If you thought the Riverdale characters got up to some questionable stuff as teenagers, just imagine what they'll get into as adults. Actually, scratch that — fans aren't going to have to wait much longer to find that out for themselves, since Riverdale's rumored time jump is happening in Season 5. Showrunner and executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed this long-held theory to TVLine after Season 4 came to a close.
This time jump idea has been floating around the fandom for a while now. It gained a lot of popularity throughout Season 4, when fans realized this would be the last season the Core Four and friends would be in high school, and the theory grew stronger as it became clear Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica had very different post-graduation plans. A time jump would allow the show to bypass the years during which Veronica goes off to Barnard and Betty to Yale, plus Jughead's and Archie's somewhat up-in-the-air immediate futures.
In a May 13 interview with TVLine, Aguirre-Sacasa revealed this theory will come to fruition — just not exactly how he'd envisioned it. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, production on Season 4 was halted, and the final three episodes of the season were not able to get made. Instead, Season 4 ended early with Episode 19, the last episode filmed before the shutdown. The remaining three episodes — which contain the final moments of the teens' high school experience, including prom and graduation — will be held until Season 5.
"Usually time jumps happen in between seasons, because there’s a tease at the very end," Aguirre-Sacasa said. “So what we’re doing is picking up right where we left off for the first three episodes, and then doing a time jump… after those three episodes.”
So, get ready to say goodbye to your high school faves, and prepare to see how these teens turn out. Though there's no official announcement of where in the show's timeline the time jump will bring viewers, the most likely option would be four or five years into the future, skipping over the college years entirely in order to bring everyone back to the town of Riverdale.
Not only would this avoid the issue of the characters living in different places, but it also means the actors would be playing characters who are much closer to their IRL ages. Plus, setting Riverdale five years ahead of its current timeline would put it in the same year as its spinoff show Katy Keene, meaning there could be a lot more crossover opportunities between the shows going forward.
For now, it's unclear what kind of stories a future version of Riverdale will entail, or even what each character's life will look like once the time jump occurs. Will Betty and Jughead still be together? Did Archie really join the military? Are Cheryl and Toni going to get married? There are so many directions this new season will take, and fans will just have to wait until new episode air in 2021.