Dark Betty Returns in a Big Way on 'Riverdale'

riverdale dark betty returns
(Photo: Warner Bros. TV/The CW)

Riverdale fans have been wondering when they would see the return of Dark Betty, and tonight the girl next door's not-so-friendly side returned in a very big way.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of Riverdale, "Chapter Eighteen: When A Stranger Calls", below.

Tonight's episode of the popular The CW series saw Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) tormented by the Black Hood, who called her throughout the episode demanding things from her in exchange for information about him. Over the course of the episode, the Black Hood demanded that Betty end her friendship with Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), break up with Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), and then, upon realizing that Betty had been confiding in Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) about their conversations, said he would kill Betty's sister Polly unless she could give him another name.

Betty protests only briefly before suddenly and without reservation providing the Black Hood a substitute that he can kill -- Nick St. Clair. Betty even gives the killer his location.

While Betty doesn't don a black wig for tonight's descent into darkness, her motivation is very similar in that she's doing both for Polly and to go after someone who has taken advantage of girls. Last season when we were first introduced to Dark Betty, it was when Chuck Clayton began spreading rumors and slut shaming Veronica after a date. While helping Veronica and others victimized by Chuck attempt to right things, Betty discovered her sister's name written down in the football team's list of conquests. While it was Jason whose name Polly's was attached to, Betty took it out on Chuck, very nearly killing Chuck as she exacted her own form of justice.

Naming Nick as someone the Black Hood can go after also is a way that Betty is attempting to protect Polly, and, like Chuck, Nick is a predator -- he drugged and attempted to rape Cheryl earlier in the episode, but was stopped by The Pussycats just in time.

When Betty names Nick as a victim, the Black Hood seems very pleased as it proves his assertion that Betty is just like he is, but according to Reinhart, that doesn't mean that whoever the Black Hood is was aware of her previous Dark Betty turn. During a recent set visit, Reinhart said that had the mysterious killer known about Dark Betty, he might not even have called her in the first place.

"I think if he did I think maybe he wouldn't have gone to her," Reinhart said. "I think he knows there is a darkness inside of her but maybe not to the extent that it is."

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As for who the Black Hood is, that remains a mystery, though the awareness that something inside Betty is a bit darker while likely not knowing about the incident with Chuck is just another clue as to who the Black Hood might be -- Betty's father, Hal Cooper.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.