The much-awaited Riverdale time-jump has come with unpleasant surprises for many of the characters, who seem worst off now than they ever were in their high-school days. Archie Andrews (played by KJ Apa) is recovering from a war injury, Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) is dealing with the trauma of having been held captive for two weeks by the Trash Bag Killer, Veronica Lodge’s (Camila Mendes) marriage with Chad Gekko (Chris Mason) is not in the best shape and Jughead is struggling with work and love life, he is being evicted and being chased by debt collectors.
But amongst all this chaos, the gang is about to face-off with a serial killer, or maybe even two.
The series executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa spoke in a recent interview about how this season’s villain is going to be different than previous ones the characters have encountered.
“The first way is hopefully this isn’t one of Betty’s relatives,” he joked, referencing the season two villain The Black Hood, which was revealed to be Betty’s father Hal (Lochlyn Munro).
The EP then added: “I will say that in the next episode the threat of this serial killer becomes very personal for one of our characters when something potentially really tragic happens to a cast member that we’ve known since Season 1,” he teased.
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“It’s a little more tragic and a little less sensational than The Black Hood, but very creepy, and very disturbing, and tied to the fact that Riverdale is a ghost town,
“It is a different kind of serial killer story,” he added.
“Also, Betty is now an unofficial FBI agent, so that plays a little bit differently than it did during The Black Hood [saga],” said Aguirre-Sacasa.
Fans already had a hunch on who the first victim of this new serial killer would be, and this new interview only seems to confirm it.
In the last episode, viewers saw Betty’s sister Polly (Tierra Skovbye) get involved with a mysterious van with a skeleton on it.
Things have gotten particularly awkward at the Cooper household: Betty’s mom Alice (Mädchen Amick) is burning herself out taking care of Polly’s twin children while their mom is out all night.
Polly claims she’s working at a local nightclub, but Betty, always the snoop, quickly sniffs out that she hasn’t worked there in a year.
In the latest episode, we also saw Polly hanging out with the Ghoulies at Archie’s house, which they have turned into a drug den, and while Betty can’t see to get a hold of her sister, viewers saw Polly running away from a truck with a scary skeleton on the front.
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In a previous interview with Aguirre-Sacasa, TV Line enquired about the villain for this season, and the mystery truck that was already shown at the end of episode four as a waitress from Pop’s got into it.
Aguirre-Sacasa said: “I think it’s in the next episode [episode 5] that you’ll see that mystery is really entwined with the possibly tragic fate of one of our major characters that we’ve known since Season 1.”
Polly does indeed fit the description given by the producer in both interviews as she is the only named character we saw get involved with the skeleton truck, which might be a reference to ghosts as well, and her becoming a victim of the killer would certainly be extremely personal for Betty.
So, it comes as no surprise that she is the believed to be the one who is going to die soon, however, not all fans agree with this assessment, as Polly can hardly be described as a major character.
This serial killer though might now only be the only threat that the gang will have to face.
TV Guide enquired about whether the killer we see at the end of the episode also The Trash Bag Killer that kidnapped Betty, and Aguirre-Sacasa’s elusive response teased a double villain for the season.
“Well, I don’t want to spoil that,” he said, “but Riverdale loves having two villains so I can’t conclusively say anything — but I wouldn’t be surprised either way.
Fans will have to keep watching the show to find out if Polly is going to live or die next episode.
Riverdale season 5 continues Wednesdays on The CW and the following Thursday on Netflix.