The kids of Riverdale are all grown up. The first three episodes of Season 5 covered prom, high school graduation, and the Core Four parting ways to embark on their futures. Now, it's finally time for the long-awaited seven-year time jump, which will bring Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead to their mid-20s. Judging by the Riverdale Season 5, Episode 4 promo, adulthood has brought about *a lot* of changes.
Warning: Spoilers for Riverdale Season 5, Episode 3 follow. Episodes 1 through 3 of Riverdale Season 5 were packed with drama, which is par for the course for The CW's hit show. However, after solving the videotapes mystery, revealing Charles' true nature, and putting a pin in the Barchie versus Bughead debate, the series gave the main characters' final moments as teenagers a heartfelt sendoff. Yes, most of the major couples broke up — Betty and Jughead; Veronica and Archie; Cheryl and Toni; Alice and F.P. — but they also all professed their love for one another, making for a bittersweet goodbye as everyone pursued their own paths.
The one thing keeping fans from fully losing it over all the tearful goodbyes was knowing the characters won't be able to stay away from the town of Riverdale forever. With the majority of Season 5 still to go — and a sixth season on the way — fans know the next step after graduation is a big one. You might even call it a jump.
The seven-year time jump is finally happening, y'all. And the promo for the Feb. 10 episode sets it up perfectly:
OK, so there's a lot to unpack here. First, let's talk about where everyone is now that they're in their mid-20s. Archie clearly followed his plan to enlist in the Army, but from the looks of it, an injury earns him a discharge and he heads back to Riverdale. Then there's Jughead, who followed his dream of becoming a published author (although his writer's block doesn't look so fun). Next up is Veronica, who Jughead reveals is married to someone other than Archie. Finally, Betty seems to have gotten a gig with the FBI following her years at Yale — and the dangers of her profession seem to rival the wild antics she faced during her teen years in Riverdale.
At long last, the episode's synopsis reveals exactly how the Core Four will reunite after seven whole years of separation:
After spending seven years away from Riverdale, Archie (KJ Apa) returns to find the town is now under Hiram Lodge’s (Mark Consuelos) grip and on the verge of becoming a ghost town. When Toni (Vanessa Morgan) catches him up on what’s been going on, Archie reaches out to the rest of the gang to return home. Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Casey Cott, Charles Melton, Drew Ray Tanner and Erinn Westbrook also star.
There's still so much left unanswered about this time jump. How did things turn out so poorly for the town of Riverdale? Why did the Core Four stay apart for so long? Will any fan-fave couples get back together? What in the world is Veronica's job???
Fans will have to tune in to Riverdale's new episode — airing Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW — to start getting answers.