Riverdale: 20 most important characters on the show

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Riverdale — “Chapter Forty-Two: The Man in Black” — Image Number: RVD307a_0033.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Lili Reinhart as Betty and Shannon Purser as Ethel — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

19. Ethel Muggs

Just because a character isn’t part of the main cast, doesn’t make that character any less important. Ethel Muggs, played by Emmy-nominated Stranger Things standout Shannon Purser, has been around the series since its very beginning.

In a series bursting at the seams with compelling characters of varying degrees of significance and substance, it’s nothing short of a remarkable that a supporting player like Ethel Muggs could wind up such an essential piece of the puzzle.

For starters, Ethel inspired Betty to throw on the signature “Dark Betty” black bob wig and defeat toxic masculinity to Riverdale High when Chuck Clayton went on a slut shaming spree.

She also became a key suspect in the Black Hood mystery on the night of the Carrie musical production. Not to mention, Ethel helped Betty unlock a major clue in the Gargoyle King after Betty was locked up in the brainwashing chamber that was the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.

Ethel Muggs might not receive top billing with the most famous Archie Comics characters, but she’s proven herself as an indispensable foil, friend and unfailing plot device. In many ways, she’s the gang’s Gunther: always popping up in the background, kind of there, kind of not, but it wouldn’t be the same without her.

Purser’s performance toes the line of happy-go-lucky and mysterious intrigue, which makes Ethel all the more compelling. No matter what Archie and his friends go through in the future, Ethel will surely be an instrumental figure caught in the middle of it all.