Whoa. Wow. What!? Riverdale finally pulled the trigger on the big reveal that everyone has been waiting for, and it is safe to say that every fan of the show is losing their damn minds right about now! Wednesday night's new episode was a nonstop thrill ride from start to finish, and among all that action and suspense, it also managed to reveal the identity of the Black Hood on Riverdale. Yep, we finally know who is actually under that mask, and the truth is so wild.
Spoiler alert: Definitely do not keep reading until you have watched Riverdale Season 2 Episode 21, "Judgment Night." The second season of Riverdale has all been leading up to this, folks: the unmasking of the Black Hood. The serial killer has been terrorizing the town all season, and even after he was seemingly caught and revealed to be school janitor Mr. Svenson in the midseason finale, pretty much everyone knew that the Black Hood was still at large. Sure enough, the killer resurfaced a couple episodes ago, and now that all Season 2 has left is its big finale next week, the Black Hood has officially revealed his true identity: Hal Cooper.
Yeah, it was Hal Cooper all along. There were actually a ton of clues pointing to Hal throughout the season, and in the last couple of episodes Betty started to realize that the Black Hood was probably her dad, so it was not exactly the hugest shock in the world. But how Hal revealed himself to his family and the strange reason why he became the Black Hood were definitely shocking.
The new episode picked up right where we left off last week, with the Black Hood chasing Cheryl around her house with an ax. But the Black Hood is apparently no match for the Red Hood, as Cheryl surprisingly whips out a bow and arrows and goes full Hawkeye on him, landing a shot around his shoulder. Cheryl tells Betty what's up, and then FP Jones calls Betty afterwards to tell her that her dad was just admitted to the hospital. However, Hal is already gone when Betty makes it to the hospital, and she gets one final call from the Black Hood, telling her to come home.
Betty gets home to find her parents both wearing baby blue sweaters, but the scene is far from what the calming pastels suggest. Hal makes Betty and Alice watch a video of himself as a child, in which his mother tells him that his father killed the Conway family, and urges him to manipulate Joseph Conway (AKA Mr. Svenson) into pointing to someone other than his father as the murderer. The video reveals that Hal's dad, Betty's grandpa, was in fact the Riverdale Reaper.
As if they had not put it all together yet, Hal openly admits to being the Black Hood after the video ends, even telling Alice to record his confession. His motive still seems a bit murky — he parrots Betty's nebulous line about having "a darkness" in him, and says that darkness is actually a hereditary trait within the Cooper family, which is why Betty experiences it. He reveals that Betty's speech at the Jubilee reawakened this darkness in him because his daughter spoke in such a similar way to his mother, and says that he took up his family's time-honored tradition of "purging sin" from the town. Luckily, Alice is able to distract Hal after this whole diatribe long enough for Betty to knock him out, and they have him arrested.
So, that finally put the Black Hood mystery to bed, right? Well... not exactly. Although Hal admitted to shooting Fred Andrews, killing Miss Grundy, killing the Sugarman, and killing Midge Klemp, he revealed that he is not the only Black Hood in town. Obviously, Hal was not the Black Hood who shot up the mayoral debate (since we saw Hal there), and while Hal's big confession is happening at the Cooper house, another Black Hood is over at the Andrews', shooting Fred for a second time (don't worry; he wore a bullet-proof vest this time).
Now we are going into next week's big Season 2 finale with a new twist on the same question we have been wondering all season: Who is this other Black Hood!?