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You are imprisoned in the Gargoyle King's fortress. Trapped in pens, you live in fear, never knowing when his legion of Gargoyles will descend from the sky to feed. But his guards are arrogant. You've been able to observe and study their moments, and you've planned an escape. {...} Roll the dice to decide your fate. {...} Remember. It's only a game. It's not life or death... {...} Unless, of course, it is. Your mission was unsuccessful. Everyone dies.
Jughead

"Chapter Forty: The Great Escape" is the fifth episode of the third season of Riverdale, and the fortieth episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 14, 2018.[2]

Synopsis

ROLLING THE DICE — After weeks go by with no contact from Archie, Veronica devises a dangerous plan to break him out of juvie. Meanwhile, when Betty learns that Jughead has taken their investigation into Griffins & Gargoyles a step too far, she finds herself in a race against the clock to save him.[3]

Plot

SPOILERS AHEAD


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Joaquin and Archie plan their escape

At the Leopold and Loeb Juvenile Detention Center, Archie moves forward with his plan to stage a break out. He’s has gotten several other inmates to accompany him, including Joaquin, who approaches Archie to inform him that the electrified fence is down. They intend to squeeze through the dead wires but it won’t be long before the guards notice and turn the power back on, forcing the prisoners to act now. Joaquin signals his guys, who stage a fight to provide a distraction as Archie, Joaquin and the others make a break for the gate. Joaquin trips and falls. Archie doubles back to help him up. In that time, the guards arrive and begin shooting them with rubber bullets. As the inmates scale the prison fence, they are shot down. When Joaquin attempts to do the same, Archie pulls him down to the ground and shields him from the gunfire.

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Cheryl, Toni, Jughead, Sweet Pea, and Fangs' game is interrupted by Betty

In Dilton's bunker sits Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs around a table, playing Gryphons and Gargoyles. Their mission is unsuccessful and everyone dies. Betty then enters, shocked by the sight of Jughead and the others playing the game. Jughead explains that he’s made sense of it all. Once he ascends, he will meet the Gargoyle King. Betty sits Jughead down and informs him of the story she learned from her mother, how all their parents played Gryphons and Gargoyles during their junior year of high school. Betty continues to reveal that while they were playing, one of them killed their then principal, Felix Featherhead, as he also had blue lips, which is why Betty thinks Jughead should stop playing. However, he sees this as confirmation that they’ve been playing this game off the board for a lot longer than they realized. The Hot Dog rescue mission, for instance, he believes was a quest. The Serpents and Ghoulies, if nothing else, are warring tribes, such as the orcs and goblins.

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Betty tries to get through to Jughead

Betty stops Jughead, as he isn’t making sense. They have nine suspects, meaning one of their parents could be a murderer. So, Betty wants to investigate them alongside Jughead, but he continues to ramble on about Eldervair, the realm of Gryphons and Gargoyles, which Jughead concludes is an anagram and analog for Riverdale. This is why the game only exists in Riverdale and why there’s no online trace of it. Betty states that this is merely a coincidence, but he thinks it’s one big narrative that’s still being written and played. The more Jughead plays the game, the more familiar he becomes with Eldervair and its rules. The more he sees the patterns. And the more he understands the Gargoyle King. The game is the Gargoyle King’s imagination and psychology. How they view Riverdale. How do you catch a Game Master, Jughead asks. To that, he replies that you become a Game Master. And that’s exactly what he’s doing. Once he proves that he’s at the Gargoyle King’s level, he’ll come face-to-face with him. Betty grows tired of Jughead ramblings and decides to investigate on her own.

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Hiram antagonizes Veronica

Hiram returns to the Pembrooke after a morning run, and proceeds to antagonize Veronica. He tells her that some inmates tried to escape and that Archie was the ringleader. However, they were all captured and punished. They might even add an extra year to Archie’s sentence, Hiram says, hoping to get under Veronica’s skin. Though, she ignores his efforts, retorting that she will see that Archie is freed. Once Veronica leaves, Hiram calls Warden Norton.

Archie is bound to a bed with ropes. He struggles to break free but there is no use. He informs Warden Norton that the break out was his idea and that he takes full responsibility, which comes as no surprise to the Warden, who then brands Archie with a searing hot branding iron.

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Josie, Kevin and Reggie meet with Betty in the Blue and Gold

Betty calls Josie, Kevin and Reggie into the Blue and Gold offices to inform them of the Midnight Club and their parents’ past involvement with Gryphons and Gargoyles. Josie is in disbelief that her mother was a rule-breaking, anti-apartheid activist in high school. And Kevin questions how his father and her mother were together even back then. Much like Josie, Reggie is also skeptical. He doesn’t believe that his father did live action role-play with as he put it "a group of lame ass nerds". Regardless of what they would like to believe, Betty needs them to subtly ask their parents about Gryphons and Gargoyles, as her suspicion is that whoever was running the game back then is also running it now. Josie, Reggie, and Kevin seem aggravated at the insinuation that one of their parents could be responsible for what happened to Ben and Dilton, but they agree nonetheless.

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Veronica asks Elio for a favor

Veronica arranges a meeting with Elio, the son of a mobster family. He compliments her on her speakeasy and even makes a few suggestions to improve it, but that’s not why she called him. Veronica’s recently discovered that Leopold and Loeb has direct ties to the mob, and after not seeing Archie for weeks and coming to a dead end with the Innocent Project, she’s hoping that Elio could help. He agrees to talk to some of his father’s friend to see what he can find out, but Veronica will be expected to return the favor.

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Jughead orders Cheryl to shoot a can off his head, staking his claim as Game Master

Toni and Cheryl barge into the trailer as Jughead struggles to come up with their latest quest. They inform him that Sweet Pea and Fangs are off the deep-end and managed to get into the arsenal, from where they took Cheryl’s bow and arrows. Fangs launches a projectile into the air and Sweet Pea shoots it down. They are then confronted by Cheryl, Toni, and Jughead. Cheryl and Toni were having a rendezvous in the tent when an arrow shot by Sweet Pea and Fangs went right through it. Sweet Pea and Fangs explain that they were practicing their aim for the next quest as they now want to go off board and take G&G into the real world. While other groups may be doing it, Jughead has no desire to and what he says goes as he is the Game Master. Jughead is already the Serpent King, Sweet Pea asks if that isn’t already enough. He and Fangs are foot soldiers in life and now they have to be the same in the game. Jughead has no desire to go back and forth with Sweet Pea, so he instructs Cheryl to grab her bow and notch an arrow. Jughead then proceeds to place an empty can on his head and tells her to fire, which she does, hitting the can dead center. Jughead then tells Sweet Pea that if he has something to prove, he can get against the tree and let Cheryl shoot a can off his head. However, Sweet Pea opts not to. Jughead explains one last time that he’s Game Master, meaning it’s his game and his rules.

While checking the register at La Bonne Nuit, Veronica gets a call from Elio, who informs her that he can get her to Archie. She’ll come as his date but she’ll have to dress incognito.

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Jughead plans to catch the Gargoyle King

At trailer park, FP confronts Jughead after discovering that he is playing G&G. Jughead reveals that he knows that FP played too while in high school and that he knows all about what happened to Principal Featherhead during the ascension party. FP concludes that Jughead gathered this information from Betty, who must’ve gotten it from Alice. FP tells Jughead that whatever story he heard was merely Alice’s version of the events that took place. Not his. So, Jughead asks that his father share his side of the story, but FP chooses not to. However, he has been through every scenario about that night. FP suspects that other people could’ve been sneaking into the school or that Featherhead had his own game of G&G. Jughead admits that there are infinite possibilities, but the most likely one is that the Game Master killed Featherhead. Whoever planned ascension night. Betty thinks it was someone from the Midnight Club, but Jughead isn’t so sure. He thinks it’s someone who has been playing a much longer game, and whoever it is, Jughead intends to catch them.

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Tom, Sierra, Kevin, and Josie have lunch

Following Betty’s instructions, Josie and Kevin devise a plan to get their parents to reveal what they know about G&G. They do this by inviting them to Pop's for a lunch date. When Josie asks how they met, Sierra says that they attended Riverdale High at the same time, but they were more so acquaintances than friends. They claim that they never ran in the same circles. Sierra was in Model UN and Volunteers of America. Tom was in RROTC and on the boxing team. Kevin then asks if they ever played Gryphons and Gargoyles. Sierra and Tom claim that they didn’t and that they only knew of people who did. Seeing as that they’re all together, Sierra and Tom take this opportunity to reveal to Josie and Kevin that they’re engaged.

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Elio and Veronica arrive at Archie's fight

Elio fulfills his promise in getting Veronica to Archie by taking her to the Seaside recreation center, better known as the pit, an underground fight club. Veronica, wearing a blonde wig and sunglasses, catches sight of Warden Norton, causing her patience to wear thin. As the match is set to begin, Archie is brought into the ring to fight another fighter. Elio assures Veronica that she has nothing to worry about as Archie always wins.

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Archie and Veronica reunite

After his latest match-up, Archie soaks his hands in a bucket of ice. Veronica approaches him from behind, ripping off her wig and giving him a hug and a kiss. When Archie questions how she is there, Veronica replies that she knows people. They proceed to have sex in the locker room. Afterward, Veronica tells Archie that while she’s been pursuing legal options, she keeps hitting dead-ends, which is why she’s thinking an old fashion prison break may be Archie’s only option. However, no one has ever broken out of Leopold and Loeb before. This may be true, but as Veronica points out, they’re not in Leopold and Loeb. The security she and Elio went through was tight, so they’ll need another entry point. While it’s a long shot, Archie recalls Warden Norton having him hose down the pool to get rid of all the blood a couple weeks ago. There’s a drain under the ring, but Archie has no idea where it leads or if he can even get through it. But if there’s a chance, they have to take it. Veronica will do some research to see where the drain leads and tells Archie to be ready when the time is right.

Jughead exits his trailer to find Sweet Pea, Fangs, Toni and Cheryl sitting around a fire. He tells them that they will return to Eldervair tomorrow.

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Veronica asks Betty, Josie, Kevin, and Reggie for help

Josie, Kevin and Reggie reconvene with Betty in the Blue and Gold to discuss their efforts to gain more information from their parents. Josie and Kevin came up with nothing as their parents did not admit to anything. All they did was lie and pretend as if they knew nothing of G&G. In other news, Josie reveals that her mother and Kevin’s father announced their engagement. As bad as that was, Reggie’s dad’s reaction to Reggie’s questioning in regards to G&G was much worse, as Reggie was left with a black eye. Reggie wonders why their parents are acting so secretive about something that happened 25 years ago and what Betty is keeping from them. Before Betty can answer, Veronica enters. She tells them how Archie is caught up in some diabolical teen fight club and that she intends to break him out of juvie with all of their help.

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Betty leaves Jughead in the bunker

Betty returns to Dilton’s bunker to find that Jughead is about to set forth on a new quest. She’s about to help Veronica break Archie out of juvie and she’s hoping Jughead will help. Jughead notes that this is perfect. The quest he’s been working on lacked heart and humanity until Betty just gave him the missing piece; a rescue mission, to save their friend. Betty exclaims that this is not a game. It’s real life. But since he refuses to recognize that, she’ll just take Jughead’s bike and do this without him.

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Archie asks Warden Norton how Hiram framed him

Warden Norton has had a large meal prepared for Archie and himself. Archie notes the oddity of this, especially after he tried to escape. This makes him think that the Warden isn’t rewarding him, rather getting rid of him. The Warden admits this is true. Archie’s final meal before his final fight. Since this may be the last meal that Archie ever eats, he asks how exactly did Hiram Lodge pin Cassidy Bullock's murder on him. Warden Norton reveals that Hiram paid three of Cassidy’s friends $10,000 each to lie under oath and say that they saw Archie pull the trigger. As for their current whereabouts, rumor has it that they’re in hiding in Shadow Woods. Warden Norton, on the other hand, would hide in the mines by Shadow Lake as there’s no chance of being found there. One last question, Archie asks if Hiram owns the Warden as well. Warden Norton replies that his soul belongs to no mere mortal. Judgement of all men belongs to he who resides in the kingdom alone. And he’s always watching them.

Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fangs begin their quest. Strange, dark times are upon them. The realm of Eldervair is in disorder, inflicted by evil, as its heart and soul, the Red Paladin has been captured by the Mad Emperor and has been twisted into a beast of war.

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Josie, Kevin, and Reggie create smoke grenades

Veronica, Betty, Kevin, Josie, and Reggie reconvene at La Bonne Nuit. Archie’s stuck behind bars and his life is in danger. As much as possible, they must follow the plan. The slightest deviation and Archie could end up dead. They will need a distraction if they’re going to disorient the guards and save Archie. Something they can sneak into the location easily, that won’t arouse suspicion, something they’ll have to make themselves, so Josie, Kevin, and Reggie sneak into the chemistry class to make smoke grenades, masqueraded as beverages. As for the getaway route, Veronica already has a position picked out for Betty. So long as she sticks to the woods, their cars shouldn’t be able to follow her. Just in case, Betty suggests adding another precaution to the plan.

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Joaquin stabs Archie

Joaquin wraps Archie’s hand in the locker room as he prepares for his final fight. Archie informs Joaquin that something might go down and if it does, Archie promises to come back for them. Joaquin kisses Archie and then stabs him in the abdomen with a blade. His reason for this betrayal; the Warden promised him he would ascend. As Archie struggles to stand, he is taken away by Captain Golightly.

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The young Serpents begin their quest

Meanwhile, the young Serpents begin their quest, which starts with a Judas kiss. A dastardly act of betrayal. A traitor has wounded the Paladin, severely weakening his defenses. With his life in peril, it’s now up to the Dream Warriors to save the Paladin and to restore peace and order to the realm. With every second that passes, the Paladin’s fate dims, Jughead says to Toni, Cheryl, Sweet Pea, and Fangs.

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Veronica and Reggie con their way into the fight

Veronica and Reggie, while incognito, pull up to the fight. Their entry is blocked by security, who asks for the password. When they give the wrong password, Veronica is forced to improvise. She claims her name is "Monica Norton", suggesting a relation to Warden Norton. She and Reggie, who she states to be her fiancé, want to see blood. Whether that be of from the fighters or the guard matters little to her. So she threatens to call Warden Norton should her entry into the building be denied. The guard folds, allowing them both in.

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Deadeye (Cheryl) uses an intimidation spell

Back in Dilton’s bunker, the young Serpent come upon a similar obstacle. Jughead reads the quest aloud to Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea and Fangs. Deadeye (Cheryl), is at the entrance of the Mad Emperor’s dungeon. But she’s been blocked by a bridge troll, so she must roll the dice for an intimidation spell. And her efforts prove successful. Pantera (Fangs) is now up.

Dressed in a delivery service uniform, Kevin approaches the back door of the recreation center with a crate of refreshments, the same ones he, Josie and Reggie created to later provide a distraction.

The young Serpents are now entering the lion’s den. The Paladin is being marched in to meet his doom. For he must face a resurrected Hellhound.

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Mad Dog is alive and well

A wounded Archie is escorted to the ring by Captain Golightly, who lifts the burlap sack off Archie’s head to reveal Archie’s opponent, that being Mad Dog. Archie’s been under the impression that Mad Dog was dead, asking where he has been, but Mad Dog only responds by punching Archie in the face. Warden Norton watches from the crowd with great pleasure.

Just outside the recreation center, Betty disables the Warden’s car.

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Veronica, Reggie, and Josie reconvene once inside

Josie, disguised as a waitress, brings Reggie and Veronica over a dozen or so "beverages". She overheard the guards betting heavily against Archie. They say he’s going down. Reggie remarks that Archie’s opponent is huge and that Archie doesn’t seem to have much time left. So, Veronica orders the others to get in position and wait for her signal.

Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fangs have found the entrance to the Mad Emperor’s tunnel. But, the Mad Emperor has placed a bano protection spell over the barrier.

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Kevin finds the pipe

Kevin arrives at the other end of a sewer pipe, the one that leads up to the fighting ring, but it is locked. He then spots Joaquin running through the woods. When Kevin reveals that he’s there to help break Archie out, Joaquin tells him that it’s too late for Archie. Kevin asks where Joaquin is going. For one, he isn’t going back to the Serpents. Joaquin has joined a different gang, one that he does not disclose to Kevin. But, he does warn Kevin to leave the area before running off himself.

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Archie tries to talk to Mad Dog

Mad Dog continues to strike a weakened Archie, though it would seem that he is very much still an ally despite the fight. He encourages Archie to hit him back. Instead, Archie grabs onto Mad Dog in order to talk to him without anyone noticing. Archie explains that there’s a plan in place. Veronica will cause a commotion and Archie will make a break for the drain under the ring. He wants Mad Dog to join him. Mad Dog then breaks the hold. He doesn’t believe that Archie will make it, especially after getting shivved, but nonetheless, he is willing to help Archie escape by providing him with a head start.

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Betty joins Kevin by the pipe to pick the lock

Betty joins Kevin over by the sewer tunnel. He informs her of the lock they weren’t aware of. Kevin then reveals that Joaquin just passed and that he has to go after him. As Kevin goes looking for his past love, Betty picks at the lock with a bobby-pin.

Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fangs are faced with a curveball. They’re about to come face-to-face with the Dark Dragon. It’s the most evil-tempered, vile creature in the land with a forked tongue and snarling black slime, it reeks of rotting flesh. However, Deadeye impales the dragon with her concealed dagger.

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Veronica enacts her plan

While getting into position, Veronica is made by her father. Hiram grabs Veronica by the arm, demanding answers. Whatever scheme she’s cooked up, he orders that it come to an end, but Veronica disobeys, stomping on his foot and then signaling Josie and Reggie. The three of them proceed to throw the smoke grenades disguised as beverages into the ring. It quickly fills with smoke. When it does, Archie makes his escape. He tries to take Mad Dog with him but it would never work. Mad Dog had tried to get through the drain before and failed. He tells Archie to go without him. He will stay behind and hold off the guards. Hiram watches from the crowd, alerting the Warden that Archie is getting away. With this being so, Warden Norton tells the guards to apprehend Archie, but they fail as Archie makes it through the drain while Mad Dog fights the guards.

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Warden Norton demands that Archie is found

Once the smoke settles, Warden Norton gets into the pool and looks down the drain. Knowing where the pipe leads, he demands that his men find Archie immediately.

Betty picks the lock open just as Archie makes his way through the pipe. He’s bloody and covered in sludge, but Betty helps him out the pipe. She’s overjoyed having helped free him. She notices his stab wound and helps to apply pressure.

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Jughead narrates the quest

Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fangs have freed the Paladin from the dungeon but they’re not free of the Mad Emperor just yet. In fact, he sends a ruthless calvary in pursuit. Their noble steed is no match for the calvary’s mighty stallions. However, they continue on their quest nonetheless. A quick peek back reveals the Emperor’s nightmares galloping at supernatural speed. It’s like hell itself is chasing them and it’s gaining ground. One loose rock, one loose root can send them toppling at this lethal speed, but they force those thoughts out their minds and feel the battle-fury of their forefathers rise within them. Just as it seems they have beaten them, they find themselves at barreling towards the edge of a cliff, forcing them to stop. However, their deception gambit has paid off and they’ve outsmarted the Emperor’s calvary. Sweet Pea and Fangs cheer while Cheryl and Toni share a kiss.

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Betty and Kevin fool Warden Norton

Warden Norton jumps in his car to find Archie, though it doesn’t start due to Betty previously disabling it. Betty and Archie then ride past on Jughead’s motorcycle. Warden Norton orders his men to go after them. Much like Betty, they too are on motorcycles. Betty speeds throughout the woods, with the guards on her and Archie’s tail. As they go further into the woods, they are cut off, forcing Betty and who they believed to be Archie to a stop. However, the passenger on the motorcycle turns out to be Kevin, who removes his helmet, asking how can he help them.

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Josie and Reggie await Archie and Veronica

Meanwhile, Josie and Reggie wait on the side of the road for Veronica to meet them with Archie. Before long, Veronica comes from out the woods with Archie, who can barely stand. They duck down behind the car at the sound of passing police cars, and once the coast is clear, they put Archie in the back of the car and drive off.

Sweet Pea, Fangs, Toni and Cheryl look to Game Master Jughead for an answer, as to whether or not they saved the Red Paladin. Jughead doesn’t know as he made a last-minute change to the quest. He was hoping to have the answer by the time they got to the end.

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Betty threatens to pepper spray the Warden

Warden Norton grabs Kevin by his jacket, demanding to know the whereabouts of the Red Paladin i.e. Archie. After Kevin says that he doesn’t know, Betty pulls out a can of mace and threatens to spray the Warden. The Warden lets Kevin go and calls his men off, ordering them to fall back to the center.

Just as Cheryl asks what happened to the Red Paladin, Archie drops down into the bunker, much to Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fangs’ surprise.

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Everyone makes a pact to keep Archie's whereabouts a secret

After Betty, Veronica, Josie, Kevin, and Reggie arrive at Dilton’s bunker to regroup with the others, Toni patches Archie up and tells him not to make any sudden movements. Archie reveals that it was Joaquin who stabbed him though Archie thinks the Warden made him do it. He then asks where are they, to which Betty explains Dilton’s bunker. The only people who know about it are in the room and it is the safest place in Riverdale. Veronica then notices the branding on Archie’s side, courtesy of Warden Norton. Jughead, Betty, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Toni and Cheryl seem particularly intrigued by the brand. Veronica then calls for everyone’s attention. Since her father saw her, she has to do some damage control on the home front. But, someone needs to stay with Archie at all times. Betty and Jughead volunteer to take the first shift. Equally important, Veronica announces that everyone in the room, herself, Betty, Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, Fangs, Josie, Reggie, and Kevin, are all part of a pact. From this moment on, no one is to know where the bunker is. No one was involved with the breakout and no one knows where Archie is. They are all expected to take this to the grave.

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Hermione is furious with Hiram and Veronica

At the Pembrooke, Hermione explodes at Hiram after discovering the underground fight-club. She is being hounded by social workers and the Innocence Project is breathing down her neck. To make matters worse, she took donations for her campaign from Warden Norton. Hiram urges her to calm down as they can get ahead of this. Veronica then enters, and Hermione’s rage turns to her. Hermione states that this obsession that they both have with Archie will destroy them all. Hermione then exits, hoping that she can somehow contain the mess they’ve made.

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Josie, Reggie, and Kevin agree to play Gryphons and Gargoyles

In a booth at Pop’s, Kevin tells Reggie and Josie how he searched the woods for Joaquin but couldn’t find him as he had to eventually double-back to act as the decoy. They quickly stop the discussion as Pop Tate approaches with their orders. Once he leaves, they resume talking. Joaquin is out there, is Kevin’s last words on the matter. Reggie, however, can’t believe they pulled off the escape. He then looks to Josie and Kevin, asking if they’re going to play Gryphons and Gargoyles to find out what their parents and Betty won’t tell them. Over the radio, an important news bulletin is made, announcing Archie’s escape.

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Betty and Jughead take first watch over Archie

As planned, Betty and Jughead take the first watch. They note that Archie’s brand looks a lot like a runic symbol from Gryphons and Gargoyles. Betty also recalls the Warden calling Archie a Red Paladin. This means he too was playing G&G. They begin to suspect that maybe Warden Norton is the Gargoyle King. Before jumping back in, Betty suggests that Jughead go home and get some sleep. Before leaving, he tells Archie to sleep well as his troubles are likely only beginning.

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Warden Norton commits suicide

Warden Norton sits at his desk, looking over his G&G playing cards of the Red Paladin and another card indicating the death of the Red Paladin. Captain Golightly enters to inform him that Mayor Lodge would like to have a word with him. Instead of facing what he had done, Warden Norton poisons himself with cyanide, even drinking it from a chalice filled with blue fresh-aid.

While on his way home from Dilton’s bunker, Jughead crosses paths with the Gargoyle King in the woods and bows before him.

Cast

Starring

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Link Baker as Captain Golightly
  • Julian Haig as Elio
  • Kyle Jespersen as Loading Dock Guard
  • Matthew Mandzij as Bouncer

Soundtrack

Trivia

Gallery

Promotional Images

Screencaps

Videos

References

  1. Final Adjusted TV Ratings for Wednesday 14th November 2018 - SpoilerTV
  2. Season 3 Episode Title - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa‏ (@WriterRAS) - Twitter
  3. Riverdale - Episode 3.05 - The Great Escape - Promotional Photos + Press Release - SpoilerTV

Episode Guide