The first season of Riverdale might have played out like the plot of High School Musical, but the show has since gone from teen drama to campy noir. To refresh your memory, the second season centered around Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) forming a violent neighborhood watch and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) becoming a cam girl — and yet, somehow, the third season is even more bonkers than its predecessors (see: the Gargoyle King). Still, dare we say, nothing has been as crazy as the most recent subplot of Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) joining a cult.
More than halfway through the third season, Betty continues her crusade against the Farm, a cult run by a man named Edgar Evernever (Chad Michael Murray), who has seemingly brainwashed her mother, sister, and now cousin, Cheryl. Of course, Cheryl joining the cult was unexpected, and only happened after Betty enlisted her to spy on the machinations of Evernever. Unfortunately, Cheryl ends up sipping the Kool-Aid instead — a secret that Petsch has been hiding in her manicure for months.
"It's so funny because I had to hide my nails for three months while I was shooting because people would know that if I had white nails, [Cheryl] joined the Farm," Petsch told us over the phone while she was promoting her partnership with Bioré skin care. "I even had to hide my nails on Instagram stories!"
The change is significant considering Cheryl's nails have always been painted a deep shade of crimson to match her signature red lipstick. Her character's polish likely changed to match the all-white uniform the Farm members wear for gatherings. But there's one more fan theory to consider: Petsch revealed last year that Cheryl's inner struggles and emotions tend to manifest in her outer appearance. In fact, her character's go-to red polish changed to a deeper color after she found out that her father murdered her brother. Could this white polish be another extension of her evolving character?
While there's no word yet on how the season finale will wrap up Cheryl's cult storyline, from the looks of one of Petsch's most recent Instagram posts (which features that white nail polish), we have a hunch she's not leaving the cult life behind just yet.