But given what we know about the series based on Archie Comics, nothing is ever what it seems, and there could be more twists and turns to come before the season finale.
Warning: Spoilers for Riverdale Season 2 below.
The last few episodes have shown Betty become increasingly suspicious of her family, and in tonight's broadcast of "Chapter Thirty-Four: Judgement Night, she finally learns the truth: Betty's father, Hal Cooper, is the Black Hood.
But he never admits his guilt, instead forcing Betty to say what she believes her father has done. Hal menaces both Betty and Alice, revealing his dogmatic beliefs about cleaning Riverdale of all the sinners accompanied by a creepy home movie screening.
And though the episode ends with Hal in handcuffs before he can hurt his wife or daughter, there are still many questions viewers are likely to have. That's why we at ComicBook.com went right to the source and spoke with Lochlyn Munro himself, the actor who plays Hal Cooper on Riverdale, to learn more about this shocking revelation.
ComicBook.com: I wanted to know, did you film that season on finale scene as the Black Hood?
Lochlyn Munro: No, I didn't sir.
When did you learn that your character was the Black Hood?
LM: I learned that I was the Black Hood in episode 21. What do you think of that?
That's pretty interesting. Was it a shock to you?
LM: I started to kind of have a little bit of, sort of inkling, starting on Episode 19, when Betty was so inquisitive of where Hal was and what he's been up to, and all these facts that she was coming up with. The great thing about our writing staff, and Roberto was a ... These guys, they keep everything so tight lipped from us, so we can never find out anything until usually the day before we shoot the episode, we do a big table read. We all read the script and that's when we find stuff out. It's interesting that they do that. To tell you the truth, for me personally, I thought, "This looks a little too red herring-ish. There's no way it could be Hal. It's kind of pointing at it too much," but boom, there it was. I'm now embracing my dark side Hal Cooper.
How did everyone else react when they found out?
LM: I think maybe people had their suspicions that it was me, the rest of the cast. I think everyone was just like, "No way. It's Hal Cooper?" We react like that a lot whenever we find out, when something happens on the show that ... At the end of the read through, we put it down, we all take a deep breath, and then we applaud the script. Then we get to talk about stuff for the next eight days. I think everyone was a little shocked, I think. It's kind of a cool way to go though. For me, I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of dimension I can bring to that character now, for sure.
As an actor, I'm sure you already had your approach to Hal. How do you reconcile your previous approach to the character now, with the knowledge that he's the Black Hood?
LM: Well, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I have to really quickly ... I went from playing Hal totally different to now he's a serial killer within one episode. I only had three or four days in between the table read and when I filmed the scene at the Cooper house, with the home movies. I had to come up with a lot of backstory on sort of how he ended up, how he was able to pretend to be Hal Cooper his whole life, without anyone knowing that he's actually this dark, evil guy. That's what serial killers do. I mean Jeffrey Dahmer was the same way.
Obviously, I know Roberto keeps everything really close and tight, and he always has plans for characters. I'm hoping that he flushes it out in the third scene, on sort of why and how Hal ended up where he did. That would be really interesting. I have my own theories on that as well. I can just draw up on that. It was a big challenge, to all of a sudden go from who I thought Hal Cooper was to who he actually is.
It seems like you would want to know beforehand, but with the show being what it is, all the twists and turns, that you don't really have that luxury.
LM: Yeah, no. No. I get it. Obviously, as an actor you ... Actors want backstory. Actors want dimension. They want to know what basically molded their characters to be who they are at that moment. I think the reason that the writers and Roberto sort of wrote, and how they did it, I just don't think they wanted anyone to start playing into ... If I knew I was the Black Hood from the get go, then I may have changed my approach to playing the character, that might have made him too obvious, to be obvious. I'm thinking that's what it is. It's kind of interesting. I enjoy reading the scripts and learning things as I go as well. It makes me sort of feel like a more, not just an actor on the show, but more of a fan and an audience participant.
There was kind of a little hint towards it when Hal's found with all the documents that was in the Sheriff's Office. I'm sure that, that kind of tipped you off. Hal has kind of been the subject of a lot of crazy revelations.
LM: The thing about Joe, the thing about stealing all the documents from the Sheriff, that was all about hiding his identity as a Blossom. That was his motivation for that. He didn't want Sheriff Keller to start doing all of this investigation, then finding out that the Blossoms and the Coopers were actually the same family. That was his idea with that.
Now, again, that is what I'm thinking. Whether or not Roberto and the writers had a whole plan and that whole setup as well, I don't know. That was when you knew that Hal was capable of committing a crime, for sure. If that's what you mean, I totally agree.
This episode also kind of had some interesting moments packed in it. The previous episode had the revelation that there's a copycat, well now we know it's a copycat, based on Hal's confession.
Then also Mädchen Amick does her awesome Betty Cooper, and pretty much confronts you and tells you how you can't even be a serial killer correctly. As everything in Riverdale, it adds doubt to the mystery in every layer that it peels back. Is this the end of the Black Hood mystery, or are there more layers to peel back?
LM: I personally think there will be more layers to this whole Black Hood situation. Again, I'm an audience participant, as well as an actor, so I don't know. Roberto and the writers keep everything very tight. They haven't discussed with us at all what season three has coming. They're very strategic with their plan of their characters and where they want them to go, and how it all goes. I'm really hoping that this flushes out Hal, to just be a much more interesting character. Now, he has dimensions. Now I'm like okay, now it gets exciting for me to actually play this guy.
I can also tell you, but also too it was interesting that you say that I confessed in the Cooper house, because I don't remember ever confessing. All I did was say, "Betty, tell me what I did." She told me what I did. I didn't say, "Yes, that's what I did." Again, these are all just me, as far as theories, as well. I look for little things in the scripts and I go, "Okay, what does this actually mean? Was Hal part of a Black Hood tribe and he was just the guy pulling the strings, and someone else did all the killings? What does he mean by that? How come he never actually confessed that he did it?" Who knows? That could be part of the story as well.
You know what? That's actually a good point.
LM: Joe, these are all just my theories Joe, so don't hold me to them. I have no idea. I'm the guy who didn't know Hal Cooper was the Black Hood until episode 21, so my theories could be right out the window, right?
That's true, that's true. That does raise a good point though. I think that a Black Hood gang could be on to something. We know that he obviously coerced the high school janitor to take the fall for something, for some reason. Then we can reasonably presume that Hal did try to murder Cheryl, because he has the bloody wound in his shoulder when he's being arrested.
LM: Right, that's true, that's true. Yeah, everything is always so vague. To tell you the truth, I don't know. I don't know if it was me that attacked Cheryl, but I agree with you, I do have a slight pin drop of blood on my shoulder there, so that could be. I'm hoping it was, because that was a pretty intense attack man. I'd like to take full credit for that one.
You didn't film those scenes with Madelaine Petsch?
LM: No. To tell you the truth Joe, I've never worn the Black Hood ever.
LM: Everyone who puts my face next to the actor who played the Hood, and then tells everyone, "It's obviously Hal Cooper, look at the eyes," I'm like, "That guy doesn't look anything like me." I don't know if people just try to convince themselves, so they go, "Oh yeah, that's Hal Cooper." Now, it could have been Hal Cooper the character, as the Black Hood, but it wasn't Lochlyn Munro playing the Black Hood, that's for sure.
I would have liked to. I think the reason that I'm excited, is I think that it's like ... There's been episodes I've really enjoyed flushing out certain scenes with Hal. Then there's some, I just feel like this really gives me an opportunity to create dimension in my character, and really give me something to chew on. I'm really hoping that Roberto and the writers take him to another level, as far as who he actually is.
I find that interesting. I find the character Hannibal Lecter was totally interesting to me, and he was a serial killer that ate people's liver. I'm like, "That's odd, but wow, what makes that guy tick?' That's as far as playing a character.
Okay. How do you see Hal coming back from this?1comments
LM: I don't know. Honestly, I often sit and think about that. I go, "If Hal actually killed Midge and he killed Miss Grundy, and did all of these horrible crimes, that's got to be 25 to life. I don't know if we're going to get that many seasons." It's either I get redemption very quickly, or maybe I become a mentor in prison to people. Maybe I rehabilitate myself and become a mentor, or maybe I bust myself out. I often think about that too, but I'll tell you, the damn writing staff, they come up with some pretty good stuff. I'm sure they're all sitting around snickering about this whole situation, and going, "Wait til they read this script."
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.