Riverdale’s Future Betty & Agent Drake Story Teased By Showrunner
Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa teases the storyline between Betty and Agent Drake, saying that the two will have a shifting dynamic.
Warning! Spoilers 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 season 7, and it will be its last; it is expected that the final episodes will arrive in 2023.
Riverdale follows an ensemble of characters based on Archie Comics as they contend with the dark and evil underbelly of the titular town, which occasionally veers into the paranormal. Agent Drake was introduced in Riverdale season 6 as an FBI agent that helps Betty with her ability to see the auras of malicious people. The most recent episode saw Drake confessing romantic feelings for Betty and urging her to consider a relationship with her despite Betty’s romance with Archie being at the center of Riverdale‘s narrative.
In an interview with TVLine, Aguirre-Sacasa talks about how Drake’s confession will shape the dynamic between the two characters going forward. The showrunner confirms Betty wouldn’t cheat on Archie, but that she still has a level of comfort around Drake that she doesn’t with Archie. He also mentions how the two interact differently now, with a less formal and more flirtatious connection between them. Read his full quote below:
We haven’t seen the last of Agent Drake, but we’re very protective of Betty and Archie. We love the weird, wild curveball 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 that felt real, in terms of, “I don’t have to worry about my darkness with [Drake] the way I do with Archie.” Even if Betty wouldn’t entertain it seriously, it would resonate with Betty. We were sort of trying to thread the needle on that. Even when I talked to Lili about this storyline, 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’s not going to stop someone from flirting with you or being attracted to you. That does happen. And undeniably, there have been sparks between Betty and Agent Drake, weirdly. So it felt right to us.
Riverdale has received criticism in the past for queerbaiting its characters, or where they’re hinted at having 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 the practice; for example, they share a kiss in the pilot, but it’s played as a provocative moment meant to get them attention. With Betty’s potential attraction to Drake, hopefully, the character will express a more explicit queer identity to help make up for Riverdale‘s teasing of her sexuality.
The entertainment industry has had a bad habit in recent years of paying lip service to queer representation while minimizing it in practice in a bizarre and ultimately futile effort to not alienate anyone, which as a result makes queer representation feel like an obligation rather than the progressive ideal it should be. Though Riverdale doesn’t have a perfect track record in representation, the efforts of the producers to listen to the fans and adapt accordingly has helped the series evolve. The characters of Cheryl and Toni are two examples of genuine queer characters Riverdale have developed over the years. Though Betty won’t have a relationship with Drake, Riverdale season 6’s dangling of the idea will hopefully pay off in future episodes with rich character development and a satisfying narrative.
Riverdale season 6 releases new episodes Sundays on The CW.
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