The Black Hood is causing all sorts of drama on Riverdale. First, he shot Fred Andrews (rude), sending poor Archiekins into a total tailspin. The spiral only intensified when Ms. Grundy was found dead, violently strangled by her cello bow. Then, Moose was shot while rolling on Jingle Jangle with Midge — way to kill the vibe, Black Hood — which inspired Archie to form an ill-advised neighborhood watch group with his fellow muscly and baby-oiled Bulldogs.
All that machismo only led to a street fight between the Red Circle and the Southside Serpents. Lucky for them, the only casualties were Dilton Doiley's pride and Archie's gun. R.I.P. Vigilante Archie. You were fun while you lasted.
Really, really fun.
As for the aforementioned Black Hood, he's just sitting back and admiring all the chaos and paranoia he's created under the guise of a serial killer who's watched Zodiac one too many times. His cat-and-mouse game with Betty Cooper proves just as much. He says his motive is to eradicate the town with pep of "hypocrites, degenerates, and criminals" — but what if he just wanted to get Betty's attention?
Here's what we know about the Black Hood Killer: He's got green eyes, he likes playing mind games (between the phone calls and the cyphers), he's got a strong moral code, he's obsessed with Betty Cooper, he may or may not have been in the Town Hall during her now-infamous speech, and he says Betty would recognize him. It may not be much, but it does narrow down the list of suspects. As for those suspects, let's take a closer look:
Probably the most popular theory at the moment is that Betty's hapless dad is the man behind the hood. That being said, he does fit the M.O. in that he's a middle-aged man with green-ish eyes. But I have a hard time believing Hal would mentally torture his daughter like that. I know that the parents in Riverdale are all pretty sus — Clifford Blossom shot his son point-blank — but nothing about Hal screams "murderer!!!" to me. Sure, he can be a dick, but he's not exactly the kind of guy who takes initiative. We all know Alice Cooper is the H.B.I.C. in that family.
Perhaps the most crucial piece of evidence to the "Hal is the Black Hood" theory is that the small-town serial killer not only knew Betty's number, but he also wrote the cypher using symbols that only Betty would understand. More so, these symbols were derived from Betty's favorite childhood book. Who else would have known that other than the man who knows her best?
Betty's long-lost brother has yet to show up on Riverdale, but we know he's set to make his debut at some point this season. While actor Hart Denton doesn't appear to match the physical description of the Black Hood, it's not like that's a sure-fire indicator of culpability. (Did we learn nothing from watching seven seasons of Pretty Little Liars?) If Riverdale decides to go the One Tree Hill route and make Betty's secret brother her veiled tormentor, it wouldn't be that surprising. Chic might have grown up with a lot of resentment for the family he never knew, or maybe he just wants so desperately to please them that he thinks igniting this civil war between the north and south sides and ridding the town of sinners is the way to do it.
Either way, it's a strong possibility that when the Black Hood confirmed that Betty would recognize him, he was referring to the fact that they were related and not necessarily that Betty would know him.
He's a master manipulator who's completely taking advantage of the panic in Riverdale. That, and his timing has been awfully suspicious. Following Fred's shooting, he bought Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe out from under Pop Tate — only after it was branded the "Death Diner" and, therefore, came with a cheaper price tag. Then, he encouraged Archie to take justice into his own hands to keep the town safe following Ms. Grundy's death. Did he know Archie's (foolish) actions were going to further the divide between the north and south sides? Most definitely. It only helps him in his efforts to get his latest business development funded. Remember: Hiram wants to completely gentrify the south side. And preferably, without any protests.
Given his history, we know just how far Hiram will go for a lucrative business deal. But he's definitely not working alone, which leads to the next possibility...
There's more than one Black Hood
For all we know, the man in the black hood might just be the muscle! Or maybe there's a copycat killer running around Riverdale. After all, Sheriff Keller did tell Alice and Betty that the handwriting in their letters from the supposed serial killer were not a match, indicating a possible copycat. What if the copycat is just trying to test Betty? It's not like we have any tangible proof that this person on the phone is actually the Black Hood. (He hasn't killed Nick St. Clair yet.) He could be blackmailing Betty for his own gain. There are plenty of people in town who might have wanted to see Alice Cooper's reputation go up in flames.
A wildcard, I know. But Dilton is a survivalist who has a major crush on Betty Cooper in the Archie comics. Never forget: He gave Archie a gun, no questions asked. And he's paranoid AF. "Dilton's our go-to gun guy," creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told MTV News last month. "We kind of imagine that he's got a secret bunker where he's got all of his provisions and food and firearms, getting ready for the apocalypse."
If Dilton's got a doomsday bunker full of canned beans and guns, then is it completely out of the realm of possibility to think he's lurking under the cloak of darkness, eliminating those he deems unworthy? Think about it: Dilton is everyone and nowhere at the same time.