Plus, watch an exclusive clip from the series' season 6 return.
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Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter

Rivervale is no more ... but now it's time to find out what's next for Riverdale.

Following the end of Riverdale's five-episode event, the show is finally returning for the rest of its sixth season. Reminder: Things ended with us back in Riverdale, and Archie (KJ Apa) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) receiving a life-saving phone call in regards to the bomb under Archie's bed. Last we saw, Archie's house exploded.

EW caught up with showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to talk about what comes next. Additionally, you can watch an exclusive clip from the show's return above.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We're coming off of your big Rivervale event. How much will the events of Rivervale affect the rest of the season? Or does that feel a little bit more like a standalone thing?

ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA: No, it's funny. I think what started as potentially a standalone kind of miniseries, we discovered as we were working on the rest of the season that it would tie in and inform the rest of the season in subtle echos or ripples, and then deeper into the season, even more and more directly. So really Rivervale and the rest of season 6, when all is said and done, it will feel very organically knitted together and whole. I don't think it'll feel as standalone as it does right now. Episode 606 basically begins at the end of 519, so even when we were breaking 606, it was like, "Oh, remember Pop's is still burned down." So it feels standalone now, but it'll be much more of a piece of the puzzle when we get a little deeper into Riverdale.

One of my more specific questions about that is about the Jughead (Cole Sprouse) sacrifice. Is that specifically going to come back into play, or was that kind of wrapped up?

Well, good question. Let me just say keep watching. [Laughs] Keep watching.

Riverdale
Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW

In terms of larger season mysteries, are we getting back kind of into the TBK arc?

Yeah, definitely. TBK is a big, big part of the rest of season 6. I think the question or the legacy of Abigail and Archie and Jughead and Betty's ancestors having burnt Cheryl's [Madelaine Petsch] ancestor at the stake, that's a big, big story as well for the season. Then we have our stranger who arrives. We have a stranger who arrives in Riverdale, and he also portends a bigger kind of crisis in Riverdale. I always say no one shows up in Riverdale, except Tabitha [Erinn Westbrook], to make things better. Usually they show up to cause trouble. So yeah, we're definitely settling into season-long mysteries and season-long conflicts.

I do want to talk Betty and Archie for a second. It feels like they've almost started something so many times. Are they finally going to try this relationship thing for real?

Good question, and it's a pertinent question, because it feels like we've flirted with the idea of Betty and Archie. Again, when we resumed in Riverdale, we kind of realized we've actually never really, really explored what it would be like for them together over a longish haul. So let me say this, I think we're going to experience Betty and Archie in a fuller way than we ever have before — romance-wise, friendship-wise, even just plot-wise. Coming out of the events of 605 and 606, Archie and Betty are pretty bonded.

Now that you're 100 episodes in, were you able to take a moment to really reflect on what you haven't done yet and what you'd like the show to be moving forward?

It's funny. The answer is yes and no. We never have a chance to reflect. We're usually always up to our eyeballs in work. I will say, though, one of the challenges and opportunities of having a show that is so fortunate to go six seasons and 100 episodes, is maintaining certain things that are the essence of the show, but then you do want to try to find new stories or new genres. Every year we sort of investigate a new genre. I think in season 6, one of the great things about the Rivervale event was that we could unapologetically just dive into a genre that we otherwise had avoided or only flirted with and really just went there. So, yeah, we do get into the room and every so often we'll land on an event or a story or a scene, and we'll say, "God, I can't believe it took us this long to do this." In this season, because of the specific events that are happening on the show, there's a lot of different combinations of characters we haven't seen. A lot of our characters are working together in ways that we haven't seen. So yeah, we do try to keep it fresh without breaking the mold. That is a challenge that we talk about a lot in the room.

Riverdale returns Sunday, March 20 on The CW.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

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