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Is Hiram Behind The Black Hood Killings? 'Riverdale' Fans Are Convinced

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After weeks of monotony (and a fake-out reveal), Riverdale's Black Hood plot line is finally starting to get interesting. The Black Hood — or Hoods — is inching closer and closer to the show's main characters, and it seems almost certain that more people will die before the Season 2 finale on May 16. At this point, fans have their suspicions about who is behind that creepy black mask, but one theory is about to make you reconsider everything you thought you knew about Riverdale. Is Hiram behind the Black Hood killings? Riverdale fans are convinced that the mafia man is the one pulling the strings behind the Black Hood operation.

I've been saying that Hal Cooper is the Black Hood since around October, so it's pretty difficult to convince me that I'm wrong — especially now that Betty believes her dad is behind the mask — but this Hiram Lodge theory sounds totally legit. According to Redditor RareOrdinary, the Black Hood killings actually tie into Hiram's plot to create a for-profit prison in Riverdale. This makes a lot of sense, especially because the whole prison thing totally came out of left field and felt like a super anti-climactic end goal for the dastardly Hiram.

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But if the Black Hood killings somehow lead into the prison story line, Hiram's sudden interest in law and order seems reasonable. Says RareOrdinary:

People say, after the recent episode, that the Black Hood scene at the debate was actually a plan created by Hiram. What if this plan is actually valid for the whole story of Black Hood? My guess is that Hiram needed this story in order to scare the citizens of Riverdale. Being so thirsty of power, we all know he's building a prison. I think that he may be the leader of this group in order to create an incredibly good image for the prison, saving Riverdale from all the 'bad' people.

Hiram knows that the people of Riverdale — led by mayoral candidate Fred Andrews — aren't going to say yes to him building a for-profit prison in town, so it makes perfect sense that he would manipulate them into thinking it's necessary. This is Hiram Lodge, after all: Why do things above-board when you can get away with doing something shady? Hiram says that he wants Lodge Industries to be legitimate, but I wouldn't put it past him to do something completely illegitimate in order to get there.

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So, if this is true, what about Hal and Mr. Svenson? Well, this fan theory accounts for them, too. Hiram may be manipulating Riverdale into agreeing to allow the prison, but this theory suggests that he's also manipulating certain residents, like Hal, Mr. Svenson, and possibly others, to carry out the Black Hood killings for him:

Svenson and Hal, along with perhaps other people, were convinced by Hiram to do these kind of acts because the prison could potentially purify the town. [Hiram] used their weaknesses (Svenson's childhood and Hal's hate for the Blossoms and the 'sinners' in general) in order to get them on his side.

This makes sense on multiple levels. For all of Hiram's shadiness, he's actually a smart guy, and we've seen him manipulate people by targeting their weaknesses before (um, hello, Reggie?). Hal has traditionally been blinded by his hate for the Blossoms, so I can't imagine it would be too difficult to convince him that he's doing something good for the town by killing its "sinners." And, of course, Svenson has already been unmasked as one of multiple Black Hoods.

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There's no denying that this fan theory sounds pretty dark, but there is a little sliver of hope for those of you who are convinced. According to this theory, Betty and Veronica will step in to save the day once they realize what awful things their fathers are up to:

Betty will eventually realize this in the following episode with Cheryl's help (she will realize that Black Hood attacked Cheryl for getting into the 'family business' instead of just backing down) and she will discover that Hal is Black Hood. The catch, though, is that Veronica will follow Hiram as a result of her frustration towards his self-imposed dominance over her and she will find out who he actually is: the leader of the group.

Both Betty and Veronica began to realize that their fathers are up to something in the May 2 episode, "Shadow of a Doubt," so it's likely that they will learn even more about these shady deals as the finale approaches. But the real question remains: Will they be able to do anything with this information, or will they get hurt trying to bring the Black Hood masterminds to justice? KJ Apa has said that the finale will be "tragic," so don't expect the Black Hood to go down without a fight.

The final two episodes of Riverdale Season 2 air at 8.p.m Wednesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 16 on The CW.