Reposted from: Riverdale Season 3 Episode 4: The Midnight Club Review
If you would like to read my review of last episode of Riverdale, click here.
Synopsis: When Betty confronts Alice about Gryphons and Gargoyles, Alice has no choice but to come clean about how she, along with a young Fred, FP, Hermoine, Hiram, Sierra, Penelope and Tom played the game in the early ’90s—and how a shocking mystery has been plaguing them all ever since. (TVGuide)
Writer: Tessa Leigh Williams
Director: Dawn Wilkinson
Running Time: 45 mins
Airs: Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW (United States)
“The Midnight Club” starts off with showing how Gryphons and Gargoyles has spread amongst the Riverdale teens and how the parents are trying to stop them. They even go as far as having Mayor Lodge banning the game and setting up a crisis hotline for teens who have been playing. When Betty gets home, she receives news from the coroner about a similar case from Riverdale high when her mom and the rest of the parents were their age so Alice decides to come clean: in flashback fashion!
Each of the actors gets to play a younger version of their parents from the clean-cut football star F.P. to the Serpent Alice, each of them got to explore uncharted waters and it was a lot of fun. And what better way to do that than a homage to one of the classics of the genre The Breakfast Club! (Complete with Principal Featherhead played by Anthony Michael Hall.) As the parents find themselves in trouble with the school, they are all sent to Saturday detention where they bond over their newest obsession: Gryphons and Gargoyles. It is also weird to see all of the parents and their high school flings from Sierra and Tom Keller to Alice and Fred to Hermione and F.P. it seems everyone got with each other back in the day.
Their immersion into the role-playing game goes as far as donning costumes for their characters and taking Fizzle Rocks with Hiram Lodge. Their ascension night was a memorable one as they play “Dream Warriors” from the A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 soundtrack and their true monstrous insides revealed themselves, except for Alice who refused to partake while secretly pregnant. Unfortunately for her, she has a vision of the Gargoyle King and chalices that tell her to flip for your fate.
The next morning, Alice cannot find any of her friends or Principal Featherhead, but learns through Hermione that Fred’s dad died during their party. They later learn that Principal Featherhead was found dead in the school, blue-lipped and poisoned. The parents vow to rid themselves and the town of Gryphons and Gargoyles while going their separate ways and becoming the people we know them to be. Fred gives up music, Hermione chooses Hiram over her family, Sierra and Tom split up, F.P. joins the Serpents and Alice takes on a new persona and asks Hal out to Pop’s.
Now that she’s all caught up, Betty knows the terrible fate that befalls those who dive deeper into the world of Gryphons and Gargoyles. She reassures her mom that she will stay away from the game to protect her. Betty breaks into the trophy cabinet at school and finds the chalices from Alice’s story that bear Gargoyles and weird inscriptions. She decides to bring this finding and her mom’s story to Jughead. The problem is that Jughead is obsessed, as the episode ends with him playing it in Dilton’s bunker with Toni, Cheryl and Sweet Pea.
- Will Archie escape with Joaquin and Baby Teeth?
- Who will save Jughead from Gryphons and Gargoyles?
- Will Josie and Sweet Pea’s summer fling become a full fledged romance?
- Will Joaquin’s escape cause Kevin’s love life to become complicated?
- How will Veronica get back at her dad for his ‘punishment?’
- Will Moose and Kevin continue their romance?
- Will old flings cause some problems for the parents of Riverdale?
- What is the Gargoyle King and what does it want?
Overall, this was a phenomenal episode. The actors did a great job playing their parental counterparts while paying homage to many classic teen dramas of the 80s and 90s. It made for one of the best episodes of Riverdale that not only advanced plot, but played into the campy tone and atmosphere that this show thrives on. Many may see it as fanfare and feeding into the fans’ desires like last year’s musical episode, but those types of episodes fit this show perfectly and prove that Riverdale can take a week off from its melodramatic story to focus on its fun world, source material and stylistic influences
What did you think of “The Midnight Club”? Let me know in the comments below!