|“||And, though one question had been answered that night, that it was Clifford Blossom who killed Jason, a new mystery loomed over Riverdale. Why had he done it? It was a question only Clifford himself would be able to answer...||”|
THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM – Archie and Veronica are shocked to learn of the arrest but know they need to come clean to their parents about what they uncovered. Still hurt by the betrayal of his friends and torn over who to trust, Jughead reluctantly joins them in a quest for truth. Meanwhile, Cheryl confronts her mom about why she treats her so much worse than she ever did with Jason.
Archie and Veronica reiterate to Betty that someone planted the gun in FP's trailer. Archie states that they need to tell Jughead that his father is innocent, but no one can seem to find him, and he isn't answering their calls. In the meantime, Archie suggests they go to their parents with this discovery, as his father will know what to do, however, the interaction doesn't go as well as planned. Fred, Mary, and Hermione are furious to learn that Archie and Veronica broke into his trailer at Alice's behest. However, Archie explains that they had to make sure FP wasn't involved in the murder of Jason Blossom. Archie insists that there wasn't a gun when they broke in, and if their parents don't believe in them, they'll go to Sheriff Keller without them. Unfortunately, Mary informs him that he and Veronica entered FP's residence illegally, so anything they did or did not find would be inadmissible in the court of law. Archie doesn't care about the consequences of his actions, but his father does. FP has ruined Jughead's life, but he's not going to let him ruin Archie's too.
Jughead calls his mother from a phone booth and informs her that he purchased a bus ticket to Toledo. He thought he would crash with her and Jellybean for a while, but his mother tells him that now is not a good time. Jughead claims that he understands and hangs up the phone. He then heads back into the bus station and buys a ticket to the next bus headed out of town, which is to Citrusville, Florida, which leaves tomorrow at 6:00 AM.
Hermione begins frantically searching for her and Veronica's passports should they have to flee in case FP gives Hiram up. They must be ready should the time come for them to run away. Veronica fears that they'll look guilty, to which Hermione replies that they are, recalling how she bribed the mayor for the drive-in land, forged Veronica's signature, and paid off the Serpents.
A little later in the night, Betty lays in her bed, worried about Jughead, so she texts Archie, and the two of them head out together to find him, starting with the bus station. Unfortunately, when they arrive, he is not there. Veronica then calls Archie, and from her, they realize that the only other place that Jughead could be at this time of night was Pop's shoppe because it is open 24/7. Just as Veronica said, they find him in a booth at Pop's, each of them sorry for their betrayal, realizing they shouldn't have broken into his father's trailer, but something good came from it since the gun wasn't there when Archie and Veronica searched the closet.
Meanwhile, FP is under interrogation from Sheriff Keller down at the station, where he learns that the gun in his trailer is a direct match to the bullet that killed Jason Blossom. FP explains that last summer he was approached by some red-haired kid outside the Whyte Wyrm, who was looking to skip town with his pregnant girlfriend, Polly, but he first needed money and a ride. FP offered him a deal: in exchange for delivering an unspecified amount of drugs for him, he would pay Jason and provide him with a getaway vehicle.
However, at some point, FP realized that he was the son of Clifford Blossom and this led him to wonder why a rich kid like Jason would ever need someone like him, and that's when Jason told FP his plan. On July 4th, Jason's sister would row him out to Sweetwater River, tip the boat, and say that Jason drowned. Once Jason made it to the other side of the river that fateful morning, FP grabbed him and tied Jason up in the basement of the Wyrm. From there, FP worked on his plan in which he would get word to Clifford that his son was still alive and demand ransom money for his safe return. Before he could get word out, FP claimed that Jason got loose, so he killed the kid before he could escape and stuffed him in the freezer. Once the police were done dragging Sweetwater River for Jason's body, FP decided to dump it there, the one place that had already been checked. He also admitted to breaking into the Sheriff's house, stealing the case evidence, and even setting fire to Jason's car out on the highway off route 40.
Archie, Veronica, Jughead and Betty rush over to the station to tell Sheriff Keller of their discovery, but FP has already confessed to the murder of Jason Blossom.
Having missed Homecoming, Polly wakes up the next morning to surprising news, a published article in The Register which states that FP Jones has been arrested for Jason's murder. Clifford gently touches her hand, telling Polly that he went to the station and looked Jason's "killer" in his eyes. Finally, they will have peace, as will Jason, or so Penelope and Clifford claim, but Cheryl doesn't seem too sure.
At the school cafeteria, the gang sit at a table, as Betty states that the police report indicates that FP worked alone, which means the one good thing that came of this is that Veronica's dad isn't involved, but Veronica can't help but think that maybe he hired another Serpent to plant the gun. Kevin then joins them at the table, inquiring about Jughead, who isn't doing good according to Betty. Jughead is being grilled by Kevin's father at the station, who is wasting his time because FP is innocent. Even though he confessed, Betty believes that he was either coerced or he is protecting someone, possibly, Joaquin since her mother saw him and FP talking. Kevin disagrees about Joaquin's involvement in any of this, telling Betty not to drag him into this. Just then, Jughead enters the cafeteria to apologize for his father's actions to Cheryl despite his initial decision to stay home. However, his apology doesn't go as expected, as Cheryl slowly stands up, and in a fit of rage, she attacks Jughead up until Archie pulls her off. Mr. Weatherbee then enters the cafeteria, demanding that Jughead come with him to the office.
Cheryl heads to the restroom, where Betty joins her soon thereafter to tell Cheryl that it isn't Jughead's fault, even if his father did kill Jason. Cheryl explains that everyone keeps coming up to her, hugging her, and telling her that she must be so relieved that Jason's killer has been caught and that the nightmare is over, however, it doesn't feel that way.
As Jughead leaves Mr. Weatherbee's office, he is joined by Betty. Jughead feels like he's undergone his second interrogation of the day; he isn't sure who is the bigger dick, Weatherbee or Sheriff Keller. Betty tells him to ignore them, as his father is innocent. They just need to prove it. Jughead grows tired of the entire ordeal. He questions who killed Jason if not FP considering he even confessed to doing it. Jughead has been waiting his whole life for his father to do the right thing, but he is done waiting, and Betty should be too.
After getting off the phone with Principal Weatherbee, Fred explains to Archie that their principal is concerned about Jughead and the altercation between him and Cheryl earlier that day. Weatherbee suggests that Jughead finish the rest of the school year from home, which Archie insists is unfair as Cheryl attacked him, so he at least wants to contact the school board. FP could possibly spend decades in prison, potentially the rest of his life, so Fred explains that they need to think of a long term solution, and unfortunately for Jughead, it isn't with them. Fred isn't Jughead's legal guardian, and his priority is keeping Archie safe, from whatever trouble seems to follow the Jones family where ever they go, whatever they do. He then comments that maybe Archie should move to Chicago with his mother, which Archie claims that he isn't even considering. Unbeknownst to them, Jughead is sitting at the staircase, and after hearing their whole conversation, he gets up attempting to leave the house. Archie tries to call him, but Jughead informs him that he will sleep in the garage before leaving.
Later in the night, Betty is awakened from her sleep by a loud noise that is heard throughout the house, so she makes her way downstairs, where she runs into her mother, who has also heard the noise and has the gun previously owned by Ms. Grundy in hand. They proceed down the steps, Betty right behind her mother, ready to call the police, but as they reach the bottom, they discover that it is just Betty's father. Hal admits that he broke into Sheriff Keller's house during the night of the last drive-in show and stole the case files, which is impossible considering FP has already confessed to that crime. Betty's father isn't sure why FP would do that because it was actually him. That is why he has come back to the house, to destroy any evidence that could lead back to him. Betty notes that this makes fairly little sense, wondering why would FP fess up to something he didn't do, though her mother is more concerned with why her father is stealing and destroying case files for a murder case. He was worried that the investigation would lead back to Polly and that Sheriff Keller would somehow learn of the ongoing feud between their family and the Blossoms. From there, Betty then learns from Hal that her great-grandfather wasn't just murdered by a Blossom, he was a Blossom. After the murder, Hal's family severed ties with the Blossoms and took the new name of Cooper. Betty is disgusted by the fact that she is a Blossom, not only that, it also means that Polly is a Blossom, meaning she and Jason are blood relatives, third cousins to be exact.
Given the extremes that Hal was willing to go to keep Polly and Jason apart, the Coopers begin to wonder how far the Blossoms would go, and decide then and there to get Polly from Thornhill. Cheryl and Polly stand at the top of the stairs as Clifford and Penelope answer the door. Betty has joined her parents in bringing Polly home. They reveal to Polly and Cheryl that the Coopers are also Blossoms, thus making Polly and Jason cousins. However, Clifford and Penelope aren't bothered by the notion of incest, in fact, they welcome it. "Nothing could be more purely Blossom than those babies," Penelope remarks. The Coopers then leave with Polly in tow.
Mary meets up with Archie and Jughead at Pop's shoppe to discuss FP's case. She passed herself off as his attorney in an effort to gain as much information as she could. Unfortunately, between FP's list of priors, the anonymous tip, the possession of the murder weapon, and his confession, it is looking pretty bad for him. She was with FP all night, and he never once changed his story, but he did use his one phone call to contact Joaquin, who Mary doesn't know of. They explain that he is Kevin's boyfriend. She then advises Jughead to go see his father, tell him everything he wants to say because once he was arraigned, the process will become much faster, and there won't be anything left to do, so that could be his final chance.
Jughead takes Mrs. Andrews' advice and visits his father at the police station. He tells him that when he and Archie first devised the plan to get FP back on his feet, he knew deep down that it was a mistake. FP really had him fooled, cleaning the trailer, convincing him that he had quit drinking, because of this he was so happy for the first time in so long, FP even paid attention to him. Jughead puts two-and-two together and realizes that the only reason FP even read his manuscript was to make sure that Jughead wasn't on to him, and FP didn't want to move to Toledo to get the family back together, he wanted to run away. FP exclaims that he did what he had to do, but Jughead questions if he has any remorse for killing Jason, but his father claims he is only sorry he got caught. Just as Jughead prepares to leave, his father tells him to never come back, and in that moment, something changed; Jughead can tell his father is hiding something. After Jughead leaves, FP, no longer having the ability to restrain himself any longer, begins crying.
At the Pembrooke, Archie shares information regarding the meeting he and Jughead had with Mary to Veronica, who wants to see it through to the end and find out if her father is in any way involved with any of this. So the two of them, along with Kevin, call Joaquin over to Archie's house to ask him about the call he received from FP. Joaquin claims the call is simply a warning to lie low, but Veronica isn't buying it as no one uses their only call so frivolously. Kevin asks him if he knows anything, as the Sheriff's son and not as his boyfriend. Hesitantly, Joaquin says that he has always assumed that FP killed Jason. H never saw FP pull the trigger but on July 11th, he got a call in the middle of the night from FP, who needed his help with a cleanup job at the Whyte Wyrm. When Joaquin got there, he saw Jason's body lying on the ground. So, they stuffed him in the freezer and cleaned up the mess. FP has done jobs for Hiram in the past, so Veronica asks if killing Jason is one of them. He isn't entirely sure, but Joaquin recalls one discussion about a rich guy that he overheard between FP and Mustang, the same Serpent that Archie got into a fight with. They threaten to turn him to Sheriff Keller if he doesn't take them to Mustang's place of residence.
Betty is happy to have Polly home, as they lie side-by-side in bed together. However, everything else involving their family and the Blossoms seems to get worse by the moment. Betty then gets a call from Jughead, who says that she was right about his dad hiding something.
Joaquin shows Veronica, Archie and Kevin where Mustang is residing, at the City Centre Motor Hotel. Inside the motel room, they find Mustang dead in the bathtub. It appears that he overdosed, but Joaquin can't stick around for when the police arrive, so he immediately exits, with Kevin right behind. Upon the arrival of the authorities and their parents, Sheriff Keller questions what Archie and Veronica are even doing at the hotel, to which Archie explains that they knew Mustang was a Serpent, so they wanted to talk to him about FP. Sheriff Keller informs Fred that Mustang's death is likely the result of an intentional overdose since he was possibly involved in Jason's murder. One of his deputies then brings him a duffel bag with a large sum of money in it, which was found under Mustang's bed and has the initials "H.L.," which Keller mistakes for Hermione Lodge. However, Veronica insists that the bag belongs to her father of the same initials, Hiram Lodge, because he was doing business with the Serpents. Hermione tells Veronica to keep her mouth shut until their lawyer is present.
As Archie and Fred head back to the truck, Archie's father pleads with him to stop his investigation of Jason's murder, as that path will leave him dead. Fred is simply trying to protect him; it is his job and the only one that counts, and as Fred asks him if he understands, Archie's voice cracks as he says yes. Meanwhile, when Hermione and Veronica reach home, Veronica comforts Hermione as she cries.
Kevin accompanies Joaquin to the bus station. With the heat coming down, Joaquin thinks it best if he leaves town. Before boarding a bus headed for San Junipero, he and Joaquin share one last kiss, then he shares information about his and FP contingency plan.
Betty and Jughead meet at The Blue and Gold offices, where they begin to question why FP would lie, and who he is protecting, so then comes the process of ruling out suspects, like Betty's father and Veronica's mother. On the murder board, the only suspects left are Hiram Lodge, and Clifford and Penelope Blossom.
Meanwhile, At Thornhill, as Penelope sits alone by the fireplace, Cheryl approaches her with a question, asking about the fight that took place between Jason and her father on July 4th. A question that has previously been answered; they already told Cheryl that Jason didn't have the stomach for the family business. Cheryl believes that whatever happened to Jason involves their family. She wonders if he was running away from Clifford or even Penelope herself, to which Penelope takes great offense as she firmly grasps Cheryl's hands, drags her out of the house to their family's Maple syrup farm. She pushes Cheryl inside and tells her that maple syrup is the dark truth, "drown in it, why don't you," she says.
Back at the Blue and Gold, Alice enters the office to see Betty and Jughead still investigating Jason's killer and comments how they just can't leave it alone before going to her desk. Betty asks what she was about to tell them, to which she informs them that the body of a Southside Serpent has just been found, and Sheriff Keller is convinced that he was working with FP. From Alice, they also learn that the Serpent allegedly committed suicide and that there was a bag of money in his room that links him to Hiram Lodge, but everything is tied up into too tidy of a bow, Alice thinks. Just then, Betty receives a call from Kevin, who has learned from Joaquin about a contingency plan involving himself and FP that has been deemed as too dangerous by the latter.
Kevin, Betty and Jughead head out to the highway off route 40, where Jason's car was torched and under the old beat down Blossom Maple Farms sign is a duffel bag containing Jason's varsity jacket. Joaquin didn't know if it would help FP or hurt him, but whatever the case, when FP called him from jail, it was to tell him to forget about the plan, as it was too dangerous. They take the varsity jacket with them and meet up with Archie at his house. They debate over the importance of the jacket and why FP chose to keep it. If anything, it seems like more incriminating evidence. As they question why FP would say Jason's varsity jacket is dangerous, Veronica enters the room as she suggests they ask her father because he would know considering that they have concrete evidence that he hired the Serpents to kill Jason, which likely means FP pulled the trigger. She apologizes to Jughead. Betty refuses to accept defeat, so she tells Archie to put on the jacket as she checks the pockets and inside the lining of the jacket, she finds a USB flash drive, for which Kevin calls her Nancy Drew.
They plug in the flash drive and watch the video surveillance of the night Jason was murdered, revealing Jason's killer. Immediately after it's finished, Betty calls Cheryl and explains everything they just saw in the video. Cheryl thanks her and ends the call as tears roll down her cheeks. She slowly walks down the stairs, wiping her tears and enters the dining room, where Penelope and Clifford are eating. She walks past Clifford and stands on the other end of the table next to her mother. Instead of heeding the warning from Betty, Cheryl confronts her father at the dinner table, saying "you did a bad thing, Daddy. And now, everyone knows."
Alice goes down to the Sheriff Station and hands Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy the USB drive that Archie and the gang watched in the garage. The contents of the footage are revealed, showing a tied-up Jason Blossom in the basement of the Whyte Whyrm while Mustang taunted him. After that, Clifford Blossom appeared as he walked toward Jason, took Nana Blossom's ring out of his pocket, looked his son in the eyes and shot him in the head. Later it is revealed that FP Jones had only confessed to the killing because Clifford Blossom visited him on the night of his arrest with a threat that his son, Jughead Jones, would suffer the same fate as Jason Blossom if he didn't confess.
Following the latest revelation, Jughead demands that his father be released immediately, though Sheriff Keller can't allow this as FP will still be brought up on charges of tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, mishandling a body, perjury, and more.
Veronica arrives home and apologizes to her mother for ever thinking her dad was involved in Jason's murder. Hermione pulls her in for a hug and then gives her some good news: Hiram is finally coming home. Meanwhile, at the Andrews house, Archie hugs his mother goodbye, sorry that he can't leave his friends to go with her. As the police arrive at Thornhill residence to arrest Clifford, Cheryl and Penelope direct them towards the barn. By the time Sheriff Keller gets there, Clifford has already hung himself and a couple of barrels of maple syrup have spilled on the floor, revealing drugs inside.
- The episode title comes from Wendell Mayes' 1959 American courtroom drama crime film of the same name, which is an adaptation of Robert Traver's novel.
- Jason Blossom's killer is finally uncovered.
- Joaquin, Hal, and FP all had their secrets exposed.
- This episode also revealed that Joaquin's last name is DeSantos.
- There was a disagreement behind the scenes between the writers and executives in regard to the decision to solve the mystery of Jason Blossom in the penultimate episode, rather than the finale.