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
1993 WAS 25 YEARS AGO
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
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
Jenny: YES YES YES
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!
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??
Rachel: WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS
Jenny: THANK YOU
CC: this time next season: a flashback episode where Cole Sprouts plays Pop Pop Jones
CC: WE’LL KNOW WHERE THE PARENTS ARE when there are teens playing them
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
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
UNPOPULAR OPINION TRAIN PULLING INTO THE STATION HERE BUT
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!!!
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???
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
CC: THE HEART OF THE CARDS, BETTY I MEAN RACHEL
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
L O L
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
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
CC: oh SHOOT
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!!!
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
CC: WHY is YOUR DAUGHTER so OBSESSED with SAVING HER BOYFRIEND’S LIFE, the BOYFRIEND YOU, MY ADULT HUSBAND, ARE CREEPILY OBSESSED WITH FRAMING FOR MURDER (edited)
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!!!
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
CC: THAT ASSHOLE who is NOT WELCOME IN MY HOME / TV anymore
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!
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!
CC: THE ONLY SEEMINGLY TANGENTIALLY INVOLVED PARENT
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
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)
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
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