We are deep into Riverdale's second season, but the identity of the Black Hood is still something that remains a mystery.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Riverdale, "Chapter Twenty-One: House of the Devil," below.
It seems like each week this season on Riverdale we get a little more information about who his behind the Black Hood, but at the same time there's another person the serial killer could be. That's especially true for tonight, as we learn more about the janitor Mr. Svenson's history and how his family were victims of Riverdale's previous mystery killer, the Riverdale Reaper, and his family's home happened to be the same house the Black Hood sent Betty to.
So, now that we have more evidence and more suspects, we're updating our list of who the Black Hood could be.
Betty's father, Hal Cooper, is still the strongest candidate based simply on physical appearance and access to information. As we've previous noted, Hal has green eyes just like the killer and would be privy to Riverdale's various indiscretions that got people killed; specifically Hal knew about Archie's relationship with Ms. Grundy. He also knew about some of the things the Black Hood taunted Betty with, such as Polly's location and the personal information he used to write the cipher. Really, even more recent developments with the killer aren't quite enough to fully take Hal off our list of suspects, even if we don't really have anything new on him.
A relatively new addition to the list of suspects, a fan theory hints that if he's not the actual Black Hood, he could be behind him or even a copycat. You see, the only killing that connects to the Black Hood's calls to Betty is that of the Sugarman, but the other name Betty gave him -- that of Nick St. Clair -- was allowed to live because he wasn't a real "son of Riverdale." As Ms. Grundy was killed even though she also really wasn't from Riverdale, and with Nick being the son of one of Hiram's friends, the idea that Hiram could be pretending to be the Black Hood for the purpose of manipulating the situation gains a bit of traction. After all, even Sheriff Keller noted that the notes from the Black Hood appeared to be from different people.
Speaking of the sheriff, while Sheriff Keller seems like an unlikely candidate to be the Black Hood despite Betty's suspicion last week there is a former Riverdale sheriff that could be the killer. We find out about Sheriff Howard tonight, the man who was sheriff when the Riverdale Reaper struck. According to Sheriff Keller, Howard stole all the files on the Reaper case, and Howard's daughter says that her father was obsessed with the house where the murder took place. While Howard is supposedly dead, it would be an interesting twist if he wasn't actually dead but had instead disappeared and become the Black Hood. After all, that weird connection between the Reaper house and where the Black Hood sent Betty is hard to ignore. And keep this in mind: a sheriff would know almost better than anyone about the sins of the town.
Another new suspect also has a connection to the Reaper and the Reaper house. Mr. Svenson, the high school janitor who was acting so oddly last week, turns out to be the surviving son of the family the Reaper killed. His survival was hidden from the press, and he was adopted out to give him some semblance of a normal life, but when Archie and Veronica confront him about his history, it's very clear that the murders never left him. He also talks about justice and recounts how the Reaper was killed in an act of vengeance for his family. We know that Archie says he doesn't have the green eyes the man who shot his father has, but it might be worth considering that maybe Archie is wrong about the eye color, considering how traumatic his father's shooting was. And just like trauma could be making Archie get details wrong, trauma could also be fueling Mr. Svenson on a quest against the sinners of Riverdale.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.