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Recap / Riverdale - Chapter 17: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

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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: The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

Archie's video addressed to the Black Hood has unexpected repercussions, further spreading panic within Riverdale, putting Archie at odds with his father, and prompting Principal Weatherbee to disband the football team.

Meanwhile, Betty receives a letter from the Black Hood claiming her Jubilee speech was what inspired his killing spree, along with a cipher pinpointing his next target. She gets Alice to print the cipher in the newspaper in hopes of solving it quicker, but keeps the letter to herself out of guilt and fear.

Veronica finds out that Hiram was behind Archie's recent string of bad decisions, and decides to support The Red Circle partly to spite him and Hermione.

In a bid to get the Black Hood to go after him, Archie ventures to the Southside and spray paints Red Circle symbols on buildings as a message. This leads to a tense confrontation with Sweet Pea and the Serpents, which temporarily ends when Archie pulls a gun on them, but later resurfaces when the Serpents make their way directly to Archie's house and challenge the Bulldogs to a showdown.


Jughead and Betty figure out the message hidden in the cipher, which claims his next target is the town hall, where an emergency meeting is being held, and rush there to warn everyone. At the meeting, the town is clearly divided between Alice's more radical ideals and Fred's more reconciliatory measures of dealing with the Black Hood problem.

To prevent further escalation, Veronica fires a gunshot into the air, effectively ending the fight between Serpents and Bulldogs. Deciding to end the cycle of violence, Archie and Veronica dispose of the gun at Sweetwater river. Finally, the night ends with Betty receiving a phone call from the Black Hood himself.



  • Actor Allusion: Archie's fake ID has his birthday listed as June 16, 1995. KJ Apa, who plays the character, was also born on June 16, although two years after that listed on the card.
  • Alliterative Name: Wilbur Wilkins, the name on Archie's fake ID.
  • Battle in the Rain: Near the end of the episode, the Southside Serpents (led by Sweet Pea) and the Riverdale High Bulldogs (led by Archie) start a full-blown fistfight in the rain, arguably the first major physical confrontation in Riverdale's North-South civil war.
  • Cliffhanger: Betty receives a phone call from an unknown number, and answers only to find that it is the Black Hood himself.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Alice's suggested solution to the Black Hood, when they suspect he might be a South Sider trying to get back at the North Side for their classism: Shut down the South Side's local school, to allocate the funding to an increased police presence there. Ignoring the idiocy of it (if the Black Hood is angry at the South Side's disadvantages, what sense is there in making the South even more disadvantaged?), but it's just plain cruel to punish the children of the South Side for the crimes of one man who they don't even know has any actual connection to the South side.
  • His Story Repeats Itself: Implied by Hermione, when she talks to Veronica about being blindly loyal.
  • Hypocrite: Toni blows up at Betty for saying the Black Hood is only going after North siders, yet noticeably had no problem when other Serpents had pointed out the same thing earlier in the episode.
  • It's All My Fault: Betty feels this way after learning that the Black Hood was inspired by her speech to the town.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: At the town hall meeting, while Alice is being her usual judgemental, bigoted self, she does at least have a good point about how Archie is actually trying to do something about the town's problems.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Archie. Big Time. He apparently buys an arsenal, points a gun at a gang member, and hides it at school. That's nothing compared to his real plan, which is to find the Black Hood and kill him.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: When Sweet Pea pulls a switch blade on Archie, he is very surprised to find a loaded pistol pointed at his face.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Archie's actions cause Principal Weatherbee to eventually suspend him. In fact, no one supports Archie on his quest: Veronica and Fred spend most of the episode worried about him, Hermione wants her to stop dating him, and the football team bails after they are shut down.
    • A South Side Serpent pulls out a knife on Archie, only to flee when Archie brings out a gun. Later, that same Serpent starts a brawl between his gang and the football team, only to stop and flee when Veronica shoots Archie's gun.
    • The South Side is glad that the Black Hood is targeting the North Side due to years of classism. Later, Toni lashes out at Betty about her privilege when Betty notes the possibility of the Black Hood being from the South Side.
    • Due to the fear of the Black Hood, places of business close early and everyone starts going home in groups.
    • Archie rather recklessly and naively tries to provoke the Black Hood, thinking it's just a personal vendetta between the two of them, but his actions almost get him into serious trouble with Sheriff Keller, and inadvertently antagonize the Southside Serpents, further escalating the civil war. What started out as something Archie perceives to be a personal matter has now gotten the entire town involved.
  • Shout-Out: When Betty all but breaks down over the knowledge that she's indirectly responsible for the Black Hood's crime spree, Jughead comforts her, comparing her to Nancy Drew and Girl With The Dragon Tatoo. His words inadvertently inspire her to put the final puzzle piece together and solve the Black Hood's cipher.
  • Significant Birth Date: The alias on Archie's fake ID card lists his birthday as June 16, which is that of KJ Apa, his actor.
  • Title Drop:
    Jughead: Riverdale would no longer be "The town with pep". From now on, it would be known as "The town that dreaded sundown".
  • Wham Line: Betty's phone call at the end. "I'm the Black Hood."
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Archie gets this from the whole town! Veronica, Principal Weatherbee and Fred are especially on him about his actions.
    • Betty gets this from Jughead and Kevin about hiding the letter from the Black Hood. She also gets this from Toni, but it is debateable how accurate this is.
  • You Keep Using That Word:
    • At one point Toni calls the Red Circle "Neo Nazis" despite the fact the group itself is multicultural (something that certainly doesn't apply to Nazism) and are going after a crazed murderer.
    • Even though Jughead's opening narration describes the Black Hood as a "serial killer", so far his only victim he’s succeeded in actually killing has been Ms. Grundy. The Black Hood's psychology and MO does fit a serial killer's definition (multiple murders, committed at multiple times with a notable cooling off period between each one, due to some violent compulsion), however the fact most of his victims have survived so far would make him a very incompetent one.


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