“Riverdale” is Beating a Dead Horse by Bringing Back the Black Hood

Matthew Loffhagen
The CW
(Photo: The CW)

The Black Hood is one “Riverdale” story point that really ought to be left to die.

While originally an intriguing enough idea – there’s a killer in Riverdale and nobody knows who it is – the show has since wasted the potential of the character by constantly trying to bring in twists and turns in an ever-evolving mystery that has no planning whatsoever.

It’s very clear that even the show’s writers don’t know who the Black Hood is, even at this stage when the mystery has already been solved.

Black Hood Unmasked
Source: The CW

The first half of season two revealed that the Black Hood was basically a throwaway character; a janitor who’d been introduced to the show a few episodes earlier in an effort to quickly tie everything up so that things could move on to new plot points.

This annoyed audiences who’d been invested in trying to solve the murder, so now it seems that “Riverdale” is going to pull yet another pointless plot twist. Apparently, the janitor wasn’t the real Black Hood.

According to showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa:

“We always knew it wasn’t going to be just the janitor. But for the last 10 episodes or so, we’ve had a pretty clear idea [of who it is] and have been writing towards that.”

It’s difficult to actually believe Aguirre-Sacasa when he says this, considering that the mystery has apparently only been actually plotted out during the second half of the current season. This smells suspiciously like an after-the-fact alteration to existing storytelling, as new ideas occur to the writers.

At this rate, this mystery will likely drag on for years, without a satisfying resolution – which is generally something that happens when storytellers create a mystery without planning in advance how it’ll be wrapped up.

Black Hood Betty
Source: The CW

This feels like a betrayal of the audience’s trust. The CW is essentially willing to grab at whatever popular ideas shine through, without regard for how it affects the longrunning canon.

There’s no reason to trust anything in the show moving forward. It’s clear that the writer’s aren’t above retconning older story decisions for the sake of making a sensationalist spectacle.

In fairness, this show has always been built around sensationalism. The whole basic premise (“Archie” but with sex) revolved around shocking the audience.

To walk back story points for the sake of keeping intrigue going, though, feels very “Lost” in its execution.

We all know how well that turned out when it finally came time to try and wrap up all the empty mysteries.