Who is the Gargoyle King? That question has been a central one for Riverdale this season with the disturbing and dark figure being as much of a mystery of the past as it has been the present thanks to the Gryphons and Gargoyles game and the associated body count. Last week's "The Dark Secret of Harvest House" appeared to have solved the mystery with Ethel Muggs revealing to Jughead Jones that the man behind the mask is a presumably not-dead Jason Blossom, but as with all things in Riverdale, there's much more to the story and tonight's Season 3 finale saw and even larger reveal -- and a much darker truth.
At the end of last week's episode it appeared that Betty Cooper was about to have her organs harvested by The Farm, but instead of waking up with surgical scars this week -- if she woke up at all -- Betty awoke in a bed with a dress and instructions to dress in it and come down for dinner. She's greeted by Jughead, Archie Andrews, and Veronica Lodge seated at dinner along with Penelope Blossom. It turns out that Penelope is behind, well, pretty much everything Gargoyle King related this season. She brings in two more guests -- the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King -- and then asks them to unmask. While the Black Hood turns out to really be Hal Cooper, Penelope asks Jughead to take a crack at who is under the Gargoyle mask: Chic.
Last time fans of Riverdale saw Chic, he was running from Hal's Black Hood and Hal reveals that he spared Chic with Chic coming on board with his murderous mission. When Hal went to prison, Penelope took up his murder spree by having Chic dye his hair red, started calling him "Jason", and then had him spread the game and then dress up as the Gargoyle King. It's the dressing up as the Gargoyle King that's worth noting. While Chic is certainly the man behind the mask, he's not technically the Gargoyle King. That role belongs to Penelope. She's orchestrated the entire thing over the course of the season as a very long play to get revenge on not just Riverdale, but the members of The Midnight Club who she feels has wronged her for decades.
In a sense, it's not a massive surprise that Penelope has been up to something evil this whole time. Not only has she always been something of a shady character, but as fans saw in "The Midnight Club" Penelope had a truly horrible origin story. She had been adopted by the Blossom family as essentially a child bride for their son, Clifford. While she did confess this to The Midnight Club, other than offer some sympathy no one ever really did anything to help her -- not that it's clear what could have been done. That sort of trauma is one that clearly festered, but it's still stunning to see the extent of her plan for revenge as well as to see the character to take this dark of a villain turn.
Of course, now that Penelope's identity as the mastermind and the Gargoyle King has been revealed to Betty, Jughead, Archie, and Veronica, she still has one more play to make. She sends the four on one last ultimate quest, with Penelope banking that the four will be dead by morning, rendering her revenge complete.
What did you think about tonight's season finale of Riverdale? Were you surprised that Penelope turned out to be the real Gargoyle King? Let us know in the comments below.