The moment Riverdale fans have waited months for has finally come — and it delivered a lot of surprises. After wrapping up the final moments of high school at the beginning of Season 5, the fourth episode pulled the trigger on a massive time jump, giving everyone in town entirely new stories. The jam-packed episode threw a lot of details at viewers, so if you need a rundown of where the Riverdale characters are after the seven-year time jump, it's totally understandable. Suffice it to say all the kids (ahem, adults) led very full lives after graduating from high school.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from Riverdale Season 5, Episode 4, "Purgatorio." The new episode on Wednesday, Feb. 10, is one fans of Riverdale have been eagerly anticipating for a long time. It began with rumors at the beginning of 2020 that the show would jump ahead in time after the kids graduated high school. Shortly after Season 4 ended, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed that fan theory was true. A couple months later, Lili Reinhart revealed the time jump would be seven years ahead, skipping over not only college but also a few postgrad years.
For all this time, fans have been trying to guess what Riverdale might look like after such a big shift, and now they finally have their answer. The latest episode revealed what each character has been up to in the seven years since Riverdale High's graduation:
Riverdale had been teasing Archie joining the armed forces rather than pursuing college for quite some time, and that's exactly what happened. He enlisted in the Army and wound up excelling, even advancing to the rank of sergeant. At the start of the episode, Archie's captain noted how all the men in his unit admired him, with one soldier even crediting Archie with saving his life. However, after seven years in combat, Archie's was ordered to return to Riverdale to run the high school's RROTC program. (Convenient!)
What better job could there be for Betty than tracking down serial killers? The time jump revealed Betty is training for the FBI and has already begun tracking a new masked murderer called the Trash Bag Killer. Per usual, Betty wound up getting too close to the target, though, and was held captive by the killer for two weeks before he got away. Now, Betty is in therapy to help process the trauma of that event.
Is anyone surprised Ronnie has the most glamorous life of the Core Four? The mafia princess is living her Uncut Gems fantasy in New York City as the jeweler at a shady pawn shop, which she was keeping secret from her husband, Chad. While her marriage seems perfect on the surface, a near-death experience on a helicopter a while back led Veronica's husband to pressure her to quit her Wall Street job and focus on starting a family, which she is not super gung-ho about.
Jughead's passion for writing hasn't really gotten him too far in life just yet. While he managed to publish a hit book called The Outcasts, he's suffered from writer's block ever since. With no new work, Jughead fell behind on his rent and has to deal with debt collectors coming after him.
While the Core Four was off chasing their dreams elsewhere, Toni held down the fort in Riverdale, where she reformed the Southside Serpents as their new queen and turned Veronica's old speakeasy La Bonne Nuit into a new version of the Whyte Wyrm. Oh, she also got a job as Riverdale High's guidance counselor and helped arrange for the Serpents to become truckers to make some cash. But the big news is that she's now pregnant... but refuses to reveal who the father of her baby is.
Kevin Keller & Fangs Fogarty
The only Riverdale couple to survive the time jump, Kevin and Fangs lasted through college and returned to Riverdale so Kevin could become the high school's drama teacher while Fangs got a trucker job from Toni. The couple now lives with Toni.
True to form, nobody can match Cheryl when it comes to tragic melodrama. Believing herself to be cursed, Cheryl became a total shut-in after high school, focusing solely on renovating Thornhill without ever leaving the property. Her only pastime appears to be painting, which she's gotten so good at that Nana Rose suggests she begin forging famous works to make some money.
Cheryl's life may be tragic, but Reggie's became downright evil. With Archie turning down Hiram's offer to serve as his right-hand man, that role instead went to Reggie, who fans see standing at the crooked mayor's side as he threatens Cheryl for control of her maple grove.
Now that everyone is reunited in Riverdale, it will be very interesting to see how the Core Four interacts with one another after so much time has passed and they've all had so many different life experiences. Will old flames reignite between Bughead and Varchie, or will the former friends realize they have nothing in common anymore? Find out when new episodes of Riverdale air Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.