'Riverdale' Ended On A Truly Unsettling Cliffhanger That Has Fans Worried About Jughead
Riverdale gifted fans with a deep dive into the history of the mysteriously lethal board game Gryphons and Gargoyles in its new episode on Wednesday night. Although the bulk of the episode was set in a flashback to the '90s, with Riverdale's young cast playing their own parents as teenagers, the real shock came when the episode snapped back to the present in its final moments to reveal a disturbing development involving Jughead. Now, everyone is wondering the same thing: Is Jughead the Gargoyle King's next victim? Let's talk about that scary cliffhanger.
Spoiler alert: This post will discuss details from Riverdale Season 3 Episode 4, "The Midnight Club." Wednesday night's new episode of Riverdale was all about Gryphons and Gargoyles, the mysterious role-playing game that has already led to two apparent suicides and a creepy masked figure called the Gargoyle King roaming around town. Recently, we learned that Gryphons and Gargoyles is not new to Riverdale — the parents actually played the game back in the day, and we finally get to hear what happened when they picked up the dice in an extended flashback.
Not surprisingly, the game also ended in a bunch of pain and death for Fred Andrews, Alice Smith, F.P. Jones, Hermione Lodge, and the rest of the town's parents when they played it during Saturday detention in high school. In relaying the story to her daughter, Alice Cooper warns that Gryphons and Gargoyles is an incredibly addictive game that blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. We definitely see that play out in Alice's flashback — she, Fred, F.P. Hermione, Penelope Blossom, and Sierra McCoy became so obsessed with the game that they began breaking into Riverdale High at night to dress up in costumes and act out missions.
Eventually, this led to a mysterious invitation, wherein the Gargoyle King invited the crew to "ascend." Although Penelope Blossom and Daryl Doiley were the two game masters, they later find out that neither one of them set this ascension night up. And things get even weirder when Hiram Lodge passes around some hallucinogenic drug that looks like Pop Rocks. Only Alice declines the drug due to her pregnancy, and she then witnesses her friends acting like animals. She also comes face to face with two chalices of blue liquid (the test that killed Dilton and almost Ethel) and the Gargoyle King himself.
Thankfully, nothing bad actually happens to the Midnight Club crew that night, but they do find out that Fred Andrews' father had died, and Principal Featherhead's body shows up a couple days later with his lips colored blue.
Alice's recounting definitely convinces Betty of how dangerously addictive Gryphons and Gargoyles is... which only makes the next thing she discovers all the more heartbreaking. As she heads to Dilton's bunker to relay her new info to her boyfriend/co-detective Jughead, she finds him playing Gryphons and Gargoyles with the Southside Serpents. And not only is Jughead playing, but he is clearly obsessing, ranting about how he is so close to meeting the Gargoyle King. He sounds just like Ben Button did before he jumped out the window, or how Ethel sounded when she was ready to down a cup of poison. Obviously, this looks really bad for Jughead — we will just have to hope that Betty can help snap him out of his Gryphons and Gargoyles obsession before he hurts himself.