Riverdale is just the gift that keeps on giving… murders.
As Betty Cooper delivered a profound speech encouraging the town’s residents to “do better,” yet another disastrous murder was just around the corner.
It didn’t take long for the show to reveal why Clifford Blossom killed Jason and then himself. Despite thinking that would be the core mystery and possibly cliffhanger leading us into an ever wilder season 2, it was just a blimp in the storyline. Nevertheless, an important blimp in the town’s history. Clifford’s maple syrup business was a front for his heroine business. He
Clifford’s maple syrup business was actually a front for his heroine business. Yep, papa was a drug dealer. When Jason found out about his father’s dealings, he threatened to expose him. He was kidnapped by Mustang (who he later killed) and then silenced once and for all by his father, in other words, the reason why his father didn’t believe he had the guts to do the work. Clifford threated Jughead’s life unless FP took the fall for the murder, even though he only helped clean up the mess. To make matters worse, he tried to frame rival business owner Hiram Lodge as the mastermind behind the whole thing. As you can see, the white hair wasn’t the only thing he was covering up.
From there, things escalated quickly. Betty wanted Jughead to know she stood by him and his father so she wrote a piece clearing FP’s name which her parents refused to post in the paper since there was still an excess of heroin making its way onto Riverdale’s streets and the Mayor and Sheriff, as well as the whole town, believed it was due to the Serpents.
Not one to listen to her mother, Betty decided to run the story anyway, suffering the wrath of someone very angry in town who wrote “Serpent Slut” on her locker. Jughead was understandably worried about Betty’s safety, believing that anywhere he went, trouble followed. That’s why he didn’t dismiss the idea of living with a foster family on the Southside and transferring to the Serpent-run high school. FP warned Archie that there was a darkness in Jughead and fitting in with those classmates better than he did at Riverdale was just the beginning of it.
Also struggling with everything that happened was Cheryl. She’d gone through a few stages of grief, from anger at Jughead, to reconciliation to attempted suicide. Veronica knew something was up based on how nice Cheryl was being and when she got a text from her that she was going to be with Jason, they knew she was at Sweetwater.
In the dead of winter, where these kids clearly don’t wear jackets, our fearless gang found Cheryl in the middle of the frozen river, wearing the same white dress she wore the day her brother disappeared. Before they could convince her otherwise, the ice broke under her and into the freezing water she went. No one was concerned about cracking the ice further and drowning to death at that point – the heroes inside all of them forced them to the middle as Archie bloodily broke through the ice to pull Cheryl, who had been pulled by the current. Seriously, the scene was so dramatic I didn’t want to watch but couldn’t look away. I was certain Cheryl was done for.
Thankfully, she was alive but this wasn’t her last rodeo. Disgusted by her family’s legacy and possibly mentally ill (there’s something off with her right), Cheryl decided to CLEANSE the house before they could start a new beginning by dousing it in gasoline and setting it up in flames, much to Mrs. Blossom’s dismay. I guess that’s what you get for telling your daughter to go to school instead of grieve.
At the school’s Jubilee, Archie performed a Taylor Swift-inspired tune with the Pussycats and Veronica, who decided to just fifth wheel it like it was nobody’s business. It was Betty’s speech that really rallied the town and made the face the facts – they couldn’t continue thriving with all the secrets and lies. “Look how quick we were to banish FP,” she said to an auditorium that reacted like they’d just heard Voldemort’s name said out loud. Instead of keeping secrets and ignoring it, the only way to get past it was to embrace it.
Speaking of secrets, I’m going to assume the second season will heavily focus on Betty’s newfound baby bro, who Mama Cooper admitted to giving up for adoption after hiding out in the Sister’s convent. This baby announcement doesn’t sound promising to me considering we just found out there’s a bunch of incest going on in this family. Talk about family drama, right?
Jughead finally realized that he doesn’t have to keep to himself all the time because he has this super incredible girlfriend standing by his side and he dropped the L bomb. Betty was feeling it too until they were interrupted by a knock at the door. It was the Serpents coming to tell Jughead that they heard about FP not taking a plea deal in exchange for names. “We take care of our own,” the leader told Jughead as he offered him an official jacket. Juggy, with his black hair flying free in the wind adding to his badass factor, put the jacket on much to Betty’s dismay. When he realized she was still there and horrified by his inner darkness coming to light, it was already too late. Betty foreshadowed it earlier in the episode – her relationship with Jughead wouldn’t overcome the Serpent’s grasp. Not when it offered up a familial bond that he’s been searching for his whole life.
On the other side of town, Archie and Veronica were getting it on after finally confirming and reconfirming with Betty that she was totally cool with their relationship. After a blissful night, Archie leaves the Lodge household to meet his father for breakfast at Pop’s. Things take a nasty turn when a masked robber comes into the only place where everyone ever feels safe, pointing a gun at Pop. Both Archie and his dad try to save the day and the robber shoots what Jughead says is the innocence out of Riverdale. As Archie holds his dying father in his arms, season 1 comes to a shocking end.
I have to admit, when I first started watching the series, I didn’t know what to expect. What would this show be about other than Jason’s death? As we wrapped the season up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. How can so much happen in one hour-long episode?
My guess is that Hiram, who is expected to be released from prison any day now, ordered the kill on Fred. It would only make sense considering Hermione tried to remove him from their shady project multiple times, even offering a large sum of money because it was safer. If that’s the case, Hiram really is as bad as Veronica believes him to be. Could he have found out about their affair? Is this an old grudge?
What happens to Archie now? Will Fred survive? How will this impact everything that’s happening in Riverdale? As one mystery comes to an end, a few more are just beginning.