'Riverdale': The Black Hood Speaks Out! [SPOILER] Addresses That Confusing & Complicated Backstory!
By Leanne Aguilera
WARNING: You're about to read an interview with the Black Hood from Riverdale. If you do not wish to be spoiled, leave now! For everyone else, here's who was under the hood…
It was Hal Cooper!
In tonight's penultimate episode of Riverdale, the last pieces of the Black Hood puzzle were finally put into place and Betty confronted her father with the truth. "You’re the Black Hood," Betty whispered to her father's smug face.
But exactly why was Hal murdering Riverdale residents under the disguise of a black ski mask? Through an old home movie, Hal revealed his confusing and complicated backstory to Betty and Alice. Apparently as a child, Hal was brainwashed by his mother to cover up the fact that his father murdered the Conway family. Hal was raised to believe that "sinners need to die" and these deep-seeded memories were reawoken in Hal when Betty encouraged the town of Riverdale to "do better" in her Jubilee speech in season one.
Are you still confused? Yeah, we are too!
So in our quest to uncover the truth, ET called up the Black Hood himself, actor Lochlyn Munro, and asked him every lingering question we have about Hal Cooper's murderous alter ego. Keep reading for exclusive behind-the-scenes scoop about the real man who filmed all the Black Hood scenes and how Munro first discovered Hal's twisted past.
ET: We at ET have been calling that it was Hal since the beginning of the season, but how long have you yourself known that Hal Cooper was the Black Hood?
Lochlyn Munro: I learned that Hal was the Black Hood in episode 221, [Chapter 34: Judgment Night.]
Oh wow! Did you have any suspicions before that?
I had suspicitons of who I thought it was, but I never thought it was me.
Really? Who did you think the Black Hood was?
I had suspicions that it was probably [Sheriff] Keller.
In what episode did you first put on the hood? Was that you in Pop's Diner at the end of season one that shot Fred?
No, I've never worn the hood. Ever.
So in the scene when the Black Hood was chasing after Chic through the snow in episode 220, that wasn't you? Who was it?
No. I've never worn it. The Hood was always played by a stunt actor. That's why when I see people put my face up to the hood and people say, "Oh, it's so Hal Cooper – just look at his eyes! Look at his eyebrows!" I'm like, "But that's not me!"
Does the stuntman look like you in real life?
Nope, not at all.
We got so many answers in this episode, but we're going to be honest – it was kind of difficult to follow along with Hal's explanation of his Black Hood motives. Can you talk about your reaction to that?
Well, I've got to tell you, I had about four days to mentally become the Black Hood and figure out the backstory for Hal Cooper because I had never played him as the Black Hood ever. So all of the sudden I found out that I was the Black Hood and saw this whole, like, home movie of his mom basically brainwashing him to lie about his dad doing some killings in Riverdale. Hal created Hal Cooper to disguise who he was and he did a damn good job of it, he pulled the wool over Alice's eyes and everyone's eyes. Now all of the sudden he's on this rampage to "purge the town of sin," and obviously that was lurking somewhere in the shadows of his mind for all those years, so that was really challenging. I had to all of the sudden take this character in another direction that I really wasn't prepared for.
To tell you the truth, sometimes I feel as far as me being the Hood now, I almost feel like, "Well, that sucks — I never really got to actually play the Hood." Like, I would have liked to have done all that stuff as the Hood, but in another sense it was good that they didn’t tell me because then maybe I would've played that character differently and added the wrong dimension to Hal. Maybe how it played out all worked perfectly.
The one answer we didn’t really get from Hal in this episode is "What happened to Chic?" Do you know what happened to Chic?
I don't know what happened to Chic to tell you the truth. The cool thing about the show for us is not only are we performers on this show, but the way that Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa] and this writing staff keep everything so tight to their chest is that we actually get to read the scripts like the fans watch the episodes. I learn as I go by reading the scripts, they don't go, "OK, four episodes down the road this is what's going to happen, so this is why we're doing this now." They don’t tell us anything.
Do you have any other questions that weren't answered in this episode?
I don’t know a lot of things. Am I the only Black Hood? Did I actually do those killings? I never really confessed. Betty just told me what I did. I said, "What did I do?" and she said, "You did this, you did this and you did this." I never actually told her any of those things, so I don’t really know. It's all very interesting. And maybe Hal has a twin, you never know. These are just my theories, but I could be way off-base.
Do you agree with Alice that Hal is a hypocrite because he himself is a sinner?
[Laughs] Yeah. I think, if anything, Hal should probably take a long look in the mirror as well.
Calling all Riverdale fans, what did you think of the Black Hood reveal? Were you confused by Hal Cooper's Black Hood motives? What questions do you still have after tonight's episode? Share your thoughts with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter!
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.