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Ethel must've done it before our rendezvous in the bunker. Or maybe there was someone else helping her. Either way... by next weekend, almost every student at Riverdale High would be playing Gryphons and Gargoyles. And the real game was just beginning.
Jughead

"Chapter Thirty-Eight: As Above, So Below" is the third episode of the third season of Riverdale, and the thirty-eighth episode of the series overall.[2] It premiered on October 24, 2018.

Synopsis

OPENING NIGHT — When a series of suspicious roadblocks threaten to delay the opening of the speakeasy, Veronica enlists the help of Cheryl, Toni, Reggie, Kevin and Josie to ensure opening night goes off without a hitch. Elsewhere, Betty and Jughead follow different leads to learn more about the strange incidents going on in the town. Finally, some unwanted attention forces Archie to make a difficult decision about his future.[3]

Plot

SPOILERS AHEAD


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Archie locked in solitary confinement

Archie is locked in solitary confinement when he receives a visit from Warden Norton and Captain Golightly. Archie has apparently been locked up for quite some time. Nevertheless, his answer remains the same. He refuses to help the Warden in any way. Given his refusal, Archie receives an additional week of solitary confinement.

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Alice and FP in bed

Alice and FP lay in bed together after having sex in the trailer. FP is grateful that the Farm opened Alice up to the possibility of them. On a different note, it's been three weeks since the deaths of Ben Button and Dilton Doiley. As far as the town's concerned, it was just two boys taking their own lives for whatever reason. Hopefully, it ends there. However, both Alice and FP know this to be unlikely with Betty and Jughead on the case.

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Betty and Jughead in Dilton's bunker

Simultaneously, in Dilton Doiley’s bunker lays Betty and Jughead, cuddled up on Dilton’s bed. Betty’s uncomfortable in the bunker, however, it’s the only place in town they can get a modicum of privacy. Ben’s death still haunts Betty, as he didn’t scream, forcing her to wonder why. She and Jughead begin to question the rules behind Gryphons & Gargoyles. Perhaps it’s the key to solving everything. Ben, Ethel and Dilton talk of it as if it’s a religion or cult. And every cult has its king.

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Warden Norton denies Fred from seeing Archie

Fred arrives at the Leopold and Loeb Juvenile Detention Center to see Archie after having not seen him for three weeks. However, Warden Norton refuses. He claims that Archie started a riot and his visitation privileges have been suspended. However, Fred has already learned from a "witness" of the riot that it was in fact started by Norton’s guards. With that, Fred warns the Warden that he’ll be hearing from his lawyer.

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Betty encourages Veronica to open the speakeasy

At Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, Veronica expresses her concern for the diner to Betty. She’s overwhelmed with bills as Pop’s is hemorrhaging money. Betty inquires about the speakeasy, hoping that it is near. Veronica confesses that the speakeasy is ready and it has been for a while, but she hasn’t opened it because she’s waiting for Archie to be released. Betty reminds Veronica that putting her life on hold is precisely what Archie asked her not to do. Betty suggests that Veronica focus on herself and open the speakeasy.

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Betty and Jughead begin their investigation into Ethel and Evelyn

At school, Betty informs Jughead of the strict dress code for Veronica’s speakeasy. They then notice Ethel across the hall with Evelyn Evernever, much to Betty’s dismay. Betty suspects that Gryphons & Gargoyles may have some kind of connection to the Farm. Ben, Dilton and Ethel started playing the game that summer, which is the same time the Farm and the Evernevers moved to Riverdale. Betty tells Jughead that Evelyn’s father is their leader and her mother won’t stop talking about him. They compare Edgar to a king. Unfortunately, Betty doesn’t know much about him. They continue to watch Ethel and Evelyn’s exchange from across the hall, deciding then to continue their investigation with Ethel.

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Josie, Kevin, Reggie and Veronica discuss the grand opening

Josie and Kevin arrive at Pop's. When they do, Pop Tate, leads them to a back room and tells them to pick up the phone and dial 642. Kevin does just that. Reggie answers, asking for a password before allowing them into Veronica’s speakeasy, which is located under the diner. Veronica explains to Kevin and Josie that she hired some of the Serpents from the Whyte Wyrm to sell drinks, cocktails only. Veronica then asks Josie to be her resident chanteuse. Josie graciously accepts as she has been working nonstop to find her new sound as a solo act and is in need of a place to try it out. As for Kevin, Veronica asks him to be her emcee. He accepts only under the condition that he occasionally gets to sing. Reggie answers the phone to learn from Pop that Penny Peabody is upstairs.

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Penny offers Veronica the Ghoulies' protection

Veronica greets Penny in the diner. She asks what Penny wants. Penny retorts that it’s not what she wants, but instead what Veronica wants — protection. She and the Ghoulies are offering their services at a modest price. Veronica concludes that the protection would only be against Ghoulie attack, to which she is correct. Penny remarks that the diner is nice and Veronica’s speakeasy is probably nicer and she’d hate for something bad to happen to it. So, she leaves, allowing Veronica to come to a decision.

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The Pit

Warden Norton and Captain Golightly place a burlap sack over Archie’s head and takes him to "the pit", which appears to be some kind of organized, underground fight club that pits prisoner against prisoner. In this particular fight, Joaquin is one of the fighters and he appears to be on the losing end of the fight. When Archie refused his offer, Warden Norton was forced to tap a replacement, that being Joaquin, whose about to reach the end of his usefulness as far as the Warden is concerned. He’s also very much aware of Archie and Joaquin being friends. Warden Norton places Joaquin’s fate in Archie’s hands. He can either end up back in his cell, safe and sound, or in the infirmary, on life support. Watching as Joaquin is completely obliterated in the match, Archie agrees to take his place.

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Archie joins the other fighters

Captain Golightly introduces Archie to the rest of the team of the fight club. Archie becomes acquainted with an inmate known only as Baby Teeth, who proceeds to introduce Archie to Thumper and Peter. Baby Teeth advises Archie to start using the punching bag before the Captain comes over. Rules of the fight are bare knuckles until knockout. Warden sells the tickets. Guards place the bets. Everyone wins except the prisoners. They get a few perks if they win though. When Archie asks about Mad Dog, Captain Golightly tells him to stop talking. Baby Teeth also advises him not to ask questions.

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Cheryl and Toni agree spread the word about Veronica's speakeasy

Cheryl and Toni are approached in the student lounge by Veronica, who needs their help spreading the word about her speakeasy. In exchange for promoting La Bonne Nuit, she’s offering them no cover and free drinks all night. With a heavy card stock and valet parking, Cheryl and Toni can’t help but say yes. One last thing, Veronica tells them to ensure that Sweet Pea and Fangs are in attendance.

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Jughead and Betty talk to Ethel about her seizures and Evelyn Evernever

Jughead and Betty enter the classroom, where they find Ethel sitting alone. This is the first time they’ve spoken since the incident in the student lounge and so she informs them that she’s been given medication to prevent the seizures. She’s been having them multiple times a day. Jughead apologizes if he or Betty did anything to trigger her seizures as they were only trying to help, like they were trying to help Ben when he threw himself out of a window, Ethel remarks. Betty asks if Ethel had any visions when she collapsed. Unfortunately, Ethel can’t recall. Betty then inquires about her friendship with Evelyn Evernever, to which Ethel replies that Evelyn’s been helping her get better so that she can titrate down her meds. Betty questions whose idea this was, Evelyn’s or her dad’s. Before Ethel can respond, Betty asks if Ethel has ever met Edgar Evernever. She doesn’t answer the question directly but instead suggests that Betty look into Evelyn’s peer support group if she’s so curious. Principal Weatherbee gave her permission to start a student chapter of the Farm at Riverdale High. Jughead then tells Ethel that before Ben killed himself, he mentioned reuniting with Dilton in the Kingdom, leading him to his question, if Gryphons & Gargoyles has a rule book or player’s manual. Ethel admits that one does exist though they refer to it as the scripture. However, she isn’t allowed to reveal to Jughead whether or not she owns a copy as he is not worthy of the King’s scripture. Jughead replies that he wants to be worthy and that he would like for Ethel to show him how. Ethel agrees to show Jughead, but him alone as Betty will never be worthy. They arrange a meeting for tomorrow night in Dilton’s bunker.

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Veronica's been set up with a stash of Jingle Jangle

A shirtless Reggie brings down a delivery into the speakeasy. When he and Veronica open the packages, they discover a large stash of Jingle Jangle inside. They then receive a call from Pop Tate that Sheriff Minetta is upstairs, leaving them to conclude that they’ve been set up. Reggie is tasked with disposing of the drugs while Veronica distracts Minetta upstairs. Sheriff Minetta explains that he’s there for an inspection. By the time Veronica brings him down, Reggie has sufficiently disposed of the Jingle Jangle, much to Minetta’s dismay. Given the failed set up, Minetta then reveals that he’s collecting donations for Riverdale’s underfunded sheriff department, which Veronica deduces as being nothing more than a classic shakedown. Sheriff Minetta tells her that he’ll be back to collect the donation after her opening event. As Minetta exits, Veronica shares with Reggie her suspicion that the drugs were sent by Penny Peabody. She and Reggie know these encounters are a result of her father trying to bait her into a confrontation.

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Evelyn agrees to help Betty

When Betty arrives at Evelyn’s peer support meeting, she finds the classroom empty. However, she is joined by Evelyn not long after. Betty claims that she’s come to learn more about the Farm and that she came to ask about Ethel, who told her that Evelyn had been helping her with her seizures. Evelyn says that she’s been trying to with her dad’s teachings as she has to get Ethel off the medication. Evelyn then asks if Betty is on any medication, which Betty claims she isn’t, but she is considering it as she’s still having convulsions one or twice a day. Betty is hoping that Evelyn’s dad could help, which Evelyn is thrilled to hear.

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Archie wins his first match

As Archie sleeps in his cell, Captain Golightly enters and places his hand over Archie’s mouth, threatening to send Archie back to solitary should he make a sound. He then places a sack over Archie’s head and takes him to the pit, where he is forced to compete in his first matchup. Archie’s opponent takes the first swing. Archie dodges, first delivering a punch to his opponent’s ribs before finishing the match with an uppercut. The fight is over within seconds.

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Archie shares his winnings

The next day, Archie sits in his cell with bruised knuckles when Captain Golightly approaches to inform him that winners receive special perks. Archie requests lunch from Pop’s, but not just for himself. He gets enough to share with all the fighters. Baby Teeth compliments Archie’s fighting ability but questions what the Warden has to say about Archie ending the fight so quick. However, Archie has not the slightest clue as to what he is referring to.

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Toni and Cheryl agree to help Veronica

Veronica makes her way over to Sunnyside Trailer Park, where she finds Toni photographing Cheryl. She asks if either of them have seen Jughead, which they haven’t but Cheryl surmises that he’s off with Betty. However, she’s sure that she and Toni can be of assistance. Veronica reveals that Penny Peabody paid her a visit, followed shortly thereafter by Sheriff Minetta. Veronica’s certain that her father is puppeteering them and she wants to call them off, but she first needs leverage, and Veronica knows that Jughead has been keeping tabs on the Southside. Toni admits this is true; for instance, they discovered that over the summer, the Ghoulies had set up shop in the basement of the Whyte Wyrm, which Hiram owns. Sweet Pea and Fangs think they’ve turned it into a Jingle Jangle lab, and lucky for Veronica, Toni used to bartend at the Wyrm, so she knows all the secret entrances and exits.

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Veronica, Cheryl and Toni sneak into the Whyte Wyrm

Veronica, Cheryl and Toni sneak into the basement of the Whyte Wyrm in an attempt to gain leverage over Hiram. While inside, they discover that Sweet Pea and Fangs were correct in their belief that the Wyrm has been made into a Jingle Jangle lab. As the lab workers exit, Veronica, Cheryl and Toni move in. Toni takes several photos of the lab as proof of Hiram’s corrupt business.

As planned, Jughead meets up with Ethel in Dilton’s bunker. She welcomes him to his first game, his entry point to the realm of Gryphons & Gargoyles. The magical kingdom of Eldervair. First things first, Jughead must pick his character. He’s given the choices of the Radiant Knight, Arcane Invoker and Hellcaster. Jughead chooses Hellcaster, which was also Ben’s avatar. Ethel was supposed to ascend with him but he betrayed her and finished the game with Dilton instead. Jughead then picks a quest card and they proceed with the game.

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The Farm awaits Betty's return

Betty returns home to find her mother and sister, along with half a dozen members of the Farm, Evelyn included, sitting in the living room, awaiting her arrival. Evelyn told them that Betty was finally ready to meet the Farm. Betty was under the impression that Edgar would be joining them, to which to the group laughs. Alice and Polly explain that there are certain levels one must first attain before meeting Edgar. First, Betty must start by meeting a few "Farmies". This will be Betty’s first testimony, which is essentially an open, non-judgmental conversation about all the bad things she’s done in her life. Evelyn reveals that between Alice and Polly, the Farm has gathered much information on Betty, such as her dark kinship with her father and the role she played in disposing of a dead body in her kitchen. Betty is in disbelief that her mother shared this information regarding Chic and the shady man with the Farm.

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Betty accuses the Farm of bringing Gryphons & Gargoyles to Riverdale

Alice tells Betty that everything spoken at the Farm is kept in confidence. They all know each other’s secrets. They also know about the wake and the webcamming. Feeling cornered, Betty changes the subject to Evelyn being present at both her seizure and Ethel’s, and how the Farm showed up in Riverdale at the same time as Gryphons & Gargoyles, which made Ben and Dilton kill themselves all to appease a creature only known as the Gargoyle King, which Betty suspects may be Evelyn’s father. Evelyn claims that the first time they had ever heard of Gryphons & Gargoyles was from Alice, leaving Betty to wonder how her mother knows about the game. Alice attempts to drive the discussion away from her past, stating that it’s too soon and that Betty isn’t ready. Betty then becomes dizzy, as if she’s about to faint, but she keeps her balance.

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Jughead drinks from the Chalice

Meanwhile, Jughead and Ethel continue their game of Gryphons & Gargoyles. Jughead crosses the old footbridge to find two doors. One is made of shimmering gold and the other is just maple wood. Jughead chooses door number two, which proves to be a wise choice. He enters a secret chamber and is now standing in the middle of a circle composed of gryphon bones. Two chalices sit before him. Ethel then unveils two real chalices. In order to prove his worthiness, he must drink from one of the Sacred Goblets, which Jughead is adamantly against as one of the chalices contains poison or as the game refers to it, gargoyle blood. Jughead must flip a coin to determine which cup he drinks from. He reluctantly agrees, but only if Ethel hands over the scripture afterwards. Jughead flips the coin and is forced to drink from the gryphon marked chalice. He guzzles it down and is seemingly fine, with nothing more than blue coloring on his lips to show for his life-threatening decision. Before handing over the rule book, Ethel tells Jughead that he must kiss her first according to the scripture. The Hellcaster kisses the princess or he doesn’t get the treasure, it decrees. Jughead kisses Ethel and takes the book. While Jughead’s reading the rule book, Ethel chugs the chalice filled with poison. Jughead attempts to stop her but she has already consumed it.

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Ethel recovers in the hospital

Jughead has taken Ethel to Riverdale General Hospital. He continues to read the rule book as she sleeps. When she wakes, Jughead reveals that she’ll be fine as she was given the antidote in time. Ethel finds herself locked to the bed. It’s protocol for anyone on suicide watch. When her parents arrive, Jughead wants Ethel to tell them everything about the game, but Ethel refuses. She won’t tell them and neither will Jughead because if he does, she’ll lie and say he mixed the fresh-aid. Jughead tells her that the game is over, but Ethel retorts that it’s only just beginning. Jughead has proven himself much to Ethel’s pleasure. She told the Gargoyle King that Jughead was worthy enough to spread his gospel. Jughead states that the King won’t hurt anyone else and that he’ll see to it that the scripture doesn’t end up in anyone else’s hands. Ethel grabs Jughead’s hand and thanks him for helping her to finish the game.

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Veronica shakes down Hiram

Veronica enters her father’s study to inform him that she’s not paying protection money to anyone, especially not Penny, Minetta or him. Hiram offers Veronica a piece of advice. He tells her not to make enemies of the people trying to help her. Veronica warns Hiram to back off or else she’ll send the photos Toni took of the drug lab to the FBI. Also, Veronica wants $10,000 a week in perpetuity. She has turned the tables as she is now shaking him down. She welcomes him to keep the photos as she has copies.

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Warden Norton tells Archie to make the fight last

Back at the detention center, Warden Norton tells Archie that the Governor is hosting a fundraiser in Seaside, but he’ll be back before Archie’s next match, which is what he wanted to talk to Archie about. Ending a fight in a single punch is not entertaining enough. Tonight, Archie’s opponent should be no trouble, but Warden Norton wants Archie to punish him and give them a show as he wishes to savor it. Norton demands five or six rounds at least to fully satiate the crowds’ bloodlust.

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Archie has an imaginary chat with his dad

Archie sits in his cell, imagining a conversation with his dad. He tells his father that he thought his being there would pay for everything that he did but what the Warden wants him to do and who he wants Archie to become is so much worse. As this imaginary discussion continues, Fred tells Archie that when he was little, he used to get calls from the school about Archie getting into fights, though Archie was usually protecting someone else. Archie’s 7th-grade teacher told Fred that one thing is for sure, by the time Archie gets out of junior high, he’s going to know how to throw a punch and how to take one. Fred explains that there are other ways of putting on a show for the Warden but it is up to him to figure it out.

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Alice trusts the Farm more than Betty

Alice enters Betty’s room to find her getting ready for the opening night of Veronica’s speakeasy. Alice knows that Betty never had any intentions of working with the Farm. She merely wanted to meet Edgar so that she could question him. Betty explains that by Alice telling the Farm her deepest, darkest secrets, she’s also implicating Betty, Jughead and FP. However, Alice believes that the Farm would never use her testimony against her. Betty questions what her mother told the Farm about Gryphons & Gargoyles but Alice chooses not to answer because she trusts the Farm more than she trusts Betty.

Reggie greets Toni and Cheryl as they arrive at the opening night for Veronica’s speakeasy. He shows them downstairs, where they are met by Kevin and Veronica. Cheryl then takes to social media to post Veronica to her Instagram story.

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Betty and Jughead arrive at opening night

As Betty and Jughead arrive at opening night, Jughead informs Betty that he hid the rule book in the trailer and will show Betty at a later time. Betty then asks about Ethel, who is physically alright, but she’s going to need a bit of deprogramming Jughead states. Betty remarks that Ethel can keep her mom company as the Farm has gotten way deeper into her head than initially presumed. Betty is certain that her mom knows something about Gryphons & Gargoyles, but she refuses to speak on it. Betty then attempts to wipe away the blue fresh-aid on Jughead’s lips.

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Hiram comes bearing gifts

After a brief conversation with Sweet Pea, Veronica learns from Reggie that her father is upstairs. Veronica and Reggie head topside, where they find Hiram in the diner with a portrait of Veronica that he thought would be more fitting at the speakeasy, which he is sure will be a roaring success. While he knows that Veronica doesn’t want to hear it, he is, in fact, proud of her. Veronica is glad he came, if only to see how a legitimate business is run. So, she invites him downstairs and tells Reggie to keep an eye on him.

Kevin takes to the stage. On behalf of Veronica, he thanks everyone for coming to the grand opening of La Bonne Nuit. He then welcomes Josie to the stage to perform. Sweet Pea, Fangs, Cheryl and Toni cheer Josie on as she prepares to perform. Josie sings "Anything Goes".

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Archie puts on a show

Elsewhere, Archie’s match-up in the pit is underway. He tells his opponent to hit him, giving the Warden the show that he wants as Archie would much rather take the punch than to deliver them out to a much weaker opponent. He allows his opponent to beat him, encouraging him to come at him with all he’s got. Warden Norton and Captain Golightly watch as Archie is beaten mercilessly by his opponent in an effort to grant the Warden the fight that he wants. As the fight comes to its final round, a bloody and beaten Archie knocks out his opponent with a single punch, which he could’ve done much sooner if not for the Warden demanding a lasting fight. As blood drips down his face, Archie looks up to the Warden, who comments that Archie is a star.

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Archie explodes with anger

When Archie returns to his cell, he finds Mad Dog’s hand-me-downs. Captain Golightly explains to Archie that he’s the new champ and as a result is being rewarded as such. Warden Norton then brings Archie a bottle of rum from Hiram Lodge’s label as a token of appreciation. Norton tells Archie that he has a bright future at the detention center and that the two of them are only just getting started. Seeing Hiram’s name on the rum enrages Archie and he throws the bottle at the cell doors, smashing it to pieces. Archie then destroys the cell in frustration before settling down. He picks up one of Mad Dog’s books to find a small rock hammer inside.

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FP and Alice burn the rule book

Jughead and Betty return to the trailer to find it in complete disorder. FP and Alice demand to know where Jughead got the rule book from. FP is especially enraged as he can still see the blue on Jughead’s lips. Betty questions what FP and Alice are hiding and she instructs Jughead to not answer any of their questions until they start telling the truth about what they know about Gryphons & Gargoyles. FP explains that the game is pure evil and that no one else will ever play it again. Jughead begs his father not to destroy the scripture. While they don’t intend to play it, the book may be the only chance they have of figuring out what happened to Ben and Dilton. Nevertheless, with this being the only known copy, FP and Alice decide it’s best to destroy the scripture by throwing it into the fire.

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Veronica knows the drug lab has been moved

Hiram enters Veronica’s room to congratulate her on a successful opening night. She noticed that he left early, to which he replies he had some business to attend to. Given that he showed up with her portrait while knowing she had photos of his drug lab, Veronica concludes that he already cleared out the Whyte Wyrm and moved his operations to a new location. "What drug lab?" Hiram responds.

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Archie wants to stage a breakout

Archie joins the other fighters in the training gym to inform them of the small rock hammer he found that Mad Dog kept hidden in a book. Archie thinks he kept it as a reminder. No matter what happens inside of the detention center, there’s still a world outside that’s worth going back to. Baby Teeth doesn’t believe that any of them have a chance of getting out short of being in a body bag. However, Archie disagrees. He plans on breaking out, which Joaquin wants in on.

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Betty and Jughead end their investigation

Betty and Jughead are once again in Dilton bunker, laying in bed. Jughead begins to think that maybe destroying the rule book was for the best because as he was flipping through the manual, he felt as if he was reading evil. Betty states that both of their parents played the game, which is why they were so adamant against them investigating Ben and Dilton’s deaths, and why they freaked out over the rule book. If what Ethel said about that being the only rule book is true, then it doesn’t matter anymore as it’s all over.

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The Gryphons & Gargoyles player's manual is now in circulation around Riverdale High

Jughead arrives at school the following morning to find Cheryl with a copy of the rule book. She explains that it was in her locker. The same with everyone else. As it would turn out, everyone in school now has a copy of the Gryphons & Gargoyles manual. By next weekend, almost every student at Riverdale High would be playing the game. Jughead suspects that Ethel must’ve done it before their rendezvous in the bunker and that maybe she has someone helping her.

At Riverdale General, Ethel speaks to the Gargoyle King. She did as he asked by spreading his gospel. Soon, everyone will join them. Ethel then bows down before the Gargoyle King.

Cast

Starring

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Link Baker as Captain Golightly
  • Mig Buenacruz as Opponent #2

Soundtrack

Trivia

  • The episode title comes from John Erick Dowdle's 2014 American horror film of the same name.
  • A video for the song "Anything Goes" was released a few days before the episode, and the scenes with Archie fighting were left out, opting instead to include only Josie and more scenes with the rest of the cast in "La Bonne Nuit"-
  • Issue 7 of the Riverdale tie-in comic first showcased Dilton holding up inside of a bunker of his own making. Due to the bunker's difference in appearance with the one shown in this episode however, it isn't clear if they are meant to be the same structure or two different ones entirely. 

Gallery

Promotional Images

Screencaps

Videos

References

  1. Final Adjusted TV Ratings for Wednesday 24th October 2018 - SpoilerTV
  2. Season 3 Episode Title - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa‏ (@WriterRAS) - Twitter
  3. Riverdale - Episode 3.03 - As Above, So Below - Press Release - SpoilerTV

Episode Guide