‘Riverdale’ breakup shocker: Series sweethearts call it quits

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In its most shocking plot move yet, “Riverdale” has broken up its central couple.

Warning: Spoilers below for this week’s episode of the CW show.

Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa) and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), aka “Varchie,” are no more.

At the end of “Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter,” Archie breaks up with Veronica via a call from a sketchy-looking pay phone. His reason? Her nefarious father, Hiram’s (Mark Consuelos), endless schemes against him are destroying everyone around them.

(Most recently, Hiram framed Archie for murder, which led to a wild subplot involving underground fight clubs in prison — admittedly a valid reason to stop dating his daughter.)

So while police search for him, a recently escaped Archie is leaving town, off to parts unknown — and he’s severing ties with Veronica.

This is a big deal because for a pulpy teen show, “Riverdale” has surprisingly stagnant romances. Both its central couples — Archie and Veronica and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) — have been together for the majority of all three seasons.

They had some ups and downs in Season 2, but each of their splits were patched up quickly. Love triangles and shuffled romantic pairings have long been a teen drama staple — from “Buffy” to “Gossip Girl” to “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

But “Riverdale” prefers to focus on drama in its nutty plot, filled with murders, gangs, long-lost family members and cults. Its relationships, on the other hand, have been the calm at the center of the storm.

In fact, “Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter” also kills off a significant side character (Rob Raco’s Joaquin), and his death is less surprising than Archie and Veronica’s breakup.

Murders are a dime a dozen on “Riverdale”; couples are set in stone. But it looks like that’s not continuing, because Archie and Veronica’s breakup seems final. So pour one out for Varchie.

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