By Ani Bundel

Warner Brothers opened the New York Comic-Con TV block at the Hulu Theater with the Riverdale panel to talk about the upcoming season 4. Unlike the presentations of the past, this one didn’t star the teenage cast that leads the CW show, but the adults. The group, which was led by showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, also included Mark Consuelos (Hiram Lodge), Marisol Nichols (Hermione Kodge), Skeet Ulrich (FP Jones), Mädchen Amick (Alice Cooper), and Molly Ringwald (Mary Andrews).

Mild spoilers below for character appearances in season 4 of Riverdale.

The segment opened with the first glimpse of Season 4, which, other than some expected moments, was sex, sex, and more sex. But the panel was far more serious. The big moment in the trailer was Archie learning of Fred’s passing, and the subject of Luke Perry hung over the beginning of the panel. The cast discussed how Perry’s death happened right as they were wrapping up, and within two weeks, they were all home. So heading back to set for Season 4, no one had gotten used to his absence. Also, for some of them, staging Fred’s funeral was cathartic. Ringwald, for example, couldn’t make it to the memorial service in LA last spring. This was her chance to say goodbye to the actor who she’d spent nearly all her time working with on the show.

riverdale season 4

Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that the season would start with Fred’s passing over the July 4th weekend, but then it would jump forward. Rather than dwell in the immediate months, the show would move forward to the first day of Senior Year. That being said, this gap does leave some unanswered questions. Who, for instance, is looking after Veronica now that the Lodges are in jail? For that matter, who is looking after Archie? Ringwald revealed that she is still only a recurring character, which means her time on camera is limited. But everyone agreed that Riverdale could really use a lawyer like Mary Andrews, as well as the moral compass she provides. (Seriously!) And her mothering skills would also come in handy.

Nichols admitted her character, Hermione, does feel rather jealous of Mary Andrews’ mothering abilities, but Ringwald wasn’t having it. The Lodges may be terrible, but they were there. Mary Andrews left, and that’s a huge thing she and Archie will have to deal with this season.

Speaking of the Lodges, the trial of Hiram and Hermione (which comes in Season 4 Episode 5) will also unearth a few relations. Hiram’s mother will be back this season, and so will his other daughter. That’s right, Veronica has a half-sister, who apparently takes after her father and will be just as much trouble as Hiram is. Also, FP’s father turns up in the mid-season finale, and Ulrich promises it will show how close to the tree his character fell.

Of course, what the audience really wanted to know was the chance of crossovers as the Archie universe expands. There was a question if anyone will appear on the forthcoming Katy Keene, which Ringwald was openly into. The audience Q&A also brought forth a question of doing a crossover between Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and The CW’s Riverdale. Aguirre-Sacasa clearly is itching to do just that and points out how some small details were seeded between the two shows last season. He’ll continue to do that this season on both shows in hopes of making it finally happen.

Riverdale returns to The CW on Oct. 9, 2019. Be sure to check back here at The Beat as we continue to recap each episode as they air.