The identity of the Black Hood has been the central mystery on Riverdale all season thus far with fans speculating about who exactly is behind the mask and spreading terror on their quest to purify the town. However, some of that speculation has led to a very interesting theory about who the Black Hood is and it's not who you'd expect.
As reported in Teen Vogue, Reddit user lCrackers posted a theory in the Riverdale community earlier this week that outlined who they are now convinced is the Black Hood as well as a pretty big twist as to what they believe is the Hood's relationship to Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart). How big? The theory posits that Penny Peabody is the Black Hood as well as Betty's biological mother.
According to the theory, Penny and Alice Cooper are half-sisters with Penny giving Alice her baby because Alice had decided to leave the Serpents and life on the South Side. However, over time Penny came to regret her decision, especially now that the North Side is painted as being so much better than the South despite having their own issues. This drives Penny to go on a purification quest to expose the darkness of the North Side. The theory goes on to account for various ways Penny, as the Black Hood, would know about Betty's love of Nancy Drew (they could have encountered one another in the library,) and explains how Penny would be getting around actually killing anyone herself (she manipulates other people to do it for her).
However, there are some flaws to the theory. The clues the theory cites to support itself are vague at best, with Betty's speculation that the Black Hood probably has a daughter themselves, where Dark Betty comes from, and the existence of Chic Cooper. It also doesn't really account for how Penny Peabody would know about Grundy's sins or the details they know about Betty's life. Also, so far, nothing has been mentioned about Penny Peabody having a connection to Alice Cooper.
Of course, with all good mysteries, sometimes it is the unexpected answer that's correct and while we may be finding out who the killer is soon, the promo for next week's episode seems to hint at another outside suspect for who is under the Black Hood -- Sheriff Keller.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.