Riverdale: “Silent Night, Deadly Night” Midseason Finale

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Hearts are hurting in Riverdale, and the Black Hood is closing in.

Betty is having nightmares about the Black Hood. Cheryl is confronted by her family’s financial troubles, and they’re not the only ones. Fred receives the bill for his hospital stay, and it’s more than he can handle.

Kevin’s Secret Santa shows just how tense and awkward things are right now. Veronica is uncomfortable watching Archie give Betty a gift reminder of their childhood closeness, and when Moose arrives, Archie is overcome with guilt. Betty and Archie are both anxious about the Black Hood, and Archie’s worried that he and Veronica led the Black Hood to Mr. Svenson.

Jughead drops by Riverdale with a present for Betty. He tries to explain that he’s only trying to protect her, but Betty doesn’t want him to make her choices for her. Veronica has a present for Archie as well, but he’s distracted by his father’s financial worries. Later, Veronica asks her parents to help with Fred’s hospital bills.

After Cheryl spends on a Christmas tree, her mother questions where she thinks the money is coming from, but Cheryl pushes back against her mother’s anger.

After Betty and Archie go to check on Mr. Svenson, and find that no one is home, Betty arrives home to find another secret Santa gift. But, this one isn’t so pleasant. It’s from the Black Hood, who calls and tells her that he has Svenson.

Snooping in her father’s desk, Veronica finds the deed to Pop’s.

Jughead is angry that FP is pushing him out of Serpent business. He tells FP that his parole officer stopped by earlier, and that the PO knows what the Serpents are doing. Jughead wants to fix the mess he’s gotten them into, but FP says that Jughead’s not going to be able to fix this. They’re trapped.

Jughead rallies the younger Serpents to take care of the Penny problem, and after some hesitation, they agree to help him take her out of the picture.

Betty and Archie go to the Sisters of Mercy to find out more about Svenson’s childhood. Reluctant at first, when Betty threatens to expose the Sister’s abuse, the headmistress reveals that Svenson had told the Sisters that he had identified the wrong man as his family’s killer. She says that a group of men had come to question Svenson at one point, and a younger Nana Rose Blossom was with them.

Earlier Veronica paid Fred Andrews hospital bills in her mother’s name, and when her parents confront her about it, she counters with what she’s learned about Pop’s. Hermione and Hiram finally agree to tell Veronica the truth.

Jughead and the Serpents grab Penny and take her to Greendale, telling her to stay out of Riverdale. When she reminds him that he can’t hurt a fellow Serpent, Jughead pulls out a knife to solve that problem too.

At the Blossoms, Nana Rose tells Betty and Archie that the men buried the suspected killer alive. She also tells Betty that her grandfather was one of the men who did it. Cheryl kicks them out, and while they are discussing what they’ve learned in the car, Betty and Archie kiss. Did Cheryl see the kiss?

The Lodges have told Veronica everything, and she agrees to go along with them, if she doesn’t have to do anything illegal and if they’ll cover Fred’s hospital bills.

Jughead returns home to celebrate with FP and tell him that Penny is gone. FP says that Penny can’t be gone for good, but Jughead says he’ll deal with it if she comes back because he’s proud of the life he has with the Serpents.

Betty and Archie find out where the body was buried, and rush there, only to find an empty grave. The Hood arrives, and forces Archie into the coffin. He makes Betty start to bury the coffin, but when he’s distracted by approaching police sirens, she attacks. The Hood runs away, and Betty and Archie give chase once she’s gotten him out of the grave. They catch up with the Hood on the bridge, and when he makes to escape over the side of the bridge, Archie shoots him. The Sheriff arrives just then and declares the Black Hood dead, revealing Svenson under the mask.

Betty, Archie, Veronica, and Jughead celebrate their relief at the Black Hood being gone at Pop’s. They still have questions, but they’re glad he’s dead and they aren’t.

It’s Christmas Eve, and all across Riverdale people are finding surprises, both good and bad. Veronica shows up at the Andrews’, and it seems like things are going to be ok between her and Archie. Next door, Betty is ridding herself of the mementos of the Black Hood, but she doesn’t get rid of them all. Maybe things aren’t quite over yet.

Riverdale will return January 17 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.