Last night on Riverdale, our prediction came to pass that Jughead’s baddie daddy F.P. Jones was arrested for the murder of Jason Blossom. The episode “To Riverdale and Back Again” gave us just what you’d expect from this plot twist: Alice Cooper smug satisfied, Archie doofing it up, the gang taking sides and shattering friendships, and Juggy weeping all alone in his dad’s trailer, where somehow no one thought to look for him! But we know it wasn’t F.P.
For one thing, revealing the murder of the town’s golden boy was the committed skeeziest recurring character is far from a twist, and would be positively beneath the pulpy genius of the Riverdale writers. For another, creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has said the real killer would be revealed in the penultimate episode, which hits next week. F.P. Jones is a red herring. But as we come to the end of the season, and the end of my yarn-walling, I think I’ve finally figured out full-on who killed Jason Blossom.
It was a Lodge lackie. But not someone as flashy as F.P.
The butler did it. Seriously. In Archie comic lore, the Lodges’ butler Hubert Smithers is the definition of loyal. And in Aguirre-Sacasa’s zombie-laced comic run After Life With Archie, Smithers was especially beholden to Hermione Lodge. So here’s where I modify my killer pitch from a couple weeks ago.
Hiram Lodge, with his money, influence, and big bad reputation, made him seem the perfect plotter for the murder of a promising teen. And we know the Blossom parents have revealed it was their hot tip that got Hiram locked up, though the timeline on all that biz is hazy. Initially, I’d assumed it was Hiram who sent a paid off stooge to kidnap Jason as a means to push the Blossoms to surrender. That line could have led to F.P. But for something that sinister, that dangerous, you need a grunt you can really trust. You need the family butler. And Hermione knew it. What, do you think Veronica got that dark streak from her dad?
So, my amended theory posits that Hermione—fearing her husband would be ripped away from her—entreated her loyal Smithers to abduct the Blossom boy. It happened that day on the river because it was a rare moment where he and twin Cheryl weren’t joined at the hip. But something went wrong. A week later, the plan wasn’t working, or perhaps Jason—still in his pristine white duds—managed to escape. But not for long. He was shot in between the eyes, so his story could never be told and Hermione Lodge could never be implicated.
My prediction is this will play out in the next episode, “Anatomy of a Murder,” and Hermione will be pulled from her posh pied-à-terre just as Hiram is freed from prison. It makes total sense, too, because Riverdale has cast a big name, Mark Consuelos, to play Veronica’s Dad next season, and it’ll be necessary to have him around if Hermione is in the slammer. However, I suspect she and Veronica will still have scenes together in season two, just from either side of a glass wall. Admittedly, in some sense this would be a bit of a cheat, meaning that the Cooper/Blossom blood feud was only tangentially tied to Jason’s demise, and that all that maple syrup empire stuff was moody fluff. But it’d also mean the show that’s been cheeky with pop culture references and beauty product placement would conclude with a very on-brand campy joke. Because if there’s a butler there, of course the butler did it. Get a clue.