Riverdale, the live-action TV show inspired from the popular Archie comics, has evolved from teens sharing burgers and shakes to swapping secrets and murder mystery theories. The tense teen drama, which shares stylistic elements with Twin Peaks, kicked off its premiere episode with the murder of local boy Jason Blossom, who disappeared after a boating accident with his twin sister, Cheryl.
Well into its first season, and with a renewal for the second already secured, Riverdale has set seemingly endless plot points in action — Archie's struggle between sports and music, Veronica's parents' less-than-ethical business deals, Betty's sister's history and the relationship between Veronica's mother and Archie's father heating up — but the thread keeping all of this together is Jason's murderer, who remains at large.
The question of whodunnit will likely be drawn out over numerous episodes, or even seasons, but speculating on the identity of the killer is irresistible. Below are just a few of the possible suspects.
These twins are really close. Like, really close. Cheryl called Jason her "soul mate," they held hands like they were boyfriend and girlfriend and they wore color-coordinated outfits. If Cheryl learned about Jason's involvement with Polly, and Polly's pregnancy, her jealousy could have made her snap. She may have taken his life in an act of revenge. If she couldn't have him, then no one could. Despite the second-episode reveal about Cheryl's involvement in her brother's death — she had originally planned to help him fake it so he could run away from their overbearing parents — who's to say that she was telling the entire truth?
F.P. is a troubled character, suffering from severe alcoholism. His drinking is so out of control that his wife left him and took their daughter with her. His son has been living at school. To top it off, F.P. is a member of the Southside Serpents, the local gang. Along with this circumstantial evidence, the seventh episode showed Jason's letterman jacket hanging in F.P.'s closet. No clues yet as to how it got there.
Described by Jughead as the "friendly neighborhood Hitchcock blonde," Betty is at first glance the perfect ideal of a girl next door: Wholesome, sweet, and, yes, very blonde. But she has a dark side, even if it's hidden beneath her crisp white button-downs and tightly pulled ponytails. Her dark side is shown when she digs her fingernails into her palms so deeply that blood is drawn. Who wouldn't experience tension, living with those parents? Betty's mother is constantly pushing her daughter be perfect and take Adderall. And in episode three, Betty disassociates while confronting classmate Chuck Clayton about his slut-shaming, and can't remember what she says. Learning about Polly's pregnancy, over which her parents would have lost their minds, might have pushed the high-strung perfectionist over the edge. She could have murdered Jason and doesn't remember any of it.
And then there's Polly herself. There's been little to back up her claims that Jason was going to run away with her so they could raise their baby together on a farm. The car she mentioned to Betty in episode six did turn out to exist, but she neglected to mention the mountain of drugs that Betty and Jughead found in the car. We know little about Polly so far. For her name to be clear, we need to know more.
One of the biggest complaints about Riverdale so far is how dull Archie is. The boy next door who got hot just seems too dim-witted to have pulled off a murder.
The brooding, aspiring author who narrates the show in film-noir fashion has a troubled past, including an alcoholic father and missing-in-action mother. As we learned in episode seven, he also has a past in the Riverdale juvenile delinquent center. All of that contributes to the idea that he's a suspect, at least, according to the local sheriff. But Jughead seems to have a level head on his shoulders, and his budding romance with Betty has shippers everywhere rejoicing, so we can only hope this theory is proven incorrect.
Mr. and Mrs. Cooper
Betty's parents, Alice and Hal, are top contenders for the worst parents on TV award. Obsessed with appearances and willing to lie to keep their facade in tact, it's not hard to believe they would murder the father of their grandchild to protect their image. Not to mention there's some kind of feud over maple syrup with the Blossoms that goes back several generations.
New to town and eager to make friends, Veronica seems almost too eager to be nice to everyone. She's only known Betty for a few days when she was fighting for her to be allowed on the cheerleading squad and urging her to confess her feelings to Archie. When Cheryl Blossom tried to start a mean-girl war with her, Veronica's response was, "I don't want to be locked in a catfight to the death with you." Is all this kindness honest, or is it an elaborate cover up?
Mr. and Mrs. Blossom
Look at how creepy their house is. It has to be haunted. Do we really need to say anything else?
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