Caution! This post (obviously) contains spoilers for the May 9 episode of Riverdale, so proceed at your own risk!
Well, we guessed the who, but we could never have guessed the why.
Riverdale just revealed who the OG Black Hood is, and it’s exactly who we’ve assumed and kind of hoped (in the weirdest way) it was since he started making creepy phone calls to Betty: her dad! Hal Cooper’s been donning a black hood and murdering/attempting to murder sinners for months now, which is really the only thing that ever made sense.
But we also learned tonight the reason why he does such a thing, and it’s certainly not what we expected.
During one quite creepy sequence, Hal sat his family down in the living room and forced them to watch a home movie of him as a small child in what appeared to be a basement, enduring what appeared to be brainwashing from who we assume to be his mother.
We learned that Hal’s father and grandfather also murdered people, and Hal’s parents had conditioned him from the time he was a very small child to help them take down sinners, and some of those sinners included the Conway family that was murdered 40 years ago (as Alice helpfully reminded us). Mr. Conway had learned the Cooper/Blossom family’s murderous secret, and so the whole family had to die.
Hal had been tasked with convincing the young surviving son that it was not Hal’s dad who had killed the family, but someone else entirely.
Apparently, one of Hal’s mom’s conditioning phrases was “you must do better,” which is basically exactly what Betty said in her speech at the end of season one, which is what set Hal off as the Black Hood.
Alice just sat there in stunned silence (though not stunned enough if you ask us) as Hal confirmed that he was responsible for shooting Fred, killing Miss Grundy (thanks, actually), killing Midge, and killing the Sugar Man (WOW remember when that was a plot?), but he did not shoot up the mayoral debate, meaning there’s a copycat on the loose.
Speaking of, the copycat was busy attacking Archie and Fred. Fred first took him down with a baseball bat, then stopped to make a quip about how he should have gone pro before getting himself shot right in the bulletproof vest.
Also, there’s a straight up gang war happening that brought in the Ghoulies, led by that goddamn Penny Peabody (hired by Hiram Lodge?). She wanted a fight so the Serpents would be destroyed, but Jughead’s far too noble to let that happen, so he offered himself up alone. And then he died.
Or at least that’s what it look like when FP carried his limp, bloodied son out of the forest in his arms, with tears in his eyes. We assume Jughead is not dead but like…what if he is? He’s definitely not, but maybe Cole Sprouse was like “please allow me to sacrifice myself” and Jughead is really, actually gone.
He’s not, even though we’ve got Archie, Betty, and Veronica staring at a grave in the promo for the finale. But he could be! (But he’s not.) But maybe…no, he’s not.
Elsewhere, Cheryl revealed herself to be a truly badass archer when she saved her own damn self from the Black Hood/Betty’s dad, and it was revealed that Midge’s mom actually shot Fangs, who did not survive.
Veronica and Hermione were also attacked by the son of that mobster who was killed (right after Veronica discovered yet another wild scheme), but they attacked him right back and killed him, leaving Hiram to clean up his own mess. And that’s what we’re left with, alongside a finale promo featuring no Jughead but an awful lot of deep dark looks.
Time to go have a lie down til next Wednesday.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.