Well, it finally happened, Riverdale fans. In Wednesday night’s 2019 midseason premiere “No Exit,” Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) and Reggie Mantle (Mendes’ real-life beau Charles Melton) kiss. The Veggie ship officially sails.
And, yes, we can all call the Ronnie-Reggie relationship “Veggie,” as one half of the fictional couple already approves. “I like Veggie,” Reggie’s portrayer Charles Melton assured Refinery29 over the phone, mere hours ahead of “No Exit’s” premiere. “Veggie’s a good one.”
After chatting with Melton, who was tipped off about a Veronica-Reggie romance before filming on season 3 even started, it sounds like their “long time coming” kiss is only the beginning for Riverdale’s newest couple. Sorry, Archie (KJ Apa).
“We’re going to see this sensitive, a little bit more vulnerable side with Reggie,” the CW star teased, admitting fans have mostly been exposed to Reggie’s “agro” side over the years.
Melton does have a point when it comes to the football player’s spotty Riverdale history. When we first met Reggie in season 1, he was the horn dog frenemy of Archie Andrews. In season 2, when Melton took over the part from departed 13 Reasons Why star Ross Butler, Reggie transformed into Riverdale High’s top drug dealer. By the end of the season, Reggie helped Archie blow up a car and was waving a gun around a class war-tinged riot.
Yet the start of season 3 heralded the end of the bad boy Reggie era. This is a Reggie who will put his own neck on the line for Veronica and spends “No Exit” doing border-crossing beer runs for the object of his affection. Reggie gets beaten to a pulp for the good of Veronica's business — no wonder Ronnie catches feelings by “No Exit’s” ending.
“He has a heart, okay? He’s a human,” Melton swore, showing his own heart by heaping praise on scene partner Camila Mendes. “She’s such a professional, and she’s such a talented actress. It’s very easy working with her in scenes."
It’s obvious a huge part of Reggie’s new heartfelt transformation has to to do with his relationship with Mendes' newly-single Ronnie — and it’s only going to intensify going forward. “I’ll tell you what, the crime rate is going to continue to rise [in Riverdale],” Melton announced, confirming this crisis will lead to a stronger than ever Veggie working relationship. “You’re going to really see how far Reggie will go because of his support for Veronica.”
While Melton couldn’t say what kind of extremes Reggie will go to for Veronica — will he finally eliminate her No. 1 nemesis, dad Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos)? — he could comment on that steamy midseason trailer. You know, the one that seems to suggest a Veronica-Reggie sex scene is on the horizon. “That’s going to be a fun episode to watch,” he hinted, promising the season is “going in a very positive direction.”
That’s why Melton’s fingers are crossed fans will accept Veggie as Veronica’s best Riverdale relationship yet (apologies to Varchie). “I may be a little biased because I play Reggie, but, yeah they’re just down. They’re good,” he said of the speakeasy-managing duo. “I understand where the Archie-Veronica fans are coming from, but hope that they can be swayed to support Veggie too.”
If you can’t jump ship until learning whether Archie will have an explosive reaction to Ronnie’s new coupling, Melton has some advice. “Tune in next week Wednesday, 8 p.m. Eastern, on the CW and find out,” he laughed.