You won't have to say goodbye to F.P. Jones and Hermione Lodge just yet, Riverdale fans. A couple months before the Season 4 finale of the teen drama, Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols shocked fans by revealing they would not be back for Season 5, but that was before Season 4 had to be cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that F.P. Jones and Hermione Lodge will be in Riverdale Season 5 to get proper sendoffs before departing from the show.
Back in February, when Season 4 of Riverdale was still in the middle of airing, Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols announced they would not return for Season 5. However, the coronavirus pandemic changed a lot of things. Riverdale was one of the first TV shows to shut down production in response to the pandemic in March, and because of that, the season had to end early. Season 4 ended on Episode 19 rather than reaching its planned episode count of 22, so those final three episodes will now instead serve as the first three episodes of Season 5.
Since Riverdale has yet to suggest any reason F.P. or Hermione would suddenly be gone in the new season, Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed Ulrich and Nichols agreed to return for the first few Season 5 episodes to give their characters a proper sendoff.
Yeah, I've talked to all the actors and I called Marisol and Skeet and I said, "You know. guys, obviously we still want to finish the stories we started in the season." And both of them were like, "Of course, let's do it."
The other good news Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed is that neither F.P. nor Hermione will be killed off, and that the door is open for them to return in the future. "Neither Hermione nor F.P. — this isn't a spoiler but they're not dying. My hope is to have them be a part of Riverdale for as long as Riverdale continues," he said.
Although it's not really clear why F.P. and Hermione might be saying goodbye to Riverdale, their departure has encouraged a popular fan theory that the new season will include a major time jump to five years in the future, after Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead will have graduated college.
Aguirre-Sacasa did not give away any major plot details, but he did confirm the three episodes to kick off Season 5 will be filled with milestones. The new season premiere, which was originally planned to be Episode 20 of Season 4, will be Riverdale High's prom, and the third episode of the new season will be the graduation (which was supposed to be Season 4's finale). Season 5 will likely premiere in the fall of 2020 if filming is able to get back on track sometime this summer. For now, fans will just have to wait for Riverdale's bittersweet farewell to high school, and at least two beloved characters.
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