Josie's 'Riverdale' Return Happens in the Back End of Season 5

Josie left 'Riverdale' before the graduation day and the Season 4 finale, but now that she's back in Season 5, fans may be wondering where she went.

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Jul. 28 2021, Published 4:58 p.m. ET

Josie in 'Riverdale'
Source: The CW

She isn't in the Season 4 finale of Riverdale, and Josie is only talked about in the graduation day episode in Season 5. And even after the time jump, Josie isn't anywhere to be found among the core characters. But the trailer for the last part of Season 5 showed Josie's imminent return to Riverdale and the gang, and now fans are trying to remember where Josie went in the first place.

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Josie and the Pussycats are a big part of the first season, and they go on to have an even bigger role as the seasons progress. Eventually, though, Josie leaves the show and the town of Riverdale for bigger and better things. So, where did Josie go? And, more importantly, why is she coming back and for how long?

Josie and Veronica in 'Riverdale'
Source: The CW
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Where did Josie go on 'Riverdale'?

Some fans might have forgotten, but in Season 3, Josie leaves the show to pursue her music career with her father. She returns briefly in the Season 5 episode with Fred Andrews' funeral, but that's it. She never really gets a proper send-off or an official "goodbye, Josie" episode, either. But Josie's exit also comes with her introduction on another show.

Ashleigh Murray, who plays Josie on Riverdale, moved to Katy Keene to play more of a central character. In it, Josie got the chance to pursue music in New York City.

"I definitely pictured her making it to New York," Ashleigh told Collider of Josie's journey. "What's great is that I still don't know what next step she's gonna take. I don't know how her life is gonna unfold, now that she's in this city, but the fact that she's made it there, is 100 percent where I wanted her to go."

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Josie and Archie in 'Riverdale'
Source: The CW

Katy Keene, the unofficial Riverdale spin-off, premiered in 2020 and factors into the franchise because the title character also happens to be a good friend of Veronica's. The timeline in the show is also set years ahead of Riverdale's. So when Riverdale had its time jump and caught up with Katy Keene, it made sense for Josie to eventually return to Riverdale, if only for a little while.

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Josie is finally coming back to 'Riverdale.'

Despite some fans' high hopes for Josie's future on Katy Keene, Josie is coming back to Riverdale. She's spotted in the trailer for the second part of Season 5. For now, it's not totally clear how long she's back or what the context is for her return to town. But with Katy Keene no longer a thing, Josie is pretty open to pick back up in Riverdale.

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Was 'Katy Keene' canceled?

After one season, Katy Keene was canceled on the CW. Likely because of less than stellar viewership during its short run, the network pulled the plug on the series.

It would have been devastating if it didn't also mean Josie would be coming back. Luckily, it frees up Ashleigh to return to Riverdale as Josie.

Hopefully it also means the permanent return of the Pussycats, though that still remains to be seen.

The second half of Season 5 of Riverdale begins Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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