Riverdale: Did Archie Andrews actually die?

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Wednesday’s episode of Riverdale revealed the long-awaited fate of Archie Andrews, who seemingly died at the end of “Chapter Forty-Four.” Spoilers are ahead.

Riverdale is known for bringing the dramatics, no matter how outlandish it may be at times. It leaves the viewers at the edge of their seat, waiting for the next move from this comic book-adapted show on The CW.

Playing with death has been a staple of Riverdale in all three seasons. From the Black Hood nearly murdering Fred Andrews to an important member of the Southside Serpents shockingly perishing earlier in season 3, this show has gone all routes with mortality. Jason Blossom started it all in the pilot.

Well, Riverdale did it, again. This time, in the Jan. 16 episode, “Chapter Forty-Four: No Exit.” Archie Andrews’ fate was toyed with, as he went through a bizarre vision quest-esque situation, after he was attacked by a bear. It left the titular character bloodied to close this episode as his eyes gave this disturbing, blank stare. Two officers seemed distressed when checking on him.

That left Archie’s fate in the balance for seven days, until it came to light in “Chapter Forty-Five: The Stranger.”

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Fans barely had to wait, as Archie walked into his house, alive and well, but revealed he spent time in the hospital and did not remember the rangers rescuing him.

Instantly, that solved Archie’s dilemma and created a time-jump, however long it may have been. Riverdale had the chance to draw out his stay in the hospital, but they did that with Fred in season 2.

Archie’s near-death experience was not the first time Riverdale took fans on a ride with one of the “Core Four.” Season 2 saw Jughead Jones beaten to a pulp by Penny Peabody. He almost seemed on life support, but returned to full health shortly after.

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It would be stunning for Riverdale to kill off a main character. Maybe it happens down the road, especially with Hiram Lodge’s antagonistic ways, but for one of Archie, Jughead, Betty Cooper or Veronica Lodge to perish, that easily becomes this show’s most shocking circumstance.