Spoilers ahead for tonight's episode of Riverdale, titled "Chapter 7 - In a Lonely Place."
In the closing moments of tonight's episode of Riverdale, the camera pans away from a drunken, stumbling F.P. Jones and into his closet -- where Jason Blossom's varsity football jacket hangs on a hanger.
That, of course, is going to set the fandom on edge, the prospect that F.P. is Jason's killer -- or at the very least, the one who burned Jason's car -- seeming like the obvious conclusion to draw.
We don't agree, though, and we've got an elaborate conspiracy theory to back us up.
First off, let's say that it's entirely plausible that F.P. torched the car and took the jacket. But why would he have taken the jacket -- probably the most identifiable and potentially incriminating of all the pieces of evidence in the car?
Well, there could be a reason for that: what if F.P had reason to believe that Jason Blossom might have been his son, and that the jacket is his last opportunity to have some kind of tangible connection to the boy?
This theory makes the most sense if Clifford Blossom killed Jason -- because he was angry that Jason was going to make off with a Cooper girl and that a Cooper would eventually inherit most of his family money.
All along, the biggest argument against Clifford and Penelope Blossom -- described as "monsters," who Cheryl said would "kill me" if she disobeyed them -- as potential killers was the fact that Jason was tortured for a week before his death, and that seems like something that even the Blossoms wouldn't be able to do to their own child. What if Clifford knew, or at least had reason to believe, that Jason was in fact not his child, and the torture was because Clifford was trying to extract the location of Polly, so that he could get her and the baby out of the picture? Even if he had been willing to give over that information, Jason wouldn't have known it because on the morning of July 4, Polly had been whisked away to the Sisters of Divine Mercy at her mother's insistence.
Clifford, if he were the killer, wouldn't even have to personally have anything to do with torching the car; we've heard that Sheriff Keller "serves a higher power than God: The Blossom Family," so he could plausibly have arranged for the car to be destroyed before he got there with Betty and Jughead during last week's episode.
In fact, it's plausible enough that Keller could have tasked the Southside Serpents with getting rid of the evidence, which would account for F.P. having the jacket. If he was the one who burned the car, he could have had pangs of guilt, remorse, or affection for his child and taken the jacket. If it was someone else -- either another Serpent, or someone else entirely -- the jacket could have been placed there in order to set up F.P. for a fall.
A falling-down drunk with a record and a night job in a biker gang is a pretty easy target even if they didn't know (or suspect) that F.P. was secretly Jason's father. And if there was an inkling that might be the case, all the more reason to place it there and set him up as a potential patsy.
And, hell, it could even explain why F.P.'s life -- always kind of a mess, by the sounds of tonight's episode, but more manageable up until fairly recently -- could have started its tailspin in recent months: what if he learned of his relationship or potential relationship to Jason only after Jason was murdered, or at least after Polly was pregnant and someone felt obliged to come forward and inform him that he might be a grandfather? Learning of a son, only to have him immediately and violently taken away, could be the straw that broke the camel's back.
Of course, if F.P. Jones is in fact the father of Jason Blossom (the kind of thing that noir mysteries tend to do all the time with deceased victims), there's another huge story ramification for that: Jason and Cheryl were twins, which would make Jughead the half-brother of Cheryl Blossom. That would be a game-changer and, assuming this is all true and all or most of it wasn't revealed until the end of the season, could have massive implications moving forward for season 2.
Riverdale stars KJ Apa as Archie, Cole Sprouse as Jughead, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camilla Mendes as Veronica Lodge, and Luke Perry as Archie's father Fred Andrews, among others. The series' showrunner is Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer and the writer of Afterlife With Archie, the publisher's wildly popular zombie series.
"Chapter Seven: In a Lonely Place" episode of Riverdale will air Thursday, March 9 at 9/8c on The CW Television Network!