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Tensions were high during Riverdale’s mid-season finale earlier this month, and while we did find out who the Black Hood was (or at least who the writers want us to think it is at this stage), the storyline that showed the most progression and promise was that of the Lodge family.
The star behind Hermione Lodge, Marisol Nichols, spoke to Supanova ahead of the show’s return and teased what to expect. “I can’t wait for people to see what’s coming,” Nichols begins, preparing for a dinner with co-star Mädchen Amick, who plays Alice Cooper on the CW/Netflix hit series. “The Lodge family definitely starts to get their hands into Riverdale and you get to really see the dynamics of not only Hiram, but also Hermione and Veronica as well; we get deeper and deeper and deeper. That makes me not only happy as an actress, but excited for the audience.”
Nichols confirmed that season 2B takes the show into darker territory, which says something, given the already heavy nature of what’s been delivered so far. “I’m a little bias, because I play Hermione; I’m sure if I played Betty and was having all the nightmare and burying people, I’d be like, ‘Really, how much darker can it get?’ But as far as the Lodges and specifically from my own viewpoint, it gets darker.”
Its popularity has exploded since the first season aired earlier this year, which might have something to do with the wide net its storylines cast; offering up something to so many different types of people. “I’ve met people my age, and older, who watch the show and are obsessed with it,” she laughs. “That’s always nice – when it’s not pigeonholed – and that’s allowed us to reach out into areas that maybe ‘just a teen show’ would not have allowed us to do at all.”
Nichols is quick to praise Netflix’s involvement for such a massive international following, but also notes other reasons why it’s connecting so hard with fans. “Archie, in general, is a universal concept – boy likes girl, girl likes other boy, etc., but to me, it always boils down to the writing because you have to care about the people,” she says.
“There are not many teenagers in Mad Men or in The Walking Dead and that kind of thing yet teenagers watch it; I don’t think it has to do with an age, so much as it has to do with a really good storyline and characters that you care about and want to see what’s going to happen to them and what’s going to develop.”
The writers also do a good job of not going overboard with cliff-hangers, which more and more shows seem to be doing as of late. “We do wrap it up, which is really nice – we don’t leave people hanging until next season to find out the answer to so many things,” she says.
“We tend to introduce a new mystery at the end of the seasons so that people will tune in, but I think that we’ve been very generous in giving the audience closer to certain questions; last year with Jason Blossom, this year so far with the Black Hood.”
A quick probe into whether or not the recent Black Hood reveal was the last we’ve heard of the villain was not met with a definite answer. Nichols laughs, “I can’t answer anything – I so can’t. But if it helps, I don’t know, to be totally honest.”
The cast is often left in the dark when it comes to big reveals while shooting, which probably adds to the suspense captured on camera. They didn’t find out who Jason’s killer was until three days before shooting. “We had different theories and all that stuff and I’m just as confused as the viewers sometimes and have no idea because things change.”
“As soon as we read the scripts, we’re like, ‘Oh my god.’ And so we can really relate to the fans and understand why they enjoy it, and it’s nice to be part of something that’s so immersed in pop culture, but also fairly sophisticated, not only the issues that we take on, but also the way they’re presented.”
Riverdale season 2B premieres on Netflix on January 18.