'Riverdale' Stars Dish on That Epic Flashback Episode: 7 Things We Learned! (Exclusive)
By Meredith B. Kile
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Warning: Spoiler alert! If you have not watched Wednesday's new episode of Riverdale, go read your Gryphons and Gargoyles manual and come back when you're done!
Riverdale threw things in reverse in a major way on Wednesday’s new episode, flashing back to the parents’ time at Riverdale High and revealing the deadly truth about their long-buried experience with the mysterious game, Gryphons and Gargoyles — as well as a few unexpected hookups!
“It was our junior year," Alice (Mädchen Amick) tells Betty (Lili Reinhart), as she recounts the tumultuous tale of how the parents met, Breakfast Club-style, in detention one fateful day. "Phones had cords, Winona had Johnny and everything smelled like teen spirit.”
"It was so fun and different. It's really just a unique episode," Reinhart told ET's Leanne Aguilera of filming the throwback ep. "I got to have a lot of fun with hair and makeup and '90s wardrobe. And some lip liner."
"Special MAC Spice lip liner," Amick noted.
But Alice's flashback tale is more I Know What You Did Last Summer than Clueless, as the parents' detention-born bond takes a sinister turn with the discovery of a Gryphons and Gargoyles instruction manual. The game quickly overtakes their lives, leading to deadly consequences after a seemingly supernatural occurrence interrupts a particularly wild night.
Read on for seven of the most shocking revelations from “The Midnight Club.”
1. Penelope Blossom’s origin story is even more twisted than we could have guessed.
Cheryl's controlling mother (played in the flashbacks by Madelaine Petsch) got her dysfunctional streak from a truly twisted upbringing, and in a moment of vulnerability, she reveals the truth to the group. As it turns out, Penelope Blossom isn't a Blossom at all. She was brought up at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, until the Blossoms came looking for red-headed children to continue their family line, and was hand-picked to serve as Clifford's adopted sister and later, "life companion." Truly, yikes.
2. Sierra Samuels and Tom Keller’s romance started back in high school.
Ashleigh Murray and Casey Cott play the younger versions of their characters' parents in the flashbacks, the star-crossed couple of Riverdale High. Though their families don't approve of the relationship, the two are adorably attached at the hip and make a sweet promise to wait for each other in the future. So romantic!
3. And there were even more unexpected hookups.
Amid the multiple catfights that erupted in The Midnight Club's early meetings, there were also some unexpected hookups, including a kiss between real-life couple Camila Mendes and Charles Melton, playing their parents, Hermione Gomez and Marty Mantle.
Alice even hooked up with Fred Andrews! But, as Amick's present-day character points out, the lip lock with Archie's dad (KJ Apa, in the flashbacks) didn't mean much. “We were lonely, attractive, in the same room,” she recalls.
4. The Gargoyle King helped turn Alice Smith into Alice Cooper.
The group's game of Gryphons and Gargoyles ends on a terrifying and tragic note, as Principal Featherhead (Anthony Michael Hall, in another fun nod to The Breakfast Club) arrives at the school one night, as the group's real-life RPG-ing takes a supernatural turn. Alice spots him in the hallway but hides from sight after catching a glimpse of the Gargoyle King, and later, the principal's lifeless body is discovered with blue-stained lips -- a mysterious, common thread among the game's victims.
The shocking death affects the whole group, but Alice most of all, as she ditches her bad girl persona and sets her eyes on the next available All-American suitor: Hal Cooper. So does Alice ultimately regret the decision?
"Present day, yes," Amick explained, "but she got beautiful babies out of it."
5. In fact, the game shaped each of the parents' lives.
After swearing off Gryphons and Gargoyles, and making a pact never to speak of the fateful night, the group goes their separate ways and starts their journey towards becoming their altered adults selves. 'We'd become strangers again," Alice recounts.
"The episode was fun, because you really got to see all of the parents as teenagers and how different they all were," Amick recalled, "and then what happened that made them all change course."
Fred sells his guitar and takes up the family business, while FP Jones (Cole Sprouse) ditches his popular jock persona to follow his father into the Southside Serpents. Hermione defies her mother's wishes and takes up with Hiram (played in flashbacks by Mark Consuelos' real-life son, Michael). Sierra and Tom split, with a hope to reconcile in the future, and Penelope embraces her life and legacy as a Blossom, telling Clifford, "The outside world is too dangerous."
6. But there’s a killer still on the loose.
The mystery of who -- or what -- killed Principal Featherhead remains to this day, Alice explains to Betty. Was it really the Gargoyle King? Does one of the parents still carry around the secret of the terrible truth? Is there a clue in the writing on the bathroom wall?
7. Gryphons and Gargoyles now has its hold on the new generation.
After hearing her mother's story, Betty rushes to tell her friends, but finds them already in the grips of a new round of the game. "It's all making sense. All of this is becoming clear," Jughead tells her, wide-eyed and manic. "I'm on level three, but it's only a matter of time until I ascend, and I get to meet him."
While the episode ends on an alarming note, Reinhart says the cast had a blast filming the flashback scenes. "I was sad when that episode was over, because I really liked it. I liked playing that character a lot," the actress recalled. "Not that I don't love playing Betty, but it was just so different from what I do everyday at work."
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. See more on this season in the video below!