably to say the list. “With a conviction in mind, she will weave together disparate moments of Archie’s young life to portray him as a dangerous, violent sociopath who is capable of committing a heinous crime.”


But it’s alright – there are some classic Bughead detective shenanigans incoming for S3

Describing the couple as being “rock solid” in the third season, Reinhart hinted that the start of S3 will see Jughead “as the investigative duo they were in S1 – they tackle one of the new mysteries of S3 head on.” It’s uncertain what mysteries the duo will be tackling right away, but Archie’s trial seems like a good place to start.

However, with Cole Sprouse describing S3 as being similar to the first season of True Detective and the panel revealing some supernatural elements may bleed into this upcoming season, it could be that Jughead will investigate something far more mysterious and unusual. After all, S1 of True Detective featured unexpected and subtle supernatural elements and aspects of magical realism that could work extremely well within the world of Riverdale without turning the show into a straight-up supernatural series.


But where will that supernatural element come from?

The panel remained tight lipped about whether those teased supernatural elements have any connection to the upcoming premiere of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Though it seems more probable that some of the supernatural elements may come from the arrival of Riverdale’s premium cult-like religion The Farm.

Reinhart told the SDCC audience that her sister Polly and mom Alice are now a deeply embedded part of the religion and looking to bring Betty into the fold. “Alice and Polly kind of attack her. Their new, weird spirituality with the farm makes them tell her that she needs to listen to her soul and confront her problems. So Betty wants to stay far, far away from them.” At the end of the S3 teaser we see the eerie activities of the cult, including an unnerving scene in which Polly’s twins look like they’re being held up above a roaring fire – possibly for future sacrifice?!

And as the creepy season 3 teaser hints, Betty’s mother (Alice) and sister (Polly) are now deeply embedded in the cult-like religion of The Farm and are trying to bring Betty into the fold. “Alice and Polly kind of attack her. Their new, weird spirituality with the farm makes them tell her that she needs to listen to her soul and confront her problems. So Betty wants to stay far, far away from them.”


Jughead’s mom Gladys and little sister Jellybean will finally be more than just a photo

That’s right, folks! Gladys and Jellybean will apparently show up around episode eight or nine of the third season – in person! Not just as a cryptic off-screen presence. There’s still no news regarding casting, but we damn well hope that someone, somewhere has listened to fans and done everything in their power to reunite Skeet Ulrich with his Scream co-star Neve Campbell for the role, because we will absolutely die with joy if that happens.


Veronica is going to be ordering some of those businesswoman specials at Pops’

While things might be going down the crapper for Archie, his other half will be thriving as “an entrepreneur” in S3, according to Camila Mendes. “She’ll be running a speakeasy out of Pops, she’ll be working at Pops’, just hustling – we’ll show that she’s not a spoiled rich girl.”  

However, as she pointed out, that doesn’t exactly bode well for Archie’s relationship with Ronnie if he does get found guilty and is forced to serve time. “I think they’re gonna run into some problems.” Agreeing with Mendes, Apa shared: “The distance and separation, if he goes away, is going to be tough.” Meanwhile, Hiram Lodge will be continuing his villainous streak with a focus on being “a thorn in his daughter’s side,” according to Mark Consuelos.


Gang warfare will still be a hot topic in Riverdale

Reinhart teased that Betty will be embracing her role as Jughead’s “Serpent Queen” in S3, with showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa hinting that the show will waste no time at all in exploring the various conflicts of the town. “The Serpents are trying to maintain the peace between the Serpents and the Ghoulies and Hiram, but that quickly gets disturbed in our first episode back.”


Aguirre-Sacasa is planning another musical episode

The “Carrie: The Musical” episode of S2 was met with mixed results from fans and critics alike and we’re inclined to agree. Though it had some standout moments, it also struggled to get beyond being utterly cringeworthy and a little awkward. Regardless, Aguirre-Sacasa is gunning for another musical episode for S3 and we can only hope some of the issues from S2 are ironed out before it gets the go ahead.

With some new original songs teased for Josie and the Pussycats in S3, it’s possible the underused band could (wisely) be at the center of such an episode. Some fans on Reddit are speculating that with all the heightened gang activity, S3 could harbor a West Side Story parody called Southside Story. Meanwhile, we’re going to throw our idea into the ring and suggest S3 could feature a version of John Waters’s Cry Baby, with the gang taking on their small-minded, corrupt town and busting Archie out of jail just like in the original movie.


Imagine this exact scene but with Veronica flanked by the Southside Serpents


We’d probably combust with happiness.

There’ll also be a flashback episode with the younger actors playing their parents in high school which we absolutely cannot wait to see, especially since Ulrich looked preposterously similar to how Sprouse does now in his younger years. This episode is gonna be killer.


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Amy Roberts is a freelance writer who occasionally moonlights as a hapless punk musician. She’s written about pop culture for websites like Bustle, i-D, and The Mary Sue, and is the co-creator of Clarissa Explains F*ck All. She likes watching horror movies with her cat and eating too much sugar.