'Riverdale': Can't help but worry about Jughead Jones as he echoes what other dead characters said before perishing
'The Midnight Club' was the '90s flashback episode detailing the origin of the game Gryphons and Gargoyles, but it's the ending that has got us worried sick
Riverdale's highly-anticipated 'The Midnight Club' episode had the most twisted ending; and sure, no one saw that coming. Out of several highlights to address, be it Cole Sprouse's (who plays Jughead Jones) sleek FP Jones' hairstyle or Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper, rocking the Serpent leather jacket as Alice Cooper, I'll directly move on to the ending because I cannot wrap my head around Jughead being possessed by the evil game Gryphons and Gargoyles.
The flashback episode begins in 2018 with all teens at Riverdale High having access to the manual of the dangerous game. Jughead, who was investigating the game by taking part in it, is now obsessed with the Gargoyle King, in the same way the two dead teens were - Dilton Doiley and Ben Button.
This makes us question if we are to worry about Jughead, seriously. Afterall, he is one of the most vulnerable characters of the show. Remember how we almost lost him in the season 2 finale? That was pretty intense.
But more so is the fact that FP Jones couldn't rescue his Serpent son despite burning the manual and warning him about the deadly consequences. Is it too late now that he appears to be too involved in Gryphons and Gargoyles to even remember the purpose of joining the game in the first place? The idea was to save Riverdale's teens from succumbing to the supernatural game, but Jughead has already advanced to the final stage where he's going to “meet” the Gargoyle King.
Relief; Betty knows best now, thanks to Alice who spills the beans about Gryphons and Gargoyles (G&G) and its origin at Riverdale High during the '90s, when Riverdale parents were all students at the high school. When Betty gets the news that Doiley's death bore a striking similarity to the death of a man in the '90s from Dr. Curdle Jr., she confronts her mother to tell the truth.
Alice does, and we go back in time; drumroll to the refreshing blast from the past moments as Betty lets down her hair in loose curls as Alice, Jughead is spotted in a varsity jacket and greasy bangs as FP Jones, Veronica Lodge is the goody-two-shoes as Hermoine Lodge, Cheryl Blossom, almost like herself, as Penelope Blossom, Archie Andrews, almost righteous like himself, as Fred Andrews, and Josie McCoy as Sierra McCoy ironically vouching to never become the mayor of Riverdale.
Alice starts the narration of her high school time and had it not been for the evident '90s style, the pop culture references are enough to soak in the era. “Phones had chords, Winona had Johnny, and everything smelled like teen spirit”, she narrates. "Winona had Johnny" refers to Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp’s explosive three-year relationship in 1989. "Smells Like Teen Spirit", is a reference to the Nirvana classic. The writers of the CW show did hit a nail with this sentence as the flashback episode was supposed to be a sort of a tribute to 'The Breakfast Club.' And, it was.
Alice's introduction of the characters echoes the film as in Brian’s essay in 'The Breakfast Club' with titles such as the bad girl (herself); the rebelling catholic (Hermione); the teacher’s pet (Penelope); the artist/athlete (Fred); the political animal (Sierra); the ladies’ man (FP).
The eight characters come across the G&G game when in detention but they are not oblivious about it. They've heard enough urban legends about how evil the game is and as a mischievous set, they waste no time before beginning to play the board game and scale it to role-playing. They soon learn other kids namely Hiram, Darryl Doiley, Tom Keller, and Reggie Mantle’s unnamed father have been playing the game too, so they combine forces.
This leads to an epic confusion as all of them get a sealed invitation signed by the Gargoyle King and everything in school is also set up in accordance to the game's rules. One party thinks the other party took the effort to make the game so realistic, but as it turns out, neither of the team had. With everyone high on drugs, except for Alice because she is pregnant with FP Jones' baby, Alice gets a horrifying glimpse of the Gargoyle King loitering in the hallways. As she gets to her heels, she spots Principal Featherhead enter to inspect the school, she escapes the building nevertheless.
As the case of the missing principal rages in Riverdale High, Alice tries to confront her G&G teammates about what she saw, but when it is revealed that Principal Featherhead was found dead at the school premises in a storeroom under the stairs (yes, the same room Jughead used to crash at in season 1) with blue stained lips, Alice is under the obligatory promise to stay mum about the incident forever.
But, as we know now, she has already told the cult 'Farm' about it and she's narrated the story to Betty - the secret is out, but the mystery is still unsolved. As Betty heads to the bunker to tell her boyfriend and partner in crime, Jughead, about the G&G story, she realizes the warning has come too late.
Seated in the bunker are Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, and Jughead playing the vicious game. Jughead stands up and tells Betty "All of this is becoming clear. It’s only a matter of time until I ascend.”
The episode ends but hark! We sense trouble for the Serpent boy. Why is he saying what Button said before he jumped out of the window? Or when Ethel Muggs ended up drinking the poisoned chalice.
Jughead cannot succumb. Period!