Archie and Betty's mysterious new powers "do exist outside of the known natural spectrum," Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa tells EW.
Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter

Warning: This post contains spoilers from the March 20 episode of Riverdale.

Things are about to get very interesting for Riverdale's Archie (KJ Apa) and Betty (Lili Reinhart). Not only did they both manage to survive the explosion at Archie's house, but they walked away with some new... abilities.

In the show's season 6 return, Archie and Betty started to realize that some things were off. For Betty, she was suddenly able to see people's auras. She could tell when someone was a threat. For Archie, he realized his skin was impenetrable, that he had the strength to punch through walls.

"We like to call them gifts, not superpowers," showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa says. "They have started to manifest abilities that go beyond the natural world. Archie, who has always been very difficult to kill and very strong, is suddenly a little bit invulnerable. And Betty, who has always had a sixth sense about serial killers and been able to identify them by looking them in their eyes, is picking up on characters' auras in a way she hasn't before. Those gifts, those abilities, I would say do exist outside of the known natural spectrum."

Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart, and KJ Apa on 'Riverdale'
| Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW

Aguirre-Sacasa admits that it's a new genre for the show: "We were in the writers' room and it was like, 'Imagine if Stephen King or M. Night Shyamalan were in the room with us this season, what would their version of Riverdale look like?'"

But there's one character who was near the explosion who doesn't seem to have come out of it with abilities. Jughead (Cole Sprouse) just learned he's almost entirely deaf. But is that the end of the story? Could he still develop a gift of his own? "We definitely started from a place of, 'Let's play this very straightforward, like, he was in an explosion and he can't hear.' Without spoiling anything, it is Riverdale," Aguirre-Sacasa says. "It is very rare for us to not make a crazy zag when everyone expects us to zig. So that's only the start of Jughead's odyssey through the season, is what I'll say about that."

The show's first hour back did answer one question, though. Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) is dead. We think. After Veronica (Camila Mendes) put a bounty out on his head, a hitman called to tell her the job was done. "He's as dead as anyone on Riverdale has ever been," Aguirre-Sacasa says. "Even when characters are dead, they come back sometimes in flashbacks or dreams. I'll say this: Mark Consuelos isn't dead on Riverdale, though Hiram pretty much is."

Riverdale airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter
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