‘Riverdale’ Finally Revealed the Black Hood – or Did They?

Lauren Gallaway
TV Riverdale
TV Riverdale The CW

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from the Riverdale episode “Chapter 34: Judgement Night.” Proceed with caution.

It’s taken all season, but the Black Hood finally revealed himself on Riverdale. The killer — the self-proclaimed purger of sinners — is none other than Hal Cooper. That’s right, Betty’s dad is the Black Hood. If that doesn’t sound quite right to you it doesn’t sound quite right to us either. Let’s jump into what happened this week and what it could mean about the true identity of the Black Hood.

Hal, Hal Cooper

Riverdale Coopers

During “Chapter 34: Judgement Night,” Hal Cooper confessed to being the Black Hood. He showed Alice and Betty a “home movie” of his mother telling him to keep the Conway boy from telling the police that his father had actually killed the Conway family. It was a sickening reveal that left Betty and Alice pretty shook.

Hal said that his grandfather and father both had “dark sides,” dark sides that he and Betty both shared. Even though Betty was suspicious of her father, she didn’t seem convinced that he actually was a killer. Hal said that he was, but he didn’t go into any details besides calling people sinners.

Alice also didn’t believe him, especially when he sinned with Cheryl’s mom in her brothel. How can he be so convinced to take the lives of sinners when he was sinning? Betty and Alice did take him down though, with a fireplace shovel. Sheriff Keller returned to duty to arrest Hal and he was driven away.

Mystery Shooter

Riverdale Black Hood

While Hal seemed convinced that he was carrying on his father’s legacy in killing Ms. Grundy, Midge, and more, he couldn’t explain who the shooter was at the Carrie, the Musical. When Archie showed up at Betty’s house, he was shocked to learn that Hal confessed because a masked man had just shot his dad, again, just an hour before.

We smell another red herring! Riverdale served up a fake Black Hood during the winter finale — remember Joseph Svenson AKA Mr. Conway — the school janitor? He was shot and killed by Sheriff Keller for being the Black Hood. Now Hal is confessing to being the Black Hood but how could he be if he was home while Archie was wrestling with his dad’s shooter?

The True Mastermind

Riverdale Hiram Lodge

Based on the very leggy takedown of Archie by the masked assailant, our money is on Hiram Lodge being the second Hood. Remember how Archie and Hiram wrestled early on in the season? What if this is a clue to Hood #2’s fighting style? Sure, it would be hard for Hiram to be paying off the Snake Charmer and assaulting Fred and Archie on the same evening, but based on his “October Surprise” it seems like he has the most motive to shoot Fred in the first place.

Also, the Black Hood showed up just as Hiram was getting released from prison. What if the Black Hood was a criminal character he invented and sent to Riverdale to cause chaos and bring forth the need for a prison? We know that Hiram has been paying Red Circle/Dark Circle boys to go to war with the Serpents. We also know that he brought Penny Peabody and the Ghoulies back to Riverdale to get the Serpents out. He is clearly the mastermind behind A LOT of nefarious plots this season, why not the serial killer too?

What do you think? Is Hal Cooper the real Black Hood? Or is he being paid to cover for someone, someone with a reputation and pockets as deep as Hiram Lodge’s?

Riverdale airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8PM in the US and on Netflix in most countries the next day.

Lauren Gallaway
TV editor at FANDOM. Creator of The Marvel Report. Journalist, Comic-Con reporter, Podcaster.