RIVERDALE Review: “Chapter Twelve: Anatomy of a Murder”


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Jason’s killer is finally revealed in this week’s episode of , “Chapter Twelve: Anatomy of a Murder.” In a dizzying turn of events, the pieces of the murder puzzle more or less unceremoniously dump themselves at the gang’s feet. But not before Archie and pals jump through hoop after hoop of an elaborate cover-up scheme.

The episode is intense and enticing from the very first scene, with quite the emotional rollercoaster laid out for Jughead. That scene in the phone booth? Ooof, I’ve been there one too many times myself. Too real, Cole Sprouse, the feelings are far too real.

I was surprised, however, to find that the mystery of Jason’s murder – among other dramatic reveals – was solved in this episode. That’s a lot of answers uncovered in one episode, and, while the pace of the show was fantastic right up until the gang watched the flash drive file of the security cam video, revealing Jason’s murderer beyond a doubt in this episode was a bold choice. What does that leave for the last episode of this season? Just conclusions? Wrapping up loose ends? Or is there some deeper darker secret we aren’t privy to yet that will be discovered in our season finale? I guess we’ll all have to watch next week and just find out, but it still seems odd.


First thing’s first, Archie, Veronica, and Betty have to find Jughead after he runs off on his own when hearing the news of his father’s arrest for Jason’s murder. He gets a ticket to Toledo, but his mom and sister don’t want him to come. Archie and friends find Jughead at Pop’s for the night, as it’s the only place open 24/7 in Riverdale. They convince him not to leave town because they know his dad is innocent – Archie and Veronica tell Jughead that the gun the cops found in FP’s trailer was planted there after they searched the home, because it wasn’t there when they had turned the place upside down.

With slight hope and a renewed vigor towards getting FP out of jail, the gang goes to their parents with this information first – big mistake: they all tell the kids to stay out of it; that FP is guilty because he was found in possession of the murder weapon. Tossing that idea out the window of failure, the kids go to the Sheriff with their information, but the Sheriff tells them FP has already confessed to everything

Shocked and confused, the friends make a new plan to investigate other angles, starting with Kevin’s bad boy boyfriend, Joaquin. Joaquin confesses that he helped FP clean up the murder mess after the body was shot, but Joaquin never actually saw FP pull the trigger – he just assumed he had. Joaquin tells them about the only other serpent that knew Jason was being held for ransom. Archie and Veronica go to the motel where he’s staying to try and speak with him. Unfortunately, he won’t answer the door, so they let themselves in, only to find the man has overdosed on meth in his bathtub. A bag filled with huge dollar bills, and with Veronica’s parents’ initials (HL) on the side, is found in the dead man’s room. The sheriff discovers it after Archie and Veronica call him about the body.


With two people dead, Joaquin realizes he needs to get out of town for his own safety, but first, he tells Kevin about the fail-safe he and FP had in place should anything go wrong. FP had told him to forget about the flash drive with security footage and run, because he thought it was too dangerous at that point to try and prove his own innocence.

Using the tip off from Joaquin, the gang finds Jason’s old lettermen’s jacket, with a hole in one of the pockets. Inside this hole is the flash drive with security footage that shows Jason’s death and his murderer. Turns out it was Mr. Blossom the whole time. He killed his own son, and even kept the secret from his own wife and daughter. Betty calls Cheryl to warn her, and Cheryl does a very Cheryl thing and doesn’t run, but instead confronts her father.

Riverdale -- "Chapter Twelve: Anatomy of a Murder" -- Image Number: RVD112a_0030.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, KJ Apa as Archie Andrews and Molly Ringwald as Mary Andrews -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

Meanwhile, FP still isn’t getting out of jail anytime soon, even after the flash drive has been given to, and watched by, the sheriff and the mayor. FP’s involvement with the murder and the investigation is far too incriminating, and he won’t be getting out of jail anytime soon, even though he’s not the murderer. Oh, and sidenote: Betty’s dad reveals that the Coopers are actually Blossoms, too, they just changed their names after their Great-Gran Pappy was shot by his own Blossom brother. That makes Jason and Polly something like third cousins, which is weird, but I guess still legal? It also explains why the Blossoms and Coopers were so entirely desperate to keep the two apart.

There was a lot of things that happened in this episode. With the mystery solved, I wonder what sort of fall-out drama will be waiting for us next week. I guess we’ll all have to wait to find out.

Season 1, Episode 12 (S01E12)
Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of Riverdale here. 
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Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.

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