The Black Hood is striking again on Riverdale and so are all of the fan theories. Some are new, and some have returned just like the alleged villain to taunt us again with clues and speculation. That said, while he’s been suspicious before, there is no way that Hal Cooper is the Black Hood on Riverdale.
Sure, the faces look similar — but the eyes are different, and this mysterious man’s eyes are essential to the Black Hood’s identity. Especially now that Midge, who got a close look at those peepers earlier in the season, is now dead.
Sure, the fact that he shamed Betty for taking in Chic is suspicious, as Hal was Chic’s number one enemy from the start, but why would he be acting again now, and why start with Midge? Plus, don’t forget that Hal was having an affair with Penelope Blossom — who wanted Cheryl out of Carrie: The Musical. If he was loyal to Penelope, why would Hal want to ensure Cheryl had the role? Unless Ethel Muggs really did write those letters and Midge’s death was a coincidence, this doesn’t exactly add up.
"I think Penelope does have real feelings for Hal, but she’s being forced — and this is where the power play with Cheryl comes in — she’s being forced by Cheryl to break it off, said actor Natalie Boldt, who plays Penelope, in an interview with Seat42f. "So is Hal. So both of us have been put in a position where we really don’t have any choice. So Cheryl has the upper hand with that one. But who knows? Maybe those feelings will go dormant for a little while, and then they’ll pop back up, because real feelings do."
Basically, if Hal is the Hood, his feelings for Penelope make these murders an odd romantic gesture. So maybe he has nothing to do with this.
Jughead thinks that this is a new Hood, and a copycat killer, which is possible. If Riverdale has taught us anything over two seasons, it’s that the town is big enough for more than one serial killer.
Still, there’s also the Sheriff Keller of it all. Why isn’t he a prime suspect? Think about it. He has the Mayor in his pocket. He shot the Black Hood suspect, effectively closing the case that would be on himself. He was conveniently quick to the scene when Betty sent the Hood after Nick St. Clair, who returned in last week’s episode as well. Keller was also backstage before Carrie, whereas Hal was in the audience. He also has access to the jail.
Sure, Sheriff Keller also doesn’t have a connection to Betty Cooper — that we know of — or a motive for all of these killings, but you can’t ignore these clues! Maybe he’s resigning because he knows he’s about to get caught, or has something big and murderous planned.
Wouldn’t a "Betty, I am your father" reveal be a little too Star Wars as well? The connection between Betty and the Hood could be blood related, but there have to be more possibilities than that. What if it was Hal’s secret twin brother? He is a Blossom; he has the genetics for it. Sure, it’s a little extra for Riverdale to have two parents reveal twin brothers in one season, but when is Riverdale anything but the most extra? Two brothers with identical faces and different eye colors. That would be spooky, to say the least. What if the Black Hood is a group of people, as Nick St. Clair’s Archie kidnapping implied?
There are a lot of ways for the Black Hood to not be Hal Cooper, even if that was one of the leading theories early on. Hal is a big old red herring at best. Whether it was someone else all along or another twist entirely, don’t settle for this theory just yet.
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