Warning: Riverdale spoilers ahead!
After watching tonight's episode of Riverdale, you might just be in shock. After all, it looks like Riverdale is writing off Archie (played by KJ Apa). In Episode 4, "Chapter Eighty: Purgatory," Archie leaves to join the Army. And thus, the gang is disbanded and everyone leaves — except for Jughead, who comes back to Riverdale. We learn that it'll be six more years until we see the friends back together again.
But with Archie enlisted in the military, does that mean he's gone forever? Luckily, no. This is not the last we've seen of Archie/KJ Apa. (Also, KJ Apa told the Los Angeles Times back in March 2020 that he's signed on to be on Riverdale for the next three years.)
Is KJ Apa leaving 'Riverdale'?
A lot of people are worried that KJ Apa is leaving Riverdale, thanks to the Army plot, but rest assured — Archie is very much still with Riverdale (maybe just not living in the actual town for a while). Again, remember that there's a huge time jump in Riverdale. And also know that Archie heads off to the Army in the comics, too — and he comes back! While we don't know if Riverdale is following the comics super closely, we're happy to tell you what happens in print (spoilers ahead).
In the miniseries Archie 1941 (published in 2019) Archie joins the military after being very unsure of where his life is taking him. Archie's dad (RIP, Luke Perry) always told him that if he wanted to make something of himself, he'd join the military. And so he does. Later, everyone gets the tragic news that Archie has died — his battalion got hit by a cannon shell. His family has a funeral for him, but Mary Andrews and Betty Cooper aren't convinced that Archie's really dead.
And, lo and behold, he's not. Betty writes a letter and claims that she's leaving Riverdale. Right before she boards the train, Archie finds her. He's alive! He just had a case of soap opera-esque amnesia, and lived with Tunisian nomads who hid him from the Nazis. There's a good chance this will happen to Riverdale Archie, since showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa already hinted Archie would die. In September 2020, Roberto posted an Archie comic which depicted his own funeral.
The #Riverdale Players Theatre continues with our next two table reads today via Zoom!! As we say goodbye to high school and hello to...??? ," the showrunner captioned his post.
This, of course, isn't the first time we've almost lost Archie. Remember when that bear almost killed him in “Chapter Forty-Four: No Exit”? He was in the woods (an area that is known for being a home to many bears) and he gets attacked by one. Luckily, this was not a Revenant situation, and we didn't have to live through hours of Archie agonizing his way back to life after a bear attack. He goes back to his cabin and passes out, and luckily two park rangers find him.
Riverdale has definitely taken an even more bleak turn this season (bleaker than bear attacks, that's for sure), but we're all about these twists and turns.
Catch Riverdale every Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on the CW.