Riverdale “Chapter Forty: The Great Escape” Review
Through the events of Riverdale “Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Midnight Club”, we now know what we have to brace ourselves for understanding how a game like GnG can become addictive, and with it being revealed that one of these parents might actually be the Gargoyle King. This week is one to look forward to when this information will be the key to begin asking the right questions about the resurfacing of the game now. Particularly when those like Jughead might need to be saved from themselves.
Lets let things continue to sink in for a second with Jughead and Betty. First we have Archie who honestly we have not seen in a long while. Last week was strictly focused on the parent’s experience in the past with Gryphons and Gargoyles. Then we also had the week before that where there was no new episode at all. I may have had my problems with his current situation, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to follow this to a point where he can find his way back into the free world. Plus, as the title of this episode suggests, little time is going to be wasted here jumping into an escape plan from the detention center. This here was an inevitability and I’m glad they didn’t wait too long for someone to try. After a few more examples of how the guards treat these kids, I was all in for someone taking that bold next step.
Veronica plots to break Archie out of juvenile detention was the big thing for this episode, and I couldn’t love her any more for taking on such a daring task. If there’s one difference from the comics I consistently commend. it is the way that Veronica grew out of the rich girl phase. In Riverdale, she is a character who sees the advantage of the life she lives, but doesn’t take it for granted. The lengths she went to in order to pull this off was worth all of the suspense and build-up. The execution of the prison escape was pretty creative. You had the actual plan set into motion, and then you had another game progressing on top of that which matched every step perfectly. I loved this because it felt almost as if we had a narrator hyping up the escape through every triumph and obstacle. By the end of this escape, I don’t think I have ever felt as clung to the edge of my seat. Anything could have gone right or wrong, and you would have never known until hitting each milestone till the finish line.
After Betty learned that Jughead has taken their investigation a step too far, I could see how she might start to pick up the pacing with her side of things. This is usually the time where you would expect someone like her to start making some cliche mistakes under pressure. You know, doing the very things that would work against the experience she has had with following leads? Fortunately that time did not come just yet for her. Her first steps took full advantage of the information she now has, and the people she can count on in her circle of trust. The rest of the cast that she was able to pull to aid her pushed us way farther ahead considering how long it would take to question each parent and get a different response in the process. Pacing was kept in mind which is important at this stage. Especially with so much else going on as well.
Through Jughead we finally have our third perspective of the game. I was shocked by the group he got to play Gryphons and Gargoyles with him. Some of the very people who said they were above getting themselves involved in such an obsession. It was unfortunate the position that Jughead put himself in, but someone major needed to be entangled in this game. For him, this was a step further than most right now since there was both the drive to play the game and beat it for the sake of closing the investigation. In that kind of situation you always know that the person runs the risk of losing themselves along the way. The only question is when and how. Each subtle action and response you could see a piece of him was already overtaken from just the way he responded to others.
My heart was honestly racing from start to finish because of the events of Riverdale “Chapter Forty: The Great Escape”. The atmosphere of this episode grabs you and takes hold. This is a show where consequences are real. Anything could happen to a character you care about when making daring moves that involve breaking someone out of a detention center. My hope next week is to see what we have to look forward to when when things condense just a bit more with one less place to be dragged to.