The cast of the CW’s Riverdale made its New York Comic Con debut with an exclusive look at the opening act of the series’ third season, in which Archie Andrews begins the trial for his life.

The season two finale of left fans with Archie (KJ Apa) being framed for murder by none other than Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos). The season three premiere opens with classic Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) narrative, detailing how our core four spent their miserable summer. Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) worked a part-time job; Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) buried herself in an internship to gather information for the trial; and Archie spent a majority of time in courtrooms.

We saw Mrs. Wright (Penelope Ann Miller), Riverdale’s vicious prosecutor in action, while Mary Andrews (Molly Ringwald) goes full mamma bear as Archie’s attorney—obviously, no conflict of interest there. As the attorneys deliver their final remarks and the jury breaks to deliberate, the core four talk about going to Sweetwater Swimming Hall, just like old times.

In what seems like a suspiciously short amount of time, Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) calls the group back into the courtroom. The judge announces that he dismissed the jury and will reconvene first thing on Tuesday morning, following Labor Day Weekend. He delivers an ominous warning to Archie: “My advice to you, young man, is to spend this weekend with your family and loved ones. That’s all.” Side note: What is going on with Riverdale’s legal system?

The best part of the footage? When the gang leaves the courtroom, Hiram taunts Archie and tells him to have a fantastic weekend. Fred turns around and punches him right in the face. As you could imagine, the audience erupted in support.

The final scene showed the gang at Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe, trying to brainstorm some new ways to save Archie from being falsely convicted for first degree murder. That’s when Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) shows up, and of course, steals the show.

Good news, Choni fans: Their relationship is still as strong as Cheryl’s lips are red. Cheryl reveals that she and Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) spent the past three months motorcycling across the country, and invites the gang to an end-of-summer pool party at Thornhill. She promises something that sets the tone for the whole season: She’s ready to raise some hell.

From left to right: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Luke Perry, KJ Apa, Lily Reinhart, and Mädchen Amick.

After the exclusive first look, KJ Apa, Luke Perry (Fred Andrews), Lili Reinhart, Mädchen Amick (Alice Cooper), and executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa also revealed some juicy details on the upcoming season.

“I feel like the core four is all in completely different directions… Each character is dealing with something so tremendously different. It’s so fun to watch because there’s so many different aspects going on,” Reinhart said.

New characters

Just like the Black Hood from season two, these new episodes will focus on a new baddie, The Gargoyle King. This villain is based on a Dungeons & Dragons-type game teens are playing in Riverdale called Griffins & Gargoyles. We saw two kids play this game at Pop’s, so it’ll be an introduction to a much larger storyline.

We’ll also meet Evelyn Evernever, who shows up in the second episode. She will cause some trouble for Betty, Aguirre-Sacasa teases.

Evelyn’s father, Edgar Evernever, will be a charismatic character that runs The Farm cult that we’ll see in the new season. The Farm is being set up to be a major threat in this town.

As previously announced, Gladys and Jellybean Jones will join the cast, played by Gina Gershon and Trinity Likins, respectively.

Betty will not catch a break

Will season three be smooth sailing for Betty Cooper? Nope, looks like Betty will still have a hard time! Reinhart said that she felt nervous reading the script for the first time because she had to put herself in a vulnerable state. Of course, let’s not forget that Betty is still processing the fact that her dad manipulated her as he pranced around town as a serial killer. NBD.

Expect a more season one Bughead feel

Season three will weave a twisty mystery that’ll bring back our favorite investigative duo, which was missed last season. Betty and Jughead will work together to solve this mystery.

“I would describe the main mystery in the first half of the season as an epidemic in Riverdale. It involves everyone in the town and it’s kind of like a crisis,” Reinhart said.

Throwback episode

The kids will play the parents as they were students in Riverdale High in the fourth episode. It’s been an idea floating around since the first season, and fans will get to see the cast go back in time to see how they became friends and then why they came apart.

“It’s really moving. I think people will be surprised by it,” Aguirre-Sacasa said.

This episode will fittingly air on Halloween.

Relationship updates

Varchie: Things are not looking too good for them and will definitely be put to the test, according to Apa.

Bughead: Reinhart said, “So far so good!”

Choni: According to the footage described above, probably the relationship fans are rooting most for here.

Falice: Alice and FP’s relationship will be steamy as she juggles that and explores a new relationship with Edgar Evernever. “She’s rolling around with a snake,” Amick said.

Fred: Will cultivate relationships with the other hot dads in Riverdale, Aguirre-Sacasa joked.

Archie takes up boxing

Season one has football, the second has wrestling, and the third will focus on boxing. Archie is going to find himself in a situation where he is fighting for his life, where these skills will be necessary to use.

Some new tats

There will be a big reveal of Alice’s Serpent tattoo. Archie also got some new ink with his own Serpent tattoo as seen in the first trailer.

CAOS crossover?

So far, there are no plans to cross over Riverdale with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. CAOS will launch as its own entity, while Riverdale will focus on its own storyline. However, showrunner for both shows Aguirre-Sacasa said he would like it to happen down the road.

The third season of Riverdale premieres on Oct. 10 on The CW at 8 p.m.

About the author

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik is the senior editor at the Pop Insider, best known as the resident Insta Queen, where she fuels her geeky heart with the latest entertainment and pop culture news. She travels to different stations in the U.S. and Canada to show all her fav products on TV! Maddie is also an editor at the Toy Insider, the leading consumer holiday gift guide and toy review and news website, and serves as the editor-in-chief of leading trade magazine The Toy Book and weekly e-newsletter Toy Report, keeping the toy industry up to date with the latest happenings. Her love for consuming media is surpassed only by her love creating it (especially when she gets to talk about her favorite things). She is a Leslie Knope in training, and you can often find her rereading the Harry Potter series with a cup of coffee in her hand and patiently waiting for the next season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. See more of Maddie on Twitter and Instagram @MaddieMichalik.