Riverdale: Anatomy of a Murder   Books Included 
May 4, 2017 7:34 PM - Season 1, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Shocked to learn of the arrest, Archie and Veronica realize they need to tell their parents about what they uncovered; Jughead reluctantly joins his friends in a quest for truth; Cheryl confronts her mother.
posted by litera scripta manet (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Um, so that was quite the episode.

It's funny, because different episodes of Riverdale feel like they come from totally different genres. There are the really campy, over the top episodes, and then there are the more straightforward teen coming of age show episodes. This episode felt dark and gritty in a way that most other episodes didn't. But hey, it did include someone OD-ing (or do we think he was murderered and it was set up to look like OD?), and a video of Cliffard Blossom shooting his own son.

Things I enjoyed:

- I loved the Blossom's "so what?" reaction to the whole incest thing. Particularly the line about the Cooper's and their "middle class" values. (Also, hey, we were right about the incest thing.)
- Cheryl. She was so great and so dark and also I was really afraid her parents were going to try to drown her in a vat of maple syrup.
- Archie continues to be not quite as annoying.
- Even though it was dark, just the whole Thorn hill aestethic is so great.

There were probably other things, but this wasn't an episode with a lot of witty one liners.

Also, so are we assuming that Penelope Blossom didn't know her husband killed their son? It was something I wondered about, because she definitely seemed really devastated about Jason's death, and also genuine in her emotions when she found out about FP being arrested in the previous episode.

I hope in the next episode we get to see Polly's reaction to all of this. Oh, and that was another thing I enjoyed: When they showed her the newspaper headline about FP, and she almost blurted out that she thought it was the Blossoms.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:44 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


Also, I don't know why Hal Cooper didn't at least tell Alice about the incest thing. After all, she was so pissed at him for wanting Polly to get the abortion. Why not reveal it then?
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:44 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


Seriously, third cousins isn't even incest. That being said, I wish there were a way to post anonymously to Fanfare.
posted by Literaryhero at 12:15 AM on May 5, 2017 [10 favorites]


Seriously, third cousins isn't even incest. That being said, I wish there were a way to post anonymously to Fanfare.

There sort of is. You can either ask the mods to post a comment on your behalf, or you can create a sock puppet to use for that specific comment.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:29 AM on May 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Oh, another thing: How awesome was Betty in this episode? I always love "Nancy Drew" Betty, but I think my favorite moment was how, after they watched the murder video, she immediately thought to warn Cheryl, while everyone else was busy being horrified (understandably). I'm also glad they called the police, as opposed to rushing over there themselves (which is totally a thing that would have happened on other shows).

Also, this episode in particular has a very Veronica Mars feel. Between the incest and the video reveal.

Oh, and how heartbreaking was it when Jughead gets the bus ticket to Toledo, and calls his mom, and she tells him not to come? (I also like the way we don't hear her side of the conversation, just Jughead's reaction to it. And I mean, how shitty is that? Hasn't she heard about FP being put in jail? Even if not, it's still so sad for Jughead.

Of course, it looks like FP will probably be in jail for awhile anyway, since as Keller said, he's not exactly innocent. I wonder if Fred would be willing to make his custody of Jughead a little more legal? For all his faults, Fred is a good dad, and it would be nice to see Jughead get someone who can look after him. I mean, clearly FP is trying in his own way, but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

I also think it's interesting how it seems like some part of Cheryl knew her parents were involved, even if she didn't want to admit it to herself. That ring clearly raised some suspicions, but it also seems like she had her own suspicions about FP's confession being less than truthful. And of course, she could have gone into denial, but the minute Betty called to give her that warning, Cheryl knew exactly what that meant.

I wonder what they'll do in the final episode to wrap things up. Or maybe, it will be less about wrapping things up and more about opening up new storylines for next season. I hope they can find a way to hold on to Riverdale's campy, melodramatic, fast paced style without completely running the show into the ground.

Although the show has had some rough moments (Grundy plot in particular), for the most part, I've enjoyed it. They have so many great characters (Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Alice Cooper being a few particular stand outs for me), and I love the overall tone of the series, so I hope they find a way to make next season work now that Jason's murder has been more or less solved.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:05 AM on May 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


Could someone explain the bit with Cheryl's mom in the barn? Is the point that she doesn't know that Mr. Blossom killed Jason and was dealing drugs? I found that part odd, especially because we hadn't had the murder reveal yet.

Also, do you think Mr. Blossom committed suicide or do you think Mrs. Blossom killed him for killing Jason? Finding him hanging with the drugs in sight was very convenient, plus if she's in jail maybe Cheryl can inherit the Blossom fortune immediately! All hail the maple syrup queen!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:24 AM on May 5, 2017


Seriously, third cousins isn't even incest. That being said, I wish there were a way to post anonymously to Fanfare.

First, I think it's a little late to try and post anonymously here ;)

Second, this reminded me of 30 Rock
Liz: Oh my god, we're related. oh, no. oh, god. This is the worst!
The Hair: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were fifth cousins.
Liz: OK, on the count of three, say what level of cousins we'd have to be for this to be OK. One, two, three.
The Hair: Fifth!
Liz: Unacceptable no matter what.

Oh, and how heartbreaking was it when Jughead gets the bus ticket to Toledo, and calls his mom, and she tells him not to come?

Jughead broke my heart again and again in this episode - seriously, he gets best actor award for this episode, if not the whole show.


Could someone explain the bit with Cheryl's mom in the barn? Is the point that she doesn't know that Mr. Blossom killed Jason and was dealing drugs? I found that part odd, especially because we hadn't had the murder reveal yet.

Here's her quote, from a transcript for this episode:
You think your father killed your brother? You think I did? You think we murdered him and threw him in the river, because Jason knew some deep, dark, horrible secret about our business? You want answers, Cheryl? Are you ready? There it is! There's the sticky, dark, dirty truth. Maple syrup! Drown in it, why don't you?
Maple syrup can be dark, and is definitely sticky, but dirty? Hmm... Seems she knew something else was going on.

(And I have to admit, I really wished they said Jason didn't have the head for the family business, instead of stomach, but I like bad puns in bad taste.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:29 AM on May 5, 2017


Other random thoughts:
  • Sheriff: did you also do this thing? FP: Yes, also that. (you're bad at your job, Sheriff)
  • FP got scruffy quickly - remember when he was clean-shaven?
  • In the police station, there was a poster that reminded us that Guns End Lives
  • And now we have proof of genetic sexual attraction, as mentioned by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED in the last episode discussion.
  • "Nothing could be more purely Blossom than those babies." WUT? "Will you just spare us the middle-class morality. It's not like they were brother and sister." (Oooh, lofty Blossoms, who can say "middle-class morality" with such scorn)
  • Decent retort: "Enough of this Doctor Moreau experimentation in breeding and eugenics." (Minus points for considering incest akin to Dr. Moreau's experiments, but that's Alice Cooper small-town news reporter hyperbole, so it's in character)
  • "Joaquin, do you know something? I'm not talking to you as your boyfriend, I'm talking to you as the sheriff's son." Oh, Kevin, why do you think that you'd make him talk with that line?
  • Look, it's the Teen Detective Squad, plus mom!
  • ... but when TDS found significant evidence, they removed it from its original location, then they all handled it, removing any chance to pull reliable trace evidence (even if they did find the USB drive with the video)
  • Speaking of the video, everyone was shocked and appalled, except Archie. Look at him, and he just looks intrigued.
  • Before the audience got to see the video, I was really hoping Cheryl's parents were ghosts or something ridiculous. Then I could say "g-g-g-g-ghost parents?"
Parting thought: this felt like a really good place to end this season, so I'm expecting significant cliff-hangers in the next episode.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:46 AM on May 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


You think your father killed your brother? You think I did? You think we murdered him and threw him in the river, because Jason knew some deep, dark, horrible secret about our business? You want answers, Cheryl? Are you ready? There it is! There's the sticky, dark, dirty truth. Maple syrup! Drown in it, why don't you?

Maple syrup can be dark, and is definitely sticky, but dirty? Hmm... Seems she knew something else was going on.


I read that as sarcasm, like, "You want to believe there's some dark, dirty, real truth? The truth is that we are a legitimate, if melodramatic, family of maple syrup barons. If you're desperate to believe more there's than that, you can go to hell" except then it turns out there actually was a dark, secret truth and Jason's father actually did kill him for knowing it which makes this speech seem like an odd choice for the show. That's what I didn't understand.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:27 AM on May 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


I actually sort of agree that this third cousins thing (or whatever their relation is) isn't the worst when it comes to incest, especially since Jason and Polly didn't know about it. Of course, Penelope's "what could be more Blossom than this baby?" was a bit weird. Like, it's one thing to tolerate third cousin incest, but it's another thing to celebrate it. And honestly, the Coopers really shouldn't have been at all surprised at how the Blossoms responded.

except then it turns out there actually was a dark, secret truth and Jason's father actually did kill him for knowing it which makes this speech seem like an odd choice for the show.

I see two potential readings to this part: Either Penelope had know idea what was going on, in which case this was exactly as you said, her getting pissed at Cheryl for believing there was this big dark secret when there isn't. (Possibly some of the anger is because she knows that's what everyone else believes so she's mad that Cheryl bought into that too.)

OR

I still am inclined to think that Penelope didn't know that her husband killed Jason (or maybe some part of her subconsciously suspected, like with Cheryl, but she didn't want to believe), but maybe she did know there was some dark secret (aka the drugs), so maybe this was sort of a coded message, throwing Cheryl into the barn like that, because they did have the deep, dark secret.

This second reading also ties in to the theory that Penelope and Cheryl killed Clifford and made it look like suicide, as Mrs. Pterodactyl mentions above. The biggest evidence for this is the drugs being strewn around so obviously. Of course, maybe once they knew that Clifford killed Jason, they quickly deduced that there might be something else in those barrels, but it's also possible that Penelope knew about the drugs, which is why she staged Clifford's suicide like that.

Oh, and wow, Clifford is such a terrible person. It would have been bad enough if he had paid the Serpents to kill his son, but that he actually did it himself is extra cold blooded.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:50 AM on May 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


So it turns out it wasn't him, but I have to say that deciding that your dad didn't kill Jason because it turns out he was the one stole the Sheriff's notes is not strong reasoning.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:24 PM on May 5, 2017 [6 favorites]


There is no way that Penelope and Cheryl didn't kill him. I imagine that is the direction that the Blossom family story will go now, that even though the men were nominally in charge, it was the women of the family that actually took charge when times got rough.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:28 PM on May 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the mystery of the last episode is more Blossoms killing Blossoms? Because that sure does explain Cooper crazy too.

Other mysteries:
Who the shit filmed that, put it on a flash drive, and stuck it in the coat of the dead boy's pocket? Also, why put it in the dead boy's pocket?
I read one recap where someone said the sticky maple syrup scene was supposed to be hinting that Dad Blossom is also dealing drugs, which makes Jason's approach of FP even more ironic/moronic.

Delights of this episode: facial expressions, slight incest enjoyment (?), poor Jughead and his shitty mom.

Am a bit disappointed that Kevin's dad never found out who he was dating. That would have been some fun explosions.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:57 PM on May 5, 2017


I read one recap where someone said the sticky maple syrup scene was supposed to be hinting that Dad Blossom is also dealing drugs, which makes Jason's approach of FP even more ironic/moronic.

I'm actually wondering if that wasn't a "cover story" of sorts. Because of Clifford Blossom is dealing drugs, maybe Jason was asked to deal drugs, and then he decided he didn't want to be a part of that after all, hence the big argument.

Who the shit filmed that, put it on a flash drive, and stuck it in the coat of the dead boy's pocket? Also, why put it in the dead boy's pocket?

It seemed like security cam footage to me. (Didn't this all go down in the basement of that serpent bar?) Since FP referred to it as "insurance," my assumption is that he wanted to have the video on hand in case he got blamed for the murder. But then, when Clifford threatened Jughead, he called the plan off.

I'm not sure why he decided to stash it in the jacket, though.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:00 PM on May 6, 2017 [1 favorite]


« Older Into the Badlands: Chapter XII...   |  Sense8: Who Am I?... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments