Cheryl shot an arrow at an apple above Jughead's head, Elio and Veronica visited Archie's fight, and Joaquin stabbed Archie on Riverdale Season 3 Episode 5.
Below, TV Fanatics Kat Pettibone, Brandon Vieira, and Becca Newton debate Betty and Veronica's escape plan, Gryphons and Gargoyles' new players, and the game's connection to the town of Riverdale.
Veronica, Betty, and the group successfully broke Archie out of juvie. Share your thoughts about their big plan and execution.
Kat: I thought the entire thing was excellent! Obviously, with Riverdale, you need to suspend your grip on reality for an hour every week, but once you do that, things get a lot more fun. I loved seeing the entire main cast working together (and getting screen time).
Something I really feel this show misses the mark on is "character bonding." Most characters have one or two people they interact with, and it stops there. Seeing this Midnight Club 2.0 group band together and really be there for Archie? I loved it.
Brandon: Who knew these kids had it in them? It was a pretty solid plan, and I'm a little surprised that it was Veronica and not Betty who came up with it. Although without Betty and Kevin, the plan wouldn't have worked.
Archie: This is ... quite the spread, warden.
[Archie picks up his utensils]
Archie: All this after I tried to escape, how it makes me think that you’re not rewarding me. You’re getting rid of me.
Warden: I’m afraid so. Your final meal before your final fight. You have powerful enemies, Archie.
Archie: I appreciate you being honest with me, warden.
I believe this has been the first time during Riverdale Season 3 that Kevin and Betty interacted, which makes me happy because their friendship is my favorite thing on Riverdale. Also, Kevin in a Serpents jacket is something I didn't know I needed. I would love it if he reunited with Joaquin by the end of the season.
I agree with Kat about the plan of bringing everyone together. I would love to see more stuff like this moving forward. It was great to see all the characters interacting.
Becca: It was stylish, fun, and gave me some new favorite lines of Riverdale dialogue. I'm really glad Riverdale is injecting more fun into the episodes. I'd also like to echo how nice it is to see more camaraderie among the characters.
Most of the time it doesn't seem like these teens are friends. To see the dynamics among them changing for the better is appreciated.
Jughead hypothesized that Gryphons and Gargoyles was a representation of Riverdale and that the game connected to the town. Do you think his theory is accurate?
Kat: Didn't the show kind of confirm he was accurate? To me, it seemed like he dove so deep into the mind of the Gargoyle King, he was able essentially to match him move for move. The quest he made for the Serpents was identical to what was happening in real life.
So, his game as game master matched what the GK planned of the BIGGER game. I doubt those parallels would have been drawn so precisely throughout the entire episode if that wasn't what they were trying to convey. He may be losing his grip on reality, but he's right.
Brandon: It has to be, doesn't it? The quest Jughead created was the same as the quest the rest of the kids and the warden were on, which means he's getting close to being on the same page as the Gargoyle King.
He might be losing his mind a little but Jughead, as of right now, seems to have figured out what the Gargoyle King is attempting to do.
Becca: Yes. I'm curious to find out if Jughead's understanding of the Gargoyle King may be less due to him seeing patterns in the manual and more because he unconsciously realizes the similarities between himself and the Gargoyle King. One is writing a novel, and the other created a game, but they're both chronicling the story of Riverdale.
Which of the following scenes surprised you the most: Mad Dog being alive, Joaquin kissing Archie (and then stabbing him), or Warden Norton committing suicide? Why?
Kat: Honestly, all of them took me somewhat by surprise, which was delightful, because I can usually see a Riverdale reveal coming from a mile away. I did have a hunch Mad Dog was alive, but bringing him back to help save Archie was a clever move.
Joaquin stabbing Archie made me audibly gasp, although I wasn't thrilled with the way they queer-baited that kiss. The warden killing himself wasn't as much of a surprise as the warden playing the game was though.
Hiram: Veronica, what do you think you’re doing here?
Veronica: I could ask you the same, Daddy. But I bet my answer is better than yours.
Hiram: Whatever scheme you’ve cooked up ends now.
Veronica: Sorry, Daddykins, this is gonna hurt you more than it’s gonna hurt me.
[Veronica stomps on his foot with her heel, the scene shifts to the bunker]
Jughead: Well played! You’ve impaled the dragon with your concealed weapon.
Brandon: Mad Dog being alive wasn't a surprise for me. I knew he couldn't just be dead all of a sudden. And the warden killing himself seems like a logical step now that we know Gryphons and Gargoyles are being played by the people besides Riverdale High students.
Joaquin stabbing Archie didn't necessarily surprise me, but him kissing him sure did. His motive for stabbing him was pretty clear; he's also been sucked into this whole Gryphons and Gargoyles madness, but the kiss seemed so out of the blue.
Was that also part of the game or did he think he was going to die and just wanted to share one last kiss with someone before it happened? Hopefully, Kevin will find him (alive) soon, and he'll provide us with some answers.
Becca: Joaquin's "kiss and stab" was the most surprising. Usually, Riverdale waits until the next episode to completely change a character's personality. More than that, the real shock was the reveal of G&G being played at juvie. Having those two plots be connected has me rethinking some of my earlier predictions, especially those regarding The Farm.
Ever since the warden reported his "death," Mad Dog's returns was a Chekhov's gun waiting to go off. Lack of shock value didn't make seeing Mad Dog back on the screen less satisfying because I want follow-through on plot points instead of wondering forever if something or someone was going to be brought up again.
Being familiar with The Shawshank Redemption made the warden's suicide the least shocking of the three events. Still, it was a well-done scene, and it intensified the plot rather than feeling like an homage being done for the sake of an homage.
Both Jughead and Warden Norton deemed Archie as the "Red Paladin"; he got roped into the Gryphons and Gargoyles mystery. Why do you think the Gargoyle King wanted him dead?
Kat: I suppose the obvious answer is that the Gargoyle King is Hiram, and Hiram hates Archie. But I really hope it's something a lot more interesting than that. A paladin is a hero, and he may see Archie as a threat; someone who will ultimately save Riverdale. Someone he could never persuade to play the game.
Whatever it is, I hope it's a clear motive with the reasoning behind it.
Brandon: It's probably a part of the Gargoyle King's master plan, and since the warden was playing the game, he needed to do what the king asked for him to ascend. The Gargoyle King must see Archie as a threat, the hero in the story who could destroy everything the King is working towards.
Becca: I know I'm over-thinking and expecting too much, but I'm still attached to the idea of the Gargoyle King being more of an observer type as opposed to an active schemer. I don't think the Gargoyle King wanted the "Red Paladin" dead.
Instead, I think (s)he just wanted to know the game/story/quest of rescuing the "Red Paladin" would play out.
Josie, Reggie, and Kevin are planning to play G&G to understand the effects of the game after Betty kept secrets from them. Should she have shared the truth with them?
Kat: Absolutely, I'm still not completely clear on why she didn't? Obviously, they are going to be curious after receiving such harsh responses from their parents, so things can only go downhill from here. If they are all going to work together, then have them all REALLY work together.
Brandon: Yes. I love Betty but haven't these kids learned that when they keep secrets, bad things happened. She should've trusted them with this information because now she's going to lose more friends to the game.
The only friends she's going to have left who aren't going loony are Archie and Veronica, and if she doesn't enlist them to help her as she could have with Kevin, Josie, and Reggie, then she might lose them to the game as well.
Becca: I understand why she didn't tell them as I'm sure it's never easy to tell someone you suspect their parents are murderers. I also imagine Betty being worried the other three would dismiss what she said as her thinking every parent is a murderer because of the Black Hood.
Still, the fact Kevin, Josie, and Reggie investigated as she asked them to indicates they were willing to take Betty seriously, so they should have been told.
Jughead bowed before the Gargoyle King. React!
Kat: I kind of love it? I love that he's so intuitive he's actually making headway on how to beat him, but at the same time starting to lose his grip on reality and actually invest himself into the G&G world?
He wants to beat him, but he wants to BE him. I'm impressed with how Cole Sprouse is delivering the performance of the unhinged downward spiral Jughead is going through.
Brandon: He's either a genius or he officially lost it. It's hard to tell. Now, will he use this relationship he's formed with the King to unravel the King's plans or is he another lost soul who Betty's going to have to rescue from Gryphons and Gargoyles too? Those are his two potential paths, which will he choose?
Becca: He's still playing the game. The bow may be Jughead's way of acknowledging that he hasn't yet beat the game master at his own game. As such he has to stick the role of being the subordinate player until he levels up enough.
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.