“Maybe everyone’s right. Maybe I am going crazy.”

These are the words of Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) as he begins to spiral out of control in this week’s Riverdale. Still reeling from his father’s brush with death, Nighthawks sees Archie determined to keep those he loves safe, whatever it takes.

The shocking conclusion of last week’s episode saw predatory teacher Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel) being strangled to death by the hooded man with her own cello bow – a bow that our red-headed lead gave her before she left Riverdale. Ruled as a crime of passion, the police see nothing to connect this murder to the attempt on Fred Andrews’ (Luke Perry) life, but Archie knows better – he is the connection – and though no one will believe him, he is firm in the belief that all the attacks are connected. No one believing Archie isn’t exactly surprising, however, as he hasn’t slept since his father’s return, pushing himself to the limit in order to protect his family and going to dangerous new lengths in this episode – including acquiring ‘uppers’ from teammate Reggie (Charles Melton), who incidentally isn’t a great friend, given the fact he puts on a hood to go to the house of a guy who was recently attacked by a man in a very similar hood, because he though it would be funny. Not cool.

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Drugs seems to be a theme of this week’s episode, and Reggie is at the centre of this. New drug Jingle Jangle – let’s all take a moment to appreciate the ridiculousness of this name – has hit Riverdale and sees our introduction to new character Midge Klump (Emilija Baranac) – and if the final moments of this episode are anything to go by, this may be the only time we see her. So, when the team behind Riverdale explained that Season 2 would be a lot darker than the first, they certainly weren’t kidding, as the murder rate is rising, the drug trade is picking up, and organised crime is firmly at home in in the once-peaceful little town.

Elsewhere, it’s a bad week for Pop Tate (Alvin Sanders) as Pop’s is branded the “Death Diner” – despite the fact that no one actually died, and Fred is pretty much fine now. And, as the only place any of the Riverdale teens seem to hang out, they begin a crusade to return Pop’s to its former glory, by hosting a ‘Retro Night’. Waitresses on roller-skates, neon everywhere, and Josie and the Pussycats performing a cover of Kelis’ ‘Milkshake’ – which is pretty damn good – the Retro Night is a little less of actual retro, and more like a teen’s idea of retro. It helps though, as by the end of the episode Pop’s is no longer in any danger of closing, apparently due to the efforts of Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes), however this new-found safety is not all it seems.

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Nighthawks marks our first real look at the Lodge family dynamic, after Hiram’s (Mark Consuelos) return/arrival last week. The former felon seems set on returning his family to its former glory, with his loving wife and daughter by his side, however, as Veronica explains to him during the episode, the ‘blindfold’ has already come off, and she can see him for what he truly is – there’s no going back. And despite his efforts to prove to Veronica that he is not the man he was, by turning up at her school with flowers, turning up at Pop’s during Retro Night, and just generally appearing in places, she isn’t buying it. The patriarch of the Lodges even goes so far as to win his daughter’s trust by promising her that there will be nothing but transparency from now on – the problem being that Hiram and Hermione Lodge are about as transparent as a brick wall, and their grip on Riverdale won’t be loosening any time soon.

On top of the struggles with Pop’s, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) has his own problems to deal with this week, as we approach FP’s (Skeet Ulrich) trial. With a frankly terrible lawyer on hand, FP is offered a deal that would only have him in prison for 20 years, and Jughead isn’t having it. Once again enlisting the help of the Southside Snakes, Jughead asks them to help break his father out of his cell – to which they laugh in his face, explaining that isn’t the way to do this. Instead, the gang members point him in the direction of a ‘Snakehandler’ – someone who relies on the Serpents to survive – leading Jughead to the gang’s own lawyer, Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan) who tells him that public mercy from the Blossoms is the only way to free FP.

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Jones and Cooper are on the case, as Jughead and Betty head over to the new Blossom dwelling ‘Thistle House’ to plead for FP’s freedom. Back at her bitchy best, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) goes head-to-head with Betty, who is giving as good as she gets as the weight of this week’s events prompts her to threaten the youngest Blossom into helping her.

Overall, there is a sense in Nighthawks that Riverdale is only becoming more dangerous for its inhabitants, and each of the characters are stepping further into the darkness scared and unsure of their surroundings.


While not quite as impressive as the premiere, Nighthawks still carries through the general theme of danger in town, packing shocks and surprises aplenty. Gripped by the remnants of his trauma, who knows what Archie will do next, and while he fights for his father’s freedom, Jughead might be running the risk of losing his own. However, with the identity of the shooter remaining a mystery, hopefully next week will offer up some clues.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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