Riverdale is in the grip of a homicidal vigilante. The Black Hood has been attacking and killing, citizens of the eponymous hamlet in the CW’s neon-soaked teen drama since the premiere. But who is the Black Hood? And what’s his endgame? Spoilers below!
The Black Hood is an actual character from Archie Comics who dates all the way back to the company’s beginnings, although this vigilante never showed up in Riverdale in the comics. Instead, he was part of the company’s superhero books, first as a union-suited good guy in the ’30s and ’40s, but later as a more Punisher-esque urban vigilante, most recently in a well-written arc where former cop Greg Hettinger becomes a morally complicated avenger prowling the streets of Philadelphia. In the comics, he’s dangerous, but this Black Hood is an out-and-out serial killer.
Let’s start with the victims. The Black Hood was introduced putting a bullet in Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) at the end of the first season. Then, at the end of the second season premiere, we saw him hunting down the former Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel), who has a thing for her underage students, and cutting her throat. And we know he was after Fred: He didn’t take a cent from Pop, after all, but did take Fred’s wallet. Moose also had a secret: Remember, he had a fling with Kevin early in the show’s run, but gay or bisexual, Moose went back into the closet. So with that in mind, who are the suspects?
- Sheriff Keller (Martin Cummins): Keller was originally a slightly darker character, abusive and cruel towards Kevin over his sexuality. That was softened in the show, but Keller seems, at best, uncomfortable with what happens in his town on a regular basis.
- Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro): Betty’s dad isn’t exactly the most go-getting of the Coopers. In fact, he’s been a bit of a doormat. But his daughter is dating the son of a gang leader, the corrupt Hiram Lodge is back, and the family secret he worked so hard to cover up — the Coopers’ close relationship to the Blossom family — has been outed to everyone. Hal might simply have quietly lost it; it’s not like his wife or daughter would notice.
- Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos): Granted, Hiram isn’t doing his own dirty work here. And unless Hiram has a score to settle with Ms. Grundy we don’t know about yet, the premiere all but rules him out despite making him look guilty, reinforced by him flat-out denying it in episode 2. But then again, Hiram is unreservedly dirty and it seems unlikely that, whether he’s a target or an instigator, that he’s not tied up in this somehow.
- An Unknown Player: Of course, it could be that simply we haven’t yet met the Black Hood. Just because the Serpents didn’t find anything doesn’t mean they’re all innocent. Or perhaps this is all the fallout of a split in the Serpents we don’t yet know about. But these killings feel a little too personal to be just the bloody business of organized crime.
Any theories? Let us know in the comments!