Who Is Joseph Conway? 'Riverdale' Introduces A New Character, Kind Of
Riverdale finally unveiled the mysterious Black Hood killer who's been tormenting the town all season, except a strange double-name situation may have made that big reveal more confusing to viewers than anything else. To clear things up for you, let's go over just who Joseph Conway is and how he is connected to this whole Black Hood situation. Spoiler alert: Of course, don't read on if you haven't seen Riverdale Season 2, Episode 9, "Silent Night, Deadly Night."
A couple of episodes before the midseason finale, Riverdale introduced us to the school janitor, Mr. Svenson, who seemed to always be lurking around and possibly stalking Josie McCoy (although now we know that it was probably Cheryl Blossom doing the Josie-stalking). Well, after a super-creepy truck driver told Jughead about the Riverdale Reaper, a killer from years back that slaughtered an entire family that lived near Fox Forest, Betty does some research and uncovers Mr. Svenson's secret past. It turns out that Mr. Svenson's actual name is Joseph Conway, and he is the only surviving member of the family murdered by the Riverdale Reaper back when he was a child.
So yeah — Mr. Svenson is Joseph Conway; they're the same person. And on top of that, he is also the Black Hood. After Betty and Archie look into Joseph Conway's past, they discover that he sought revenge on the Riverdale Reaper without doing enough investigating on who the killer actually was, and sentenced the wrong man to death. A group of Conway's friends including Nana Rose Blossom and Betty's grandfather buried an innocent man alive after Conway pointed his finger at him. When Archie and Betty went to investigate the gravesite, the Black Hood was there waiting with a gun, and forced Betty to begin burying Archie alive.
Luckily, Betty and Archie had called Sheriff Keller first, and the police sirens scared the Black Hood away. Keller managed to shoot the Black Hood, and unmasked him to reveal that the mysterious killer was actually Mr. Svenson/Joseph Conway. Apparently, Conway's extreme guilt over sentencing an innocent man to death drove him mad, and he came up with some twisted logic that he could somehow balance out his misdeed by taking out Riverdale's truly guilty sinners. But it appears that Sheriff Keller's gunshot probably killed Svenson, so his reign of terror may finally be over.
But even though Joseph Conway is out of the picture, it sure seems like the Black Hood's influence will continue to infect Riverdale moving forward. At the very end of the episode, we see Betty unable to burn the black hood that was left for her by the killer, instead holding it up to herself and seemingly identifying with it. We have already seen Betty embrace her dark side in Season 1 when she nearly drowned Chuck Clayton, and the Black Hood did say that Betty was more like him than she knew, so it looks like Dark Betty may be coming out again pretty soon.
Oh, and Betty's moment with the black hood wasn't the only ominous part of that ending — there was also some mysterious photographer taking pictures of Archie and Veronica kissing outside Archie's house. It looks like there is another creeper out there to worry about, which is something that most fans have actually already predicted. A major theory that's been popping up since the early episodes of this season is that there are actually two Black Hoods: the one who actually goes out in the mask to kill people (whom we now know is Mr. Svenson), and the one who often called Betty on the phone and sent her notes. This second, still-masked Black Hood is the one that we know is obsessed with Betty, and knows intimate details about her life, and he is also the one that is still at large, if the theory proves true.
Riverdale will return from its winter hiatus with a new episode on Jan. 17, 2018.