Remember when Archie's biggest problem in life was choosing whether to make out with Betty or Veronica? Gone are the simple days when a rather wholesome comic book Archie lived a carefree life in Riverdale. In his place stands a new sexed-up version of the ginger teen, one who whose abs may have distracted you from the fact that there's a murder investigation going on...
Ahem. Yes. Although Archie's superhero physique stole much of our attention, the unsolved murder of Jason Blossom will arguably play an even more important role in the coming months as #TheCW's Riverdale begins to unfold.
So far, all we know is that Blossom disappeared in the rapids, and reappeared a short time later with a bullet-shaped hole where his brains used to be. #Jughead may have taken some time out from his writing to investigate the murder, but with his cheeseburger obsession impeding his work at every turn, we're clearly far more focused on solving this case.
So, so focused.
With that in mind, let's count down the list of potential suspects in the not so sunny town of Riverdale.
After telling the town that her brother had drowned when their boat capsized, things didn't look too good for Cheryl once his body turned up with a hole in the head. Jason's twin sister Cheryl Blossom may hold the title of Queen Bitch in Riverdale, but could also end up holding a prison sentence? After all, we've known from day one that Cheryl is a liar and her unusually 'close' relationship with Jason is somewhat suspect (and icky).
The problem with Cheryl being the murderer is that it's is far too obvious. Jason's death will be a driving force behind the entirety of Season 1, so there's no way that the Riverdale producers would show their hand so quickly.
Recent episodes have also diverted attention away from Cheryl. It turns out that Cheryl was supposed to help Jason simply fake his own death, so she was as shocked as anyone else when his body turned up by the riverside. While we still won't rule her involvement out completely, Cheryl seems to no longer be a prime suspect in Jason's actual death, just his fake one.
Penelope Blossom has been portrayed as a cold woman from the get-go, but Jason's mother suddenly took a prime spot on our suspect list following the events that occurred in 'Heart of Darkness'. While we never thought that Penelope would win a 'mother of the year' award, her abusive treatment of Cheryl made us wonder whether she could have treated Jason in a similarly abhorrent fashion.
Sure, she seemed to idolize Jason, but Penelope seems to prize appearances above all else. If Grandma Blossom was wrong and Jason's mother did know about his engagement to Polly Cooper after all, then she could have killed her son to avoid further embarrassment, and portray her family in a more favorable light.
Polly who? Yes, while Betty's sister didn't even appear in the first two episodes, her name has begun to crop up more and more among the residents of Riverdale, and with good reason.
After her disastrous relationship with the murder victim ended, Polly ended up being institutionalized, unable to cope with the psychological fallout. One could argue that Polly's incarceration in a mental hospital is a good alibi, but actually, this also serves as strong motivation.
Cheryl seemed to agree in the second episode, interrogating Polly's sister Betty until she was eventually thrown out of the Cooper household. Since then, we've discovered that Polly and Jason were secretly engaged to be married. Spouses are often the prime suspects in murder cases such as these...
Craziness may very well run in the Cooper family. While Alice wasn't institutionalized like her daughter, the Cooper matriarch certainly seems rather unbalanced, responding with unbridled rage when she discovers Betty wearing a cheerleading outfit (!?).
If that's the kind of response pom poms provoke, then imagine how Alice feels about the man who helped drive her daughter towards a psychological breakdown. Momma Cooper has already made her thoughts on Jason very clear, so we wouldn't be surprised if she was somehow involved in the boy's death.
Further suspicion fell on Alice after she took a front row seat at Jason's autopsy, giving the mortician a wad of cash that could have been intended as hush money. Sheriff Keller kept a large photo of Alice on his evidence board, so she's certainly a key suspect among Riverdale's law enforcement.
Hal Cooper may have taken a backseat in the first few episodes of Riverdale, but the patriarch conducted some seriously shady business this week in 'Heart of Darkness', pushing Betty's father high up on our list of suspects.
As one of the few parents to know about Jason and Polly's secret engagement, Hal has a stronger motive to kill than most. After all, the protective father already told Betty that he would do anything to protect his daughters, so he could have possibly killed Jason to help salvage what's left of Polly's mental health.
Combine that with the ongoing Blossom/Cooper feud which started with the murder of Hal's grandfather, and it's easy to see why Hal could harbor such strong feelings of hate towards Jason and his family.
At the risk of picking on the Coopers, adorably sweet and prim Betty could also become a suspect as the show develops. After all, Archie's best friend undoubtedly shares at least some of her mother's resentment towards Jason, and she's also holding a lot of suppressed rage.
Remember when Betty clenched her fists so hard that her nails cut the skin? What about when she seemed to forget that hardcore revenge moment against Chuck in the hot tub? Veronica's new bestie may be one to keep an eye on...
We haven't seen much of Archie's father so far, but that doesn't mean he should be ruled out of the potential suspect list.
As the most famous star in Riverdale, the producers may reward Luke Perry's involvement with a key role as Jason Blossom's killer. While there's not much evidence pointing his way just yet, the emotional fallout for #Archie would be huge, and lest we forget, the show is technically about him after all.
Saying that though, Riverdale's second episode did contain a potentially incriminating line from Fred, who told Archie that it's important to do the right thing, even if it costs you. Could this be justification for Jason's murder? There's also the matter of Fred's mysterious break up with Mrs Andrews, Archie's mother. Perhaps there are darker shades to this character than we first realized...
Like Polly, Hiram Lodge hasn't physically appeared yet on Riverdale, but his influence is still felt in each episode that's aired so far.
We already know that Veronica's father deals in shady business and the wide network of people under his influence could have easily killed Jason for him from prison.
While it's unlikely that Hiram holds a grudge against Jason specifically, his negative relationship with the Blossoms could play a factor here, taking revenge on Penelope and Clifford by killing their son.
In many ways, Jughead seems to be the least likely suspect in the death of Jason Blossom. After all, the young wannabe detective seems intent on discovering the truth behind Riverdale's biggest mystery, and he even narrates each episode, making him the most trustworthy character of all...
Unless, of course, Jughead is lying to us. So far, we're expected to accept his word without question, following his description of events as they unfold in Riverdale, but what if Jughead is an unreliable narrator? We already know that Cole Sprouse's character enjoys writing fiction. Perhaps his version of events is just an extension of that.
Archie & Ms. Grundy
Ok, we're entirely aware of how absurd this sounds. After all, Archie and Ms Grundy were engaged in some decidedly illegal nookie on the river bank just as the gun shot went off, directly proving their innocence... right? Unless that's what the show wants us to think.
While it seems clear that neither party actually shot Jason, Ms. Grundy may have seen more than she let on. Despite Archie's protestations to the contrary, Ms. Grundy doesn't want to report everything she knows to the police. Plus, now that Jason's death has been confirmed as occurring after the 4th of July, this ruins the teacher's alibi.
Grundy may have left the show for now, but we wouldn't be surprised if the deceptive music teacher returns to spin more lies in Riverdale, some that could even incriminate her in the death of Jason Blossom. After all, Grundy did tutor him previously. What if they shared a sexual relationship too, one that Jason was going to reveal to the world? Grundy would take every measure she could to ensure that such a scandal would never come to light.
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As the story of Riverdale unfolds, remember to check back here each week for more clues on the identity of Jason Blossom's killer and plenty more shots of Archie's abs while we're at it. Yes, yes. You're welcome.
Who killed Jason Blossom on Riverdale?
(Poll Image Credit: The CW)