Riverdale Season 1 Episode 12 – TV Review
The mystery is solved.
But the story is not over.
God, how much better can Riverdale get?
TL;DR Mr Blossom murdered Jason, and there’s video proof; Skeet falsely confesses to protect Jughead, but our heroes uncover the truth; Hiram’s link to the murder is still up in the air; the emotional fallout is only just beginning.
Riverdale: where characters actually experience consequences. It’s pretty sad how refreshing that is.
So omg, you guys, Riverdale doesn’t let up this week. In another display of excellent communication skills, Archie, Betty, and Veronica go to their parents with their news of the gun in Skeet’s trailer having been planted. They are dismissed, but are still determined to find Jughead and expose the truth. However, after they have found Jughead, whose attempt to run to his mother is rebuffed by that evidently icy bitch, they also discover Skeet has confessed to everything. He claims Jason told him about his plan with Cheryl to fake his drowning death, but then Skeet abducted him to hold him to ransom. He tried to escape and Skeet was forced to kill him. But the Scooby Gang isn’t going to settle for that shit, and follow the clues they find which lead to Joaquin, which eventually leads to the discovery of Jason’s jacket, which contains a USB. With a video of Jason’s murder. At the hands of his father, Mr Blossom. God damn. Alice is happy to smarmily pass this on to Sheriff and Mayor, and narration tells us that Skeet confessed because Mr Blossom had threatened to murder Jughead if he didn’t. Heavy. Meanwhile, Joaquin’s clues also lead to the discovery of a murdered Serpent and a big bag of money in a monogrammed Hiram Lodge bag. So he could still be involved. Meanwhile, Cheryl follows her own suspicions of her parents before being (I think?) informed of the truth by Betty; Joaquin leaves town; Fred wonders whether Archie should leave Riverdale and live with Molly; Papa B reveals Jason and Polly are related, so eww; and Mr Blossom’s motive is yet to be revealed.
It will be related to maple syrup. Trust me.
I am genuinely in awe of how effective Riverdale has been as both a teen sex soap, and a murder mystery. I had my doubts early on, when that stupid teacher/student affair subplot was around and Josie couldn’t control her SJW-itude, but this show has built upon its strengths each week to become my favourite show on television right now.
And thank God, they took my advice and solved the mystery before the season was up.
Although, with an episode still in the tank, I anticipate there is even more scandal on its way.
Why I hate this episode:
I know Riverdale exists in a more heightened state of reality than the real world, but Jesus Christ, what kind of motive could justify a father executing his son at point blank range while he’s bound and abducted? That’s gonna be a hard pill to swallow.
Unless the wig wall reveal from last episode was foreshadowing that it’s possible to dress up like Mr Blossom, and someone impersonated him. Which would be pretty PLL-level lame. And that video wasn’t HD, but you can see it’s Mr Blossom’s face. Please don’t do that, Riverdale. You’re smarter than that.
The episode is edited to make it appear that Betty, upon watching the video, calls and warns Cheryl. But this could be a fakeout, especially considering Cheryl’s weird emotional response to it. And, again, Riverdale is smarter than some lame “we edited it to confuse you” bullshit. I hope this isn’t the case.
Oh, and the whole incest revelation gets built up to be super meaningful, but then is just dropped. Papa B informs Alice and Betty that his opposition to Jason and Polly’s relationship was due to the Coopers actually being a family that splintered from the Blossoms after the fabled great-grandfather murder. Which makes Jason and Polly related. This gets Alice and Betty all riled up, but it barely fazes Polly, and Mr Blossom rightly points out that they’d be only, like, third cousins. And not that I support incest, but marriage of first cousins is legal in Australia, so I’m not that horrified.
But it’s not all bad:
The Blossoms are even less horrified than me. In fact, they’re actually happy that Jason and Polly’s baby will be an incest baby, because they’re keeping the bloodline pure. The Blossoms are Riverdale’s equivalent of a fucked-up royal family, so it makes sense.
And truly fucked-up they are, because goddamn Mr Blossom is Jason’s murderer. I didn’t see that coming. I thought the most obviously evil man in town would surely be a red herring, but nope. Point blank bullet to the head from Jason’s own father. And in true Riverdale style, this moment is not alluded to or obscured. The Scooby Gang does watch it first without showing us, but then we get to see the whole gory thing, including the shooting. Riverdale went there.
Cheryl is still standing as a wild card amongst all this, though. Her off-kilter reaction to Betty’s phone call (again, I hope this isn’t a fakeout) seems to suggest something more is going on. Or maybe Cheryl and Mrs Blossom will have their own retribution on Mr Blossom? That’d be pretty badass.
Jughead is still hanging onto his position as the emotional centre of this show. He starts off his episode by trying to get a bus out to be with his mum. But, through a one-sided phone conversation, she refuses him. Damn, dude.
And then, after he’s been found by his friends and news of Skeet’s confession gets out, he visits his dad in jail. Jughead’s pain at his father’s obstinacy, and Skeet’s shame at forcing the lie, is riveting.
But props to the Scooby Gang for not giving up. And in addition to Archie and Veronica’s knowledge of the gun being planted, Papa B swoops in to solidify their crusade by admitting he’s the one who stole Sheriff’s files, poking another hole in Skeet’s confession (Skeet had confessed to this, too).
Molly gets in on the action, too, and uses her lawyer powers to weasel in on the investigation pretending to be Skeet’s legal counsel. She finds out his one phone call was to Joaquin, which sends Archie and Veronica to beat down Joaquin’s door. Kevin wants to defend his boyfriend, but realises the seriousness of the situation, and that’s he’s the sheriff’s son, and does not pull a typical soap move of blocking them. God, Riverdale is good.
Joaquin admits he helped Skeet clean up Jason’s body, but didn’t see the murder take place. He does say that another Serpent was involved, and that’s when they find him dead, with a bag full of Hiram Lodge money. This neither confirms or denies Hiram’s involvement with Jason’s death, but Hermione breaks down, because now the police have proof at least of Hiram’s dirty deals with the Serpents. And that will probably lead back to her, too. Such delicious consequences.
Joaquin isn’t out of tips to give Kevin yet, though, as he privately discloses the location of the jacket as he’s leaving town. This leads the wholly assembled Scooby Gang to find and view the incriminating video. It’s intense, man.
I love that Alice puts her bitchy self-righteousness to heroic use when delivering the video to Sheriff and Mayor. Never underestimate the power of a good bitch on your side.
Veronica gets the best line of the episode. After their parents poo-poo their claims at the beginning of the episode (again, with logic rather than plot obtuseness: Archie and Veronica’s snoop through Skeet’s trailer would be inadmissible as evidence because they were in there illegally), Betty and Archie are still determined to find Jughead. They call up Veronica, who is incensed she wasn’t alerted sooner: “Wait, you and Betty went on a manhunt without me?” Oh, you teens these days.
Oh, and in contrast to the murky, shadowy gay kiss The Originals gave us this week, Riverdale is proud to put its gays in the sun (well, as sunny as it gets in this town). Let’s just try to ignore the fact that, with Joaquin’s departure, Riverdale also snuffed out its gay romantic pairing.