Riverdale returned in spectacular form with tonight's musical episode -- and it brought an ominous new mystery in the process.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Riverdale, "A Night to Remember", below!
Tonight's episode saw much of the show's ensemble putting on a production of Carrie: The Musical, and enduring plenty of twists and turns along the way. Early on in the episode, Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) received a ransom note-esque letter signed by the Black Hood, asking for Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) to be recast in the role of Carrie.
Kevin ignored the letter, until he received a second letter that threatened Cheryl's life. Cheryl was kicked off the show, and Midge Klump (Emilija Baranac) was given the role in Cheryl's place. The production went on somewhat smoothly, although Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) wondered if the Black Hood was really behind the threats, or if it was just Midge or Ethel Muggs (Sharon Purser) being jealous of Cheryl.
But as the curtain rose on Riverdale High's production, everyone appeared to get their answer. Midge was brutally stabbed against the wall of the musical's set, with a message scrawled in blood: "I am back from the dead. All those who escaped me before will die. B.H."
While the episode ended on that note, it seemed pretty clear -- The Black Hood is back.
To an extent, fans have expected the Black Hood's return for a few months now, after the way that the original storyline, with Sheriff Keller shooting and killing Mr. Svenson, almost seemed to wrap up a little too nicely.
"People don't always stay dead in Riverdale," showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told ComicBook.com when the midseason finale aired. "So we're definitely going to be dealing with the aftermath of the Black Hood, and kind of the events of the last two or three episodes for a long time."
In the time since, the possibility of a second Black Hood has been teased more and more, with other possibilities coming to fruition in different ways.
"When we started, we had three likely suspects, so for the first half of the season, we were always dropping red herrings, so we could pick [one of the three]," Aguirre-Sacasa said during the show's recent PaleyFest panel. "As we moved into the second half, and we get back to the Black Hood for the last few episodes, we always knew it wasn't Svenson, but for the last 10 episodes or so, we've had a pretty clear idea and have been writing toward that."
So, who exactly could the real masked man be? Well, considering the circumstances of this episode, it's almost impossible to tell. To an extent, the final act of tonight's episode helped fuel every major Black Hood fan theory that is still going around amongst the fandom. Both Sheriff Keller and Chic Cooper (Hart Denton) were creeping around the backstage area before the production began. Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro) miraculously returned to Riverdale for the first time in weeks, mending things with his wife and daughter almost a little too well. And it's pretty clear that Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) funded the whole thing, and he's certainly willing to cause a public incident if the situation requires it.
What did you think of the Black Hood's return in tonight's Riverdale? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.