Riverdale Recap | Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Midnight Club

Riverdale is back with another parody episode, this time taking on the 1985 classic Breakfast Club, but before we get to that, may I remind you:

  • Alice is the OG Gryphons and Gargoyles player. 
  • The coroner (see:  the one with the crazy wide eyes) vaguely remembers his dad talking about a case similar to the Ben/Dilton murder/suicides.
  • Everyone now somehow has a copy of the G&G manual. 
And now, a recap of Chapter Thirty-Nine. 

Everyone who is anyone in Riverdale is playing Gryphons and Gargoyles to "escape reality." Personally I would have popped over to Greendale to see what was going on at Baxter High, but that's me. G&G is literally the choking game, but instead of cutting off your oxygen until you lose consciousness, you're playing Russian Roulette with some poisoned Fresh-Aid. 

In an effort to put an end to these tragic student deaths, Mayor Lodge addresses a single high school class, warning them about the dangers of the game and begging them not to participate in these fantasies any longer. 

Later, V and B chat privately in the Blue & Gold office, attempting to figure out who is playing the game. When confronted, Veronica informs Betty that "You don't make Fibes 20 Under 20 prancing around in a deer carcass." Translation - Fibes doesn't feature nerds. During their conversation, Betty gets a call from Dr. Curdle Jr., who has finally gone through the morgue's archives and uncovered the case file from all those years ago with a death that had way too much in common with Ben's. 

Betty, enraged, interrupts Alice's daily affirmations with the archived file (honestly, rude). In an attempt to get to the bottom of this, Betty digs for information on the suspicious death, "per [Alice's] farm testimony." 

Image result for per my last email meme


Alice agrees to dish and so beings our trip back to 1980-something when she was an edgier version of herself, sporting a leather biker jacket and awaiting the results of a pregnancy test in the high school bathroom. Naturally, the test comes back positive, which means she's growing little baby Chic. A young Hermione Gomez tries to comfort her when lo and behold, teacher's pet Penelope Blossom enters to spew some kind of slanderous statement about what a whore Alice is. Soon enough, a full out brawl ensues. 

Cut to a locker room full of strapping Riverdale lads. A cast-clad FP Jones is coerced to streak, backed by pal Fred Andrews of course. The two strip down and run, which makes me giggle so uncontrollably, I have to pause the show. Like just picture KJ and Cole gearing up to film this. PICTURE IT. Okay, I'm done.  

Back at the Cooper house, Alice drones on about her careless youth, recanting tales of her young lust with Forsythe Pendleton (!!!) and the inevitable series of detentions that would reignite the Gryphons and Gargoyles fad in Riverdale. 

Detention called for a 1,000 word essay to be written (which like, isn't hard). To completely avoid this task, Alice and her comrades play a round of Secrets and Sins, where we learn: 
  • Sierra has been dating Keller in secret because their parents wouldn't approve of their interracial relations. 
  • Hermione has been doing the same with young criminal Hiram. 
  • Fred wants to live in Riverdale forever so that he can take care of his sick father. 
  • Alice exposes FP, who actually lives on the Southside in a trailer. 
  • Penelope was raised at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, but handpicked by the Blossoms and groomed to be the perfect little red-headed sister wife for Clifford, which she kind of hates. 
Like any good Breakfast Club, the group starts to realize that they aren't so different after all. The walls start to break down, friendships are formed, and Hermione's breaking into Mrs. Crabuckel's desk to look for her Game Lad (have I mentioned I can't with this show?). The drawer is full of a slew of random and forgotten items the teacher has collected over the years, a copy of the Gryphons and Gargoyles playbook included. 

It isn't long before everyone has an avatar that aligns with their future selves and the gang take the game off board and start a full-on LARPing session in the halls of Riverdale High. The game is an escape from reality for these tormented youths - a game this gang, aptly named the Midnight Club, start sneaking into school at night to play. 

During one of their weeknight escapades, the Midnight Club run into another group of students, who conveniently found a copy of the rule book in the restricted section of the library and have also started sneaking into school to play. Why do libraries have restricted sections?! 


Now that G&G has evolved into a massive role play involving the entire school, it only makes sense that strange invitations appear in everyone's lockers, beckoning them to the detention room for Ascension Night. Snacks and drinks are provided but thank God for Hiram Lodge, who remembers to bring the Fizzle Rocks (I guess Jingle Jangle wasn't a thing yet). 

Sober because of her pregnancy, Alice watches as everyone spirals and ultimately ends up sick in the bathroom. Woozy, she leaves the bathroom stall and notices "Flip for your fate" scrawled across the bathroom mirrors and walls, two chalices filled with blue liquid set on the bathroom sink. Freaked out, she stumbles into the hallway, her classmates swerving by her when she notices the huge figure that is the Gargoyle King down a hallway. Before she can do anything, Principal Featherhead shows up and the students scatter. 

In the days to come, Principal Featherhead is announced missing and the Midnight Gang seems to have disbanded. Hermione finally appears at school, only to inform Alice that of Fred's unwavering guilt - his dad died the night of the disappearance. Writhe with her own guilt, Alice confronts the group about confessing to being at the school that night. Accusations fly but the group ultimately agrees to keep their mouths shut. 

Days go by and students swat at flies as they move through the halls, ignoring the fact that their dead principal has been stuffed into the ole' closet-under-the-stairs until a janitor opens it and out falls Featherhead, blue lips and all. 

Alice calls an emergency Midnight Club meeting, sharing that she saw the chalices with the blue liquid and the Gargoyle King. Since she was the only one to see either, the rest of the group is convinced she's the Gargoyle King. Instead of digging deeper (like their offspring would do), the Midnight Club agree to destroy the game, scattering various elements throughout the town of Riverdale and agreeing that they'll take G&G to the grave. 

After the horrors the game brought about, the group decides it's best if they don't speak anymore. 
  • Fred goes to work for the family business. 
  • Hermione officially starts dating Hiram. 
  • Keller leaves for the military. 
  • Penelope hates the real world and agrees to hide away at Thornhill forever. 
  • FP joins the serpents. 
  • Alice dons her brightest pink sweater and asks Hal Cooper out on a date. 
Flash forward to the present, where a grown Alice warns Betty of the dangers of G&G. "The more you talk about it, the more you think about it, the more at risk you are." 

In true Betty Cooper fashion, she hunts down the pieces of the game (since her mom gave her specifics as to where they were). Hidden in plain sight, she takes the chalices that held the blue liquid that killed Principal Featherhead and heads to the bunker to show Jughead. She finds her friends playing a round of Gryphons and Gargoyles, a wide-eyed Jughead eager to get to the next level so that he gets to "ascend." 

End scene. 

Overall, I'm not sure how I feel about this mythical creature roaming the halls and later woods of Riverdale - it feels a little too Scooby-Doo for me like they'll pull off the mask and reveal Dylan Sprouse or something - but I'll obviously be tuned in to enjoy more similarities. 


Until next week, Bulldogs.