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Recap / Riverdale - Chapter 15: Nighthawks

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Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13

Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19 | Chapter 20 | Chapter 21 | Chapter 22 | Chapter 23 | Chapter 24 | Chapter 25 | Chapter 26 | Chapter 27 | Chapter 28 | Chapter 29 | Chapter 30 | Chapter 31 | Chapter 32 | Chapter 33 | Chapter 34 | Chapter 35


For the recap index, go here.

Title From: Nighthawks (1981)

Grappling with the fear over Black Hood coming back to kill his father and his guilt over Miss Grundy's death, Archie turns to desperate measures to cope, including turning to drugs and purchasing a gun.

Meanwhile, Pop's Diner is on the brink of closing down as the citizens of Riverdale grow frightened of the "haunted death diner" where Fred was shot. Wanting to save the long-lasting town landmark, Betty and Veronica hatch a plan to reignite the public's interest in the diner while enlisting the help of Josie & the Pussycats along with Cheryl and the River Vixens.

Hiram attempts to convince Veronica to give him a second chance by offering to help in the event to save Pop's, but unbeknownst to her, his intentions are less than altruistic.


In a desperate attempt to get FP a lesser sentence, Jughead makes a dangerous deal with a shady Serpent lawyer, Penny Peabody, with unforeseen consequences.

Betty blackmails Cheryl into pleading leniency for FP during trial with the footage of Jason's murder, which Cheryl and Penelope watch in hopes of gaining closure.

Even though the combination of the event and Hiram's donations save Pop's, Alice informs Betty that they may have just opened the door for crime to spread through the Northside of Riverdale. Finally, Moose and Midge are shot multiple times by the Black Hood in their car on a deserted road.



  • Appeal to Worse Problems: Jughead does a kinder version of this, telling a disillusioned Veronica that she should consider giving her father another chance since other people aren't really in a position to do so.
    Jughead: I'm not gonna presume to know what lies in your father's heart. But Archie's dad almost died. And my dad is going away for twenty years. If there's even a .0001% chance that your dad is trying.
    Veronica: I get it. Thank you, Jughead.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: After Betty tells Cheryl she will release a copy of the video of Jason's death on the internet unless she helps get a reduced sentence for FP, they invoke this trope:
    Cheryl: Are you threatening me?
    Betty: This? No, no... this is... fun girl talk.
  • Cliffhanger: Midge and Moose are shot at by the Black Hood.
  • Fantastic Drug: "Jingle Jangle."
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Inverted. Jughead and Betty actually consider it wrong that his father is facing a severe punishment for kidnapping a teenager, helping cover up that teenager's murder, giving several false confessions, being a known gang member and drug dealer (who is confirmed to target teenagers amongst his consumers) and tampering with evidence. It's a bit understandable on Jughead's part, being that it's his father, but not so much on Bettty's part.
  • The Gadfly: Alice. She needles Betty relentlessly about dealing with lost causes. Then, during the event to save Pop's, she comes by with the sole purpose of hurting Betty's resolve. After taking pictures of Reggie dealing drugs and the Serpents sitting at a table, she greets Betty and congratulates her...on making Pop's a den for criminal activity.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Reggie points out to Archie that using a baseball bat against a person with a gun is stupid.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Throughout the episode, Betty stretches herself thin in a desperate attempt to save Pop's diner. Despite the overwhelming odds against them, they eventually succeed, only for Alice to put a damper on the victory at the end of the night by harshly telling Betty that she's responsible for any future spread of crime in Riverdale.
  • Not Me This Time: Played straight and then subverted. When the kids find out that an "anonymous buyer" has purchased Pop's, they all immediately assume it was Hiram who did it, but it turns out it was a liquor chain. Then Hiram does buy the diner later on and under the table.
  • Red Baron: Penny Peabody, the Serpents' in-house lawyer, is known as "The Snake Charmer".
  • Saving the Orphanage: A Variant. Also, it gets deconstructed by Alice, who tells Betty that thanks to her efforts, more drug deals will be happening at Pop's, as well as more Serpents arriving and Hiram Lodge having a hold on an important part of Riverdale.
  • The Scapegoat: Pop's has become this as a result of the shooting. Both the Mayor and Alice care about keeping people safe than helping him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title refers to Edward Hopper's most famous painting, of a diner at night.
    • When Archie almost mistakenly hits Jughead with a baseball bat as the latter enters the Andrews residence in the middle of the night, Jughead tells Archie that he looks like a "Dream Warrior from A Nightmare On Elm Street 3". This shout-out is particularly interesting, considering that Archie actually lives on an Elm street on the show.
    • Jughead calls Pop Rain Man for being able to memorize FP's favourite meal.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: Archie seems to be making the first steps of recovering from his trauma, Pop's is saved, Veronica and her parents agree to build a healthier relationship, FP's sentencing is delayed, and everyone seems to be happy. And then Archie is revealed to have bought a gun (implying he is nowhere near recovery), Pop's reopening paved the way for Hiram's unsavory business deals and the Serpents to encroach on the Northside, Veronica's parents dismiss Smithers, the only person who was on Veronica's side, thus effectively isolating her, and FP warns Jughead that the deal he made with Penny Peabody to reduce his sentence is more dangerous than he initially believed. As if that wasn't bad enough, the episode ends on a cliffhanger which sees Moose and Midge being shot multiple times by Black Hood.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Cheryl and her mother have this reaction when Jughead and Betty ask them for help with F.P.'s case.

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