If you enjoyed your trip to Riverdale earlier this year, then you'll be thrilled to hear that Season 2 of the Archie comics adaptation will provide a 22-episode-long vacation in the picturesque town that's home to maple syrup-infused mysteries, high school shenanigans, a rocking band of pussycats and, of course, #Bughead. Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa promises that the show's sophomore year, which premieres Oct. 11 on The CW, will consist of the same ingredients as last year… just more of them. "We're getting to spend 22 episodes with the characters instead of just 13," he says with evident excitement in his voice. "I hope fans like that!" It's safe to say that fans won't be complaining. And to help them settle into their extended stay in Riverdale, here's a sneak peek at five big conflicts they should look for in Season 2.
#Bughead v. #Varchie
One of Aguirre-Sacasa's proudest accomplishments with Riverdale's first season was venturing into territory where the Archie comic books have often feared to tread: pairing girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) with noted hamburger enthusiast Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) as the power couple known across the Interwebs as Bughead. "I always thought that would be an exciting combination and would capture peoples' imagination," he says now. "But I don't think any of us were prepared for the phenomenon that is Bughead! Lily and Cole are incredible actors and bring real complexity to those parts; drama is baked into who they are, and what their relationship is." Expect that drama to heighten now that Betty and Jughead aren't the only red-hot lovers in Riverdale. After the "will they or won't they" dance that ran throughout Season 1, Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) are very much a couple - call them Varchie - and aren't afraid to let everyone else in town know it. "They have a really great relationship this season," Mendes says. "It's very sexy, but also has a lot of substance. And out of the two couples, they're definitely the more passionate and sexual. There's lots of sex! And lots of shirtless Archie."
Betty v. Veronica
In a welcome departure from the comic books, Riverdale has largely sought to emphasize the friendship between Betty and Veronica rather than their 76-year-and-counting rivalry for Archie's affections. But even good pals fight from time to time, and Mendes says that there's a major brawl brewing in Season 2's fifth episode: "Betty's dealing with a situation, and she's forced to hurt Veronica in an effort to protect her. It's coming from a place of love, but it's still a dark moment between them. And it has nothing to do with Archie." As traumatic as that fight might be for the characters - and the fans - Mendes and Reinhart enjoyed the opportunity to square off. "We're used to playing a happy, healthy, supportive relationship. It was nice to get that different side of them," Mendes says.
Veronica v. Hermione (and Hiram)
Last season, it was Veronica and Hermione Lodge against the world. Heading into Season 2, though, mother (Marisol Nichols) and daughter are no longer in each other's corner thanks to the return of Veronica's previously incarcerated father, Hiram (Mark Consuelos). "Now that Hiram is back in the picture, Hermione is back to being the Claire Underwood to his Frank Underwood," Mendes explains. "They're very manipulative and corrupt, and keeping Veronica in the dark." Joining the cast this year, Consuelos wasted little time butting heads with his onscreen daughter. "One of my first scenes with Mark was a confrontation scene," Mendes says. "I bring up all the things he's done in the past to break this family, and he's forced to defend himself to me. It's funny that we just jumped into that on our first day of working together! He's an amazing actor and plays Hiram with such subtlety."
North Side v. South Side
If we may liken Riverdale to European history for a moment, just as the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand provided the spark that exploded into World War I, so too does the shooting of Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) stoke fears of a civil war within the previously peaceful town. Aguirre-Sacasa says that the well-off North Side is ready to rumble with the rougher South Side, with Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe - the location where Fred took a bullet - caught in the middle. "It's this place that has always been at the heart of Riverdale that's suddenly been defiled with violence. That's a shock that reverberates throughout the season; it feels like there's nowhere that's safe anymore," he says. "If Season 1 was a murder mystery, this season the genre is true crime. We reference everything from The Godfather to When a Stranger Calls."
Archie v. Reggie
Reggie Mantle is a regular foil for Archie in the comic books, but his presence was reduced in Riverdale's first season because of actor Ross Butler's commitments to the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. Now that newcomer Charles Melton has taken over the role, you can expect Reggie to return to his spoilsport ways on a more regular basis. "It was a real bummer not being able to have that character on a day-to-day level for Archie," Aguirre-Sacasa says. "Charles is an amazing actor; he's everything you want in a Reggie." The showrunner also teases an expanded role for Ashleigh Murray's Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), and the introduction of such comic book staples as Riverdale High's janitor, Mr. Svenson, and Betty's brother, Chick. You may even see Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel) walking the school's hallways again. "Her story isn't finished yet," he says. "In some way or form we're still going to be playing with Miss Grundy."
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.