If anyone asks you to describe this episode of Riverdale in one word, that word would have to be “twisted.” This week’s movie related title “Anatomy of a Murder” is just that, taking us through all the twists and turns of what happened to Jason Blossom leading up to his death, and concrete proof of who his killer was.
So let’s break down what went down in Riverdale. FP, having been arrested for Jason’s murder, makes a full confession to Sheriff Keller. He went into great detail about how Jason needed a car and he needed someone to make a drug run. That much we already knew. But FP threw in a twist that once he realized who Jason was, he decided the money he could make from a ransom was more than he could make from the drugs so he kidnapped the kid but when he got away, FP shot him and stuffed his body in the freezer. What’s not clear is why or how he took Jason’s frozen body to the river. FP also confessed to breaking into Keller’s house to steal all of his files regarding the case, and torching the car that Betty and Jughead had found.
After Mary Andrews posed as FP’s lawyer to get more info, she advised Jughead to speak to him because the evidence was piling up and once things got rolling, he may not have the chance. But FP gave Jughead the same story, admitted to the murder and told his son to never come back. But Juggie knew he was lying and told Betty, basically confirming their suspicions that the gun was planted in FP’s trailer. But by who?
And why was FP’s one phone call to Joachin? Kevin, Archie and Veronica interrogated the junior Serpent and he basically gave them the same story, that FP shot Jason and he was called to help with the clean up. But he never actually saw FP pull the trigger. He claimed FP’s call was to warn him to lay low. But Joachin drops one other tidbit of info: there is one other Serpent who knows about the murder, Mustang, the same guy Archie tangled with on his previous visit to the Serpents’ bar. It doesn’t seem the smartest thing to confront this guy, but the three junior sleuths convince Joachin to take them to Mustang and .. he’s dead. Apparent overdose. And there happens to be a satchel full of money under the bed with the initials H.L. on it. To protect her mother, Ronnie immediately throws her father under the bus, telling the cops he was working with the Serpents. Did she just implicate her own father?
Over at Thorn Hill, Cheryl is asking a few too many questions regarding the argument her father had with Jason the day she and her brother took that fateful trip down the Sweet Water River. Furious that she would question her parents’ innocence, Penelope dragged Cheryl out to the barn to show her barrels of maple syrup, telling her that was the family’s dark, sticky secret. But how is syrup a dark secret since they have a monopoly on the syrup business?
Well, it gets darker from here when Alice and Betty find Hal rummaging through a desk in their house in the middle of the night. Thinking he’s an intruder, Alice nearly shoots him — wait, is this a clue that Alice really did pull the trigger on Jason? — but Hal reveals he’s there destroy files. Specifically Sheriff Keller’s files on the Jason Blossom case. So, Hal broke into Keller’s home … but FP confessed to the crime? Who exactly is he protecting and what’s his connection to Hal?
Well, remember when Veronica actually dropped the “twincest” allegation not too long ago? It’s not that bad, but Hal reveals that Cooper is not actually his family name. It’s Blossom. And it was actually two Blossoms who fought, resulting in the death of the one Betty believed was her great-grandfather, so that makes her and Polly Blossoms by blood. Meaning Polly’s baby is, well, kind of from an incestuous relationship. Which is why Hal was trying so hard to keep her and Jason apart, and why he wanted her to abort the baby. See, he was actually trying to be a good dad. That was all Alice needed to hear to get her to storm over to Thorn Hill to bust Polly out of that house of incestuous relationship (she was quite eager to keep throwing that word around). Clifford Blossom didn’t see a problem since the kids were third cousins at best. But the way Penelope reacted with that creepy smile on her face makes on wonder just exactly how closely related she actually is to Clifford.
So now we have one confession, one more dead body, and … incest. Really surprised the network actually allowed them to go there with that particular plotline. But with Hal now revealed as the file thief, how much more of FP’s confession is true? Joachin isn’t about to stick around Riverdale to find out what happens, but he leaves Kevin with another clue which leads him, Betty and Jughead out to the woods to find a bag. And inside that bag is … Jason’s football jacket, the one FP gave to Joachin. We knew FP had that jacket so that has to mean he’s guilty. But after Betty makes Archie put the jacket on, she finds a hole in the pocket and a flash drive inside the lining.
The drive contains a video, which we don’t see, but judging from the reactions of the gang watching, it’s pretty terrible. Something you can’t unsee. Betty immediately calls Cheryl — yes, Cheryl — and tells her to get out of the house. Oddly dressed in all black, perhaps still mourning her brother now that his killer has been captured, she goes to the dining room and tells her father that he’s done something very bad and everyone knows. Then we see the video. Jason tied up in the bar basement just as FP had claimed. And Mustang taunting him. Then someone walks in. Clifford Blossom! He takes the ring from Jason’s shirt pocket, the one meant for Polly, then shoots his son between the eyes.
Alice brings the drive to Sheriff Keller and his police force rushes out to Thorn Hill to arrest Clifford. Penelope and Cheryl are standing outside the front door, and they point to the barn full of syrup barrels. Inside the police find Clifford, dead after hanging himself. Apparently he stood on one of the barrels and kicked it out from under him but the lid came off and Keller finds a pile of what looks like drugs which raises a few questions. Were these the drugs Jason was running for FP? Or is there something even darker and stickier in that barn than maple syrup?
Even with this evidence, Keller is still refusing to release FP. Joachin has left town. Mary Andrews is returning to Chicago, and Hermione Lodge is relieved none of this has any connection to Hiram. In fact, she tells Ronnie that her father will be home soon. But are the Lodge’s really off the hook? It seems that the bag of money would still raise a lot of red flags considering Hiram actually was in business with FP and the Serpents, and Hermione bribed the mayor to get the drive-in property. With Hiram, in the form of Mark Consuelos, coming home to Riverdale in season two, this is sure to have some ramifications moving forward. With Jason Blossom’s murder solved, what other mysteries await the denizens of Riverdale? We’ll get a taste in the upcoming season finale and most likely a cliffhanger to keep us guessing all summer.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.