When we last saw the sexy, sexy teens of Riverdale, Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa) & Co. were convinced they had caught the man who had been tormenting their sleepy burg for months, the Black Hood Killer. But, the “Silent Night, Deadly Night” reveal that previously unseen weirdo Janitor Svenson (Cameron McDonald) was the town tormentor sounded more like a vintage Scooby Doo ending than a twist worthy of TV’s best murdery soap. Thankfully, Riverdale returned for 2018 to prove the Black Hood mystery likely isn’t over — and that suggestion arrived just in time for the introduction of Chic Cooper (Hart Denton), longtime leading Black Hood suspect and even longer time lost brother of Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart).
By the time midseason premiere, “The Blackboard Jungle,” ends, it’s easy to see why the Black Hood could definitely still be on the loose in the form of Chic. And, some of those details aren’t quite as obvious as the sole Cooper son’s extremely creepy nighttime behavior.
The information that should actual send your Riverdale alarm bells ringing is the timeline of how Chic found out about the family who, in his opinion, abandoned him. While his mom Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick) assumed her baby boy would be adopted after she gave him up to avoid teen motherhood, he never was. Instead, Chic – a.k.a. Charles Smith — actually languished in the foster care system for most of his 19 years of life. It’s currently unknown why no family ever wanted to adopt Chic, but, no one has said he didn’t display a taste for violence and masks as a child.
Whatever the reason Chic never found the familial love he likely desired, he did get something he definitely never wanted: the stunning realization the people who left him to a lifetime of loneliness went on to create the perfect American family, complete with two kids they did hold on to. Chic learned all of this upsetting information because those pesky nuns at Sisters Of Quiet Mercy gave the young man his parents’ names and address when he turned 18. He then used those details to go by the Cooper household.
“Must be a nice place to grow up,” Chic says wistfully to Betty. He is clearly jealous.
While hearing Chic’s side of the story, it’s important to remember his social worker tells Betty her brother found out about his happy family just one year ago. Then, only a few months later, the Black Hood’s bloody reign began. Coincidence? I think not. Especially since the Hood's Angel Of Death act was kicked off by a jubilant speech from none other than Betty Cooper herself.
As we now know, Chic knew the Coopers’ identities and address as of last year. If he does end up being the Black Hood, that would certainly explain how the Zodiac-esque killer would be able to drop off cyphers for Betty, figure out what kinds of books she checked out of the library as a kid, and become fixated on her in the first place. On top of that, it wouldn’t be all that difficult for someone with Chic’s amount of identifying information to track down a teen girl’s phone number and subsequently harass her with increasingly macabre demands.
If all of this timeline obsessing was the only evidence against Chic, it would be easy to dismiss it as a crackpot fan theory. But, we can all agree, Chic ends up acting very suspiciously as soon as he enters the Cooper home. In the final scene of “Blackboard Jungle,” viewers come to see Chic has left his own bed to menacingly stand in the entrance of his sleeping sister’s room. As Betty tosses and turns — none the wiser to the fact she’s being watched — Chic creeps towards the teen and silently hovers directly over her bed. In voiceover, Betty’s ex-boyfriend Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) says, “Betty … had no sooner vanquished one monster than she had perhaps let another one into her family’s life.”
The “perhaps” in Jughead’s closing statement hints at the possibility Chic will end up being harmless. Yet, everything else suggests something is amiss with Betty’s big brother.
Thankfully, amid all this Black Hood intrigue, I’m not the only one convinced the Black Hood saga isn’t over, despite executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s claims that it is. In Archie’s final scene in the episode, he says to his new FBI pal Agent Adams (John Behlmann), “In your expert opinion … do you think we got the right guy? I haven’t told anyone about this, but I’m not so sure we did.” There’s no reason for Archie, who’s still being tormented by the hanging thread of the Black Hood’s eyes, to ask this question if the answer is merely, “Yep, don’t worry kid. That story is as dead as Svenson-slash-Joseph Conway”
In reality, this entire storyline won’t feel completely cooked until we see a nightmarish scene where Archie looks into someone’s eyes and nearly passes out amid a flashback to the soulless, identical irises of the Black Hood. Only time will tell if that’s what viewers will get when Betty inevitably says, “Archie, meet my brother Chic.”
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