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A list of suspects, of course. People with grudges against us, many of them members of Riverdale's founding families, I'm sorry to say. Someone in this town killed Jason.
— Clifford to Sheriff Keller[src]

Clifford "Cliff" Cochrane Blossom was a recurring character on The CW's Riverdale and the main antagonist of Season 1. He was portrayed by Barclay Hope.

Clifford is the late husband of Penelope Blossom, as well as the father of Cheryl and Jason Blossom.

The Blossoms are also the proud owners of the Maple Syrup business, which Clifford used to run an undercover drug operation. However, Jason learned of his father's drug trafficking, which resulted in Clifford killing Jason in order to protect his secret. Despite his best effort to keep his drug dealings under wraps, news of this, as well as Jason's murder, eventually became public knowledge. And with law enforcement at his door, it was initially believed that Clifford chose the coward's way out by hanging himself in the Blossom family barn. It was later revealed that Clifford was poisoned by Penelope for killing their son. He was also a business associate of the Sugarman, as he would have secret business meetings with him when Cheryl and Jason were kids.

He was also personally responsible for Hiram Lodge's arrest. Clifford sought to be free of a previously negotiated deal in which the Blossom Maple Farms had to pay Lodge Industries monthly fees. It was discovered by Veronica Lodge that the Blossoms were making payments to them for over 75 years. That is until Hiram's arrest, when the payments suddenly stopped.

Early Life

Clifford was born and raised in Riverdale, alongside his twin brother, Claudius Blossom. The relationship between the two brothers would best be described as "a modern-day Romulus and Remus." Eventually, however, it became clear that their parents were grooming Claudius to inherit the Blossom business empire.

When Clifford was 8 years old, the Blossoms went to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy orphanage to adopt a redheaded girl to bring into the family and groom to become Clifford's wife. Penelope was chosen and taken to meet young Clifford at Pop's, where they shared a milkshake.

On their 14th birthday, while down by Sweetwater River, Clifford threatened his brother with a rifle, telling him of the "Blossom curse," in which one twin met a violent end, often at the hands of the other. Although Clifford spared Claudius' life, the latter was terrified enough to run away from home that very night. Claudius' disappearance devastated their mother, Rose Blossom, who could not even bear to speak his name thereafter.

Clifford went on to attend Riverdale High School with Fred, Hermione, FP, and his future wife, Penelope, among others. It was during this time that he would come to forge a fairly hostile rivalry with Hiram Lodge.

In the years to come, Clifford went on to inherit the Blossom business and soon married and had two children with Penelope, twins Cheryl and Jason. He never once revealed the existence of his twin brother to his children. While Jason and Cheryl were kids, Clifford would have secret meetings with the Sugarman at Thornhill, the family's home. During the Sugarman's visits, Penelope would take Jason and Cheryl upstairs to their rooms, hiding them from the Sugarman's shady drug business with their father. Clifford also had plans for Jason, as he was preparing to groom him to eventually take over the family business. However, Penelope disagreed with Clifford after finding out about his plans for their son and fought hard against them.

Throughout Riverdale

Season 1

Jason's Death

Clifford, Cheryl and Penelope being brought to shore

Upon the mysterious drowning of his son, Jason, during a boating accident with his sister, Cheryl, Clifford and Penelope retrieve their daughter from the shores of Sweetwater River with the authorities. Clifford accosts the police for failing to find his son despite dragging the river in search of him. A week later, Jason's body is found washed up on the shores of Sweetwater by Kevin Keller and Moose Mason. The following morning, Clifford and his wife stand aside and watch as their son's body is taken away in a body bag.[1]

Clifford, Penelope, and Cheryl arrive at the morgue to identify Jason's body. As the cloth is pulled off his head, Cheryl turns away in horror, as does Penelope, however, Clifford is far less emotional than the two ladies, simply staring at the corpse of his son.

The annual fall Pep Rally arrives. Clifford and Penelope sit in the front row of the bleachers as Mayor McCoy dedicates the event to the memory of Jason. Shortly after the performance of the River Vixens and Josie and the Pussycats, he and Penelope become concerned as Cheryl races off the stage crying.[2]

Clifford escorting Cheryl out of school

Sheriff Keller interrogate Cheryl about the lies she told regarding her last encounter with her brother. Penelope and Clifford interrupt in a state of anger and abruptly end the interrogation. Clifford demands to know why his daughter is a suspect in his son's murder case. As they rush Cheryl out of the office, Penelope asks why Cheryl didn't contact them, to which Clifford replies that Cheryl is a liar.

Despite the recent tragedy, Clifford and Penelope decide to attend the first annual Taste of Riverdale, during which time Penelope gets into a physical altercation with Alice Cooper. Appalled that Alice would dare print Jason's autopsy results in the Register, Penelope slaps Alice and then becomes very emotional when recalling her son's death. Clifford intervenes in an attempt to calm her down.[3]

Investigating Jason's Death

The Blossoms receive a surprise visit from Sheriff Keller, who is conducting his investigation into Jason's murder. Everyone in town had their own suspicions, neighbor suspecting neighbor. During this time, Riverdale bared a striking resemblance to Salem during the witch trials.[4]

Clifford, Penelope, and Sheriff Keller before the memorial

As Clifford and Penelope make their way to the main room, where Jason's memorial is to be held, they inform Sheriff Keller of their plan to narrow down the suspects in the murder of their son. Clifford explains that the list consists of people that hold grudges against the Blossoms, many of them being from the founding families. Clifford is certain that someone from Riverdale killed his son and is determined to find out who.

That night, the Blossom family is joined by Veronica Lodge at dinner. Clifford informs Veronica of the town's founding, how it was founded on maple syrup. This is also where Sweetwater River got its name from. Clifford then proceeds to make a snide comment about her father, who is currently imprisoned. He assumes that the experience must've been difficult for Veronica, having to watch her father dragged out in handcuffs, to which she agrees.

The day of the memorial, Clifford has a brief run-in with Hal Cooper. The two have an exchange of words and go separate ways.[5]

Blossom Babies

Blossom Family on the hunt for Polly

After learning of Polly Cooper's escape from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, the Blossoms orchestrate a search party. With the news of Polly's recent escape moving throughout town, Clifford wonders if it is possible that Polly had escaped before, maybe on the day that Jason was murdered. He then learns that Polly is pregnant with Jason's child during a press conference held by Alice Cooper. With the news of Polly's pregnancy circulating, Clifford, Penelope, and Cheryl arrange a meeting with Betty at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe hoping to further discuss their plans for Polly and the baby. He and Penelope are relieved to learn that both Polly and the child are safe. Clifford then tells Betty that money will never be a problem for them.[6]

Clifford being confronted by Fred

In an effort to halt the construction by Andrews Construction on the new land development, Clifford hires Fred Andrews' crew the day of, offering them a bigger job and two years work. Later that day, he is confronted by Fred for his devious actions, to which Clifford explains wasn't personal. The land once belonged to his family as they founded their maple empire on it. They were in the process of reacquiring the land but the mysterious buyer stole it right from under them. Clifford can't go after the mysterious buyer, so instead he' going after Fred. Clifford adds that the way Fred's boss did his secret deals leads Clifford to believe that he has a limited amount of funds. It seems to be a great plan with the exception of him bleeding Fred out in the process, which Clifford is unbothered by.

The next day, he and Penelope greet Polly at the front door, who has decided to stay at Thornhill.[7]

Fall of the Blossom Empire

Thicker than blood, more precious than oil, Riverdale's largest business had been maple syrup since the town's founding, and the Blossoms have been in control of the lucrative trade since the beginning. With the heir to the family business dead, many people are wondering who will inherit the family business in Jason's place as it certainly could not be Cheryl. All the while having to watch their backs from attack within their own ranks as the board of trustees are coming to Riverdale in the wake of Jason's death.

Clifford at the ceremony

As the Blossom tree tapping ceremony commences, Clifford stands at the front, scroll in hand. He says: Nearly 100 years ago, Grandfather Blossom came to this sacred maple grove. The annual tapping ceremony portends each season's bounty.  While he had performed the ceremony many times in his lifetime, as did Jason when he came of age, this year Cheryl is to perform the ceremony in his place. Thankfully, it goes off without a hitch as Cheryl taps the tree perfectly, making both Clifford and Penelope seemingly proud.

After the group photo, Clifford takes the opportunity to have a quick chat with Archie, as he was Cheryl's escort. Clifford admits to being taken aback at Cheryl's choice, considering how he and Fred do not have the best relationship. He reminds Archie that his family could be quite generous to the right people, which is why Clifford wants him to attend the banquet they would be hosting later that week at the Belmont Lodge. Archie is not sure he should attend because he is an Andrews and banquets are not their scene, but this is precisely why Clifford wants him to come. People like the Andrews are the bedrock of their town.

Clifford at the tailor

The following day, as Clifford has Archie suited by his tailor for the banquet, Archie asks if the Blossoms could help his father's company instead of helping him get into the music program, as Andrews Construction is having a difficult time. Clifford is impressed by Archie's loyalty towards his father. He could not imagine that Jason would have ever done the same for him, which speaks to Archie's character. However, they have already given Brandenburg Music Academy a call, and they are excited to meet Archie. However, as a sign of good faith, Clifford agrees to sit down with Archie and discuss what he can do for Fred.

Clifford at the banquet

During the banquet, Clifford talks about how they have been tested as a town, a company and a family. And while it was not Jason's hand that staked the maple, it was the hand of hope. After his speech, Clifford informs Archie that he has decided to help Fred given all that Archie has done for them. He adds that the Andrews have a bright future with them. Although Cheryl is an intelligent girl, the trustees are skeptical of having her play an active role in the company, but if someone with Archie's character is at her side to temper her erratic behavior, they will be more inclined to let her in. Essentially, Clifford explains, it is about painting a picture, and having Archie with Cheryl created an appealing picture.

After his talk with Archie, which subsequently led to a dispute with Cheryl, Clifford chats with Penelope outside the lounge. While the trustees are satisfied, uncle Bedford keeps asking about the drive-in land. Clifford is close to regaining the land. He figured Hermione Lodge would crumble in the process, but they never imagined that she would be so resourceful. Penelope wonders what would have happened if Clifford had sent her to jail instead of Hiram, unaware that Archie is listening. As the trustees leave town the following day, Clifford tells Penelope that they aren't out of the woods just yet.[8]

Death of the Blossom Men

Clifford's real hair

As he gets dressed that evening, Polly spies on him from the doorway, during which time she discovers that his hair is actually grey, and in public, he'd wears red toupées. Angered by her invasion and discovery, Clifford slams the door in Polly's face. Later that day, following the revelation that Clifford and Penelope are in possession of Nana Rose's heirloom ring, it was revealed via Penelope how they recovered it. The last time Clifford saw Jason was the day he rid himself of the Blossom family, wanting nothing more to do with the name or lineage, including the ring, which he threw in Cliff's face as a final rebuke. Clifford then gave the ring to his wife for safekeeping.

Penelope and Clifford questioning Cheryl

The following night, Cheryl asks if the story behind how they recovered the ring is true, which Clifford replies that it is. Jason rejected their way of life and business, even after he had been groomed to take over the empire. Clifford now realizes that was a mistake. He should have been nurturing Cheryl. Jason never had the stomach, but she is a Blossom through and through. Before Cheryl can leave for the Homecoming, they ask for the whereabouts of the ring. Cheryl reveals that she flushed it. That way if Polly ever told anyone, there'd be no proof, only her word against theirs.

Penelope weeps in the wake of FP Jones arrest for Jason's murder and tells her husband that she wants FP dead for what he had done to her son. Unbeknownst to either of them, Cheryl is watching. Clifford holds Penelope as she cries and promises to take care of FP.[9]

Clifford at the station

After hearing of FP's arrest, Clifford goes down to the station and threatens FP to keep his mouth shut and confess to Jason's death or else Jughead would share the same fate as Jason. However, he tells everyone else a different story of why he went to the station. The next morning at the breakfast table, he tells Polly that he looked their son's killer" in the eye, and now they can finally have some peace.

In the late hours of the night, a thunderous knocking can be heard all throughout Thornhill. To Clifford's surprise, it's the Coopers coming to take Polly home. However, before leaving, Alice exposes them of the incest that they had been hiding from Polly: Clifford's grandfather wasn't just the killer of Hal's grandfather, they were also brothers, thus making Polly and Jason relatives, third cousins to be exact, which the Blossoms don't have a problem with. However, the Coopers do, so they storm out the house with Polly in tow.

Clifford shooting Jason

The following night, as he and Penelope eat dinner, Cheryl enters the dining room and says You did a bad thing, Daddy. And now everyone knows. She has proof that he killed Jason, as there was surveillance video from the night he took Nana Rose's heirloom ring from Jason's pocket and shot him in the head. However, Clifford did not work alone, as FP and Joaquin DeSantos cleaned up the crime scene and dumped Jason's body in Sweetwater River after the police had already searched the place.

Unfortunately for Clifford, the video had made its way into the hands of Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy, so it wouldn't be long before the police come looking for him. After being confronted by Cheryl in the dining room, Clifford chooses to hang himself in the Blossom family barn before the police can get to him.[10]

Season 2

Following a gunshot wound Fred Andrews sustained during a supposed robbery at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, Fred begins to dream as he goes in and out of consciousness, during which time Clifford appears. He sits in the crowd alongside Jason as Archie and Veronica get married.[11]

Season 3

Editor's Note: The events that transpire in Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Midnight Club take place during a flashback set in the 90's of Alice, FP, Fred, Sierra, Hermione, Penelope, Marty, Daryl, Hiram, and Tom in their junior year of high school.

Clifford is approached by Penelope, who relinquishes any reluctance she may have had and agrees to be Clifford’s life partner, telling him that she wants to live in Thornhill forever because the world outside is too dangerous.[12]

Season 4

Clifford in Archie's dream

Clifford appears in Archie's dream. She sits at the table alongside Jason, Cheryl, Penelope, and many others in the dining room. Archie asks where his father is, to which Arti replies that Archie was supposed to go get him.[13]

At Thistlehouse, Cheryl awakens to find her mother, father, brother, and her Nana Rose standing at the end of her bed. Penelope has Julian in hand, explaining that they’ve come to give Julian Cheryl’s body.[14]

Physical Appearance

Clifford was a middle-aged man of average build, with pale skin, blue eyes and red hair. These are traits found in several members of the Blossom family. With Clifford being the wealthy man that he was, his wardrobe unquestionably reflected this, often wearing well-tailored suits. Originally, he was thought to have red hair, similar to every other member of the Blossom family, which was true once upon a time, however, it was revealed that Clifford actually had prematurely grey hair. He wore a variety of red wigs to conceal that fact.

Personality

Clifford could be a very generous man when he wanted to be, but he never did anything out of the goodness of his heart. Clifford's generosity was limited and conditional. For instance, after putting in a good word for Archie Andrews at a prestigious music academy, which Clifford was more than happy to do, he in return asked Archie if he could escort Cheryl to the Blossom Banquet, as it would have looked good for their family in front of the Board of Trustees. He was also a cold-hearted and cruel man, often treating his family poorly. He cared more about appearances towards the Board of Trustees than Cheryl's feelings or desires. Even further proof of his cruelty was demonstrated when he killed his own son, Jason, in cold blood, without hesitation, due to Jason's disinterest in his drug front.

Relationships

Penelope Blossom

Penelope and Clifford

The relationship between Clifford and his wife, Penelope, was easily defined as an unhappy marriage, although they were often seen together. After Jason's death, their relationship became even more strained, but they continued to stand by each other, more so during the investigation, even working together to compile their own list of suspects. After it was revealed that Clifford was actually the one responsible for the death of their son and that he had merely framed FP, Penelope finally snapped and murdered Clifford with pufferfish venom, staging it as a suicide.

Cheryl Blossom

Cheryl and Clifford

The father-daughter relationship between Clifford and Cheryl was quite strained and distant following Jason's death, especially when he and Penelope discovered that Cheryl helped Jason runaway on a boat out to Greendale. While their relationship prior to Jason's death is mostly unknown, Cheryl had often referred to her brother as the golden boy, suggesting that their parents at the very least, treated Jason better than they did her. Clifford looked at Cheryl as nothing more than a train wreck, which he told Archie Andrews during one of their conversations at the Blossom Banquet. Coming as no surprise, their relationship worsened after she found out that Clifford was Jason's killer.

Jason Blossom

Clifford and Jason moments

The father-son relationship between Clifford and Jason is difficult to describe given the events that transpired between the two of them. While little is known of their relationship prior, it is presumed to have been filled with hate and disdain despite the fact that according to Cheryl, Jason was the golden-boy who could do no wrong. Clifford groomed Jason to take over the family maple business. However, Jason didn't share this desire, which led to Jason's demise at Clifford hands. Once Jason learned of Clifford's illegal transportation of heroin to Montreal on the maple trucks, he attempted to run away and start his life over with his then pregnant fiancé, Polly Cooper. Unfortunately for Jason, Clifford learned of his plan to run away and killed him.

Appearances

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

See Also

Gallery

See also: Category:Images of Clifford Blossom

References

  1. Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto (writer) & Krieger, Lee Toland (director) (January 26, 2017). "Chapter One: The River's Edge". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 1. The CW.
  2. Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto (writer) & Krieger, Lee Toland (director) (February 2, 2017). "Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 2. The CW.
  3. Lawrence, Yolonda E. (writer) & Krieger, Lee Toland (director) (February 9, 2017). "Chapter Three: Body Double". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 3. The CW.
  4. Grassi, Michael (writer) & Piznarski, Mark (director) (February 16, 2017). "Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 4. The CW.
  5. Maxwell, Ross (writer) & Warn, Jesse (director) (February 23, 2017). "Chapter Five: Heart of Darkness". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 5. The CW.
  6. Allen, Aaron (writer) & Anders, Allison (director) (March 9, 2017). "Chapter Seven: In a Lonely Place". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 7. The CW.
  7. Cohen, Julia (writer) & Katzenberg, David (director) (March 30, 2017). "Chapter Eight: The Outsiders". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 8. The CW.
  8. DeWille, James (writer) & Rose, Lee (director) (April 6, 2017). "Chapter Nine: La Grande Illusion". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 9. The CW.
  9. Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert (writer) & Sullivan, Kevin (director) (April 27, 2017). "Chapter Eleven: To Riverdale and Back Again". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 11. The CW.
  10. Grassi, Michael (writer) & Seidenglanz, Rob (director) (May 4, 2017). "Chapter Twelve: Anatomy of a Murder". Riverdale. Season 1. Episode 12. The CW.
  11. Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert (writer) & Seidenglanz, Rob (director) (October 11, 2017). "Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying". Riverdale. Season 2. Episode 1. The CW.
  12. Williams, Tessa Leigh (writer) & Wilkinson, Dawn (director) (October 31, 2018). "Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Midnight Club". Riverdale. Season 3. Episode 4. The CW.
  13. Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert (writer) & Correa, Gabriel (director) (October 9, 2019). "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam". Riverdale. Season 4. Episode 1. The CW.
  14. DeWille, James (writer) & Correa, Gabriel (director) (November 13, 2019). "Chapter Sixty-Three: Hereditary". Riverdale. Season 4. Episode 6. The CW.
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