Let’s talk about one surprise introduction that did happen toward the end of the episode: Hot Dog! I know Hot Dog’s casting was a huge point of contention for you and Cole Sprouse.
Aguirre-Sacasa: Listen, that was all Cole. He really wanted Hot Dog. He really wanted a sheepdog to play Hot Dog. He was really passionate about that. It was very hard to find a sheepdog in Vancouver who could deliver all of the nuance that Hot Dog required. It all happened at the last second. Basically, when we got the dog, I said to Cole, “We’re going to try and make this work, but if this dog comes in and he can’t deliver as Hot Dog, we’re just going to do the scene without Hot Dog.” And he was like, “That dog better deliver.” And the dog did great! You’ll be seeing more of Hot Dog in Season 2 for sure.
Cole must be a real stickler when it comes to the Archie canon.
Aguirre-Sacasa: In a way, Cole is even more of a purist than I am, especially when it comes to Jughead and the Jughead mythology. For me, I was like, “I don’t know if the Serpents are going to have a sheepdog. He’s more like a junkyard dog. TV adaptations reinvent stuff all the time.” And Cole was like, “Fine. But you’re not reinventing Hot Dog.” He had a really good point. Cole is an artist. He’s very passionate, and I’m glad Hot Dog is a sheepdog and that he’s now in our universe.
Jughead kinda became a Southside Serpent in this episode. There’s this great moment when he’s putting on his Serpents jacket, and Betty is giving him this look like, “Who are you right now?” How is this going to affect their relationship in Season 2?
Aguirre-Sacasa: That moment in particular certainly provides a lot of fodder and tension for them. We really think of that moment as the end of The Godfather when Diane Keaton is looking at Al Pacino, Michael Corleone, being surrounded by the Mafia family and she’s on the outside looking at him. That’s what we think of when we look at them. That’s also a mythic moment in the Bughead mythology.
Betty spends a lot of this episode defending the Serpents, but in that moment you see that maybe she’s not as cool with Jughead’s affiliation with them as she thought she was.
Aguirre-Sacasa: Between Jughead going to a new high school, Jughead moving to a new part of town, and Jughead following in his father’s footsteps, I think any one of those things Betty could maybe shrug off. But all of them? And knowing that Jughead has always felt like an outsider in her circle? I’d be worried, too.
It couldn’t just end with them saying “I love you,” could it? There had to be drama.
Aguirre-Sacasa: This is Riverdale. There’s never a happy ending [laughs].
Finally, I’m curious about Jughead’s narration. He’s going to continue narrating Season 2, right?
How far into the future is Jughead narrating this story?
Aguirre-Sacasa: It’s a little bit of dramatic license, sort of like the stage manager in Our Town. He’s our Rod Serling. He exists out of normal conventional time. He could be doing it from many different time periods. We tried to really be specific about that for the first couple episodes, and then it was like, “You know what, guys? Just go with it.”