Just as we are getting to the end of Season 2, the big bad of Riverdale has suddenly returned. Yep — along with giving fans a super fun and memorable musical episode, Wednesday night's new episode of Riverdale also marked the resurrection of the Black Hood, the masked murderer that Riverdale's residents thought had already taken care of. And as the Black Hood claimed another victim, we also got a new suspect courtesy of Jughead's sleuthing: Is Ethel the Black Hood on Riverdale? Let's go over the new theory. Spoiler alert: Don't read on if you have not seen Riverdale Season 2 Episode 18 "A Night To Remember" yet.
Wednesday night's new episode of Riverdale was filled with song and dance as the high school put on a production of the fittingly macabre revenge story Carrie: The Musical. But instead of ending with a bucket of pig's blood, Riverdale High's show ended in actual blood, when Midge was revealed to have been murdered on the stage. Her body, stabbed multiple times by knives and scissors, was accompanied by a bloody note: "I am back from the dead. All those who escaped me before will die. B.H."
So clearly the Black Hood is back at it again. This is a shock to everyone at Riverdale High, but it probably won't be to fans of the show, since nobody was really buying that Mr. Svenson reveal back in the midseason finale. What it does mean is that we are closer to finding out who the Black Hood actually is, and the end of the new episode gives us a new suspect: Ethel Muggs.
Prior to Midge's murder, Kevin received two notes from the Black Hood demanding that he recast Cheryl Blossom as the lead in the school musical. Both notes used cut-out letters from magazines to spell out the demands. Once Betty and Jughead found out about this, they investigated Ethel, and she admitted that Cheryl getting the part of Carrie over her made her angry. Finally, before the big show, Jughead noticed cut-up pages from magazines in the trash can in Ethel's dressing room, suggesting that she was behind the notes.
When Ethel walked in on Jughead inspecting the magazine bits, she immediately claimed that they were for her vision board and pushes Jughead out of her room, and that's the last we hear from Ethel in the episode. That vision board thing definitely sound like a flimsy excuse, and Jughead now has Ethel in his crosshairs as suspect number one it seems. So is Ethel really the Black Hood?
The "Ethel is the Black Hood" theory has actually been presented by fans earlier this season. Viewers recalled how Ethel seemed to light up while Betty unleashed her dark side and almost killed Chuck Clayton, and suggested that maybe Ethel was working with her dad (the actual person wearing the black hood) to "cleanse" the town after Hiram Lodge's faulty deal with Mr. Muggs made him suicidal.
Unfortunately, the magazine clippings make this theory seem too obvious to me. Riverdale is going to want the big Black Hood reveal to be a surprise, so they wouldn't make it clear that it's Ethel so soon, right? It feels like the show wants us to think it's Ethel now to get us off the scent of the actual killer. Also, we know that Ethel's main beef is with the Lodge family, and the Black Hood has not done anything to harm them.
Then again, I could totally be overthinking this whole thing and Ethel and her dad might be unmasked as the Black Hood all along. We only have to wait a few more episodes to find out!