‘Riverdale’: Could Claudius Really Be SPOILER?

Last week on Riverdale, Cheryl Blossom was stunned to discover that her late father had a twin brother, Claudius. However, Uncle Claudius might not be who he claims to be.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of Riverdale, "Chapter Twenty-Nine: Primary Colors", below.

Last week's episode introduced Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) as well as Riverdale's viewers to Claudius Blossom (Barclay Hope), Clifford Blossom's long-lost twin brother. Claudius' tragic backstory was also revealed as he explained that, on his and Clifford's 14th birthday, Clifford threatened Claudius with a rifle. Clifford told Claudius -- who was then in line to inherit the Blossom business -- about the family curse where one twin kills the other. Claudius was apparently so terrified by his brother that he ran away from home immediately, not to be seen again until the day Clifford's secret will was read.

It's a startling revelation, but could it all be a ruse? Could Claudius really be Clifford Blossom?

It might be possible. Despite being gone for so long, Claudius slides right back into the family. Instead of being suspicious of him, even Cheryl's mother, Penelope (Nathalie Boltt), is scheming with him to eliminate both Nana Rose and Cheryl so they can take their inheritances. With Penelope having long been a shady figure on Riverdale, it'd be easy to dismiss the behavior as Penelope being an opportunist, but tonight's episode may hint that Claudius isn't the stranger he presents at being. During Cheryl's slumber party, the quiet of the night is interrupted when Nana Rose mysteriously falls down the stairs in her wheelchair, nearly dying. When Claudius and Penelope speak to the police, Cheryl notes that her uncle is wearing her father's pajamas.

While that unnerves Cheryl, it's worth stating how odd it seems. One would assume that Claudius arrived in Riverdale with his own clothing and wouldn't need to dress in his late brother's pajamas. But if Claudius is really Clifford, it would make sense that he would slip back into his own things. It also somewhat explains how Claudius knew about the will reading in the first place. The will was supposedly secret, and the lawyer would have had to reach out to various relatives to come to the reading. But Claudius left Riverdale without a trace years ago. It's unlikely that he maintained contact with anyone if he feared for his life, so how did the lawyer find him?

His conspiring with Penelope may also be a clue that Claudius is really Clifford. If Clifford staged his own death to avoid facing justice for his crimes, Penelope likely knew of the long-term plan and has simply been waiting for him to return, despite the fact that she started a new relationship with Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro). Penelope continuing to conspire with Clifford would match up to what Boltt told ComicBook.com in a recent interview about Penelope’s need to be queen of Riverdale.

"She needs to feel powerful, and I think season two has ... I mean starting off burnt to a crisp was a bit of a blow to the character and then having Cheryl kind of have her power over her as well," Boltt said. "Not having Thornhill (ed. note: the Blossom's mansion) anymore, I think Penelope has taken a lot of knocks, and she's trying desperately to get back, and so I would like Penelope to find some really weird twisted and unexpected way to exert her power over Riverdale again. She needs to be a queen even if she's a twisted, creepy queen."

And as for why Clifford would stage his own death? It’s not entirely out of character. The idea that teenage Clifford would have spared his brother seems a little odd, considering Clifford murdered his own child. Clifford may well have killed the real Claudius, disposed of the body in the Sweetwater River, staged his brother's running away and have used this opportunity as part of a long game to ensure that he would face no punishment for his crimes, any of them, and still maintain his control of the Blossom fortune.

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Devious? Absolutely. But in Riverdale, anything is possible.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.