A lot has changed after the bonkers time jump in Season 5 of Riverdale. Veronica's married to some Wall Street jerk, Archie joined the military, and Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe seems to have a new owner, Tabitha Tate. (Although the ownership part is kind of complicated — we'll get to that in a minute.) Tabitha is Pop's granddaughter, and it looks like she's taking over the diner for good.
Tabitha Tate was officially described as "the ambitious, entrepreneurial granddaughter of Pop Tate" who “has come to Riverdale to take over Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe in the hopes of franchising the iconic diner, even as the town around it struggles to survive.” She's played by actress Erinn Westbrook (she most recently played Adaku Eze in The Resident). But does the new ownership of Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe mean Pop Tate is gone forever? What happened to him?
Is Pop Tate dead on 'Riverdale'?
With his granddaughter there to permanently take over the diner, fans are worried that Pop Tate passed away sometime in the last few years. While it's unclear what actually happened to Pop Tate, we do know that there are no announcements about actor Alvin Sanders (who played Pop) stepping away from Riverdale. His last episode was "Chapter Eighty: Purgatory," but that doesn't necessarily mean he won't be back. Meanwhile, fans are desperate to find out what happened to Pop.
Someone tweeted, "Why do I feel like 'I won’t tell you who the dad is yet.' Is code for 'the writers haven’t figured that out at the time of filming this'" in response to the thread. It could be totally possible that the Riverdale writers are just laying out train tracks as the train comes. Maybe they have a big storyline for Pop, or maybe he just skipped town (although knowing just how devoted he was to that diner makes us very suspicious).
Another wrote, "Pop Tate is fine lol did everyone forget #tonidale."
Pop Tate is a Riverdale staple, a comforting character who's been with us through thick and thin. Could Riverdale have possibly killed him off? If so, there must be something big in the works for the diner, because they wouldn't have cast his granddaughter to take over for no reason.
It's possible that this diner storyline will involve Veronica in some way, since Hiram Lodge bought the restaurant and eventually Veronica bought it from her dad so that Pop could continue running things the way he wanted to. If Tabitha wants to turn the diner into some kind of franchise, she'll need Veronica's blessing in order for that to happen. Does that mean Veronica will go back to work? (Right now, she's decided to not hold a job so she doesn't emasculate her annoying husband.)
Will Tabitha and Veronica fight over the Chock'Lit Shoppe? But again — what does this mean for Pop Tate? We surely will find out either way in the coming episodes.
Watch Riverdale every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST on the CW.