Last night’s (April 25) episode of Riverdale, “Chapter Thirty-Two: Prisoners,” ended with an enormous cliffhanger as *spoilers past this point* Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) seemed to realize that maybe her father, Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro) is never in the same place at the same time as the town’s mysterious vigilante/serial killer The Black Hood. So, is Hal the Black Hood in Riverdale?
Maybe, maybe not.
We still have three episodes to go in the show’s sophomore season, so let’s look at the clues that Hal is the Black Hood — and a few alternate possibilities.
Who Is The Black Hood In Riverdale Comics?
Let’s give a little background, first. The Black Hood was introduced in 1940’s “Top-Notch Comics #9,” published by MLJ Comics — which later came to be known as Archie Comics.
The character initially was a very forties superhero/vigilante riff, but morphed over time into a dark avenger more akin to what we’re seeing on screen. Specifically, in 2015 Archie Comics launched The Black Hood as part of its Dark Circle line. Hey, didn’t Archie call his vigilante group the Dark Circle a few episodes back? Interesting.
Anyway, the character is named Officer Gregory Hettinger, a cop who takes up the identity of The Black Hood after accidentally killing the man previously under the hood. We’ll come back to all of this in a little bit.
Is Hal The Black Hood In Riverdale?
Up until this week’s episode, everyone thought they had dealt with The Black Hood, except Archie (KJ Apa). He had been revealed to be the janitor, Mr. Svenson, who was subsequently shot and killed. But Betty and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) start to realize that someone may have been manipulating Svenson, though they don’t know why or how.
At the end of the episode, Betty leads the man she thought was her brother Chic (Hart Denton) to a graveyard in order to get him killed by The Black Hood. Returning home, her mother Alice (Mädchen Amick) reveals Betty’s father Hal went out looking for her. Realization dawns in Betty’s eyes!
It certainly makes a lot of sense that Hal is the Black Hood. The killer has an affinity for Betty, knows everything about her childhood, and definitely has it out for FauxChic. Hal also has the build to be The Black Hood, is prone to fits of rage, and has shown off a very strict sense of justice.
He’s also been offscreen a lot, and returned to the show just when The Black Hood returned. So if we work by the Superman/Clark Kent never in the same room at the same time theory, yeah, Hal probably is The Black Hood.
Look Into Hal Cooper’s Eyes…
The biggest clue fans have been pulling on, though, is the eye color of the Black Hood. Ignoring that colored contacts exist, Archie focused on the distinct green of the killer’s eyes. He noted that Svenson’s eyes were different, though that didn’t stop him from letting Sheriff Keller murder him.
Throwing a bit of cold water on the Hal is the Black Hood theory, Lochlyn Munro has blue eyes, not green eyes. As mentioned, though, that could be colored contacts. It could be the light in Pop’s that shined just right to make Archie think The Black Hood’s eyes were green. Or Archie could be a dumbo who doesn’t know what colors are.
Or… There could be more than one Black Hood.
The Scream Theory
Let’s say Hal isn’t the Black Hood, but he’s A Black Hood. We’ve been talking about this theory a lot on our Riverdale podcast, but it’s possible there’s more than one killer under the mask. That would certainly explain how “he” knows so much about what’s going on in Riverdale. It also explains how someone like Hal could be The Black Hood, but still have a different eye color than the distinct green Archie saw.
Add in that a pre-season interview with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa in EW teased that Scream might be an inspiration, and this is looking more likely.
So if Hal Cooper is the Black Hood in Riverdale (and there may still be a twist coming on that front), who is the other Black Hood?
What About Claudius Blossom?
I’d personally argue that the big twist with Clifford Blossom’s twin brother Claudius (Barclay Hope) is that he actually is Clifford. But assuming for the moment that we’re not dealing with a twin imposter, and Clifford somehow faking his own death, could Claudius Blossom be Black Hood #2?
Like Lochlyn Munro, Barclay Hope has blue eyes, not green. Still, the Blossom family has a penchant for disguises: Clifford wore a red wig every day until he “died.” So why not green contacts?
How About Sheriff Keller?
The most recent episode went out of the way to show us that Kevin’s (Casey Cott) dad Tom Keller (Martin Cummins) was an upstanding man. He also killed Mr. Svenson, and has lamented how he’s been unable to enact justice in Riverdale.
He’s also absolutely jacked, completely free to chase people through dark graveyards since he’s out of a job, and knows everything about the folks in Riverdale due to being Sheriff.
And: the bit where his car was defaced so it said “Sheriff Killer” was supposed to make him sad; but what if it was a sneaky clue?
How About The Real Chic Cooper?
Last night we found out that the Chic we knew was, in fact, an imposter. Based on evidence it seemed like he killed, or was involved in the death of the real Chic – Charles Smith, a.k.a. Charles Cooper. But bodies or it didn’t happen, right?
That applies both to FauxChic, who was just chased off-screen by the Black Hood; and Real Chic, who we haven’t met yet. Even if we heard a horrible story about bloody sheets and Alice told F.P. Jones (Skeet Ulrich) she killed her own son… We’re not done with this Chic plotline.
So what if FauxChic, working with RealChic, hatched a plot to get revenge on the town that spurned them? What if they’re both The Black Hood? Wouldn’t that be a twist? It would!
Three episodes to go, until we find out…
Be sure to check our our Riverdale podcast, Riverdale After Dark, which updates right after every episode airs!