So the Black Hood has finally been unmasked… or has he? Hear me out.
(SPOILERS FOR RIVERDALE SEASON 2 MID-SEASON FINALE BELOW.)
Is it just me, or did that ‘reveal’ seem a little… well, anticlimactic? Sure, Joseph Svenson was somewhat off-kilter, but something isn’t adding up here.
For starters, the season has been dropping hints from day one that there is more than one person involved in this. Remember when Sheriff Keller analyzed the writing from Betty’s Black Hood letter against the one her mother received, and found they weren’t a match? He posited the theory of a ‘copycat’ or phony, but both Alice’s letter and Betty’s phone calls had information only the real Black Hood would know. Why bring up that there’s a potential impostor if it’s not somehow relevant?
Furthermore, the character’s theories don’t line up. Archie assumes ever-present janitor Svenson saw him and Grundy together, or that he saw Moose & Midge buying drugs in the halls. What about Fred? What about the others that received threats? This rushed explanation and rationalization behind his motive did not add up, and was dealt with and brushed aside too hastily. He killed the townsfolk because he had them kill someone else years ago? How does that make any sense? Either there’s more here, or the writers got lazy and wanted to wrap this up before the holiday break.
And let’s not forget the obvious: Mr. Svenson does not look like the Black Hood. Archie pointed this out when he and Veronica confronted him; he doesn’t have the right eyes, and that’s the only thing we had seen of the Hood’s until he was unmasked. As far as I can tell, actor Cameron McDonald’s eyes aren’t even green! This can’t just be a loose writing plot hole, can it? Hell, even Tall Boy looks more like the Black Hood than Svenson does.
Maybe Svenson was blackmailed or threatened into following along with the real killer’s plans, Saw-style? Thinking as a serial killer, that would be a clever way to both rid the town of another sinner and get law enforcement off his back. Maybe there was more than one Black Hood killer all along? And who was snapping pictures of Archie and Ronnie kissing under the mistletoe? The Hood has eyes everywhere, so was he related to that, too?
Maybe I’m just looking to explain away a spot of disappointing writing, but I feel there’s more to this story (and so does Lili Reinhart). You heard it here first: we haven’t seen the last of the Black Hood. …At least, I really hope not.
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