If you're spending entirely too much brain power trying to figure out who the Black Hood is on Riverdale, sit back, relax, and let this Reddit theory make you completely rethink everything you know about the Cooper family.
Lili Reinhart's Betty is at the center of the Black Hood mystery, considering the masked moralist already thinks of the high school student as someone with his agenda. It's no surprise, then, that Betty's dad Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Monroe) is a huge suspect for who's behind the mask – nor that some people think "Dark Betty" may be orchestrating this season's drama.
Then there's the popular idea that maybe Chic – Betty's long-lost brother who'll eventually be played by Hart Denton – could be the mastermind.
However, one unique Riverdale theory suggests that, yes, Betty is biologically related to the Black Hood — but it's not someone we associate directly with Betty and her family yet. According to Redditor -lCrackers, Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan), corrupt lawyer for the Southside Serpents, could be pulling the Black Hood's strings...because she's secretly Betty's mom.
In -lCrackers' theory, Penny — who already resembles Betty and her mother Alice (Mädchen Amick) — is Betty's biological mother, and Alice's half-sister. Remember how Alice fled South Riverdale, and seemingly got rid of every piece of evidence connecting her to her original home? Well, perhaps Penny was a part of that shedding of evidence.
The theory states that though Penny originally gave Betty to Alice to raise since she wasn't ready to care for a baby, Penny ultimately grew to regret that decision. The Redditor writes:
"Penny wants to prove that the North is not as they paint it, that it is equally full of lunatics and sinners, being not very different from the place where Alice did not allow her to raise her daughter. Penny wants to unseal the pretty facade of the northside, making known and hurting all the sinners there."
Remember how Penny is considered a "snake charmer" and how F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) was furious that Jughead (Cole Sprouse) went to her for help, knowing she would expect a favor in return? Redditor -lCrackers suggests that, maybe, Penny's manipulative ways got people to act as the Black Hood for her, allowing her to distance herself from any dirty work.
"Penny is the puppeteer of everything, the mastermind. Someone else is making all the mess for her. She is paid with favors, right? She could be asking some Serpents to... [do] what she asks them to do, attacking [people] from the north. [The man in the mask] could also just be [Southside Serpent] Tall Boy, [who could be] Betty's biological father," writes -lCrackers.
Betty's alleged parentage also could explain her black wig-wearing dissociative state.
"This would explain Betty's mental problems, Dark Betty, etc. since she is the daughter of an unstable woman," writes -lCrackers.
One other piece of evidence? As we can see in the promo for "Chapter 20: Tales from the Darkside," the lawyer will return.
Could Penny be the one attempting to cleanse Riverdale? We may need to make a chart in order to keep up with all of the Coopers' many family secrets if so.