The Black Hood is no more on Riverdale. The “serial killer” (although he only managed to finish off one victim) was killed and unmasked in Riverdale‘s winter finale. Both moments came as a shock not in terms of content — The Black Hood’s identity was rather predictable — but because they happened so soon. Overall, the reveal of The Black Hood is a bit mixed bag. The identity of the killer itself was rather underwhelming but Riverdale did choose the proper (and exciting) moment to bring this chapter of the story to a close.

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A Reign of ‘Terror’ Quietly Extinguished 

The identity of The Black Hood being relatively new character Mr. Svenson was far from the jaw-dropper that many fans wanted or expected. Almost the second that Svenson showed up in “Tales from the Darkside” it was clear there was something highly suspicious about him. It made perfect sense that he was The Black Hood. So, Keller taking off The Hood’s mask and revealing Svenson underneath was the definition of underwhelming. The Black Hood, rather than being an incredibly important person, was one that was barely known to the characters of Riverdale and the audience. 

However, most of The Black Hood arc can be summed up with the word “disappointing,” at least as it concerned The Hood himself. There were a few standout moments, like his creepy phone conversations with Betty and the actually shocking murder of Miss Grundy. Yet for the most part The Black Hood was a bit of a dud as a character. He brought out some interesting situations with Betty and Archie, particularly the former. Yet on his own he simply wasn’t that engaging. Before he was unveiled as the killer in season 1, Clifford Blossom was a wonderfully creepy and engaging character. Svenson and The Hood didn’t come anywhere close to Clifford’s redheaded wig wearing ways. 

The Black Hood being the predictable choice of Svenson really failed to deliver on the promise of the character. Yet everything about The Black Hood under-delivered and that’s why Riverdale made the right decision to kill him off before the season was even halfway through. Whether tackling a serial killer at all was a mistake is up for debate but what Riverdale did with its serial killer didn’t really work. While the reveal of The Black Hood’s identity was disappointing, the mere fact that he’s gone is incredibly exciting.

Rushing to Fill the Void

The longer that Riverdale season 2 progressed the more it seemed like the show was tied down by The Black Hood story. He was still an important looming figure but outside the first few episodes, he floated to the background. The Black Hood story just ended up existing and not moving forward in any real way, especially after Moose and Midge were attacked (and survived.) 

Now that The Black Hood is gone, Riverdale is much freer to explore new and existing stories for season 2. The Black Hood might not have been the best story, but he was so ominous that it became impossible for Riverdale to go about its usual business. Riverdale can have the characters loosen up slightly and not pretend the world is ending every other scene. This doesn’t mean that Riverdale will suddenly turn into a comedy but it does give the show a reason to revisit smaller characters like Josie, Kevin or Reggie who were never that related to the Black Hood investigation. 

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It also opens the door for new villains or antagonists to emerge. Hiram Lodge became rather toothless in the face of The Black Hood’s menace but now he can exert much more control. Riverdale needs more of the Lodge family drama with Archie being caught in the middle of it all.

Cheryl Blossom, meanwhile, can also spread her villainous wings a bit. Cheryl’s mental instability has been lurking in Riverdale for a long time. Without a serial killer on the loose, maybe a disturbed teenager with several axes to grind can become the next threat to the main Riverdale gang. At the bare minimum it gives the show more time to fill with Cheryl’s dramatic slow-motion entrances.

The Black Hood’s death isn’t so much an ending for Riverdale as it is a beginning. The entire storyline might be viewed as little more than mediocre but at least it’s come to an end. It’s better for Riverdale to cut its losses and try to end The Black Hood storyline on a high note, rather than drag things out any longer.  

But what do you think? How do you feel about the end of The Black Hood? How did season 2 handle the serial killer arc overall? What would you like to see more of now that The Black Hood is no more? 

Riverdale will return Wednesday, January 17 at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Riverdale Facebook page!

(Image courtesy of The CW)