If you still have no idea who killed Jason Blossom on "Riverdale," don't feel bad -- even Betty and Jughead have plenty of names left on their murder board in the Blue and Gold office. Riverdale’s finest appear to be doing a bit better, having just arrested F.P. Jones for the crime, but as viewers know, at least some of the evidence against him was planted. And since the smoking gun wasn’t in F.P.’s trailer when Archie and Veronica were searching it, it's still anyone's game.
All will be revealed this week; according to The CW's promo for the episode, the Riverdale gang will find out who killed Jason Blossom on the season’s penultimate episode. So... whodunit?
The last person to see Jason alive was his twin sister Cheryl. The young Ms. Blossom was called out as a suspect by Veronica at Jughead’s birthday party in episode 10, alluding to the creepy twincest vibe of their relationship. Cheryl herself has said that her brother was the most important person in her life -- maybe she couldn’t handle him choosing Polly and abandoning her to the terrifying darkness of Thornhill. Their plan to fake Jason’s death at Sweetwater River could have been a double fakeout by Cheryl, enabling her to get Jason alone and kill him. Love makes you do strange things.
Of course, everyone in this town seems to have a reason to kill Jason. In first five minutes of the first episode, Alice Cooper wishes Jason Blossom would burn in Hell. If she hated him that much, it’s only a small step to murder. Jason was the Blossom family heir, destined to inherit everything that was stolen from the Coopers way back when their family blood feud began. On top of that, Jason got her beloved daughter Polly pregnant, reminding Alice of her own past as a pregnant teenager and the uncomfortable decisions she was forced to make. Jason ruined Polly’s life, in Alice’s mind. He took away all of her choices with one simple mistake, and the Coopers don’t make mistakes -- quite simply, it’s Jason’s fault.
Hal Cooper is also a strong candidate for Jason’s murderer. Out of the whole Cooper family, he’s the one who most strongly feels the familial vendetta against the Blossoms. He couldn’t even bear to have a pregnant Polly living in his house, not with a Blossom child in her womb. We also know he’s willing to commit crime, as evidenced by his breaking into Sheriff Keller’s home to take his work on the Jason Blossom case. Who knows how far Hal Cooper would go?
Sheriff Keller has the same list of suspects that we do, but he also brought Jughead Jones in for questioning after finding his fingerprints on Jason Blossom’s torched car. Jughead had been bullied by Jason and the football team as a kid, and had attempted to burn down the elementary school. He’s the obvious choice, the loner from the wrong side of the tracks. Plus he’s lacking an alibi for the week Jason was tortured and killed. Well, a "real alibi. Fred Andrews lied to Sheriff Keller on his behalf to get him out of jail, but no one really knows where Jughead was that week.
Jughead’s an interesting option as well, from a structural standpoint. As the narrator of the show, he’s guiding our interpretation of all the events in Riverdale. Could he have killed Jason to give the book that he’s writing a compelling mystery?
Jughead’s dad, F.P. Jones, is under arrest for Jason’s murder as of the end of last week’s episode. He doesn’t have any personal motive to kill Jason, but he may have been hired to do so. He’s not above the law. He trashed the drive-in under orders from Hiram Lodge. He was also very likely the one who burned Jason’s car, since he had Jason’s varsity jacket in his closet after all that went down. He’s clearly invested in knowing who everyone else in town suspects of killing Jason, even asking Jughead his opinions on it after reading Jughead’s manuscript about the events. It may be genuine curiosity, but it may also be in the interest of self-preservation. Archie and Veronica think he was framed, though, so we’ll see how that all plays out this week.
Betty is a wild card suspect, but there’s certainly a contingent out there who think she may have done it. After Dark Betty’s appearance in episode 3, it’s clear that the outwardly-innocent teen is capable of more than most realize. She genuinely didn’t know the extent of Jason’s relationship with Polly until much later, though, so it seems unlikely even Dark Betty would have had any motive at the time of Jason’s death.
Ms. Grundy and her ex-husband are also possibilities. In addition to her fling with Archie, was Ms. Grundy also having an affair with Jason? Did her ex mistake Jason for Archie and kill the wrong guy? It's possible, but since the Grundy storyline dropped off after she left town, there are other more likely suspects.
The Blossom family seem to be prime suspects. Due to their history with the Coopers, it was unthinkable that their golden boy would abandon the family for a Cooper girl. Blood ties are extremely important to the Blossoms, so ruining that blood with a Cooper baby is tantamount to treason. Clifford Blossom had no problem replacing Jason with Archie in the Blossom family reunion at the start of maple season. The family legacy is more important to him than his actual family.
"Riverdale" shows dangerous America is, how dangerous people are, even in a quaint small town whose primary industry is maple syrup. In Riverdale, blood feuds cause discord between families that last generations. The captain of the football team, the rich kid with good grades, he lost his life trying to escape it. Riverdale is dangerous. Nowhere is safe anymore. Not even your home is safe, nor your family. And that family you chose, the people you surround yourself with? Who knows if they’re being honest with you either? In the end, it doesn’t really matter who killed Jason Blossom. What matters is that anyone could have.
Airing on the CW network weekly on Thursdays at 9 p.m., “Riverdale” is a modern take on the Archie Comics universe starring K.J. Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge, Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller and Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom.