Warning: Spoiler alert! If you haven't watched Thursday's episode of Riverdale, do not proceed.
Meet Mama Andrews!
Molly Ringwald made her anticipated debut as Archie's mother, Mary, in the tail end of Thursday's episode of Riverdale, and her unexpected arrival is about to complicate matters on the home front for Archie (K.J. Apa) and his father, Fred (Luke Perry).
"I'm scared to death of it, to tell you the truth," Perry said of the introduction of Fred's estranged wife, whom he visited in Chicago in the episode in an attempt to finalize their divorce. "As you can see in the rest of the season, it's just he and I, and we're in that house -- and it's been that way."
Perry was candid about why Mary's sudden re-emergence in Riverdale threatens the sense of normalcy Fred has established with his teenage son, Archie, in the two years since she bolted.
"It took Fred a really long time to be OK with that and to sort of rise to that challenge of single parenthood, and now that could all go away and come crashing down, which would leave this guy without an identity because that's what he's all about," the 50-year-old actor explained. "It's really scary when she comes."
But for Archie, reuniting with his mother -- even if it may be temporary -- opens up a whole world of possibilities. In the next episode, in fact, Mary makes a life-changing proposition that could drastically change Archie's future in Riverdale.
"I think for Archie, he loves both his dad and his mom, but I reckon there's definitely a part of him that wants his parents -- for a minute -- to get back together again and he can see his mom being home again in Riverdale," Apa said. "It's bringing back all these memories of them being a proper family and that was ideal to him."
What didn't turn out to be ideal was Jughead's (Cole Sprouse) surprise 17th birthday party, which began as a sweet gesture by his girlfriend, Betty (Lili Reinhart), and turned into a colossal mess -- thanks in part to Cheryl Blossom's (Madelaine Petsch) devious plan to cause destruction.
During a revealing game of "Secrets and Sins" (Cheryl's idea, of course), the truth comes out about Betty's violent interrogation and near-drowning of douchey jock, Chuck (Jordan Calloway) -- a secret only few knew. Sprouse noted that Betty's dark side coming to light adds a significant layer to her bond with Jughead.
"When [executive producer] Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa], Lili and I were talking about the purity of Bughead, we had said, 'Well, it is a bit unrealistic.' There has to be this tension between just how fundamentally dissimilar the two are," said Sprouse, 24, using the couple's preferred 'shipper name. "That was what we ended up playing a little bit [in the previous episode] and in [this episode]. The fight scene in the garage was 'Hey, I'm telling you, you're being all about yourself right now and let me explain to you how I am.'"
"It's one of those things where the argument led to a much more open form of communication and inherently strengthened the bond between the two characters," he added.
Betty and Jughead weren't the only ones dealing with new developments in the romance department. Archie moved on from Val rather quickly in the aftermath of the party, sharing a passionate kiss with Veronica (Camila Mendes), and giving in to the tension that has been bubbling between the two since the start of the series.
"That all started in that first episode when she walked into the diner, and as soon as Archie saw her, he was like, 'Woah, sh*t,'" Apa said of their evolving relationship. "That's something that will be going on in the future, definitely."
Though Archie and Veronica's blossoming romance is still in its early stages, it didn't stop the Riverdale cast from having some fun brainstorming the pair's official 'ship name.
"What would it be? Varchie?" Apa asked, prompting Sprouse to quip with a laugh: "Everything's better than Bughead at this point!"
Riverdale returns Thursday, April 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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