Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 304, "The Midnight Club"

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Riverdale Midnight Club

As dark as RIVERDALE has gotten -- and remains even in this episode -- this was a fun chapter in that we get to go back to the late 80s / early 90s and see all the Riverdale parents when they were high school students -- played by the actors who portray their children in the current-time setting of the series.

When Alice Cooper (MADCHEN AMICK) realizes Betty (LILI REINHART) isn't going to drop her investigation into the deadly game Griffins & Gargoyles, she sits her down and reveals to her a dark chapter from her past, back when she was Alice Smith, a southside teen who had just discovered she was pregnant. When she get into a catfight with uptight Penelope Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH), involving Sierra Samuels (ASHLEIGH MURRAY) and Hermione Gomez (CAMILA MENDES), the four girls find themselves in Saturday detention, joined by Fred Andrews (KJ APA) and FP Jones Jr (COLE SPROUSE).

If you're old enough, you realize the writers have just redone THE BREAKFAST CLUB. Classmates who are strangers to each other who, over time, become friends. But boredom leads them to break into the teacher's desk drawer to get a confiscated item from earlier that week, and they end up with a manual for Griffins & Gargoyles. With nothing better to do, they play the game and get caught up in it, eventually breaking into the school at night as "The Midnight Club" to play the game more.

Things take a turn for the weird when they run into another group of roleplayers, including Tom Keller (CASEY COTT), Marty Mantle (CHARLES MELTON), and Daryl Doiley (MAJOR CURDA). Joining together, they enter the school for a major quest, each believing the other set it up. Fueled by drugs provided by Hiram Lodge (MICHAEL CONSUELOS), the teens go out of control (except for Alice, who abstained because of her pregnancy). The cool part is that, for whatever reason, the teens decide to do a concert before the quest, performing a cool version of Dokken's "Dream Warriors." FP is on the drums wearing an actual Jughead-style crown, which put the cherry on top of this scene. However, Alice goes exploring and finds the chalices that represent the end of their quest -- giving the choice to flip a coin for their fate to either ascend...or die. She also runs into the Gargoyle King, the evil that the players are supposed to be, fictitiously, hunting.

When Principal Featherhead (ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL) comes to check the building, the kids all get away without being seen. But Featherhead disappears the next day, until his body is found. Alice now believes that one of the Midnight Club members must have been the killer -- and she believes that this person is still killing today with the resurgence of Griffins & Gargoyles with the current set of Riverdale teens.

Betty rushes to give Jughead the new information she has uncovered. But when she arrives at the bunker, she encounters something horrible that will leave RIVERDALE fans gasping! It's going to be a long week until next Wednesday night!

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0