Back in January, Riverdale introduced us to the mystery of ‘Who Murdered Jason Blossom?’. Now, “Chapter Twelve: Anatomy of a Murder” presents us with its long awaited answer even if the writers still take their time to create yet another mystery around it. Nonetheless, I think we can all agree that it was about time. So… Who the hell killed a teenage boy with a bullet on his forehead just as he was about to runaway with his pregnant girlfriend?
We start off with Archie and Veronica trying to convince Betty of FP’s framing, driving their point home as they argue that they would not have missed the gun. Archie decides that, before they tell the sheriff, they decide to tell their parents. Naturally, the parents either don’t believe them or just downright minimize their involvement, but it’s moot as Betty and Archie meet up later to look for Jughead. Speaking of, we find him phoning his mom about a visit which gets shut down for some reason. He books a bus ticket for another bus for the next morning and, having nowhere to stay, he vanishes again.
Hermione and Veronica argue about not knowing what FP will tell the police and the matriarch asks Ronnie to have a bag ready if they need to skip town fast. Veronica suggests Jughead may be at Pop’s and the three of them ending up meeting them there. The apologies don’t really work, but the framing information catches Jug’s attention.
The scene cuts to FP being interrogated by the Sheriff: he tells a story of how Jason had asked him to set him with a getaway car in exchange for a drug delivery, but FP saw the potential of kidnapping a Blossom and going off the rescue money, but before he could contact Clifford about his son, Jason had gotten loose and, therefore, FP had to kill him, stash him at a freezer, and wait until the Pilot episode to drop the corpse in the river.
The gang arrives at the police department ready to tell the sheriff about the framing, but they are met with the *shocking* news that FP had just confessed. These news, by the way, catches the Blossoms in a mood of moving on and starting over after finally getting peace.
Back at the school, Jughead was supposed to be taking a day off, but he comes anyway and tries to apologize to Cheryl. Expectedly, she ends up taking it out on him physically and we get the impression that that was exactly the goal Jughead was aiming for. Betty tries to talk to Cheryl who confides that, even if her nightmare should be over, it doesn’t feel like it.
Back at the Andrews residence, Fred tells some worrisome news to Archie which get overheard by Jughead: Riverdale’s high school had called and suggested that Jughead should start being homeschooled with concerns on his safety, fearing that other students would try hurting him like Cheryl. Archie defends his friend, but Fred says some insensitive stuff which gets Jug sad enough to say he will sleep at the garage.
Betty wakes up in the middle of the night because of a noise and so does Alice, fully equipped with a gun. They end up finding the source in Hal Cooper who went to pick the files he stole from the sheriff department. He said he was worried for Polly and for the Blossom-Cooper connection which he had lied about: turns out, the Coopers are a close branch derived from a Blossom generation (Hal’s and Clifford’s grandparents) who had killed each other. This brand new information reveals that not only Polly and Jason were part of a third-degree incestuous couple and the actual reason why Hal was so against the relationship, but a reason to be concerned for Polly’s life.
Right away, the Coopers make their way to the Blossom’s house to retrieve Polly and the incest news scatters. However, Clifford is much chiller with the relationship than Hal because they were barely third-cousins, which spoils the Blossom’s murder motives.
Archie and Jughead consult with Mary Andrews’s lawyer skills and she suggests Jughead to speak with his dad before it’s too late. She also reveals that FP had called Joaquin (Kevin’s boyfriend) during the night. So, Jug sees his dad and FP does his best job at trying to hurt his son’s feelings by telling that he is only mad he got caught for the murder and to never go back to see him again.
Kevin, Veronica, and Archie talk to Joaquin and he says FP really did kill Jason or at least he assumes so. He also reveals that he got a call from FP on July 11th to help him clean up after Jason’s body, stashing him on the freezer, and cleaning the blood up. As Veronica asks him if he thinks this had anything to do with her father, he tells he once overheard a conversation about “a rich guy” between FP and Mustang, another Southside Serpent.
Jughead phones Betty and tells her that he also thinks his dad was hiding something when they talked. Joaquin takes Kev, Veronica, and Archie to see Mustang, but end up finding him dead in a bathtub, victim of a heroin overdose. They call the police who ends up finding a bag of money with the initials HL; Veronica defends her mom and tells the money is from her dad. As the Lodges arrive at their apartment, Hermione collapses and cries, being comforted by her daughter.
Kevin takes Joaquin to a bus station—destined to San Junipero which has to be some kind of metaphor involving the infamous Black Mirror episode—and, before he leaves, he confided in Kevin something he didn’t want to say in front of his friends. Cheryl asks her mom more details about what was the reason between Clifford’s and Jason’s argument the day he died: what was exactly that Jason couldn’t handle? Penelope explodes at Cheryl and takes her by force to the deposit of maple syrup in their farm saying that was what Jason was running away from.
Alice brings the news of Mustang to Betty and Jughead who were occupied with the Murder Board. They are interrupted by Kevin who calls them up to go look up for Joaquin’s hidden secret: Jason’s letterman jacket, which FP had asked him to stash some time ago. They regroup with Veronica and Archie and, while this increases the amount of proof on FP, Betty is still not too convinced. She asks Archie to put the jacket on and, conveniently, finds a flash drive hidden in the lining.
As they watch the content from the flash drive, we close up on their faces: Betty, Jughead, and Veronica seem to be take it the hardest. Betty immediately make a phone call to Cheryl, telling her to get out of the house, but she, very calmly, walks down to the dinner table and accuses her dad of “doing a bad thing and now everyone knows it”.
Alice takes the flash drive to the sheriff and the mayor and we watch the video as well: Jason, tied to a chair in the basement of the Southside Serpent’s bar, being taunted by Mustang, and murdered by Clifford Blossom after he retrieved the family ring. That took a turn, huh? But it doesn’t stop there.
Jughead’s narration reveals that FP confessed because Clifford threatened to kill Jug. However, the sheriff won’t release FP due to other charges e.g. hiding and disposing of the body. Veronica gets home and her mom reveals Hiram will come home soon (which, if you catch the news, probably guessed because of the casting being reported already). Mary finally leaves Riverdale and extends the invitation to spend summer in Chicago.
The Sheriff’s department makes their way to the Blossom’s mansion to arrest Clifford, but when they open the barn, they find Clifford hanging from a noose, with bricks of cocaine on the ground as a casket of maple syrup lies open close to.
So, in the end, Mr. Blossom “had dunit”. The reason is still shrouded in mystery and one has to wonder if our gang of Nancy Drews will get to the bottom of it having only one episode left this season. Perhaps Penelope Blossom was telling the whole truth and Jason just couldn’t deal with his parents being drug dealers. Perhaps there is more.
Honestly, I’m just glad that the reveal both made sense and was relatively shocking.