03x04 - Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Midnight Club

[ARCHIE] Previously on Riverdale...

The first time any of us heard of Gryphons and Gargoyles was from your mother.

[BETTY] Ben and Dilton killed themselves,all to appease some creature called the Gargoyle King.

The toxicology report revealed lethal levels of cyanide in Mr. Doiley's blood.

There's something dimly familiar about this.

We made a vow in high school.

The secret that we buried all those years ago.

We made a pact to never revisit that night.

[JUGHEAD] Do you have a rule book or a player's manual?

Flip for your fate.

- Promise to give me the scripture?
- I promise.


Have you been playing the game?

- No.
- Don't lie to me, boy!

I can still see the blue on your lips.

[JUGHEAD] No one's gonna play Gryphons and Gargoyles,but that book may be our best shot of figuring outwhat happened to Dilton and Ben.

[HERMIONE] All our children. They're in danger.

Where'd you get this?

It was in my locker.
Same with everyone else.

[JUGHEAD] A deadly mutating virushad been introduced to the ecosystem of Riverdaleand it was spreading like an epidemic.

For every manual confiscated, two popped up in its place.

And the ever-resourceful studentsof Riverdale High were playing it everywhere.

Why? Because for us, the game is an escapefrom our nightmarish reality.

A fantasy land at our fingertips.

But for our parents, it was a death-dealing nightmare.

Two students have taken their lives.

A third tried.

The common thread linking these tragedies, all three victims were playing the game known as Gryphons and Gargoyles.

Wait, so you are admitting the game killed Dilton and Ben?

Yes, Mr. Jones.

But where did G&G come from?

Where did Ben and Dilton even get it?

Well, we still don't have many answers.

But from the little that we do know about it, the game seems targeted at impressionable developing minds.

Namely, teens like yourselves.

- Um, challenge accepted.

Respect to the dead, but some among our flock are shepherds, not sheep.

The game's quests and role-playing scenarios are specifically designed to foster delusion, paranoia, and ultimately violence.

As mayor, I'm officially banning Gryphons and Gargoyles.

Mrs. Burble is gonna be holding extended office hours and I've set up a -hour crisis hotline overseen by Kevin Keller.

FYI, I'm only there after school.

As a parent, I'm imploring you, take care of yourselves.

And stay away from this game.

[VERONICA ]Newsflash, Mom.

Banning something only makes it more interesting.

Thank you.

And now, this stupid game is literally all anyone is talking about.

You are not playing, are you, Vee?

Bee, you don't make Fibes Under by prancing around the woods in a deer carcass.

- Are you and Jughead playing?


We are still trying to figure out why my mom and his dad were so triggered by us having the manuals.



Miss Cooper, this is Dr. Curdle Jr. Are you alone?

Hi, Dr. Curdle, yes, have you had any luck?

Per your request, I did some digging in the morgue archives.

And I found something I think you'll be interested in.

Dr. Curdle Jr. told me and Jughead that the circumstances of Dilton Doiley's suicide felt oddly familiar to him.

That file is why.

A case from when his dad was coroner.

I am right in the middle of my Affirmations meeting...

Trust me, Mom, you're gonna wanna take a look at this.

Per your Farm "testimony," you've clearly played G&G before and now I have concrete evidence that when you were my age, there was another suspicious death.

Maybe a murder that took place at Riverdale High where the corpse had blue lips.

I can keep digging, or you can just tell me what you know about G&G.

All right.

Wait, really?

You're right, Betty.

You deserve to know the whole truth.

If for no other reason, for your own protection.

It was our junior year.

Phones had cords, Winona had Johnny,and everything smelled like Teen Spirit.

The world was a very different placeand we were very different people.

Back then, I was Alice Smith.

A bad girl from the wrong side of the trackswith enviable hair,no real friends...

[WHISPERS] Please help, please help, please help.

And one huge problem.


[EXHALES] Damn it!

- Everything okay in there?

God, mind your own business, Hermione, shouldn't you be in a church?

Oh, crap, girl.

Are you...

It's probably a false positive.
It happens all the time.

Like % of the time.

No one's talking to you, Sierra.

Oh, what am I gonna do?

I tried to talk to him and he blew me off for some vixen he is screwing.

Ha, classic.

- FP Jones!
- [BOTH] FP Jones?

Well, well, well...

I thought I heard a party in here.

Hall passes, ladies.

Oh, it's up your ass, Penelope.


Classy as always, Alice Smith.

Just curious.

Were you born with that mouth?

Or is it something Southside mothers teach their b*st*rd babies?




You trashy bitch!


[PENELOPE] Oh, no! No, no, no, no.




[BOY] Come on, FP, it's Bulldog tradition.

[ALL CHANTING] Streak, streak, streak, streak, streak...

My arm's in a cast, Mantle.

Doesn't matter.

Streak, streak, streak!

Come on, Marty, I'm not doing it.

Streak, streak, streak, streak!

I'll go with you.

Freddie Andrews.

Why? You're not even on our team.

No, but the baseball team got me to streak last week and got me some serious cred with the ladies, so...

Run fast enough and all they'll see is a blur.

[CHANTING] Streak, streak, streak!

[ALICE] We were invincible.

Or at least, we thought we were.

That little stunt landed FP and Fred in hot water.



to Saturday detention.

[ALICE] Gathered in that classroom, we were strangers, more than friends.

And none of us could have guessed thatour lives were about to change forever.

[ALICE] It was just supposed to be one Saturday.

Eight hours.

Six people with seemingly nothing in common.

The bad girl.

[TEACHER] Alice Smith?

[ALICE] The rebellion Catholic.

Hermione Gomez?

The teacher's pet.

Penelope Blossom?

The artist-athlete.

Fred Andrews?

The political animal.

Sierra Samuels?

And the ladies man.

Forsythe Pendleton Jones Jr.?

[ALICE] Forsythe Pendleton Jones Jr.

He was a BMOC, an all-American athlete.

A stud-muffin as we used to say.

He was different back then, Betty.

Trying to be something other than what he was.

But still trouble.

I was as tough as nails, but around FP, silly putty.

Even in detention, with the secret growing inside me, I hated him.

But I wanted him.

Ugh! Okay, okay, Mom, I get it.

While you're here today, you will not talk.

You will not play.

You will not move.

I don't even want you to breathe.

- Yes.

What if we have to pee?

You hold it, Miss Samuels.

And at the end of the day, you will deliver a , -word essay as to why you are here today.

I will be right down the hall, in my office all day long.

'Cause I have nothing better to do.

Dude, can you not?

Dude, can you bite me?

Oh, my God, shh!

Psst! Sierra.


Sit down, we'll get in trouble.




Brought you some sustenance. [CHUCKLES]

- Thank you.
- I love you.

I'll see you tonight, okay?



You and Tom Keller?

[SCOFFS] Guys, we've been going to the same school since kindergarten.

How do we not know anything about each other?

[PENELOPE] We're not friends.

Cliques don't cross-pollinate.

Haven't you seen Heathers?

Well, we've got, uh... six more hours to kill, and no one to impress.

How about a round of Secrets and Sins?

Tommy and I have been secretly dating for a few months now.

Why secretly?

Our parents don't want their children dating someone so... different, to use their euphemism of choice.

My mom is all up in my relationships, too.

You know Hiram Lodge?

- Ah, yes.

- Dude is ripped.
- And a petty criminal.

He is a self-starter who provides for his family.

But to my mom, he is a scrub.

"Sangre, sudor, y lagramas, That's the way to the American dream, mija."

But what dream?

She cleans hotel rooms in that stupid Five Seasons sixteen hours a day. Hiram's got the right idea.

Get out of Riverdale, no matter what you have to do.

Yeah, except Riverdale is not the problem.

- Me? I wanna stay here my whole life.

Is that how long it's gonna take you to decide between music or baseball?

Our minor league is solid.

And we are close enough to the city to play music gigs.

This town's got it all.

Could even see myself running for mayor one day.

Ugh! Nightmare job.

Why not shoot for something bigger?

You can do all those things in a real metropolis.

Yeah, except look after my dad.

He's sick.

Real sick.

And he took care of me my whole life.

So now, it's my turn.

Alice, you're up.

What's your deepest, darkest secret?


- Um...
- Let's skip her.

Alice, just tell them about the time you lit a dumpster on fire in the Southside.

Why don't you tell them that you actually live in Sunnyside Trailer Park?

- I thought you lived on Elm street.
- Yeah.

Of course, because that's what Forsythe wants you to believe.


You parade around the school in your varsity jacket

like a Northsider.

Don't kid yourself, you'll never escape the Southside.

You're gonna end up just like your dad.

Downing six packs in your double wide.

Maybe, but I'm not gonna hit my kid.

Not like my old man hits me.

I told him I didn't wanna join his gang,that I wanted to be the first Jones to go to college.

He didn't like that.

Okay. [SIGHS]

Guess that just leaves me.

Fair is fair.

[SIGHS] The Blossoms, they are terrible people.

But Penelope, you're a Blossom.

No, I'm not.

Not really.

I grew up at The Sisters of Quiet Mercy orphanage.

Oh, my God, Penelope, that place has, like, violated every humanitarian code.

When I was eight, the Blossoms came and asked to see all the red-headed children.

The next thing I knew, I was leaving with them.

[LAUGHS] I was so excited.

I very quickly realized this was not an altruistic adoption.

I was being groomedto first be Clifford's sister,then, eventually his life companion.

Every second away from that house, even today, is a relief.

Why are you still living there?

They're my family.

That's not family, it's basically incest, it's disgusting.

At least I'm not cleaning up other people's toilets like your mom!

Well, at least she has class.

She is not stealing child brides out of orphanages.

Here we go again.


- [ALICE] Hey, stop it!
- [FRED] Hey!


You all just upped your sentence.

From one Saturday detention to four.


[ALICE] We were angry, of course,at each other, at ourselves.

But little by little,hour by hour,the walls we've hidden behind all our livesstarted breaking down.

As pudding cups and sandwiches were shared,the bravado fell away.

And a group of misfits became unlikely friends.

And then there was that rainy Saturday afternoon.

The first cold rain of the season.

- When I got it into my headto add the rest of the group's initials to the windowsillcarved next to mine.

And Hermione decided to break into Mrs. Krabappel's drawer.

What are you doing?

Yesterday, Mrs. Krabappel took my game lad and she locked it up in here, so I'm getting it back.

[GASPS] That's vandalism.

[SIERRA] Yeah!

Holy crap!

Krabappel's been hoarding our stuff for decades.


[ALICE] And there it was,Gryphons and Gargoyles.

I have heard of this game before.

We shouldn't play it, it doesn't belong to us anyway.

Gryphons and Gargoyles.

Thought this was an urban legend.

I heard some kids have been playing it Seaside.

I heard one of them had a heart attack and died.

In that case, we definitely have to play it, right?

"An ancient evil, long forgotten to this world, has awoken.

His name, the Gargoyle King.

Defeat him and receive the supreme reward."

Okay, but how do we beat him?

It looks like the person with the manual, that'd be me, is the Game Master.

I will guide you through quests and you complete them until you ascend to the next level.

But first, pick your characters.

I pick "The Sorceress."

Maybe I can make all you nerds disappear.

I pick "The Thief."

I've always wanted to be free of moral reasoning.

Well, as the voice of the people, I choose "The Siren."



Fred, we all know you are "The Radiant Knight."

"Clinging to the ideals of hope, justice, and righteousness."

I don't know, it seems kinda...

- Boring.
- Perfect for you.

Now, pay attention.

"Welcome, brave adventurers, to Eldervair, realm of Gryphons and Gargoyles."

Lady Smith, please pick your quest card.

"Free the souls of the undead."

You are standing at the top of Necromancer's Alley.

[ALICE] That's how it begins, Betty.

The maddening obsession,with the roll of a dice.

You approach a well at the center of Arcana Maze.

The hedges grow behind you, sealing off the exit.

I'm gonna toss my Gildite coin.

Please be heads. Please be heads.


A geyser bursts up depositing The Scroll of Elders in your hand.

Nicely done, Squire Pendleton.

Is it too late to start another round?

Not at all.

Might I suggest we kick things up a notch?

Take the game off the board.

You mean, like, run around school with Featherhead down the hall?

- He takes a nap after lunch.
- [HERMIONE] I'm in.

Trust me, you're going to love it, uh, there is this quest, "The Wedding Stone," that requires pairs.

So, Squire Pendleton. Madam H.

Sir Fredrick, Lady Smith.

I hid a gemstone from Thornhill in this building.

First pair to find it and show it to Sierra, gets to keep it.

Looks like it's just you and me for a little bit, Sierra.

Shall we pillage the cafeteria?

Why those specific pairings, Penelope?

Did the Gargoyle King make you do it?

I guess I'm just in the mood for a little chaos.

[FP] How do we know if we are even close?

We let our love to guide us.

[FP] Yeah, or the Gargoyle King.



Come on, ready?






You know, I've been thinking of asking you something.



What the hell, Hermione?

You were gonna kiss me.


I wasn't.

This is a role-playing game. [SCOFFS]

I'm not actually into you, FP.

[FRED] Alice, are you okay? You look...

Here, sit down.

Hey, you can talk to me.

Alice, what's up?

[CRYING] I'm...


I wake up every morning, wanting to escape my life and my mistakes.

And when I'm here, I do and I'm happy.

And when the game's over, I'm me again.


[CHUCKLES] God, that sounds pathetic.

No, no.

It doesn't.


What exactly went down with you and Alice?

Nothing serious.

You know, just messing around, which she was cool with.

The more we've been playing G&G, the more I've been thinking, it could be more, I don't know.

You should talk to her.

For real.

Take a shot.

You're the Deadeye after all.

[FRED] I love my dad.

I hate seeing him in pain.

Sometimes, I...

I just can't handle it.

But Sir Fredrick doesn't have a sick dad.

So I pretend that I'm here with you guys. [CHUCKLES SOFTLY]

Then I'm... free again.

[BETTY] Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

You and Fred Andrews?

We were lonely, Betty.

We were young, attractive, in the same room... It was just once, a brief flame between two people that existed in that one moment.

But in the Blue and Gold?


[ALICE] We played for weeks.

Sneaking into school, late at night,getting deeper than ever.

And we dubbed ourselves"The Midnight Club."

We abandoned the board, acting out our quests and adventuresin the real world, playing characters.

Some of us became a little more inseparable than others.

Wait... [SHUSHING]


What was that? Do you guys hear that?


- Surrender!

- [HIRAM] Hermione?
- Hiram?

- Sierra?
- Tommy?

[ALL] Are you guys playing G&G, too?

[ALICE] We had thought we were special.

Have been for about a week now.

Darryl Doiley found it in the restricted section of the library.

Relinquish your Game Master duties.

Make me, heathen.

[ALICE] We joined forces.

Started playing a bigger game.

And then the line between Gryphons and Gargoyles and real life became blurred in a dangerous way.

We found these strange invitations in our lockers.

[SIERRA READING] "Members of the Midnight Club, come to the detention room tonight."

"Rise to the challenge."

"And ascend to the next level of the game."

Hell, yeah!

"Eagerly yours, the Gargoyle King."

[PENELOPE] Welcome to the Ascension Party.

"Find the chalices.

Flip the Gryphon coin for your fate.

Drink from the chalice, and meet your destiny.

The successful among you will ascend to the third level."

Sounds simple enough.

But not much of a party.

So... Why don't we make it one?

What's that, Hiram?

Fizzle rocks.

They're new. Just hit the streets.

[ALICE] I was pregnant with your brother, I didn't take any.

But to this day, I wonder what was in those drugs.


[ALICE] Maybe whatever turned us into monsters.


Kudos on the whole Ascension Party thing.

- Very rad.
- Me?

I thought you did all this.

It was set up when I got here.

[ALICE] Or maybe we've been monsters all along.

Ascension Night was frenzied from the start.

The festivities began with an impromptu concert by the Fred Heads.


♪ I lie awake ♪
♪ And dread the lonely night ♪

♪ I'm not alone ♪

♪ I wonder if these heavy eyes ♪
♪ Can face the unknown ♪

♪ When I close my eyes ♪

♪ I realize ♪
♪ You'll come my way ♪

♪ I'm standing in the night alone ♪

♪ Forever ♪

♪ Together ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ We're the dream warriors ♪

♪ Maybe tonight ♪
♪ You'll be gone ♪

♪ We're dream warriors ♪


♪ Ain't gonna dream no more ♪

♪ And maybe tonight ♪

♪ Maybe tonight ♪
♪ You'll be gone ♪

[ALICE] That night, our dark doppelgangers were released.

And we all went a little bit insane.

High on fizzle rocksand the very game itself.


♪ We're the dream warriors ♪








[ALICE] Principal Featherhead must have learned of our trespassingand was investigating.

God help me, Betty, I could have said something,stopped him.

I could have prevented what came next.

But instead, I just left.

I spent the night calling the Midnight Club.

No one picked up.

They must have been caught,or expelled,maybe even arrested.

I went to Principal Featherhead's office,maybe to confess, but...

Hi, is Principal Featherhead in?

Not yet.

He should be in later if you want to make an appointment.

Are you okay, Alice?

Do you want to see the nurse?



Thank God!

I've got this bad feeling...

Were things okay last night?

You didn't hear?

I knew it.

What happened?

FP was supposed to tell you.

Tell me what?

Fred's dad, he died, [VOICE CATCHES] while we were at the Ascension Party last night.

Fred found him when he got home.


[ALICE] By the time Mr. Andrews' funeral came arounda few days later,

Principal Featherhead had been declared officially missing.

And we were all waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It was a beautiful service, Fred.

I should have been there when he...


You have to stop beating yourself up, man.

There's nothing you could have done. He was sick.

And he died alone.

Because I was high, running around school like an idiot with you guys.


Look, between this and Featherhead going MIA, we're all a little on edge.

I saw him that night at the school.

During the Ascension Party, I saw Featherhead, and the next morning, he was gone.

Did anyone else run into him?

Should we tell someone?

[STERNLY] You didn't see anything.

- Penelope.
- Nobody did.

Do you want the finger pointed at us because we happened to be doped up and trespassing on the same night Featherhead disappeared?

We don't know what, if anything, happened to him, and no one else knows we were there.

So we keep our mouths shut.



[ALICE] The rumors spread like wildfire.

Everyone had a theory about what happened to Principal Featherhead.

But no one had guessed the gruesome truth,that Mr. Featherhead had been right under our noses,and by the next week, it was impossibleto ignore the flies and the smell.



There was a blue liquid in the chalices when I saw them.

Featherhead's corpse had blue lips.

And the police said he had poison in his system.

What did you guys do to him?

What do you mean, what did we do?

You were there too, Alice.

And you are the only one that actually saw him.

Yeah, because you guys were tripping.

And who was even wearing that insane Gargoyle King costume anyway?

What are you talking about?

We were all in our normal outfits.

And the chalices were empty.

Lady Smith doth protest a little too much, methinks.

- [HERMIONE] Yeah.

Pretty convenient that you left early.

Why don't you tell us what you did to Featherhead?

This is ridiculous.

Fred, you are the radiant knight, you always do the right thing.

You'll go to the cops with me, right?

We're not telling the cops!

Why suddenly such a rule breaker, Penelope?

Because you killed him?

[SCOFFS] And how would I have killed him?

With our magic chalices?


The goblets were full when I went into the bathroom, okay?

Maybe you poisoned them when you were setting up the quest.

Except for I didn't set up the quest.

Neither did Darryl.

We were just as in the dark as the rest of you.

Guys, the chalices were just sitting there.

Any one of us could have drank from them.

So whoever invited us to Ascension Party was trying to kill one or more of us.

Well, then, we have to destroy the game, so that it can't be traced back to us.

The manuals.

We just have to destroy the manuals, we can scatter everything else.

[ALICE] I was outnumbered.

At least, that's what I tell myself now.

I'll handle the dice.

[ALICE] Left in a Monopoly box,forgotten among the other mismatched pieces.

I've got the chalices.

[ALICE] Nestled among other cups and the trophy case.

I'll dispose of the library manual.

[ALICE] Thrown in Sweetwater River.

And I'll burn our copy.

Right, everyone spit, we're making a pact.


From this moment on, no one talks about Gryphons and Gargoyles.

It's a secret, forever, to the grave.

[ALL] To the grave.

[ALICE] After playing G&G, it was a return to reality.

We went our separate waysand burdened by our guilt, became different people.

The wannabe rock star sold his guitar and began breaking rocksat his family business.

The Catholic school girl went against her mother's wishesand began a lifetime of compromises.

Where did you get it?

Don't you worry about that, mi amor.

[ALICE] Romeo and Juliet took their curtain call.

Maybe when we're older, things will be different.

I'll wait for you, Sierra.

I hope you'll do the same.

[ALICE] The Game Master became the pawn.

I wanna live in Thornhill forever and ever, Clifford.

The world outside is...
It's too dangerous.


[ALICE] The high school MVP became a greaser gang member.

[ALICE] The biker girl traded her leathers for a big lie.

Hey there, Hal Cooper.

Any chance you're free for a malt at Pop's?

[ALICE] And when the Midnight Club passed each other in the halls,we didn't so much as smile.

We'd become strangers again.

Okay. [SIGHS]

But, wait, if Principal Featherhead died because he drank from a poisoned chalice, then who poisoned the cups?

I don't know.

His death was ruled a suicide under suspicious circumstances, and we never spoke about it because we knew it must have been a member of the Midnight Club.

The unthinkable.

One of us was a murderer.

But how did they know that Featherhead would show up and that he would drink from the cups?

That's what's so terrifying.

The killer couldn't have known.

Which meant whoever poisoned those cups meant for one of us to drink it at the end of the quest.

So, Featherhead was an unintentional casualty.

I'm sorry, Mom.

But if we are gonna figure out how to stop what's happening now, I have a lot more questions.


When you play the game, the more you talk about it, the more you think of it, the more at risk you are.

Mortal risk.

But from what?

People on the outside? The Game Masters?

And on the inside, the players.

The game, it gives you permission to hurt or kill, themselves, their enemies, their friends.

Ben, Dilton, Ethel, they all willingly drank the Fresh-Aid drainer chalice quest.

But was it murder or suicide?

In the end, it's just death, Betty.

Please promise me you won't investigate it.

You know I can't do that, Mom.


Someone from your club used the game to murder Featherhead.

Now my classmates are dying.

And the whole school is playing the game.

I saw a creature in the woods.

I think the same one you saw at the school.

The Gargoyle King.

What if it's the same person from the Midnight Club?

Then and now?

I know you're scared, Mom.

But we can't be silent anymore.

You see where that's gotten us.

Just please, swear to me...

Swear to me that you won't play it.

I won't play the game, I promise.


Okay, well...

A good detective always vets her sources.



Hiding in plain sight the whole time.

[BETTY] Juggy? Jug?

You won't believe the story my mom told me last night.


What are you doing?


It's all making sense, all of this is becoming clear.

The game, the Gargoyle King, I'm a Level Three, but it's only a matter of time until I ascend...

And I get to beat him.