Riverdale Season 2 Review: 2.2: Nighthawks

This week, Riverdale once again ended with the Angel of Death striking. So this season, the show seems to be shifting into a serial killer storyline. It seems to be setting up a formula with a new attack every week along the lines of Scream Queens. I’m hoping this isn’t the case. In season one, a simple murder mystery allowed the show to explore a ripple effect on all the characters. Obviously, the show should grow and change. But, the more the killer attacks, the more I lose faith that the final reveal will actually make sense. Plus, I’m worried about there being enough character moments to keep us invested. The deaths don’t really mean anything if we don’t care about these characters as people.

This episode introduced Penny Peabody, played by Brit Morgan (The Middleman). She’s a lawyer who’s also a Serpent. Penny was very charismatic and it’s a fun addition to give this show a Saul Goodman type. Jughead Jones sought her counsel and she literally only gave him the advice that it’d be advantageous to get the victim’s family to testify on his behalf. After this, he agreed to owe her a favor. That’s pretty wonderfully ominous.

After getting Penny’s advice, Jughead went to Cheryl Blossom and Penelope Blossom to get them to testify. When they didn’t agree, he was ready to back off, pointing out that they’re a literal widow and orphan. But, the always-in-hyperdrive Betty Cooper blackmailed Cheryl with the threat of releasing the video of Clifford Blossom murdering Jason Blossom. In this scene, Cheryl was mysteriously the only person in the locker room long after the Vixens were done practicing. And she was wearing bonkers underwear that no one would ever wear while working out. Then, Betty threatened her with the possibility of the murder video going “viral.” My point is just that this scene was peak Riverdale.

This episode was great at delivering the stylized and larger-than-life moments, from the Vixens rolling around Pop’s on roller skates to Archie Andrews resorting to buying a gun in his quest to protect his dad. But, I hope that in future episodes this season remembers to include the quieter character moments that made season one so strong.

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