Is Hal Really the Black Hood on 'Riverdale'?

Is Hal Really the Black Hood on 'Riverdale'?

Riverdale is no longer messing around in season 2. "Chapter 32: Prisoners" kicked things into high gear in the most insane way possible. The title of the episode wasn't just literal, as there were almost too many kidnappings to count, but the resurrected Black Hood mystery moved forward in an exciting way. 

Realizing Chic wasn't her brother, Betty called in a favor to the Black Hood. The Black Hood obliged and attempted to murder Chic (we never saw the body.) This would be enough but in the episode's final moments, Betty suspected that the Black Hood might be closer to her than she ever thought. The Black Hood might be her own father, Hal.

The Cooper Clues


Betty isn't the first person to suspect Hal is the Black Hood and she probably won't be the last. It's true that a lot of things line up with Hal. Hal has a similar age and build to the Black Hood, even if his eyes are a different color. (Although colored contacts are definitely a thing.) He was oddly absent when Betty was meeting with the Black Hood to kill Chic. Furthermore, there's never been an attack by the Black Hood that Hal couldn't participate in. He was there at the school when Midge Klump was murdered and he has had free range to wander the town during all the other attacks. 

Hal Cooper also isn't the most stable and level-headed character. Hal, throughout the series but especially in season 2, has gone off the handle and lost his temper. Hal is extremely controlling and he's always tried to maintain a tight grip on his family. This doesn't necessarily mean that Hal is a serial killer. He could just be an average run-of-the-mill jerk but there's definitely a capability and darkness in Hal to turn to murder. Technically, Hal is a Blossom. No  Riverdale fan should have to be told how nutty and Machiavellian that family is to each other, let alone the whole town. 

Most damning of all though is the Black Hood's connection to Betty. Way back when Betty first started receiving calls from the Black Hood, I theorized that the man on the other end of the line wasn't the serial killer. Instead it was Hal trying to protect his daughter in a very twisted way. It seems that at least half of that theory has been disproven. Betty is almost certainly talking to the Black Hood, or someone who has Black Hood connections. 

Yet everything else holds. Hal would be the type of controlling father to frequently call his daughter as a serial killer to keep her safe. Many things can be said of the Black Hood, but outside the Svenson incident, he's never tried to harm Betty. The Black Hood is obsessed with Betty and knows so much about her, including but not limited to the number of her cell. All of that information would be easily available to Hal. 

The Perfect Murderer

There's not just a mound of evidence against Hal. Hal being unmasked as the Black Hood would be far more logical and exciting than the red herring culprit, Svenson. Hal being a serial killer would have real repercussions and likely fundamentally change the fabric of Riverdale

Hal is in the sweet spot of possible Black Hood suspects. He's important enough to other characters that his unmasking would ripple throughout the series and have a huge impact for a long time to come. Alice and Betty don't need more tragedy in their lives but the Black Hood being their husband and father, respectively, would be some wonderfully tense Riverdale drama. At the same time, Hal is a rather minor character. Inside the Cooper household the focus has always been on the women: Betty, Alice and Polly. Hal can easily be lifted out, no matter if he's killed or put behind bars. In fact, the only way Hal is really going to matter to the Cooper clan is if he turns out to be the killer. 

At this point in Riverdale season 2 it's almost pointless to speculate about the identity of the Black Hood. The show has offered so many clues and possible leads that nearly every character on the show could be the serial killer. The big "reveal" of "Prisoners" could be nothing more than another false lead. Hal really could've left the house to go look for Betty, not to meet her and kill her possibly murderous "brother." Anything is possible. 

Yet right now, Hal does seem the best and most likely suspect for the man behind the Black Hood. 

But do you agree? Is Hal the Black Hood? Is that just too obvious? What are your Black Hood theories now that he's for sure back in the business? Who do you want to be unmasked as the Black Hood? 

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

(Image courtesy of The CW)



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