It's just like Riverdale to end an episodes on a life-altering cliffhanger, and then leave its fans hanging for a full *two weeks* while the show takes a little break. But even though fans shouldn't necessarily be surprised this is happening, they're still likely pondering (or, more likely, spiraling out over) the question of why Riverdale isn't airing an episode on Feb. 19, 2020. The answer, it turns out, isn't just about making fans suffer.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 13 of Riverdale. After Riverdale's timeline finally caught up to the night of Jughead's death, and really implied it was Betty who killed him, what fans need right now is more context: Was Betty really hypnotized to smash a rock over her boyfriend's head, or was she actually in on a plan to help him fake his death? Do Veronica and Archie know what's going on, or will they just help Betty cover up her actions out of fear? Have audiences really seen the last of the town's resident weirdo?
Instead, what viewers are getting is a big, gaping hole in Riverdale's lineup. The show's schedule skips from Feb. 12 to Feb. 26, leaving Feb. 19 wide open and Riverdale-less.
Instead, if you tune in to The CW during Riverdale's usual 8 p.m. ET slot that night, you'll find yourself watching a very different program: Howie Mandel's 5th Annual All-Star Comedy Gala. Not exactly the dark, sexy teen drama series you're used to seeing at this time and place, the comedy special was recorded during the Toronto Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, and will feature standup routines from comedians including Rachel Bloom, Fortune Feimster, Anjelah Johnson, and more.
It's not clear whether this special had to air during this time slot, or if it was a conscious choice to put a pause on Riverdale and fill the time with it. But let's be honest, Riverdale would do pretty much anything to draw out suspense, so it feels a bit deliberate.
Luckily, it doesn't seem like fans will have to wait too long to find out what happens next for the Core Four — or, rather, the Final Three, since Riverdale is expected to return to The CW on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. ET.