What That Shocking Riverdale Death Means For The Black Hood Mystery

Photo: Courtesy of The CW/Katie Yu
The Carrie: The Musical episode of Riverdale, "Chapter Thirty-One: A Night To Remember," certainly was a memorable time for the students involved in the Kevin Keller-directed production. Unfortunately, instead of a standing ovation, this play ended in sheer horror: The Black Hood has returned to Riverdale, and, apparently, has finally made good on killing poor Midge (Emilija Baranac).
When the curtains finally rose for Carrie: The Musical, the audience found that the original would-be Black Hood victim was (gulp) pinned to a wall, along with a particularly ominous message from someone claiming to be the notorious small town murderer. That's all very weird, considering that the town believes that Svenson (Cameron McDonald), the school janitor whose family was killed by a murderer known as The Riverdale Reaper, was actually the one behind the Black Hood crimes. Oh, and Svenson is supposed to be dead. So... what the heck is going on here?
There are a couple of options, all of which are much better than the lackluster reveal that Svenson was the one-and-only Black Hood killer. The most obvious option is that Svenson never was the ski mask-wearing murderer at all: Instead, someone else let Svenson take the fall for their crimes, and decided to cool it on the whole serial killer agenda for a bit. It would make a lot of sense, considering that Svenson never confessed to the crimes. It would also explain why Archie (K.J. Apa), who looked into the Black Hood's eyes and made a very big deal about their specific color, never recognized Svenson's eyes as those of the Black Hood's.
But that's not the only option out there. There's also the possibility that whoever killed (or at least very badly hurt Midge) was using the Black Hood as a scapegoat. Could Ethel (Shannon Purser) have harmed Midge after being rejected for the role of Carrie not once, but twice? It seems diabolical of the mild-mannered student, but let's not forget that she also dumped a Pop's milkshake on Veronica (Camila Mendes), and seemed to be cutting out letters for those threatening letters the production received before showtime.
There is one issue with this theory: In Refinery29's Ariana Romero's interview with Purser for the musical episode, Purser claimed that Ethel was not a murderer — despite some of her friends' suspicions.
"Season 2 is where we see her — I don’t want to say snap, because she doesn’t go run around with an axe and start killing anybody… But she takes matters into her own hands," Purser teased to Refinery29.
Then there's the possibility that there's another serial killer in town, who wants to pick up the Black Hood mantle where Svenson left off. (Maybe, umm, they actually wanted to kill people — the original Black Hood didn't have a great track record at that, after all.) If that's the case, then who is twisted enough to worship the Black Hood? This time around, it doesn't have to be a middleaged white man: It could be anyone.
That's the real change that Riverdale is making late in season 2: This time, our psycho killer suspect list includes... everybody. I knew that musicals brought drama, but... well, Riverdale, you really have outdone yourself with this one.

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