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Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for season four of The CW's "Riverdale."
Season five premieres on The CW on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET.
Skeet Ulrich (FP Jones) is leaving the series and there will be a time jump.
Season four was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down production, so the season ended with 19 episodes instead of 22. Regardless, the finale hinted at what's next for the people of the murder-ridden town on season five.
Insider rounded up all the details we know so far about the fifth season.
Season 5 will begin with an episode centered on the prom
"Riverdale" showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told "Entertainment Tonight" that the cast and crew filmed "more than half" of the prom episode (originally planned as episode 20 of season four) before production halted.
"When it became clear that we weren't gonna be able to finish the season, the first thing I kind of did was look at episode 20 to see if we could cobble together an episode from that," Aguirre-Sacasa said. "And though we actually shot the prom, where a lot of dramatic stuff happened, there were so many emotional scenes with Archie and Veronica and Jughead and Betty that it felt like we just couldn't quite do it."
He also described the episode as "really classic 'Riverdale.'"
In addition, Aguirre-Sacasa told "Entertainment Tonight" that the prom episode will affect Archie and Veronica's relationship.
"We haven't heard or seen the last of the song that Archie wrote for Betty [on season four, episode 18], and right at this moment where they should be celebrating everything, a lot happens," he said. "It's pretty dramatic what happens at prom with Varchie."
The love square involving Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead will continue to be explored
Season four revisited the mutual romantic feelings that Betty and Archie had as childhood best friends and neighbors. Archie and Betty cheated on their partners when they kissed during episode 17 (the musical episode), but Betty put an end to whatever she and Archie were doing during the following episode.
"The relationship drama will always be one of the driving forces of the show," Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly. "And though the status quo is a little bit returned in episode 19, the story is nowhere near finished yet."
The showrunner also told Entertainment Tonight that on an upcoming episode, "all of the relationship stuff that we've been playing throughout the season, kind of, comes back."
A graduation episode will also take place early in season 5
"It's such a rite of passage," Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly of the episode. "So many graduations were canceled this year. I really, really loved that episode. So I'm looking forward to doing it at some point."
Season 5 will have a seven-year time jump after prom and graduation
Sacasa told Entertainment Tonight that time jumps typically happen between seasons on shows, but the abbreviated fourth season of "Riverdale" impacts how the show will continue.
"We're trying to figure out if we are doing a time jump, how quickly we can do it - and you know, my instinct is as quick as possible after we finish up the stories from season four," he told the publication, explaining that it wouldn't make sense to exclude prom and graduation from season five since they're milestone events.
With most of the characters planning on attending different places (Betty has her sights set on Yale, Jughead's hoping to get accepted to the University of Iowa, and Archie wants to enroll in the naval academy), it would make sense to skip the college years and jump ahead.
Similarly, star Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blossom) told fans in a video Q&A that "we're going to skip the time our characters would be in college."
"It will allow for the story to be more relationship-driven, rather than if they went to college in the show, it would become this messy situation of trying to go to different colleges to see characters," she said.
During a virtual interview with Jimmy Fallon in August 2020, Lili Reinhart confirmed that season five will have a seven-year time jump.
Costar Mark Consuleos (Hiram Lodge) also told Sirius XM that his character will be "up to my old shenanigans" and "some people are in different relationships."
Skeet Ulrich is leaving the show
Initially, Ulrich and Marisol Nichols, who star as FP Jones (Jughead's dad) and Hermione Lodge (Veronica's mom), said that they were exiting the series.
In February 2020, TVLine revealed that the two actors would be leaving the show after season four. Since the news came out prior to season four ending earlier than planned, they would leave the series during season five.
"I'm incredibly grateful for the friendships I've made on 'Riverdale,' and I will miss seeing everyone on a daily basis," Ulrich said in a statement shared by TVLine. "I'm proud to have been part of such a talented group of people, in front of the camera and behind. But I've decided that it's time for me to move on to explore other creative opportunities."
Ulrich later told fans during an Instagram livestream that he left the show because he got "bored creatively."
Nichols also shared a statement in February about departing the show, telling TVLine: "I had an incredible time bringing Hermione Lodge to life and working with my amazing cast, who became family. We had so many wonderful times together during the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We really do have the best fans ever. I am looking forward to the next chapter and am excited about the future."
In June 2020, the actress revealed that she will actually be returning to the show.
"I am happy to announce that after having a really beautiful conversation with show creator Roberto Aguirre Sacasa, Hermione will be showing back up in Riverdale for parts of Season 5, as a stronger, better, and more self-determined women than ever," Nichols wrote on Instagram.
She added: "I am proud to be able to still be a part of my Riverdale family while I will also have the flexibility to follow my passion and pursue other ventures."
Fans will have to wait until season five to see how FP is written off the show, but Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly that the character won't be killed off.
Season 5 will reveal more about Toni Topaz's backstory
Since Toni (Vanessa Morgan) joined the show during season two, few details about her have been revealed to fans. She was a member of the Southside Serpents before creating the Pretty Poisons, enjoys photography, and has been dating Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) since the second season. During season four, episode 12, Toni also revealed to Cheryl that she had a similar sexual assault experience.
"Riverdale" writer Ted Sullivan said that a "heavy" Toni episode was supposed to be part of season four, but will now be postponed to season five.
Meanwhile, Aguirre-Sacasa told "Entertainment Tonight" that Cheryl will find out "that Toni's family has some pretty strong opinions about Toni dating Cheryl. And we find out that Toni's family hasn't even known that Toni has been dating Cheryl."
Fans will also be introduced to some of Toni's family members.
Morgan's real-life pregnancy will be written into season 5
In July 2020, Morgan announced that she was expecting a son. Throughout her pregnancy, she continued to film the upcoming season of "Riverdale."
In an Instagram post shared in December, when the cast and crew wrapped before the holidays, the actress revealed that her pregnancy will be included in her character's storyline.
"Feeling grateful to my showrunner & producers for being so accommodating & writing my pregnancy into the show!" Morgan wrote. "Also proud of my body for allowing me to still work almost 9 months preggo."
'Insatiable' star Erinn Westbrook will be joining the show as the granddaughter of Pop Tate
Fans can expect to see a lot of Westbrook's character, named Tabitha Tate, since she'll be a series regular on "Riverdale," Deadline reported in September 2020.
The publication described Tabitha as "the ambitious, entrepreneurial granddaughter of Pop Tate, who has come to Riverdale to take over Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe in the hopes of franchising the iconic diner, even as the town around it struggles to survive."
Chris Mason, who starred on the 'Pretty Little Liars' spin-off series, will be playing Veronica's husband after the 7-year time jump
Mason will portray Chad Gekko, who Deadline described as "Veronica's controlling and jealous husband who works on Wall Street. An Alpha dog, Chad is threatened by Veronica's life in Riverdale, especially her friendship with Archie."
According to Deadline, fans will meet the recurring character on season five, episode four.
After the time jump, fans will see Betty as a 25-year-old FBI trainee
Reinhart shared the detail during a virtual appearance on CBS' "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" in January 2021.
A character from 'Riverdale' spin-off 'Katy Keene' will make an appearance on the season premiere
Aguirre-Sacasa also teased that there will be additional crossovers with "Katy Keene" throughout the new season of "Riverdale."
Archie enlists in the Army after graduation
Apa told TVLine that after the kids graduated from high school, "everyone kind of went their separate ways," which makes sense considering that it's already been revealed that Veronica goes on to marry someone who's not Archie.
"Archie enlisted in the Army after graduation, and when he returns, after all that time in the Army, he discovers the town is on the verge of becoming a ghost town, thanks to Hiram," Apa said.
The actor also said that similar to Fred Andrews, Archie will take on a proactive role in making Riverdale a better place.
"He wrangles the whole team in, and they figure out ways to revive the town, and the best way to do that is through Riverdale High," Apa said.
Season 5 premieres on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET
The cast headed back to Vancouver to resume filming in September 2020. In October, The CW revealed that fans can expect the new episodes in January 2021.
The first trailer for season five was released in December, giving fans a proper look at what to expect.
It included scenes from the prom-centric episode, steamy moments between Bughead, and more murder. Brett Wallis (Sean Depner), in prison, was seen warning Betty and Jughead "something's coming."
Veronica was also shown crying as she learned that something romantic happened between Betty and Archie.
Read the original article on Insider