The fifth season of The CW’s unpredictable young adult drama Riverdale sparked yet another online debate with its eighth episode, Lock & Key. As the rest of the gang investigate a supernatural mystery, Archie Andrews (played by KJ Apa) is still having trouble with his lovelife.
Riverdale fans and ardent shippers were once again forced to pick a side after the latest instalment of the popular romantic drama.
Viewers have already been baffled and riveted by the action so far following a huge, seven year leap into Archie and his friends’ adult years.
Now, the former footballer/musician/soldier and current volunteer firefighter seems to be just as confused about his romantic feelings as the show’s long-suffering fans.
In a twist almost everyone saw coming, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) called it quits with her snooty husband, Chad Gekko (Chris Mason).
READ MORE: Riverdale season 5: Fans blindsided by Jughead’s alien twist
Things then took an unexpected turn when Archie and Veronica reignited their old feelings for each other by sharing a kiss, prompting triumphant reactions from ‘Varchie’ fans.
One excited viewer tweeted: “I always said Varchie was meant to be.”
While another said: “Archie having feelings for Betty and Veronica at the same time is amazing. I hope this Barchie and Varchie love triangle continues!!!”
Alternatively, many more fans expressed disappointment with the latest developments as earlier episodes seemed to be setting up a relationship between Archie and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart).
Some fans were furious that the series could be leaning in Archie and Veronica’s favour, while others were simply bored by the endless back and forth.
One incensed fan said: “So not only they did my Barchie dirty again, broke Betty’s heart for 386989th time but also they gave us a Varchie kiss. I’m done with this f*g show forever.”
They later added: “We have been waiting for five seasons and now they don’t even give us the friends with benefits scenes. Barchie fans, we deserve so much better.”
However, some fans are convinced the series has simply thrown a ‘Varchie’ spanner in the works, in order to make Archie and Betty’s eventual coupling even more satisfying.
Another viewer speculated: “It’s so hard right now but we just gotta remember – real relationships take time.”
The series is only halfway through its fifth season, leaving Archie plenty of time to think over his increasingly complex feelings for his two love interests.
In the meantime, the debates will continue to rage online as fans endure yet another long week before the next episode hits screens.
Riverdale season 5 continues Wednesday, March 24 on the CW and the following Thursday on Netflix.