Riverdale Roundtable S3E4&5: “The Midnight Club” & “The Great Escape”

Welcome back to Riverdale Roundtable: a recap series where we chat about all the drama and sexy intrigue from last week’s Riverdale. It’s been so long! While we were preoccupied with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Riverdale Season 3 kept on rolling along, with the hijinks getting somehow more extra than ever before. Today, we’re talking about Season 3 Episode 4, “The Midnight Club,” and Season 3 Episode 5, “The Great Escape.” Brace yourselves for some peak 90s cosplay and some truly terrible wigs.

Rachel: our triumphant return to Riverdale
I have to say that I enjoyed these episodes with a bit of manic glee
they have lost all touch with reality and I’m strapping in for the ride

Jenny: god yea
it’s just like
on the one hand
kill me, y’know

Jenny: but on the other hand
just fuck me up
i’m here for it
specifically, i’m here for sierra

CC: yeah if nothing else, the Looks were great
my main gripes with this episode
1) I think the conceit of casting these Riverdale Teens to play their parents loses some of its impact due to their decision to cast former teen heartthrobs as the parents
v recognizable actors we saw as teens throughout our whole lives???? you know????
2) i am not sure the riverdale writers know the difference between the mid 80s and early 90s???? like, I couldn’t tell if the setting was actually supposed to be the 80s but we millennials are all Olds now so naturally the parents had to be a bit younger
and it threw the whole thing off a little

Jenny: to be fair, i’m pretty sure it was the 80s until about 2001
and i def thought it was supposed to be the 90s

CC: see, 1999 was its own time! silver windbreakers as far as the eye could see!!!
but I think this is supposed to be like, 1991???

Rachel: well and also they (i think) specifically say this stuff happened 25 years ago

Jenny: so 93
but also yes my guess had been 91

CC: oh

Jenny: i know it
i had a whole crisis about this earlier this year


CC: BUT despite me being the kind of “well actually” nerd that reggie would stuff in a trash can, it was admittedly fun because of how hard riverdale went
BRE (big riverdale energy)

Jenny: for sure

Rachel: i really enjoyed it
I also really enjoyed how they FINALLY explained why Penelope is a blossom

Jenny: yeah god
but also dear god

Rachel: jeeez it almost made me feel sorry for her
I mean, I guess I feel sorry for young-her
but not current-her

Jenny: oh man i was there — i was feeling sorry for her all over the place

Rachel: current penelope is still terrible

Jenny: eh
she rocks those long gloves

CC: i did dig her commander shepard moves on the dance floor

CC: the only thing she needs is one of those Blossom bucket hats


CC: maybe what penelope really needed is the opportunity her daughter seized for herself: a space to be gay and do crimes

Jenny: i think we could all benefit from this

CC: so, about this episode and the next one, can I just say
wow the McElroy brothers have not permeated the culture at large as deeply as I’d assumed

Jenny: yeah this was not soft boi d&d content

CC: I thought everybody and their dad (and their brother and brother) was familiar with dnd these days
at least, familiar enough to distinguish dnd from a gargoyle cult???? a boyfights-funded gargoyle cult????

Jenny: man the more time i spend on this hellish plane the more i realize that i have no clue what normies know or don’t know

CC: i LOVE how the flashback episode shows how dnd is a gateway drug to….
high risk LARPing???

Jenny: also POP ROCKS
pop rocks and pixie sticks
sugar is a drug, kids

CC: the ORIGINAL jingle jangle

Rachel: so let’s recap real quick maybe?

CC: LOL that would probably be a good idea

Rachel: episode 4 was the flashback episode, where all the youths we normally follow were cast as their parents in the 90s, and we see them get Very Deep into G&G and then their principle gets murdered so they swear off the game, knowing or at least suspecting that one of them is the killer
and then they just, never talk about it again

Jenny: alice finally tells betty about her tragic past — she used to play a lot of d&d in high school, and then their principal died and they were all too high to know whether or not they did it, so they take a vow of secrecy and stop being friends

Rachel: and alice stops being a serpent!

Jenny: important!

Rachel: and starts hanging with hal cooper

Jenny: lolololololol ugh

CC: what a rebound
STILL doesn’t explain how the whole damn town forgot about her serpent past until like the end of season 2

Jenny: that’s the power of a twinset and a scowl. but also, this is when hermione stops dating fred and gets w hiram

CC: so many bad decisions made in this episode smdh


Jenny: what even???
is this what teens used to do??
don’t they have, like, homework? college applications?
this shit goes on their permanent records — do they just not care??



CC: this time next season: a flashback episode where Cole Sprouts plays Pop Pop Jones

Jenny: YES

CC: WE’LL KNOW WHERE THE PARENTS ARE when there are teens playing them
schrodinger’s parents

Jenny: honestly this feels like the closest i’ll ever come to my MMCU pitch
(that’s the Mamma Mia Cinematic Universe, where there are endless mamma mia movies all about each older generation’s love square antics)

Rachel: LOL i thought maybe it was the Mrs Maisel Cinematic Universe
and we get to see Midge playing Rose in college

CC: me too!!!

Jenny: oh that would be DOPE
honestly more shows need to integrate this concept

Rachel: it really did make me more excited to get back on the Riverdale train

CC: I feel even more baffled by this show! and even more convinced that the writers have only seen one episode of riverdale before, and it’s the one that precedes the one we’re currently on
but if nothing else, this show is Not Afraid To Take Risks

Rachel: true
which is a great segway into recapping episode 5!


Rachel: where we get back into current day riverdale antics

Rachel: god where to even begin in recapping this

CC: I’ll try
BOYFIGHTS! PRISON BREAKS! WIGS!!! also, we continue to explore DnD as a gateway to satanism

Jenny: lol that feels right
jug is getting too into D&D, veronica thinks breaking archie out of juvie is a Good Idea, and Betty is just trying to hold everything the fuck together

CC: look
Jug being like “nah idk if I wanna help break my bff out from boyfights jail, I have a GAME to RUN” is TOO REAL given how hardcore people can be about tabletop games!!!
not anybody I hang out with now btw!!! but in college for sure!!!

Jenny: lolololololololololol

Rachel: i think he thought he WAS helping???
like because DnD is real
and if his game worked, Archie would survive

Jenny: i mean i’m not ready to give him the benefit of that doubt

CC: how does he
what r u doin bud

Jenny: i do like that betty is finally seeing some flaws

Jenny: like, i’ve been saying this since season 1!!

Rachel: i mean i think he’s def getting too nuts
but I think he’s… right???
oh god
what’s happening


Jenny: w/in the rules of the world i’m sure he will be vindicated

Rachel: but to an extent i think he’s onto something!! there’s a bigger narrative and something is going on
I’m just not sure if this is where the sabrina crossover happens


Rachel: LOL

Jenny: lololol
i need that sabrina though

CC: Jughead about to summon Exodia over here
all that I want is just more #cronetent so I’m here for that crossover

Rachel: like are these muggles casting actual magic through the power of their IMAGINATION
and Sabrina and her crew have to roll up to banish the goblin king?

CC: i hope so

Rachel: my biggest feeling about this is that Sabrina is too good for this show and I don’t want her to be tainted by it

CC: we need some actual witchin to sort all this nonsense out

Jenny: to be sure

CC: look, can i just say that
I think reggie took the words out of my mouth when this plot contrivance about the hot riverdale parents summoning a demon through dnd kicked off earlier this season
when he said that the least believable part of this is that their parents were cosplaying nerds L O L
like: wasn’t it??? way more socially difficult to be a bigass nerd in the 90s????
weren’t people still regularly handing out swirlies? was that ever a Real Thing??

Jenny: that’s why they were a ~~secret~~ society
but mostly that made me want to see reggie’s dad in the regular timeline
i think we’ve met his mom?
but that’s it?

CC: I know his dad did Not react well to getting questioned about goblins and gargoyles

Jenny: oh yeah shit
we did get that scene

Rachel: ugh yeah
I’m glad Reggie is coming around and becoming less and less of a douchebag every season

Jenny: same!

Rachel: i guess since he almost became a murderer, he’s really changed lol

CC: chaotic evil to chaotic neutral
chaotic dumb, more like, but w/e

Jenny: yeah as long as we’re talking dnd
dumb should really be on the alignment chart


Rachel: omg please

CC: I think for the goblins and gargoyles alignment chart, it’d be
good/neutral/evil & dumb/know-it-all/has no lines, literally no lines (toni)
how does toni get even LESS to do now that she’s dating cheryl???
i am v happy for our girl cheryl but seriously!!!

Jenny: injustice

Rachel: it’s honestly the worst

CC: so another big thing I wanna touch on before we close out
smithers is starting to wear more and more of an egg on his face with his moral judgment about hermione
unequivocally good my ass

Jenny: fair

i’m just saying, it makes a lot more sense for one of these people to spend all their time thinkin about archie
and that person is 100% Veronica “I’d Know Those Abs Anywhere” Lodge

Rachel: lol i did love that line

Rachel: good for you girl, get it

CC: LOL RACHEL it made me think of you!!!

Rachel: LOL

CC: i was like, i Appreciate this line & I know Rachel will too LOL

Rachel: u were right

CC: so, quick question: what exactly
is Kevin’s EX’s deal???

Rachel: oh Joaquin

who I AM NOT NAMING ANYMORE; HE IS DEAD TO ME mostly bc this additional betrayal will make Our Beloved Son Kevin v sad

Jenny: yeah, i mean, it really did seem like a “the warden threatened and coerced him” kind of thing, but also you just can’t go around stabbing the protagonist

CC: this show needs to give kevin a wholesome love interest!
one who will not keep betraying him!

Jenny: yeah!
this show needs to give kevin some screen time, also
just a little!
(put him on that alignment w toni)

Rachel: to that point, should we jump to final thoughts?

Jenny: yeah i’m ready

CC: yeah me too

Jenny: for my final thought, i want to just pop back to young sierra

Jenny: this was so heartbreaking
and to know that they’re together again now!
i wish their kids could get on board!

CC: yeah what the hell?????

Rachel: yeah!! guys!!!! like i get that it’s weird that your classmate is now your stepbrother but like
they are in love
deal with it and support them

CC: he’s also like, one of your best buds!!!

Jenny: ~~true love~~

Rachel: also specifically to Josie, your dad was a real asshole!

CC: your dad is a horrible human being and sheriff keller just wants 2 love and support u

Rachel: he is a good dad!!

Jenny: he’s a great dad!!

Rachel: one of the only good ones in this god foresaken town!


Rachel: that’s my final thought actually
I love Sheriff Keller, I’ve always loved Sheriff Keller, and I’m happy for him
I’m happy for him and I’m happy for Sierra because we’ve all seen those abs
get itttttt

CC: a fine wine, honestly

Jenny: hell yes hell yes hell yes

CC: well, my final thought did not turn out as well as I’d planned, so I have 2, technically speaking


CC: Final Thought 2: there is NO WAY that principal could have dealt with teens every day with the name “Featherhead” without being ridiculed to tears every day bc teens are SO MEAN
naming the dead principal “featherhead” is the Most Riverdale Move in 2 Extremely Peak Riverdale episodes & I seriously wonder if that character is a part of the RCU (Riverdale Cinematic Universe)

Jenny: lol
man i don’t think he is
i think that’s a thing these writers made up

CC: that said tho, god bless this mess and god bless sheriff keller’s abs; three cheers for our return to our beloved dumpster fire

Jenny: hip hip hooray
and pop on over to our patreon to check out the character alignment charts!

Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.

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