It’s No Coincidence that Kelly Ripa’s ‘Riverdale’ Character Is Based on the Film ‘Chinatown’

kelly ripa holding a gun riverdale1

Last night’s episode of Riverdale finally introduced us to the most talked about character of season three: Mrs. Mulwray (Kelly Ripa).

If you’re thinking, that name sounds awfully familiar, you’re not alone. The character is based on Evelyn Mulwray from the 1974 film Chinatown, a role that was portrayed by Faye Dunaway.

While we don’t know the reason for the crossover, it makes sense with last night’s installment, titled “Chapter Forty-Six: The Red Dahlia.” Not only was the episode sprinkled with neo-noir references, but it also had a few subtle Chinatown nods.  

“No one’s innocent in Crime Town,” Jughead (Cole Sprouse) says before breaking into Mrs. Mulwray’s room.

It all started when Veronica (Camila Mendes) enlisted Jughead to solve Riverdale’s latest mystery: Who shot Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos)?

Jughead’s search led him to room 311 at a janky motel, which (again) is no coincidence, since we’re currently on season three, episode 11 of the series. After rummaging through paperwork, he discovers that Hiram paid Mrs. Mulwray to forge a water report. Her payment? A Fabergé egg, similar to the one that was stolen from Hiram in Chapter Forty-Four.

“It costs more than you’ll make in a lifetime,” she tells Jughead. “So put it down before you break it.”

Although Ripa’s cameo was brief, it was undoubtedly important. In Chinatown, Evelyn hires a private eye to investigate her husband’s activities and ultimately ends up a widow.

So, is the show foreshadowing Hiram’s fate? Or is Mrs. Mulwray simply an excuse to piss off Hermione (Marisol Nichols)?

Guess we’ll have to wait until Riverdale returns to The CW next Wednesday, February 6, at 8 p.m.

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...