TV ReviewsRiverdale Season 3 Episode 8: Outbreak Review

Dylan PhillipsDecember 13, 2018

If you would like to read my review of last episode of Riverdale, click here.

Synopsis: On the road and running out of places to stay, Jughead and Archie head to Toledo to visit Jughead’s mother Gladys and sister Jellybean. Back in Riverdale, Betty inches closer to uncovering the truth about Griffins & Gargoyles, while Veronica and Cheryl take on Hiram, Hermoine and Penelope after more students fall victim to seizures. (TVGuide)

Writer: James DeWille

Director: John Kretchmer

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 45mins

Airs: Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW (United States)

“Outbreak” starts off with the school getting ready for the annual pep rally when suddenly all of the vixens collapse onto the floor in violent seizures. At the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, Betty sits playing Gryphons & Gargoyles, taking her fizzle rock medication and then throwing it up to try and stay sane. And Jughead and Archie have finally made it to their destination as the Jones are reunited.

In the aftermath of the event at Riverdale high, Cheryl takes care of Toni after her seizure and suggests that she move in permanently. Meanwhile, Veronica wakes up to her parents arguing and they avoid mentioning the seizure was a Vixen-wide epidemic and suggest they send her back to New York to avoid Riverdale’s Rapture. At Pop’s, Reggie reveals to Veronica that Jingle-Jangle is being replaced by Fizzle Rocks and they are being dealt by a new gang, the Gargoyles. She asks him to dig deeper into this development.

Alice visits Betty and informs her of the Riverdale High seizure epidemic so Betty decides to fast-track her plan and get under Ethel’s skin to gain access to the Gargoyle King’s chamber. She locks Ethel in the room and tells her that the Gargoyle King is a hallucination, the fizzle rocks are drugs and that after being locked up for a while she will realize it’s the truth. Betty returns to the room that’s adorned with a gargoyle statue and she sits down to plead that Ethel needs to help her get to the bottom of this. Before they can think of escaping, they need to crack Sister Woodhouse.

At Riverdale High, Principal Weatherbee has slowly been cutting out extracurricular activities and areas of the school until he enters with people in hazmat suits taking away “the infected.” Reggie informs Veronica that the Fizzle Rocks are coming out of Southside prison that Hiram has been building. She decides to confront her dad at a school meeting with concerned parents, but he ties up all his loose ends. Cheryl and Veronica continue to press them and the scheming parents have had enough as Penelope Blossom falls onto the floor in a seizure on cue.

Back in Toledo, Jughead is reunited with his mom Gladys Jones who, after mistakenly assuming Archie and Jughead are a thing, prepares a feast for his return. They discuss Hiram Lodge, Archie fleeing Riverdale, Gryphons & Gargoyles and Penny Peabody which turns into Gladys defending her actions and Jughead getting mad at her abandoning him. Things take a turn for the worst though when Archie is jumped by Penny, but Jellybean knocks her out with a perfectly placed slingshot rock. They take her back to the shop where Gladys makes everyone leave so they can have a little chat about what she did to Jughead.

Gladys returns and reveals that Hiram pushed Archie and Jughead out of Riverdale to make his big play in claiming Riverdale for his own. She wakes Jughead up to say that the bounty for Archie’s head also applies to anyone who helps him meaning that from now on Archie has to go it alone. While Gladys decides to set up Archie with a ride to the border, Jughead figures his best bet is to go back and face Hiram Lodge.

Back at the Brownstone, Hiram reveals that Veronica was mostly right about his plan, his kingdom and his legacy. Veronica makes sure to mention that Riverdale is a small place and word of his activities will spread, but he isn’t concerned about that. She gets distracted when she receives a call from Betty at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy who asks her for a favour. Veronica and Cheryl are sent to investigate the Blossom connection and interrogate Penelope for more information. They tie her down and perform a maple syrup washboard interrogation which eventually breaks her.

While Ethel distracts one of the Sisters, Betty takes Woodhouse by stake-point and heads to the King’s chambers. They interrogate Woodhouse to reveal that Gryphons & Gargoyles was a game born out of the fear of patients within the asylum and that it managed to spread beyond its walls. While Woodhouse won’t reveal what she knows to the authorities, Betty and Ethel take her keys to free everyone from this hell on earth. Unfortunately all the other girls won’t budge, but Ethel and Betty have a plan to solve that. They plan the escape as part of the game using the Gryphon Queen as a sign of hope for them to feel free from the fear of the Gargoyle King.

In the morning, Gladys sets up Archie’s ride when Fred arrives and they embrace. FP is there too and has an exchange with Gladys and Jellybean, with her offhandedly mentioning that Penny won’t be a problem anymore. Jughead’s parents embrace before they head off back to Riverdale. Archie dyes his hair and while Fred tries to find ways to be with his son, Archie knows he has to do this alone. That is until Fred leaves him the dog to take with him so in a way Fred is always with him.

Cheryl and Veronica decide to barge in on Hermione’s office with the backup of the ROTC cadets to stop their plans, but it’s too late. Everyone receives a text and sirens start to wail outside. Jughead and FP race towards Riverdale, but at the city’s border they are stopped by national guard as the city has been put under quarantine. The episode ends as Hiram thanks the Governor for isolating them from the outside world before thanking the King and toasting to him.


  • What did Gladys Jones do to Penny Peadbody?
  • Is there something still brewing between Jughead’s parents?
  • What will happen to the escaped patients?
  • How long will Archie be a brunette and out of state?
  • How will Jughead and FP get back into Riverdale?
  • What does the quarantine mean for the residents of Riverdale?
  • Who is the Gargoyle King?

Overall, this was a dark, juicy and emotional mid-season finale. A lot of the story lines hit some big moments in this episode that certainly answered many questions, but left us with a lot more in the end. The emotional moments of the Jones’ reunion and the Andrews’ reunion remind us of the heart of this show and that family is the driving force of Riverdale. The various characters dealing with seizures, Fizzle Rocks and sticky situations all followed the tone we not only expect of this show, but of the overall tone that has evolved throughout this season. With such a big cliffhanger and the fate of the town in question, I wonder if a neighboring town may harbor some magical allies to help in this fight, a teenage witch perhaps?

Score: 9.5/10

What did you think of “Outbreak”? Was it a satisfying mid-season finale? Let me know in the comments below!

If you liked this, check out my other reviews here and my website! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.


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