Riverdale Recap: Nighthawks

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Things are tense in Riverdale after Fred’s shooting. This week’s episode is called Nighthawks, which is fitting as Nighthawks is famous painting that depicts late night customers at a diner counter, and this episode centers around the gang’s favorite hangout, Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe.

At school Archie, Veronica, Jughead, and Betty fret over the threat of Pop’s closing, but Betty is determined to keep their favorite hangout open. Archie goes to Sheriff Keller on the lack of progress on his father’s shooter, and Jughead and F.P. get harsh news about the possibility of a plea deal for F.P.

Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) with Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and Betty (Lili Reinhart). Photo by the CW.

Archie confesses his lingering fear to Veronica, who suggests he get some counseling to deal with his trauma. Betty and Jughead head to city hall for help, but get nowhere with the mayor, which provokes Jughead to confront her about allowing his father be convicted unjustly. Back at school, Reggie intercepts Archie outside the counselor’s office, and desperate to stay vigilant at night, Archie asks for something to keep him up.

Betty is reminiscing about the good times with Veronica and Kevin when Hiram Lodge shows up to see Veronica. Hiram is trying to find a way to smoothing things out, but Veronica isn’t ready to make nice.

At practice, Cheryl denies Betty’s request for the Vixens to help out with a Retro Night at Pop’s. Elsewhere, Archie rushes out of class after hearing of Mrs. Grundy’s murder, unable to control his emotions. Later, Archie expresses his fear that the shooting and murder are connected to his father.

Jughead seeks out Penny Peabody, a lawyer for the Serpents, who suggests Jughead get the victims to forgive F.P., but this advice might cost Jughead down the road.

Archie and Betty go to Mrs. Cooper for information on Mrs. Grundy’s murder, but instead Mrs. Cooper drops the bomb that Pop’s is being bought by an anonymous buyer. Veronica later confronts her father, but he denies that he’s behind this. Veronica then turns the discussion to Fred Andrews being shot after rejecting Hermione’s buyout, revealing to her mother the threatening letter her father sent her to compel her to testify. Mrs. Lodge shocks Veronica by admitting that she wrote the letter.

Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick). Photo by the CW.

Betty and Jughead approach the Blossoms for F.P., but Cheryl and Penelope have no desire to forgive, leaving Betty and Jughead unsure where to turn. At home, Archie attacks a masked Reggie, thinking it’s the shooter, but Reggie points out how vulnerable Archie is without a gun. After a visit to the coroner, Mrs. Cooper reports that there’s no connection between the shooting and Mrs. Grundy’s murder to Archie and Fred, but Archie has doubts.

After talking to Pop and Jughead, Betty confronts Cheryl in the locker room, and “stone cold” B reemerges as Betty coerces Cheryl into testifying on behalf of F.P., also ensuring that the Vixens will turn out for Retro Night to save Pop’s. Cheryl testifies on behalf of F.P., and when it looks like the gamble is going to fail, Cheryl scrambles and testifies that her father threatened F.P. Veronica turns to Jughead for advice on forgiving her father, and Archie goes to the sheriff to report his suspicions about his connection Mrs. Grundy’s murder.

Later that night Retro Night is off to a slow start, but as business picks up Alice Cooper takes notice of the presence of several Serpents and some illicit transactions in the parking lot. Archie struggles to manage his fears, but being back in the Diner brings it all back. As Veronica is comforting him, her parents arrive. Veronica finally extends a tentative olive branch to her parents, and her father announces that the Lodges will be making a donation to help Pop stay in business. Soon we find out the cost of keeping Pop’s open, Mr. Lodge has bought the diner, but is keeping his ownership a secret by having Pop stay on as manager. Even worse, we find out the Hiram did write the letter to Veronica, and the Mrs. Lodge lied to cover for him

In the midst of all this, Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead have a brief moment of hesitant optimism.

We end with Cheryl showing her mother the video of her father. Veronica returns home to find Smithers suddenly gone, reviving her suspicions of her father. F.P. contacts Jughead and warns him away from Penny. Betty returns home to face the unpleasant truths her mother has found about Pop’s and the business going on there. And Archie, Archie gets a gun, so now he can finally rest. Unfortunately, as he slumbers, Reggie Moose and Midge are attacked by a gunman on Lover’s Lane.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays 8/7c on the CW.


Cara spends way too much time thinking about subtext and, when not watching TV, can generally be found with her nose in a book.