With all of the tree-tapping and shirtless shenanigans going on, it's very easy to forget that at the center of Riverdale is a grisly murder. Ever since Jason Blossom's bloated corpse washed up on the edge of the Sweetwater River in the pilot episode, super sleuths Betty and Jughead have been trying to figure out who put a bullet in his skull. The most recent episode added another piece to the puzzle, but it's done little to narrow in on the whodunit.
Given how the Blossoms are looking guiltier and guiltier with each episode, and how my own patience for the true-crime genre is staring to wear thin, it's time to hunker down and try to solve this murder. (If Luke Perry can do it, then surely I should be able to figure it out, too.) I'm ranking the suspects in order of least likely to most likely — and, yes, prepare for a few borderline delusional theories. Then again, this is a show whose main source of drama is a "maple empire," so is anything ever too far-fetched?
For the record, I think Hiram Lodge is a red herring, and therefore he will not be included on this list.
Sweet baby Kevin. So fun. So pure. So oddly excited by teenage suicide. It's not that I want to believe Kevin Keller is the murderer, but just think of the drama. Kevin lives for drama. When Cheryl showed up to her twin's funeral in an all-white ensemble to deliver her eulogy? He loved it. When he giddily jumped to conclusions and assumed Veronica's mean-girl behavior drove a misfit teen to commit suicide? Yeah, that was weird. He probably secretly loved being the one who stumbled upon Jason's dead body, too. But Kevin's morose fascinations still don't make him a murderer.
There's also the fact that Kevin didn't have a motive to kill Jason. Did they ever even talk? Not to mention the fact that Kevin's not involved in any of the maple syrup drama. Plus, there's also no way in hell Riverdale is making their celebrated gay character (Archie Comics' first, by the way) the murderer.
Maybe Joaquin is too small of a supporting character to accuse of murder, but he's still shady AF. He's a teenage Southside Serpent who's only romantically involved with Kevin to keep tabs on Sheriff Keller's investigation, so we know he's untrustworthy. Being a Serpent, Joaquin was probably in contact with Jason in the days leading up to his death. Jason was a major liability to the gang and their underground drug operation. So was Joaquin the one who pulled the trigger? Maybe. But it seems to me like Jason's death was a power move for the Blossoms' maple syrup empire. That, and I honestly don't think Luke Perry even knows Joaquin is a character on this show, so it's time to move on.
Remember when Archie had an affair with his hot, young teacher, Miss Grundy, and then she skipped town after Alice Cooper and Fred Andrews found out? It appears that everyone, including the writers of the show, has forgotten about Miss Grundy, but I have not. How can you introduce a teacher-student affair in the pilot episode and then write it off by Episode 4? That's not how this works! So I have effectively dug myself a rabbit hole in order to explain how Miss Grundy — that's not even her real name! — fits into this mess.
We know Miss Grundy had several fake identities. She said she was on the run from her abusive ex-husband, which seemed like a plausible reason at the time, but what if she came to Riverdale looking for someone ... like, say, her birth parents? Hal forced Alice to have an abortion when they were teens, but there's a small possibility that Alice didn't go through with it. What if she checked into Sisters of Quiet Mercy for a few months and had the baby there? She would have given the baby up for adoption, and that baby could have grown up to be Miss Grundy. She does have the same features as Betty and Polly — blonde hair and light eyes. She could have come to town looking to connect with her birth family and stumbled upon their ongoing maple drama with the Blossoms. What if she acted out of revenge on behalf of her family? (I know this is crazy.)
Or, you know, she could have been boning Jason at the same time she was boning Archie. She clearly has an affinity for redheads. If Jason said he was going to the police, that would have been reason enough to shoot him dead.
Penelope and Clifford Blossom
At the center of all the drama in Riverdale is the Blossoms' maple syrup empire. When great-granddad Blossom shot great-grandpappy Cooper and claimed all the maple syrup for himself, it cemented the Blossoms as cunningly ruthless. They will shoot you if you mess with their maple. So you might be thinking, Why would the Blossoms shoot the heir to their empire? Well, maybe they knew Jason was going to betray them by running away with Polly — and the only way to really stop him was to kill him. Or maybe Penelope and Clifford, like Hal Cooper, didn't want Cooper blood to contaminate the Blossom bloodline. Who knows! Clifford's hair is obviously hiding secrets.
Hermione Lodge described the Blossoms and the Coopers as the Hatfields and McCoys of Riverdale. But they clearly have more in common with the Montagues and Capulets. Polly and Jason were star-crossed lovers from two feuding families, and if Riverdale does turn out to be a Shakespearean tragedy, then it's possible Jason and Polly made some kind of suicide pact. But would Jason's pregnant fiancée really shoot him? The Coopers did say Polly suffered from delusions! Or maybe Jason shot himself!! ( You can dive into that crazy theory here.)
If there's one character who I would like to see thrown into a deep chasm of nothingness, never to be seen or heard from again, it's Hal Cooper. Hal is the worst. He also has the biggest beef with the Blossoms, which means if anyone wants to see the Blossoms fall from grace, it's Hal. He hates them. Jason not only impregnated his teenage daughter, but he also convinced her to run away with him. Hal's also not over the Blossoms' decades-old betrayal. So the easiest way to make the Blossoms pay would be to kill their heir and ignite an internal struggle for power among the board members. We saw how the vultures came to watch Cheryl fail at the tree-tapping ceremony. They're just waiting for one misstep to pounce and stage a hostile takeover. If that happens, Hal may not get his family's maple back, but at least he gets his revenge.