Last week on Riverdale, we saw the whole aftermath of Fred Andrews’ shooting as well as the hooded figure claim another victim.
This episode begins with a scene of Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe where people have spray painted “Death Diner” on the exterior walls, which shows that things are getting darker in Riverdale.
At the Andrews’ household, Fred asks Archie why he is chugging energy drinks in the early morning but he doesn’t answer as he gets a call from the Sheriff’s station right then. The real reason Archie is chugging energy drinks is because he sits in the foyer with his bat every night to protect his dad (which is ridiculous because he’s a student and really needs sleep).
For the rest of the gang, Veronica is busy blowing off both her parents by leaving early in the morning and coming home late at night; for Betty, she learns that Pop’s is in danger of going out of business because everyone is avoiding it; and Jughead learns that the best deal his dad is going to get is 20 years in prison.
Archie almost mistakes Jughead for an intruder when he walks in through the back door (um, did Archie forget to check if the back door was unlocked?). Jughead talks about his fear of losing his father and then he asks why Archie is so scared (which is very odd because his father was recently shot and he’s holding a bat. Jug should be paying more attention).
The next day, Veronica suggests Archie talks to the school counsellor while Betty and Jughead ask Mayor McCoy for help to keep Pop’s open or to help Jughead’s dad, but she isn’t interested. Jughead decides to scare her by saying, “You remember this moment. The moment you turned your back on both Pop Tate and my father” (I’m not sure if he scared the Mayor, but he did scare me).
Jughead decides to ask the Serpents for help and they tell him that he needs a “snake handler” A.K.A someone whose livelihood depends on the snakes. Penny Peabody (a Serpent/lawyer whose office is in a tattoo shop) is the person for Jughead (though this seems like a very sketchy idea). Penny’s idea is that he needs to get the victim’s family to forgive FP during court, but instead of payment, she says she will collect as a favour “one day” (bad idea, Jughead. Run).
At school, we learn that “jingle jangle” is a popular drug that Reggie deals and now Archie is interested. Before this, Midge (a character from the comics), asks Reggie to hook her and Moose up with some “jingle jangle”, so we know it’s actually a legit drug.
Betty is planning a throwback night for the diner so she and Veronica ask Cheryl (who is back in charge of the Vixens) to lend some Vixens, but she isn’t willing to lend a hand. Also, Josie has now joined the Vixens, which is very interesting. Veronica has to deal with her father when he shows up at school with flowers and asks her to give him a chance, but Veronica is still not interested because she doesn’t believe anything he says.
The students at school learn Ms. Grundy was murdered and Archie immediately assumes the killer is going after all the people he cares about (first his dad, and then Ms. Grundy). Betty and Archie then ask Mrs. Cooper to talk to her coroner friend, who reveals that she was strangled with a cello bow and there was no sign of forced entry so it was most likely a “crime of passion”.
Betty discovers Pop is selling to an anonymous buyer and Veronica assumes it’s her parents, but Hiram swears it isn’t and then she asks if he hired someone to shoot Fred Andrews, to which he replies with no. He asks how she could believe those things and she says it’s because of the letter that Hiram wrote last season, which threatened Hermione if Veronica didn’t testify on his behalf. Hermione tells Veronica that she wrote that letter, but it is revealed later that Hiram did write the letter (and you thought other families were messed up?).
Betty and Jughead visit Thistle House (Cheryl’s new home) to try to use Penny Peabody’s idea. It isn’t a surprise when the Blossoms have no desire to help Jughead’s dad, though they know quite well that he didn’t kill Jason. Dark Betty makes an appearance and threatens Cheryl in the locker room and threatens to release the video of Cheryl’s father shooting Jason if she doesn’t testify. If she does, Betty will hand over all copies of the video in exchange for Cheryl’s help. Cheryl responds with, “you’re a stone-cold bitch, Betty Cooper”, but it does have a hint of pride in it (I would be here for this friendship). Cheryl does testify for FP and lies by saying she saw her father threaten FP. Betty hands over the video in exchange and the judge suggests they reevaluate the case before sentencing FP.
Betty’s throwback night at Pop’s turns out to be a success. The diner transforms into a 50s style one complete with waitresses on roller skates and she even gets the Pussycats to perform a free concert where they sing “Milkshake”, which was very appropriate for this setting. At the end of the night, Pop announces he will be staying in business, but doesn’t mention the connection with Hiram who is only letting him stay on as a manager if he keeps silent (Hiram is getting on my nerves). Veronica agrees to give things with her parents another try because she doesn’t realise that her parents are actually terrible. Hiram also says Smithers had to go home to care for his ill mother (did he get fired or killed?).
Mrs. Cooper (who has been taking pictures of illegal activities all night) informs Betty that Pop’s is now a safe haven for illegal activity, FP warns Jughead to never contact Penny Peabody again, and Archie meets Dilton Doiley in secret so Dilton can give him a gun.
The episode ends with Midge and Moose (the students Reggie sold jingle jangle to) making out in their car, only to be murdered by the same guy in the ski mask. Now where’s the connection?
This season is heading down a darker path and seems to be even crazier than last season, already. With the deaths already piling up, is Riverdale really safe?
What did you think of ‘Nighthawks’? How are you feeling about the darker tone of this season? Sound off in the comments below!