Warning: There are spoilers aplenty in this story. If you aren’t caught up with Riverdale, tred carefully.
One of the best things about Riverdale is how gloriously campy it is. It’s about a troubled town that was built on maple syrup money, for crying out loud. And while most of the time the show’s vast leaps in logic work with only minor at-home mental maneuvering, one moment that carried between this season’s second and third episodes left us shaking our heads in disbelief. If you’re caught up, you know what it is: How in God’s name did Moose and Midge make it out of that car alive?
Let’s revisit the scene in question: Bi- or closeted Moose and his main squeeze Midge have obtained some Jingle Jangle, a drug that’s supposed to give you a real sexual charge, among other side effects. They decide to park somewhere in the woods by Sweetwater River, share some of that sweet Jangle, and then get busy. Unfortunately for them, The Black Hood has tracked them, sidles up to the car, and open fires point blank into the vehicle from the driver’s side. At the end of Chapter 15, we’re left to believe that, like Miss Grundy/Jennifer Gibson before them, Moose and Midge have gone off to meet their proverbial makers.
And yet, they’re totally alive. Moose supposedly uses his massive linebacker body to shield Midge, who incredibly makes it out of the melee without a scratch. He takes a few bullets and ends up in the hospital, undoubtedly hurt, but well enough that he’s sitting up and talking the day after the whole affair. What a bunch of shit.
It’s not that Moose and Midge should die, because they seem charming enough. They aren’t predatory high school teachers who thrive on lies and dumb oversized cardigans. Moose, in particular, is a lovable oaf, even if he did lead Kevin on last season. But we’re fans of realism—or at least degrees of realism, in Riverdale’s case—and Moose should either be in a coma, paralyzed, or dead. Period.
If you watch the scene—or the gif above—you’ll see that The Black Hood was maybe five feet from Moose when he opens fire, using what looks to be a 9mm handgun. Given that he choked Miss Grundy to death last week with a cello bow, it’s pretty clear that the Hood knows how to murder someone. Moreover, we know Moose just took Jingle Jangle, a drug that apparently has Viagra-like effects, meaning it’s a vasodilator. His blood vessels would have been slightly opened—assuming the Jingle Jangle had taken effect—making it that much harder for the dubiously staffed Riverdale General Hospital—a facility that is most certainly not a level three trauma facility, à la Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital on Grey’s Anatomy—to get his injuries under control. In other words, R.I.P. Moose.
The only reason Moose—and for that matter, Midge—should be alive is if The Black Hood wanted them alive. He only takes three shots before stomping away, rather than emptying his clip. He has a flashlight, but he doesn’t peer into the car after the shooting to check on the damage he’s done, instead either assuming Moose and Midge have perished or hoping that they haven’t. (That being said, if he didn’t want them to die, he could have used something less lethal than a gun.) He walks away from the scene at a leisurely pace, perhaps knowing full well that the woods are full of single, horny guys out for late night jogs, all of whom could have heard the shots and come running. It’s a faulty plan at the very least, but, hey, maybe The Black Hood’s not so smart. Or maybe he’s smarter than everyone in Riverdale.
In summation, why the fuck aren’t Moose and Midge dead? Riverdale, we’ve gone to a lot of crazy places with you, even in just one short season, but this may be a bridge too far.