In the latest episode of Riverdale, “The Homecoming,” the town’s twisted new truck driver killer may have just killed a long-running character.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 5, Episode 5 of Riverdale, “Chapter Eighty-One: The Homecoming,” which aired Wednesday on The CW.
In last week’s episode of Riverdale, Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead all returned to their home town after a seven-year time jump. What they found was a place they barely recognized: buildings were boarded up, the little town was mostly abandoned and crime-ridden and Hiram Lodge was developing a new neighborhood for the rich and powerful. And to make matters worse, there was a dark threat lurking on the outskirts of town, in the form of a mysterious killer stalking the roads aboard his truck.
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At the end of the episode, a woman named Lynette fell victim to this truck driver. And now, in the series’ latest episode, “The Homecoming,” a character fans have known since Season 1 also falls prey to this truck driver: Betty’s sister, Polly Cooper.
In “Chapter Eighty-One: The Homecoming,” Archie and his friends plan a retirement party for Pop Tate. With the event only a few days away, they all have the chance to return to their old homes and reconnect with family. Betty reunites with her mother and Polly. The town’s fallen on hard times, and it hasn’t been easy for Alice and Polly. In fact, throughout the episode, we get a sense that Polly isn’t up to anything good. She is seen hanging out with the Ghoulies, and she is out at all hours of the night, leaving her twins in Alice’s care.
While Polly has sporadically appeared on Riverdale ever since the series’ first season, Betty and her sister have never been close. Now that she’s back in town, Betty tries to make up for that and attempts to get closer to her sister by apologizing for all of the hardships that have separated them.
As the episode comes to an end, a concerned Betty leaves a message to Polly late at night, once again apologizing for coming down on her for the time she’s spending with the Ghoulies. However, the call may never reach Polly because, at the very same time, the episode cuts away to show Polly, running away frightened in the middle of a road, while she is being chased by the same menacing truck that went after Lynette.
Now, we don’t find out what happens to Polly exactly — the episode cuts away before the driver catches her — but it seems all but assured that a terrible fate has just befallen Betty’s sister. One likely possibility is that she has tragically been killed. However, we don’t yet know what the truck driver does to his victims. If he keeps them prisoners for extended periods of time, like the creepy Trash Bag Killer introduced in last week’s episode, then Polly could still be alive — and in need of rescuing.
Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa recently teased a “possibly tragic fate” for a long-running character that is tied to this season’s mystery. We now know the character in question appears to be Polly, but the showrunner using the word “possibly” means there’s a chance Polly hasn’t been killed. But even if that is the case, then she is still in the thrall of the truck driver, and she is definitely in need of help. Thankfully, Polly’s sister is now an FBI agent — and she specializes in serial killers.
Riverdale stars K.J. Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller, Mark Consuelos as Hiram Lodge, Charles Melton as Reggie Mantle, Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz, Mädchen Amick as Alice Cooper and Erinn Westbrook as Tabitha Tate. New episodes of Season 5 air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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