Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa says Cheryl and Jason Blossom’s relationship was inspired by Flowers In the Attic. Riverdale has plenty of secrets brewing beneath its small town surface, but one of the smaller details that’s been eating away at viewers is the creepy-close relationship Cheryl shared with her late brother, Jason. In the pilot episode, the two went on an uncomfortably intimate boat ride, and later, Cheryl referred to him as her soulmate.
There haven’t been any explicit clues that the two were more than siblings — in fact, Madelaine Petsch, who plays Cheryl, has shut down such rumors on more than one occasion — but it’s enough that jokes of “twincest” began circulating amongst fans. Turns out, that’s exactly what Aguirre-Sacasa was going for.
In an interview with The Wrap, he says he modeled Cheryl and Jason’s relationship after V.C. Andrews’ 1979 novel Flowers In The Attic — a book that notoriously depicted incest between a brother and sister. He also teased that “there’s still more incestuous stuff to come.” When asked if viewers were reading too much into the twins’ relationship, he told the outlet:
“Definitely not. It feels like from the first time [in the pilot] that they appeared in that red car car with the matching outfits, holding hands, we were going for that … Growing up, one of the books I loved was ‘Flowers in the Attic’. That was how I always thought of the Blossoms… As I was working on the ‘Riverdale’ pilot, it was around that time that Lifetime did their must-see ‘Flowers in the Attic’ remake… I had also worked on the characters on Archie [the comics] and definitely played all that up.”
Aguirre-Sacasa’s comments come on the heels of an episode that addressed the incest theme head on. While playing a game of “sin or secret,” Veronica (Camila Mendes) accuses Cheryl of being Jason’s murderer. She says she thinks Cheryl liked Jason a little too much, and when he started dating Polly (Tiera Skovbye), she got jealous and “shot him between the eyes.” Cheryl is clearly taken aback, but she doesn’t exactly deny it.
From what Riverdale‘s team has said thus far, it seems like they’re using the incest narrative as more of a cheeky undertone than anything with actual merit, but that doesn’t mean they won’t explore it down the line. Jason, of course, is dead, but they could be saving it for a big flashback reveal. Either way, it certainly adds to the mystery, and if a reaction is all they’re looking for, they’ve gotten it.
Riverdale returns April 27 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.