SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from the Riverdale Season 2. Proceed with caution.
After a long summer hiatus, Riverdale returned last fall with harrowing and emotional episode. The season premiere, titled “Chapter 14: A Kiss Before Dying,” picked up minutes after the chilling Season 1 finale. Fred Andrews was laying on the floor of Pop’s, bleeding out, in his son’s arms. Archie, too young to even have a driver’s license, drove his dad to the hospital. As Fred clung to life in surgery, we clung to hope that he would pull through.
Throughout the episode, the Riverdale gang began to investigate Fred’s shooter. First, they knew he was wearing a black mask — not a hockey mask — a make-shift hood mask. Second, they knew he was a tall man with green eyes. Third, they found out that he didn’t take any money from Pop’s register. Fourth, after shooting Fred, Archie confessed that the man held a gun to his head. Fifth, while Archie was paralyzed, the man took Fred’s wallet.
So far, none of these clues seem to make any sense. However, the fine folks over at CBR and Comicbook.com have both pieced together the potential identity of the masked shooter. Their theory proved to be true, this the second season of Riverdale became, “The Hunt for the Black Hood”.
At the end of the season, not one but two Black Hood’s were revealed, but which one actually shot Fred? Let’s jump into it.
The Black Hood in the Comics
As CBR breaks down in their post here, before Archie Comics was Archie Comics, they were called MLJ Magazine Inc. That publication had a comic book series called Black Hood. The Black Hood character was first introduced in 1940 and starred in his own series beginning in 1943. Archie Comics revived this character in 2015 as Officer Gregory Hettinger, who took on the mantle of the Black Hood from the original Hood. In this version, Hettinger became a vigilante who took down criminals and drug smuggling rings.
So, what does this wayward vigilante have to do with Riverdale? First of all, the face hood is a dead giveaway. Archie was very specific with Sheriff Keller that the man was not wearing a ski mask. He was wearing a hood. Second of all, the image that is burned into Archie’s memory is of the masked man, which looks exactly like this Black Hood comic book cover.
This comic book is Black Hood #1. Its tagline is even “The Bullet’s Kiss” which sounds a lot like this episode title, “A Kiss Before Dying.” The parallels between Riverdale’s masked shooter and the Black Hood character are striking. As Comicbook.com also points out, the masked killer on Riverdale will be given a name soon.
Why Shoot Fred?
If our masked assailant really is the Black Hood — an ex-cop turned vigilante — then why would he shoot Fred Andrews? My guess is that he didn’t go to Pop’s to shoot anyone. I think Fred and Archie were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you play back the final minutes of the finale, you can see Archie smiling in the bathroom. He’s happy and all is right in his world. Then, Archie hears yelling. When he emerges from the bathroom, Black Hood doesn’t have Fred at gunpoint, he has Pop Tate. He’s yelling at Pop about something. Does Pop know about something nefarious? Does Pop know about Riverdale’s drug problem? Is Black Hood looking for information on his next victim, Geraldine Grundy?
It’s only when Archie tries to get in Black Hood’s way, that Black Hood head towards Fred. While the voices here are muffled, you can hear Black Hood ask Fred for his wallet, so he knew Fred had something on him. Before Fred could do anything, the gun went off and Fred was shot.
The Murders Continued
As the season progressed, the Black Hood took more lives. He started the season by killing Mrs. Grundy. While no one deserves to die, its possible the Hood killed her because she was a sexual predator. Did he get her personal information from Fred’s wallet? Maybe Grundy left her forwarding address to Fred sometime last season?
The Black Hood then killed the drug dealer Robert Phillips, Midge Klump, and Dr. Steven Masters. The Black Hood regularly terrorized Betty, by calling her and telling her that she was like him. The Black Hood was finally caught and revealed to be Betty’s dad, Hal Cooper. Hal shot Fred over his adulterous affair with Hermione Lodge in Season 1.
But then someone else took a shot at Hermione Lodge at school and at Fred Andrews was attacked in his home. According to the new Sheriff, the second Black Hood was Southside Serpent Tall Boy, who was working under the orders of Hiram Lodge, but Tall Boy was killed before he could be questioned.
Did you think Hal Cooper was the man who shot Fred Andrews? Was your money on another man or woman under that hood? Let us know on social @getFANDOM.
Riverdale is currently streaming on Netflix.