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Riverdale’s season 2, episode 5, “When a Stranger Calls” provided viewers with a lot more insight as to who the Black Hood might be. My money is on it being Betty’s dad, Hal Cooper. Let’s recap those clues!

Black Hood was present at the jubilee (where it all began) and he was also at the town hall meeting in episode 4.

Hal Cooper is Black Hood: +1
Anyone Else: +1

Black Hood knows that Polly decided to try her luck at overalls and farming, and that she is currently carrying her cousin’s baby. He threatens to go after Polly for her sins if Betty tells anyone about him.

Hal Cooper is the Black Hood: +1
Anyone Else: 0

Sheriff Keller has a hunch there is something off about the letter and cryptograph that Betty received in the previous episode. Let’s give Sheriff Keller participation points for trying to stay relevant in this entire Black Hood investigation.  

Remember when Black Hood told Betty not to tell others about her conversations with him? Well, he didn’t specify not telling Archie, so she tells Archie. Having gotten some sense after his entire vigilante spree, Archie is the voice of reason and tells Betty he has to tell the cops.

Black Hood drives a wedge between Betty and her mom as evidenced in the following scene:

Sheriff Keller: “We sent the letters to two different specialists, but the handwriting wasn’t a match. So, whoever wrote your letter is either a copycat or pranking you.”

Alice Cooper: “Or something much more banal like a teenager acting out to get attention.”

Betty Cooper: “What? You think I wrote it?”

Alice Cooper: “The cypher was from a Nancy Drew book.”

This little exchange is the fire that motivates Betty to publish her mom’s mug shot that exposes her as a former Southside petty criminal. This shouldn’t be news to us, as Jughead’s dad briefly alluded to Alice’s past in season 1.

Hal Cooper is Black Hood: +1
(Hal would have to know Betty liked to read Nancy Drew, right?)
Anyone Else: 0

When a Stranger Calls.png

Later on, Black Hood calls Betty and asks, “How does it feel Betty? Knocking your mother off her high horse?” If this doesn’t scream Hal Cooper, I don’t know what does. We know Hal knows about Alice’s past, given how they dated in high school, and that he enjoys seeing her get knocked down every now and then.

Hal Cooper is Black Hood: +5
(I’m very subjective.)
Anyone Else: +5
(A lot of people in town have a bone to pick with Alice’s holier than thou attitude)

Betty asks Black Hood if she would recognize his face, and he says yes.

Hal Cooper is Black Hood: +1
(It’d strange if she couldn’t recognize her own father’s face.)
Anyone Else: +1
(There’s a lot of people in town that she knows!)

Black Hood tells Betty to cut ties with Veronica and to break up with Jughead. If this was about isolating Betty from everyone, then why wasn’t Archie thrown into the mix? After all, Archie went after the Black Hood in his Red Circle video campaign. If Black Hood is Hal Cooper, I see this as his opportunity to keep those who he deems as a bad influence away from his daughter. While Archie may have threatened the Black Hood, I don’t think Hal would have seen him as a threat considering how Archie targeted the Southside.

Hal Cooper is Black Hood: +1
Anyone Else: maybe +0.5

Anyone shocked that Hal Cooper could possibly manipulate his daughter has forgotten that we have already seen Hal try to manipulate his other daughter, Polly. He tried to get Polly to abort her baby, and along the same lines we know that Hal manipulated Alice in their teen days by having her give up their eldest son for adoption. This could just be Hal manipulating to an extreme, and I think he is capable of doing so.

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Let us not forget that Black Hood also made Betty put on a black mask “to show you we are the same”. Is he hinting at being the same blood at this point? If so, HAL COOPER IS BLACK HOOD! But let’s count out our total points.

Hal Cooper is Black Hood: 10
Anyone Else: 7.5

Is this all purely subjective and because I’m running out of possible suspects? YES. On another note: could there be two Black Hoods? Could Sheriff Keller actually be competent enough to be correct about someone being a copycat or pranking Betty? The idea of a terrible prank is also plausible, and the real Black Hood could be taking a break!

Other Musings

  • Kevin was in this episode, but he didn’t have any actual lines.
  • Alice Cooper showed up to the Lodge’s event party or something like that rocking a golden serpent necklace. Is Mama Cooper going to embrace her Southside past and spin it in a way to benefit her?
Mama Serpent.png
  • Veronica’s scummy friend from the past drugged Cheryl to rape her, but was stopped by Veronica, Josie and the Pussycats. I dislike the fact that the writers thought Cheryl had to be put in this situation to give us an expandable character for Betty to tell the Black Hood to kill. I mean at this point who isn’t against this slime ball getting murdered at the hands of the Black Hood?
  • Jughead becomes an official serpent, and in things that no one was shocked to see happen… Jughead and serpent girl kiss as soon as he tells her Betty broke up with him.