Riverdale may be based on the world of Archie Comics, but if we're being honest here, Archie (K.J. Apa) is the least important member of the "sad Breakfast Club." Think about it: while Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) were busy sleuthing for the truth about Polly (Tiera Skovbye) and Jason's (Trevor Stines) engagement, Archie was freaking out over a talent show. Not exactly the highest of stakes here, especially since Jason's murderer is still at large. Now, a new theory suggests that Archie's lack of involvement in the show's murder mystery might be a way to lead fans off the trail. What if it was Archie who was supposed to be killed?
Redditor BeauHawkins proposed this theory, and it makes too much sense. As BeauHawkins states in their post, the show never stops reminding us of the surface similarities between Jason and Archie. They both play football (Archie originally gets Jason's jersey number!), have red hair, and were tutored by Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel). During the pep rally, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) even thinks Archie is Jason. That can't be a coincidence, and BeauHawkins has a reason why the show would set up the parallel without giving us immediate answers. They write:
"Why would Jason be tortured only to be killed and dumped in the river? I guess someone might have been trying to make him suffer, but then why decide to shoot him in the head? It seems more likely that they were trying to get information out of him. Maybe the reason they couldn’t was because they got the wrong kid. When they finally realized it, they decided they had to kill Jason to keep him quiet. The show seems to be deliberately keeping Archie (the main character) at an arm’s distance from the central mystery, which I think is intentional beyond as a means for allowing Bughead to get their sleuth on. I’m not sure why anyone would want to kill Archie, but I think we will come to learn that either his father’s business, his absentee mother, his affair with Ms. Grundy or some yet-to-be-revealed detail put Archie in a position to know something or have access to information without realizing its importance."
Hmm. Could Archie be the one that was really supposed to be murdered that July Fourth? Perhaps all of this business with the Cooper and Blossom rivalry has little to do with the reason why Jason was killed and, at the end of the season, will turn out to be nothing more than a red herring.
Another reason why this theory holds up? It might give Ms. Grundy more to do. Right now Grundy is as good as gone, but perhaps her tryst with Archie was hardly the one-off plot point we assumed it to be. Maybe her abusive ex-husband is the one who wanted Archie dead — and instead offed poor Jason instead.
It's a crazy theory, but as Jughead might say, this is Riverdale — a town that can't contain its twisted secrets forever.