TV Reviews

Riverdale Season 2 Episode 2: Nighthawks Review

If you would like to read my review of last week’s episode, click here.

Synopsis: With the gunman still at large, Betty leads the charge to save Pop’s from closing; Jughead’s attempt to find FP a new lawyer may have some serious repercussions. (IMDB)

Writers: Michael Grassi

Director: Allison Anders

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43 mins

After a premiere exploding at the seams with story, this episode does just the same with lots of subplots, character introductions and even bringing other characters back. The episode starts off with Jughead visiting Pop’s which is now ‘renamed’ Death Diner. All his employees are gone, customers aren’t coming. It’s a ghost town, things aren’t looking good for this milkshake shop.

Each of the main four have their own separate stories going on in this episode, with some slight overlap so let’s hit all the highlights for them.

Jughead learns that his dad F.P. is facing up to 40 years in prison (although taking a deal could cut that in half). Scared for his dad’s fate, he turns to the Serpents to try and break him out, but they have a better idea. Jughead is introduced to a “snake charmer” Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan). Basically she’s a Serpent who went to law school and now helps them from the other side.

She tells Jughead that if he can get the Blossoms to forgive F.P. that his punishment could be severely reduced. After Betty goes all Dark Betty on Cheryl, they are able to get her to testify. However, when F.P. finds out what Jughead did to help he isn’t too happy. He tells him to avoid Penny at all costs because you never want to owe a snake charmer.

Speaking of Betty, she’s up to her own crusade this week as she takes it upon herself to save Pop Tate’s Choc-Litt Shoppe. She sees the diner as an institution in Riverdale that needs to be saved. After getting nowhere with the Vixens or the mayor (and Jughead sort of threatens her), Betty decides to let her other side take over. Yay Dark Betty!

She blackmails Cheryl not only to testify, but to bring the Vixens to Pop’s to help out. “You’re a stone-cold bitch.” YEAH SHE IS! With the Vixens and the Pussycats showing up to ’50s-themed retro night, Betty is able to save Pop’s, thanks largely in part to a donation by the Lodge family.

So what’s going on with the Lodge’s anyway? Well it turns out Veronica is avoiding her father like the plague. After several confrontations, Veronica snaps and tells her dad that he is obviously behind Fred’s shooting and that he even threatened her mom while he was in prison. “The blindfold is off Daddy.” PHRASING VERONICA. Well apparently Hermione actually wrote the letter to herself to scare Veronica into testifying.

After a heart-to-heart with Jug and his take on father relationships, Veronica decides to give her father a second chance if he’s transparent with her. He agrees, but already is showing his true colours. His donation was not so much charitable as it was business with Hiram purchasing Pop’s and paying him to keep quiet. Oh and that letter? He did write it. So much love in the Lodge family.

Alright now on to Archie and his descent into madness. Things are not looking good for our favourite male redhead. (Yes that had to be that specific) He’s still freaking out and having some major PTSD. Between chugging energy drinks at dawn, pushing the Sheriff for any new information, and staying up all night Archie needs something to take off the edge. He decides to go to the school’s drug dealer Reggie and asks for some Jingle-Jangle which will “keep you up for days in more ways than one.” And that’s when things go from bad to worse.

Archie learns of Miss Grundy’s death and he believes the killer is targeting people that are close to him. He presses the Sheriff about Miss Grundy’s ex, but he’s already checked into it and the guy has an alibi. That doesn’t reassure Archie at all and during the night a masked man is outside his door so he attacks him. Turns out it’s just Reggie bringing him his drugs, but Reggie assures Archie that his bat won’t stop a gunman. FIRST OF ALL, WHY IS REGGIE SHOWING UP IN THAT OUTFIT? HE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED RIGHT?!

Archie attempts to get his mind off things and go to Retro Night at Pop’s, but he is just having flashbacks left and right. He decides that maybe Reggie was right. He meets with Dilton Doyle and gets a handgun, just in case. Archie. YOU ARE A CHILD. STOP GOING BRUCE WAYNE/OLIVER QUEEN ON THEM.

The episode ends with Moose and his girlfriend Midge taking some Jingle-Jangle and making out in his car when the green-eyed gunman appears next to the car and shoots them both. WHAT.

Questions

  • Will Penny call upon Jughead to do a favour for her?
  • Will Penny come between Jughead and Betty?
  • Will Betty’s dark side stay hidden for long or will she make more frequent appearances?
  • What is Hiram’s plan, is he working with the Serpents?
  • Why hasn’t Veronica introduced Archie to her father yet?
  • Will Archie need to use the gun?
  • Is there some other connection between Fred, Miss Grundy, Moose and Midge? It looks like it really is someone out to get Archie, with Midge just getting caught in the crossfire. I suspect Moose may have died, but Midge could survive and confirm the shooter is the same guy. She’s a long-standing character from the comics so it’d be a shame if they killed her off in one episode.
  • Also did anyone else notice the complete change in character for Reggie from Jock to Stoner? Yes they changed actors, but that doesn’t mean the personality changes too. If that’s the case just create a new character!

Overall, this was a good episode. Again, it was packed full of plot, making it hard to get a breath in, but it’s setting up some very important story lines going forward. With all the characters dealing with their own dark, emotional problems, this season has stories that feel like they are time-sensitive rather than the ongoing mystery of Jason Blossom’s murder in season one. While it looks like the story will only get darker and crazier, one hopes that the longer season helps for some more even pacing going forward.

Score: 8/10

What did you think of “Nighthawks”? Do you have an idea who the green-eyed gunman could be? Let me know in the comments below!

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