Riverdale begins and ends its season finale with a cliff hanger. Yes, Jughead went there. He acknowledges that we’re in the Agatha Christie novel that we’ve been in all along, with a complicated drug and murder conspiracy that ultimately touched the whole town. Jughead and Alice narrate the series of events that lead to multiple deaths, then the episode follows the continuing fall out of those deaths.
The facts as they are currently accepted: The maple syrup was a front for a heroin transport business. Jason found out about the drugs and threatened to expose Cliff. Mustang kidnapped Jason on Cliff’s orders, then Cliff murdered Jason. Cliff killed Mustang so that he couldn’t talk, and left the bag of money implicating Hiram. Clifford then coerced FP Jones into confessing to the murder by threatening to kill Jughead, even though all FP had done was clean up the aftermath and dispose of the body.
The sheriff really is clueless, having had no idea about the drugs, or any of it. I’d thought he was on the Blossom payroll, or possibly a Blossom himself, since his prematurely gray hair matched Clifford’s, but he seems to just go through life turning a blind eye to things he doesn’t want to see, which is almost anything that would implicate a wealthy, influential member of the community. The only way the murder was solved was because the kids wouldn’t let it go.
The mayor has the same philosophy as the sheriff, obviously. They decide a crackdown on the local drug trade is in order. Since the Riverdale police force clearly doesn’t have a single investigator that knows what they’re doing, the sheriff turns to FP. The Serpents are the obvious target for the police, being their usual suspects. If FP names some names, he’ll get a reduced sentence, the mayor and the sheriff get to claim they’ve taken action, and everyone is happy. Except the people who are wrongly imprisoned, and FP, when the Serpents retaliate, but who cares about some lowlife Serpents when there’s fake justice to be had, right?