'Riverdale' Season 5 Trailer: What the Promo Reveals About the Next Season

Riverdale Season 5 has released its first full trailer in the lead up to the show returning to The CW (and Netflix outside of the U.S.) in January 2021. That promo reveals that the new episodes will pick up exactly where the show ended things after being cut short by the coronavirus. This means that the students of Riverdale High will finally get their prom... but not if whoever is sending those mysterious videotapes gets them first.

Riverdale Season 5 trailer breakdown


The trailer focuses mostly on the school prom or, "the last dance we'll have without our friends" as Archie (played by KJ Apa) calls it in the promo.

This means that Season 5 is beginning with the episodes cut from the end of the last season, which was set to show the prom and graduation, before the series is expected to take a time jump to move past the cast's college years.

The prom, which is expected to be Episode 2 of Riverdale Season 5, seems to start without a hitch, as Archie is seen posing from a prom photo with Veronica (Camila Mendes), but things look set to head south shortly after.

riverdale season 5 trailer
The 'Riverdale' Season 5 trailer sees the cast getting ready for prom. The CW

The discovery of 'Barchie'

Last season saw Archie and Betty (Lili Reinhart) start to develop feelings for each other for real after they had to pretend to be a couple to help Jughead (Cole Sprouse) fake his own death (never change, Riverdale), leading to the couple fans call "Barchie" cheating on their respective partners with each other.

It seems, however, that their secret will not stay hidden for long. We see Veronica crying and saying, "something happened between Betty and Archie," suggesting she will soon find out about the secret that could break up the friendship group.

Notably, she is still in the dress we see her wearing at prom, which means that she is likely to find out very early in the season.

Quite how she finds out is not stated, but it being Riverdale it's sure to be completely bananas dramatic. Later in the trailer, we see Betty say: "I'll never get that image out of my head." Though the promo suggests she is saying this after finding what looks like a hanged man on her porch, her tone does not match the emotions of that moment, suggesting she could be talking about the moment she saw Veronica's heartbreak after hearing the news

Sex, lies and videotape

Those mysterious videotapes from the last season are piling up in the trailer, with increasingly grisly acts being committed by people wearing perfect Archie Comics masks they have somehow bought in a world where Archie Comics doesn't exist.

With the show set to jump forward in time at some point in Episode 5, the reveal of who is sending them should be revealed fairly soon—could it be this reveal Bret Weston Wallis (Sean Depner) is talking about when he warns Jughead and Betty, "something's coming, and it's gonna hit you like a Mack Truck"?

Killer on the loose

Riverdale has already seen off The Black Hood, but could another serial killer be on the loose? We see someone waving a knife over Jughead's sister Jellybean (Trinity Likins) while she sleeps, while another moment sees Betty threatening someone with a gun in a moment very reminiscent of films like Scream and Halloween—movies about slashers.

Of course, murderers are drawn to Riverdale in the same way that the men of Riverdale are drawn to taking their tops off at the slightest provocation, so it is very likely that another killer will be on the loose. What the Season 5 trailer does not reveal, however, is whether this is linked to the videotapes or is the latest trauma the beleaguered town will face.

Riverdale Season 5 is coming to The CW on Wednesday, January 20.