Riverdale has finally revealed the “shocking” truth behind the identity of the Black Hood, the killer who was righteously cleansing the quiet little town of sinners and ne’er do wells. There were plenty of theories on who it could be, with the hopes that it would be someone right under our noses. Turns out, that was true, but not in a way that actually mattered.
The midseason finale, “Chapter Twenty-Two: Silent Night, Deadly Night” wrapped up a lot of loose ends in a neat little bow. Jughead and his fellow Serpent Juniors ganged up against the Snake Charmer so that FP Jones wouldn’t have to deal drugs anymore (I’d assume it’s not the last we’ll see of her, but in this show who knows). Veronica found out that her parents bought Pop’s diner, but used that information as leverage to accomplish two goals: become a bigger part of Lodge Industries, and blackmail her parents into paying for Archie’s dad’s medical bills.
But the biggest story was about the Black Hood killer. After an entire half-season of shock and terror (trademark Birdemic), we finally learned the true identity of the man behind the mask.
The janitor did it.
Hold up, are you serious? The guy who was only in three episodes, who we only really met last week? The one who wasn’t connected to anyone on the show, who could be killed off without a second glance? That’s the one! Turns out, after his family had been murdered when he was a child, Mr. Svenson had fingered the wrong man as the culprit, so a bunch of people (including Cheryl’s nana and Betty’s grandfather) chose to bury the accused man alive. Overcome with guilt, the janitor apparently thought the best solution would be to kill a bunch of people for minor transgressions to even the score.
But wait, you might wonder, what about his eye color? After the Black Hood shot his dad, Archie made a point about how the culprit’s eyes were dark green. Archie refused to point out any suspects in a lineup solely because none of their eye colors matched. Mr. Svenson’s eyes, when heavily brightened, look kind of green. But it still seems pretty off. The show even acknowledges this, but instead of giving some poor excuse (like he was wearing contacts), they simply say it doesn’t matter.
Archie: “I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it in his eyes.”
Veronica: “Forget his eyes.”
A lot of people, including myself, were hoping the Black Hood would be Betty’s father, Hal Cooper. He hadn’t been given a lot to do over the season—we’ve barely even seen him—and the pieces would’ve lined up pretty well. The actor has blue-green eyes, which somewhat matched the ones we saw after he shot Archie’s dad. He wanted to prevent Betty from making the same mistakes Polly did, which would explain his obsession with her (and his intimate knowledge of the books she read as a child, like Nancy Drew).
Plus, as a journalist, he’s got a grudge against the town for its secrets and lies. Betty’s mom may have chosen to expose them in the newspaper, what if Hal had gone a step further? It wouldn’t be out of character for the Coopers—they do have a dark side. And can you imagine how dark Betty would’ve gotten after finding out her dad was threatening and murdering her friends? Move over, Josie, Cheryl would have a new best friend. Evil dad besties!
Given how skinny the original Black Hood was, nowhere near Hal or Mr. Svenson’s frames, it looks like they hired some actor to play the secret killer in the season finale without really knowing what they were going to do with the character—similar to how in Once Upon a Time’s season 6 finale, none of the actors or even the director knew what the cliffhanger was about. It’s really disappointing what they ultimately went with. The show ended so well last season, with Cheryl’s dad having murdered his son. It was gripping and had real consequences. Now, it’s just another thing the town will move on from. Riverdale pulled a real Scooby Doo with “The Janitor Did It.” What a waste.