Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Riverdale episode “Judgement Night”. Read at your own risk!
Riverdale has officially closed the case on the Black Hood, and while the big reveal that Hal Cooper was the serial killer wasn’t quite as dramatic as the scenarios fans theorized, the ending of the episode more than made up for it. Will the series really kill off Jughead Jones? Here’s what we think about that killer cliffhanger, as well as Hal’s reveal and why they both could be important ahead of the Season 2 finale:
Hal Cooper Was The Black Hood, Most Of The Time Anyway
Most Riverdale fans speculated Hal Cooper was the man who shot Fred Andrews from the start, although no one really had a clue as to why. As it turns out, Betty Cooper’s father is a deranged psychopath possibly even capable of giving Chic a run for his money and confirmed to Betty and Alice that he was the Black Hood and dead-set on continuing the family tradition of ridding the world of sinners. Betty eventually subdued her father, and with Hal having recorded his whole confession just before attempting to kill his wife and daughter, the sheriff’s department had all they needed to bring him in and put him behind bars.
The Black Hood has been revealed, but the mystery is far from over. Hal mentioned he had nothing to do with the Black Hood appearance at the night of the debate, which made sense considering he was seen protecting Betty during the attack. Hal’s hostage situation also meant he wasn’t the Black Hood who invaded the Andrews household and attacked Archie and Fred. Were those two Black Hoods the same guy? Both incidents have Fred Andrews in common, and with Hiram Lodge looking to ensure a mayoral victory for his wife by any means necessary, it wouldn’t be surprising if that Black Hood was merely one of his hired guns in disguise. Also, Riverdale had to have Hal survive those brutal shovel hits from Betty and Alice for a reason, so don’t be surprised if the Season 2 finale ends in an empty jail cell with Hal on the loose.
Riverdale May Have Killed Jughead
Riverdale fans who doubt the series is really going to kill off Jughead Jones are probably right, but man, he did not look good. The episode ended with F.P. carrying a bloodied and unconscious Jughead out of the woods; did Jughead really die after that 30-1 beatdown by the Ghoulies? Fans will remember former Serpent Penny Peabody instructed he be left alive long enough for her to cut a chunk of his flesh like he did her, leaving the assumption that she would be the one to finish him off. Jughead’s arm showed Penny got her wish, which just might mean Jughead is gone for good.
That would be the case if this was any minor character. It’s difficult to imagine Riverdale would kill off someone as notable as Jughead Jones. What’s far more likely is that Jughead will survive (which makes Fangs just look like a chump for dying after a simple gunshot wound) and that Betty Cooper will use her “darkness” to exact revenge on Penny Peabody and the Ghoulies for messing up her main man. Riverdale appeared to tease this with Hal mentioning Betty’s evil urges are genetic earlier in the episode. With Dark Betty being held at bay for most of Season 2, perhaps Betty’s alter ego will make a triumphant return to save the day.