I just finished watching the second episode of Riverdale on Netflix and it is phenomenal so far. I had this idea that the show will actually be turning into a loose adaptation of the super popular and widely praised graphic novel Afterlife With Archie which just so happens to be written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa who is also the showrunner and chief writer on Riverdale. So I thought I saw some obvious things in the show which hint at this so I assumed considering how the internet works, there should be some theories of this nature already floating around. However after a quick search, I couldn’t find anything. Very interesting I thought, below I will outline some of the reasons why I think Riverdale may be going the zombies route.
First of all the characters are very similarly based on how they are written in Afterlife (which I own and absolutely love if it needs mentioning). Afterlife was the most successful Archie run in years and kickstarted the company down the more mature story lines it has since started. Aguirre-Sacasa has obviously translated his takes on the characters from Afterlife, the way he can make these characters complex, modernise them, give them contemporary problems and generally make the characters more complex and genuine and thus the relationships between the characters are more interesting – whilst still alluding to many of the old aspects of the comics.
Secondly and I think this is the biggest point, is the character of Cheryl Blossom and the importance of the twins. They played no small part in Afterlife, and were portrayed as having a really weird and troubled semi-incestuous relationship which really set the tone for the rest of Afterlife. Considering their central role in Riverdale, Aguirre-Sacasa is clearly intrigued by these characters. At the end of episode two, Cheryl says that she’s “guilty”. She doesn’t specifically say what but we can assume it’s murdering Jason. Now the weird thing is, we kind of suspect this at first because of how creepy they are and how apparently remorseless she is about the whole thing HOWEVER when the body washes up at the end of the first episode, Cheryl is genuinely cut up after that.
The two biggest examples are when she blows up at Betty about possibly her sister shooting Jason and the other is her breakdown after realizing that he is “never coming back”. Now here’s the real kicker and what set me along this train of thought in the first place. I don’t remember when she says it exactly but I remember the words perfectly. I think it’s in the scene in the change rooms when Veronica is comforting her but she explicitly says, “You don’t understand, he was supposed to come back!” to which Veronica kind of offers a puzzled expression and brushes it off.
Now think about this, it seems clear to me what happened. Considering that Cheryl is genuinely cut up about Jason “not coming back” and also she really seems like she doesn’t know who shot him, plus what kind of sick maniac would kill their twin? So we can assume that Cheryl and Jason for whatever reason (with Jason’s consent as evidenced by the “are you ready” quote at the very start of the show) have entered into some voodoo ritual which was either meant to or ended up in Jason becoming a zombie. Something goes wrong during the process, maybe Cheryl kills him or gets him killed another way but Jason gets loose. His body shows up much later with a bullet through the brain (how else do you kill a zombie?) and frozen feet and rope marks also on the body.
Here’s something else that I only just remembered, the coroner specifically states that he died a week after the boat incident where he was meant to have drowned. So here’s what I think happened, Cheryl and Jason go to the river to perform this ritual, perhaps meeting up with someone else or perhaps not, it goes wrong or right and Jason turns into a zombie but Cheryl doesn’t know whether it worked or not. Somebody encounters zombie Jason, they try to kill him somehow, he ends up with a bullet to the head and back in the river. Perhaps the person who killed him got bit but freaked out about killing somebody, dumped the body in the river and didn’t tell anybody. The bit person will lead to the outbreak.
Now you can see what I’m getting at and I would absolutely love, love, love this to happen but at this stage it’s just a theory…but a pretty convincing one huh? I probably won’t be disappointed if the show doesn’t go this way because it’s been pretty awesome so far but I just needed to get this out there. Let me know what you think in the comments and share with friends if you agree. We might know tomorrow with the new episode anyway!