Last week, we learned the Black Hood is back, and Betty has a sneaking suspicion of who he could be. In tonight’s episode, we see people skirt the line of “innocent until proven guilty” as tensions rise with Sheriff Keller resigning, and the town looking for someone to pin Midge’s murder on. Betty (Lili Reinhart) pushes forward in her quest for the truth about the Black Hood’s identity.
The episode starts with Archie (KJ Apa) seemingly campaigning for Fred (Luke Perry), but he’s really going door to door to look into people’s eyes, searching for the Black Hood. Hiram (Mark Consuelos) calls Archie’s effort silly, which it is, and tells Archie to bring back the Dark Circle as it would be supported by the new Sheriff, Michael Minetta (Henderson Wade), who Hiram knows well.
Hiram tells Hermione (Marisol Nichols) that getting Archie to start the Dark Circle will cause unrest and undoubtedly win Hermione the title of mayor if Fred can’t show the town he can control his own son. The Lodges intend to take control of the Sheriff and Mayor’s offices so they can push through their prison plan.
We also learn that Veronica (Camila Mendes), because of her handling of the Nick St. Clair situation, has attracted the attention of the mafioso sons. The five families have sent their sons to curry favour with Veronica.
However, later in the episode, despite Veronica’s best attempts to forge her own path, she is tactlessly thwarted by Hiram, who is only concerned about the success of his own schemes. We realise this storyline was put in place to push Veronica into Archie’s arms, reaffirming their relationship, and directly in opposition of her parents' run for Mayor.
Betty is worried her father Hal (Lochlyn Munro) is the Black Hood and goes to Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) for help — who else has experiences with murderous Fathers? Cheryl warns Betty to collect evidence, beyond a shadow of a doubt, before she confronts her father.
Inspired by Hiram, Archie tries to get the Dark Circle back together. In this meeting of the mindless, Moose (Cody Kearsley) admits that Midge (Emilija Baranac) had been seeing someone behind his back: a Serpent. Reggie (Charles Melton) explodes in a fit of rage when he hears this.
Bursting into a Serpent meeting where Jughead (Cole Sprouse) had just finished telling his comrades that the Ghoulies would soon be out of prison and looking for war, Reggie and the Bulldogs confront the Serpents about Midge sleeping with one of them. Not too sure why Midge’s sex life is a concern of the high school football team, but this is Riverdale.
At the trailer, Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner) tells Jughead he was hooking up with Midge, but that he didn’t kill her. Jughead is upset because Fangs looks guilty.
Jughead confirms to Archie that a Serpent did hook up with Midge, and Archie agrees to get Reggie to back down. Together, Archie and Jughead go to meet the new Sheriff Minetta (they find him with Hiram) so Jughead can retrieve the musical documentary footage that might incriminate Fangs. Sheriff Mineta won’t give Jughead the video, and Jughead is worried they’ll pin all of it on Fangs. FP (Skeet Ulrich) tells Jughead to get ready to fight.
At The Register, after telling her dad it was time for her and Alice to get back to the family business, Betty reveals her true motives by going through her dad’s planner at the office. She shows Cheryl the cross-referenced dates of the Black Hood attacks with Hal’s planner, which reveal how the time adds up. In the midst of this, the Coroner calls to says that a dead man was brought into the morgue.
Betty goes to the morgue with Cheryl to see the body. Betty wants to see if it’s Chic (Hart Denton), but it's not. She feels bad for delivering Chic to the Black Hood, though. She's worried she’ll snap, and Cheryl says it’s time to confront Hal.
Over dinner, Betty tells Alice (Mädchen Amick) and Hal about her history with the Black Hood. Betty says there’s always been a darkness inside her, and Hal says he experiences it, too. Then we get a close up on Hal’s eyes, which look very similar to the Black Hood’s!
At the Andrews house, Fred found a note saying “You’re next, sinner!” pinned to the front door. Hiram wants to cancel the debate, but Fred says they need to continue as planned.
Tensions rise for Fangs when someone leaks the video of him with Midge backstage at the musical, and the Sheriff comes and takes Fangs away for questioning. Jughead, who’s trying to keep things together for the Serpents, gets former Mayor, now Attorney, McCoy (Robin Givens) to represent Fangs. She says Sheriff Minetta really doesn’t have anything, and that Fangs should keep quiet until he’s released.
That night, Archie is standing watch at home to protect Fred, while, unbeknownst to Archie, Reggie, joined by the Bulldogs aka The Dark Circle aka The War Dogs, decides to “have a little fun” and attack the Whyte Wyrm. He also slashes Serpent tires.
Archie confronts Reggie and The Dark Circle to tell them they’re disbanded, but Reggie, clearly now in charge, tells Archie that Hiram Lodge is paying the Bulldogs to take action.
Looking to prove whether or not her father is the Black Hood, Betty and Cheryl break into the “share-BnB” where Hal stayed when Alice kicked him out. There, they find the Nancy Drew book the Black Hood used to write the cypher for Betty earlier this season.
At the long awaited mayoral debate, Hermione uses Archie’s forming of the Dark Circle against Fred. Just then, the Black Hood opens gunfire at the debate. Betty huddles with her dad, which means he's either not the Black Hood, or he has an accomplice?
After the attack, Hiram offers Archie up for a ride with the Sheriff since Archie has seen the Black Hood. Archie declines, preferring to stay with his Dad. There is something unspoken between Hiram and Archie. Hopefully, this is Archie's exit from the organised crime world.
Hiram later sits with Reggie and not so subtly plants a seed that the Dark Circle, now controlled by the latter, should take justice into their own hands when Fangs is released.
Jughead calls Archie to tell him Fangs is getting out, and the town is in an uproar. After an awkward Serpent unity moment inside the police station, they walk out into the horde of angry townspeople.
That’s when Archie spots Reggie with a gun. Archie runs to stop him, they struggle, and Fangs ultimately gets shot. It’s unclear who’s pulled the trigger, but, like the song crooning in the background, this feels like “the beginning of the end.”
At home, Betty still doesn’t seem sure her father is innocent, despite hiding with him at the debate during the shooting and his explaining away the “share-BnB” and the Nancy Drew book. Betty ominously asks him to meet her at the town hall, where it all began for her and the Black Hood.
We see Betty waiting for her dad at the town hall, when, over at Thistle House, Cheryl gets a knock on the door from a shocking visitor: the Black Hood!