Riverdale Season 7: Who killed Ethel’s parents?

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
ethel in riverdale season 7

Ethel’s parents meet an untimely end in Riverdale Season 7, but who killed them… and could it be Ethel?

Love it or hate it, Riverdale, the drama-mystery series that brought Archie Comics characters to life in variously wacky ways, has certainly made a name for itself in pop culture. We’re watching closely, and you can read our review of the first three episodes here.

In the series, we’ve had haunted dolls, super powers, time travel, and now parental murder. It’s all happening in Season 7, which happens to be the final season of the CW show.

Ethel bursts into the school dance in the Episode 2, with blood all over her and her parents dead. But what happened, and who killed them? Well, read on, and we’ll explain all. But first: Warning, major Riverdale spoilers up ahead!

Who killed Ethel’s parents in Riverdale Season 7?

Well, the first answer is the obvious one: The Milkman Killer. However, it is later revealed that said killer is an assassin hired by Clifford Blossom.

But let’s start from the beginning, aka just after the murders. Episode 3 begins with Ethel explaining why she’s covered in blood: Her parents were both stabbed to death. Not only is this shocking, but she also claimed that her milkman did it, despite the fact that this man is in his 70s. When the milkman is later cleared by the authorities, Ethel claims that it could’ve been a different milkman, or just someone dressed like one.

However, Ethel becomes a suspect herself, as she actually has drawings that she made of her putting her parents through a meat grinder. And when Jughead goes to her house to recover the drawings, he also finds a comic book hidden with a story about a murdering milkman. Quite incriminating stuff.

But Ethel is clearly a red herring, as Episode 4 involves her and Jughead getting questioned by the school and the police, where both are able to give alibi’s that prove their innocence. Jughead, with Veronica’s help, is able to prove that he was at the dance during the murder, whereas Ethel was making out with Julian Blossom in his car. Julian confirms that this alibi is true, and thus Ethel is free to go.

The murders die down for a while (no pun intended) but in Episode 8, tragedy strikes once more. Writer Mr Rayberry suddenly turns up dead, and while suicide is the cause given, it’s no coincidence that a creepy milkman was seen before his death. Thankfully, Jughead can sense this weirdness too, and is on the case to figure out what happened.

He investigates along with Ethel, which eventually leads to a big break in the case in Episode 11. The milkman is now after Ethel, but she is able to get the upper hand by the episode’s end, and murders her would be murderer.

But it’s not till eight episodes later that we finally find out why these murders took place, and who was really responsible: Clifford Blossom.

Clifford is a man known for doing anything he can to gain and keep power, so while his methods are clearly extreme, they do make sense for his character. By setting a serial killer on the town, he was able to silence those who opposed him and instil a sense of fear that he could then control.

Thankfully once all is revealed, he is taken away by the FBI, but there’s another twist for Ethel: Her murdered parents aren’t exactly her parents, as she is actually the secret daughter of Hal, Betty’s father. This would explain why Alice was mistreating her throughout the murder case.

However, despite all this misfortune befalling Ethel, she ends her arc with a sense of peace, determined to start afresh and find some happiness. Which she definitely deserves.

Riverdale is currently premiering weekly on the CW. To find out when you can watch it, click here.