WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Riverdale‘s season finale.
The makers of Riverdale promised finale bombshells, and didn’t fail to deliver. Aside from added scandal, the finale concluded with a new victim: Fred Andrews. That’s right, just as the sun seemed ready to shine on the town of Riverdale once more – after Cliff Blossom was revealed to have killed Jason – things took their darkest turn yet. In more ways than one, judging by the new direction for Jughead Jones, in particular.
The question of whether or not the Riverdale Season 2 needed a new murder mystery has been answered, whether or not Fred actually kicks the bucket. But with incest, murder, drug trafficking, suicide, and the darkness hidden in small town America now on the table, the question of just what mysterious forces lead to Fred Andrews’ bullet wound could be much bigger than who was behind the trigger.
Betty’s Secret Brother
It was only a matter of time until the real reason for the animosity between Betty’s parents was thrust into the open, and even if Betty did the urging, Alice gets some points for opening up herself. Remember when she revealed that she and Hal had argued over the outcome of their high school pregnancy? The implication had been that Hal wished for the baby to be aborted, but that may have only been his first priority in Polly’s case (since it was, in his eyes, too incestuous a child to fathom). With Alice, his solution was the one Polly also ended up agreeing to.
Alice was hurried away to the home for wayward girls where Betty first discovered Polly, and carried out her pregnancy under the watchful eye of the attending sisters. When the baby was born, she saw a quiet adoption spirit away her son – Betty’s secret brother. That reveal actually fades from the spotlight rather quickly in the finale, but we now know that there is a mystery Cooper/Blossom man in the world (according to Betty, approximately in his mid-20s). So let the speculation begin over every single casting in Season 2!
Jughead Joins The Serpents
Nothing stays good in Riverdale for too long, as evidenced by just how quickly Jughead’s outlook on life went from terrible, to life-threatening, to actually pretty promising, and suddenly less sure than ever. Being fostered by a family on the South Side meant he would be geographically closer to his father’s gang, and thrust into a new school that made his old one seem like a country club. It’s not all as bad as his friends believe, though, as Jughead meets with his father to tell him that the foster family is actually a kind one. And that things will get better.
Things getting better relies heavily on Betty in particular, as the two grow closer and more optimistic than at almost any point previous. Enter the cold twist of fate, as the South Side Serpents arrive at Jughead’s father’s trailer to let him know FP’s silence and loyalty to his gang brothers has extended their protection to Jughead. Not just protection, either: he’s invited to join the Serpents with a jacket of his own. Instead of considering the cost, Jughead sees a community all his own open its arms… and he takes it. No coincidence that he does so seeming to forget that Betty stands just feet away offering love (in more than one way) – and without his signature hat.
Dark days ahead for Juggie and Betty (Bett-head? Bughead?), it seems. Although that’s nothing too new for them.
Fred Andrews Gets Shot
That’s right, the ONE person making clear effort to stay out of the drama, intrigue, and deception of Riverdale wound up on the business end of it all – and the barrel of an armed robbery gone wrong. Well, not actually gone wrong, as Jughead’s narration reveals that the stick-up and subsequent gunshot were no coincidence or random chance at all. Despite his efforts to save his company, pay his employees, and keep his son from pursuing the wrong path through life, Fred Andrews made himself an enemy of someone willing to have him killed… and you don’t need to look too far to see the prime suspect.
Fred’s love affair with Hermione Lodge was clearly drawing the anger of her imprisoned husband, Hiram. So if he’s already made sure to spread payments and bribes around with some shady characters, is it so hard to believe that he would pay one to put a bullet in Fred? Even if it wasn’t intended to kill him, it sure sends a message to the man keeping his wife warm at night. But then, that’s the most obvious explanation… which may actually make it the least likely.
Could it be the result of Fred’s past with FP Jones? Could it be intended to send a message to Archie and his friends, instead? Put together a list of suspects, amateur investigators, because we’ve got the whole summer to come up with our theories.