Warning: Fairly mild Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina spoilers ahead.
Going into Netflix’s Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, one question lingered in everyone’s mind: Would there be a crossover with Riverdale? After all, both dark and sexy series are created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and stand as the bloody television adaptations of Archie Comics properties.
Ben is in Sabrina! Yes, despite his very recent death on Riverdale, which makes his appearance in Sabrina's hometown of Greendale all the more intriguing and illuminating.
Ben pops up in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment during Sabrina’s seventh episode, “Feast Of Feasts.” The installment is centered around the titular Feast Of Feasts, a macabre, cannibalistic tradition in Sabrina’s would-be coven. Ben isn’t a part of the Feast. Rather, it is heavily suggested he is a lowercase-F-feast for Miss Wardwell, the Baxter High Teacher now possessed by demon Madam Satan (Michelle Gomez).
The Riverdale High teen shows up on Miss Wardwell’s doorstep holding a pizza from Persephone’s Pizza (as Sharp Objects’ Amma could tell you, Persephone is the queen of the underworld. How appropriate). Just so you’re sure Ben is in fact the Ben you’ve seen since Riverdale season 1, he’s wearing a nametag reading “Ben.” Add pizza boy to Ben’s confusingly long resume for a 15-year-old.
Miss Wardwell, in her most sultry voice, remarks “that looks like a heavy pizza” and asks Ben to set it down inside. Teen boy Ben couldn’t look more pleased to be seemingly seduced by a beautiful older woman. Then Miss Wardell closes the door behind her with witchy telepathy. It is heavily suggested Ben is Miss Wardell’s dinner for the evening — not an especially “heavy pizza.”
This short little Riverdale nod makes a lot of sense. Mainly because the Archie Andrews Universe has already confirmed Ben is attracted to older women and teachers. When you think back to Riverdale’s season 2 premiere, “A Kiss Before Dying,” you’ll remember Ben was the music student Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel) kissed right before the Black Hood (Lochlyn Munro) murdered her.
Ben’s interest in Miss Wardell seems even more obvious when you realize where Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina falls in the Riverdale timeline. “Feast,” is built around Thanksgiving Day, so the episode must be set in November. That means Sabrina cannot be set in the “now” of Riverdale. Why? Because Ben died in Riverdale sometime around September of his junior year, since school has just begun in the early episodes of season 3. So, it’s impossible for him to be delivering pizzas come November of the current Riverdale year.
Instead, it’s very likely the events of Sabrina occur sometime around Miss Grundy’s murder, either right before Ben’s criminal relationship with his music teacher began, or right after it. The first two seasons of Riverdale somehow take place over a single school year, so it’s pretty difficult to affix any rhyme or reason to time on the CW show.
With the when of Sabrina mostly settled, Ben’s appearance only leaves one other question: Did the teen die a full year ago in the Riverdale world, and if so, who has been walking around in Ben’s skin this whole time? It’s possible Ben getting devoured by Satan’s literal right-hand woman somehow led to his involvement in making the Gargoyle King, a devilish presence in its own right, a Thing in the town of Riverdale. Or, Ben’s cameo is simply a fun little Easter Egg for eagle-eyed Riverdale viewers bingeing Sabrina; it might actually mean nothing past that.
Either way, there may be a few stray mentions of “Riverdale” throughout Sabrina — including Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch) saying his family held a funeral there — but the only connection worth sinking your teeth into is Ben. Just ask Miss Wardell.
Looking for more theories, recaps, and insider info on all things TV? Join our Facebook group, Binge Club. The community is a space for you to share articles, discuss last night’s episode of your favorite show, or ask questions! Join here.