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Riverdale Season 6: What Sabrina’s Upcoming Arrival Means For Archie’s Fate

Riverdale season 6’s premiere episode featured a shocking fate for Archie Andrews, but is Sabrina on her way to save the day in “Rivervale?”

Archie Andrews was killed in the Riverdale season 6 premiere episode, but the character’s death might not be the end thanks to the impending arrival of Sabrina Spellman. Actor KJ Apa has portrayed Archie since the series debuted in 2017. Archie, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, and Jughead Jones have been the shining stars of the show based on the figures from Archie Comics. While Riverdale has always featured wildly unusual storylines, season 6 instantly shocked viewers by killing off Archie in the premiere episode.

Riverdale season 6 premiere, “Welcome to Rivervale,” turns the story upside down by focusing on the primary setting’s shadow town of Rivervale. The new season presents various subplots, including one centered on Archie and Betty’s romantic relationship. After deciding to give the pairing another chance at the end of season 5, the Rivervale versions of Archie and Betty are all-in, discussing marriage and starting a family. Though Betty discovers she cannot have children, she goes to great lengths to make the couple’s dreams come true, even if that means taking part in Cheryl Blossom’s fertility rituals and the human sacrifice of the father of her child. After fooling Archie into returning to Thorn Hill following the Maple Festival, the residents of Rivervale, including Betty, agree to take part in a ceremony to sacrifice Archie. There’s a belief that nature and the town will prosper if someone pure like Archie is sacrificed to the Maple Maiden. So, after being equipped with an antler crown, Cheryl stabs Archie and rips out his heart.

Though some viewers may find it difficult to believe Apa’s Archie is dead, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed the character’s death in an interview (via TVLine) before adding, “That’s only the start of the body count for Rivervale.” Granted, that doesn’t mean the end of Archie and KJ Apa for Riverdale season 6. Kiernan Shipka is set to reprise her role as Sabrina Spellman from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for the Riverdale five-episode premiere event. Despite airing on different networks, with Sabrina on Netflix while Riverdale ran on The CW, both series exist in the same universe. After much hope, the stories will finally crossover with Sabrina and her spell-crafting magic making the jump to cable TV. In doing so, Riverdale will have the opportunity to incorporate more twists and turns into the storylines. While the existence of Rivervale is mysterious enough, Aguirre-Sacasa claims the town exists in Riverdale canon, and the five-episode event will affect the rest of season 6. But with a witch like Sabrina brought into the mix, bringing someone like Archie back from the dead certainly isn’t out of the question, especially since Sabrina died in her own series before its cancellation.

Cheryl is the one who actually kills Archie by ripping out his heart during the sacrifice. There’s also an assumption that Cheryl’s current trajectory forces her to cross paths with Sabrina, which makes sense considering her recent connection to supernatural elements and the occult. If Cheryl took Archie’s life, maybe she could use the power and assistance from Sabrina to bring him back to Rivervale and, in turn, the primary Riverdale timeline. Resurrection has been a topic in Sabrina, and it has been made clear in the sister series that people who had been killed don’t always stay dead.

It’s also important to note that Aguirre-Sacasa said Archie’s death is the start of the body count in Rivervale, but he never said anything about Riverdale. While the events of Rivervale could cause ripple effects in Riverdale, outcomes like death may not be as definitive as first thought, especially when it’s unclear what Rivervale actually is in connection to the real setting. Archie had faced death before, like when he was attacked by a bear and served in the war. Similarly, Jughead faked his death in Riverdale season 4 to get back at his classmates from Stonewall Prep, proving death is often used in the series to trick viewers. In the past, major cast members announced their planned exit from Riverdale, and that hasn’t been the case with KJ Apa. Though questions about Archie’s future remain, he will likely remain as a core figure in Riverdale season 6.

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