Riverdale time jump explained: What’s happened to Archie, Jughead and the gang?

Here's where we'll find the residents of Riverdale following the show's leap into the future.

Riverdale season 5

By Eammon Jacobs

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In Riverdale, there’s only so many times a group of meddling kids can face off against serial killers, run their own speakeasy or even literally fight bears before they have to grow up at some point. And as it goes into its fifth season, the dramatic series from The CW will push Archie and his pals into a seven-year time jump.

After the first three episodes see the group go through prom and graduation before leaving for college, the show will then pick up seven years later. Aside from showing how different their lives are, the series will circle back to the mysteriously sinister Voyeur, who has secretly filmed the Riverdale residents during their most incriminating moments. 

Don’t worry, this still leaves plenty of room for flashbacks on what everyone got up to at college, or what their overly-lavish wedding was like… (Yes, we’re looking at you on that one, Veronica.) But we already know quite a lot about what Archie, Jughead and the gang get up to in those missing seven years.

*Warning: spoilers ahead for Riverdale season four*

Archie Andrews

Archie (KJ Apa) in Riverdale
The CW

Starting with the main man himself, when we last saw Archie Andrews he was not only debating leaving Riverdale to join the Naval Academy, but he was wrestling between his feelings for both Betty and Veronica. Archie’s always had a ‘will they/won’t they’ relationship with Betty, which led to a secret kiss during rehearsal for the variety show… Scandalous.

In a recent interview with TVLine, Riverdale star KJ Apa also revealed that the whole group has separated in the years since their time at high school. And not only that, Archie actually wound up joining the Army. But who could be behind such a dastardly deed like ruining an entire town? Well, Veronica’s nefarious father Hiram Lodge, of course. 

“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.

“He came back and saw Riverdale turning to s**t pretty much, and he’s like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to let this happen.’ So 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.”

Jughead Jones

Jughead (Cole Sprouse) in Riverdale
The CW

Forsythe Pendleton “Jughead” Jones III has had an interesting rise through Riverdale, from social outcast to amateur detective, before even leading the Southside Serpents. His recent big step was going to Stonewall Prep to hone his writing talents – while also clashing with Bret Weston Wallis… (American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis, anybody?) However it wasn’t long before he returned back to Riverdale High and butted heads with the new principal, Mr. Honey.

Jughead even penned a revenge-fantasy story of the group killing him… Yikes. He and Betty also got the principal fired for making a fake video tape in the style of the Voyeur, all because he wanted to cancel Prom out of concern for the student’s safety. (Fair, this is Riverdale after all.)

All this meant Jughead was so surprised to find that Honey had actually written the University of Iowa a glowing letter of recommendation for him. Although we can’t exactly see him becoming a jock, hello moody English Major student. But will he continue a long-distance relationship with Betty in the aftermath of her kiss with Archie? Probably not.

Betty Cooper

Betty (Lili Reinhart) in Riverdale
The CW

Season four left audiences on a violently tense cliffhanger, as Betty and Jughead discovered a new tape from the Voyeur which showed a gang in Archie masks brutally killing a masked victim who was supposedly Mr. Honey. Whether or not it actually was the principal remains to be seen, but clearly the masked mystery will return to haunt Betty following the time-jump since she’s got a natural talent at unravelling sinister plots. 

Betty will also make a huge step professionally in the future. Since season four saw the wannabe-detective continue working with her long-lost half-brother, FBI agent Charles Smith, when Betty leaves Riverdale, she officially joins the Bureau. 

During an appearance on The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert, actress Lili Reinhardt revealed that after the seven year gap, Betty will be a 25-year old FBI trainee. So it looks like solving the mystery behind her Dad being a serial killer paid off… 

Veronica Lodge

Veronica (Camila Mendes) in Riverdale
The CW

And what about the cunning Veronica Lodge? Where will the seven year gap find her? Well she’ll be married, but not to Archie… Which isn’t surprising since teasers for Riverdale season five suggested that she finds out about that secret band-practice kiss as she cried “Something happened between Archie and Betty!” while sitting in a prom dress. Uh oh. The Riverdale High Prom’s going to be very dramatic, isn’t it?

So when she eventually rolls back into town after her years away from her friends, the series finds her married to a big Wall Street investor, Chad Gekko. The rich party boy actually already appeared in the Archieverse in the Katy Keene spin-off series and was originally played by Reid Prebanda. 

But the role has been recast for season five, with Chris Mason picking up the role from Prebanda. In a reveal from Deadline, Gekko is a “controlling and jealous husband who works on Wall Street”. Well that surely means he’ll be scrapping shirtless with Archie at some point…

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Riverdale seasons one to four are available on Netflix, with season 5, episode one also streaming now. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.