Warning! Spoiler for Riverdale season 6, episode 17
Riverdale Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa talks about the dynamic between Betty and Agent Drake. The series is currently airing its sixth season on The CW, with four more episodes before the season finale on July 31. Riverdale has already been renewed by the network for a season 7, and it will be its last; the final episodes are expected to arrive in 2023.
Riverdale follows a cast of Archie Comics-based characters as they battle the titular city’s dark, evil underbelly, which occasionally veers into the paranormal. Agent Drake was introduced in Riverdale season 6 as an FBI agent who helps Betty with her ability to see the auras of malicious people. The most recent episode saw Drake confess romantic feelings for Betty and urge him to consider a relationship with her despite Betty’s romance with Archie being at the center of it. Riverdalethe story.
In an interview with TVLine, Aguirre-Sacasa discusses how Drake’s confession will shape the dynamic between the two characters going forward. The showrunner confirms that Betty wouldn’t cheat on Archie, but she still has a level of comfort around Drake that she doesn’t have with Archie. He also mentions how the two interact differently now, with a less formal and flirtatious connection between them. Read his full quote below:
We didn’t see the end of Agent Drake, but we’re very protective of Betty and Archie. We love the weird, wild complication of Agent Drake saying, “I’m attracted to you.” We certainly didn’t want to compromise or create drama where there was no drama to create. But it felt real, in terms of “I don’t have to worry about my darkness with [Drake] like I do with Archie. Even if Betty wouldn’t seriously entertain him, it would resonate with Betty. We were kind of trying to thread the needle on that. Even when I told Lili about this story, Lili said very wisely, and we agreed, “I don’t want to cheat on Archie.” And I’m like, “No, no, no, no, no.” But that won’t stop someone from flirting with you or being attracted to you. It happens. And undeniably, there were sparks between Betty and Agent Drake, oddly. So that seemed fair to us.
Riverdale has received criticism in the past for queerbaiting its characters, or when hinted that they have queer feelings that are never explicitly stated, thus misrepresenting the queer community. Betty’s relationship with Veronica in Riverdale is often cited as an example of practice; for example, they share a kiss in the pilot, but it’s played as a provocative moment meant to get their attention. With Betty’s potential attraction to Drake, hopefully the character will express a more explicit queer identity to help compensate. Riverdalemakes fun of his sexuality.
The entertainment industry has had a bad habit over the past few years of pretending to support queer representation while downplaying it in practice in a bizarre and ultimately futile effort not to alienate anyone, resulting in queer representation feels like an obligation rather than the progressive. ideal it should be. However Riverdale doesn’t have a perfect track record when it comes to representation, producers’ efforts to listen to fans and adapt accordingly have helped the series evolve. The characters of Cheryl and Toni are two examples of true queer characters Riverdale have developed over the years. Although Betty does not have a relationship with Drake, Riverdale Hopefully the dangling idea of Season 6 will bear fruit in future episodes with rich character development and a satisfying narrative.
Riverdale season 6 releases new episodes Sunday on The CW.
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