Veronica and Archie decide to tell their parents what they found in FP’s trailer in last week’sRiverdale,” intent on proving that Jughead’s father was framed. As everyone continues to investigate the events surrounding Jason’s death, the real killer is unveiled in “Anatomy of a Murder.”

FP confesses

At the top of the episode, Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead all know that FP was framed. FP doesn’t know that though, and he recounts all the mysterious circumstances we’ve seen play out over the last 11 episodes, confessing to the crimes of kidnapping Jason, holding him captive, throwing his body in the river, stealing files from the sheriff, setting Jason’s getaway car on fire, and of course, actually killing Jason.

Interestingly, we know at least a few of these things aren’t true right off the bat. The files that were stolen ended up in the possession of Betty’s father, and he confirms stealing them later in the episode. The gun that was found in his trailer wasn’t there when Archie and Veronica searched either. It makes you wonder just how involved FP was though, casting doubt on what we all think we know, and pushing the episode on the fast track to unravel the mysteries. It makes the mystery pull at you just a little bit more, even when we know it’s so close to being solved.

The Coopers are Blossoms

In a nice twist to play on the possible incest storyline fans thought was coming with Cheryl and Jason, it turns out the Coopers have always been Blossoms. Betty’s great grandfather, who was killed by a member of the Blossom family, was a Blossom himself, and the Cooper half of the family disowned the rest, changing their name so that they could pretend the connection never existed.

Top Videos of the Day

This means that Jason and Polly were actually distant cousins, and a little incestuous - the real reason her father didn’t want her to have Jason’s baby - though the Blossom parents don’t seem to have a problem with it. What does this mean for the future? Will Cheryl and the Cooper girls finally start to find some common ground with this revelation? It seems like every time Cheryl starts to turn to their side of the conflict, she bounces right back.

Jason’s killer was closer to home

After a lot of tense investigations and a lot of frustrating dead ends over the course of the episode, the truth is revealed about who killed Jason, and it all comes back to the Blossoms.

In a well-crafted sequence, Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, and Kevin discover a drive in the pocket of Jason’s lettermen jacket with video of the basement of the Southside Serpent’s favorite bar. Specifically, the video feed from the basement on the day Jason was killed. Though FP was holding Jason there, it wasn’t him or any of his serpents that killed the teenager, but Clifford Blossom.

We don’t get to see what happens right away, instead seeing the five react to the video without having any idea what it involves, and it’s an evocative moment of storytelling as nearly all of them are in tears, save Archie, by the time the few moments are done.

Why would Clifford kill his own son? It clearly has something to do with some shady business dealings since Cheryl’s mother walked her out to the barn, full of casks of maple syrup in tears, to tell her daughter what the Blossom men had been arguing about. We don’t have all the details just yet, but those are sure to come in the season finale before storylines are teed up for next season.

The verdict and what’s next

As has been par for the course this season, the show tends to excel when exploring the mysterious instead of the teen soap opera aspects of “Riverdale.” I look forward to seeing if it can achieve a better balance of the two.

4 out of 5 stars.

Season one of “Riverdale” comes to an end next week in “The Sweet Hereafter,” as more secrets are revealed, this time about the Blossom family business, leaving Cheryl to make a big decision. Jughead will also find himself in an interesting situation as the season closes.