Warning: spoilers ahead for the midseason finale of Riverdale Season 2. If you haven't caught the episode yet, you may want to check out some of our non-spoilery articles until you get the chance to watch.
The first half of the second season of Riverdale was spent building the mystery of the serial killer known as the Black Hood. The Black Hood was wreaking havoc with deadly attacks, and his motives were almost impossible to discern, although his focus on Betty was decidedly eerie. Luckily, fans won't have to go into the winter hiatus wondering about the man beneath the mask. The midseason finale revealed the identity of the Black Hood, and it was not who we expected. The Black Hood was none other than Mr. Svenson.
Mr. Svenson was a somewhat unexpected man beneath the mask mostly due to the fact that he was a very recent addition to Riverdale, and viewers have no reason to be emotionally invested in him or his motives. Still, the good news is that the Black Hood being a relative newbie is that we don't have to lose any of the intriguing characters who were also suspects. Besides, the midseason finale built the suspense to the final reveal pretty well.
The uncovering of the mystery in the midseason finale kicked off after a Secret Santa exchange at the high school led Archie and Betty to realize that school janitor Mr. Svenson was absent, with the excuse that he'd been out sick for a week. The duo began to fear for Svenson's life when they attempted to track him down at his house. They discovered chicken soup on his doorstep that had been dropped off earlier in the week, and he was nowhere to be seen.
The plot thickened when Betty returned home to discover a mysterious present had been dropped off for her. She opened it to discover that she had been given the FINGER of Mr. Svenson in a box. The Black Hood gave her a call once she and Archie were together again, and he told her to "exhume the past" in the place where the primal sin was committed. The two teens had some more sleuthing to do, and they discovered that Svenson wrongly accused somebody of killing his family. That man was hunted down and buried alive by a group of Riverdale citizens, with even more (including Nana Rose Blossom) in on it.
According to Nana Rose, Betty's grandfather was one of the men who executed the wrongly accused party, which gives one explanation for the seeming connection between the Black Hood and Betty. Archie and Betty figured out that the message from the Black Hood to "exhume the past" meant to rescue a Mr. Svenson who had been buried alive as another victim. They raced to Pickens Park and began to dig up a fresh grave. The shocker came when they opened a coffin to discover it empty.
The Black Hood came out, pulled a gun on Betty, and made Archie climb into the coffin. Betty was forced to begin filling in the grave, although she took advantage of the Black Hood's momentary distraction to whack him over the head with her shovel and pull Archie to safety. They gave chase to the running Black Hood, and Archie got a hold of his gun. Before Archie could make up his mind whether or not to shoot, Sheriff Keller turned up and shot him dead. He removed the Black Hood's mask to reveal Mr. Svenson himself, who had cut off his own finger. As if he wasn't crazy enough already!
The Black Hood is dead, but his story apparently isn't yet concluded on Riverdale. Although the episode ended with Betty burning her material accumulated about the case of the serial killer, she didn't burn the black hood she'd been made to wear. Dark Betty is almost certainly on the way for the second half of Season 2, and it should be intense.
The love triangle is also apparently back on the way, as Betty planted an impulsive kiss on Archie in the middle of their investigation. Both Jughead and Veronica seemed a little bit nervous about how friendly Betty and Archie were during the Secret Santa exchange. We can bet that Betty will have plenty on her plate even now that the Black Hood is out of the picture.
Riverdale will return to The CW with new episodes in 2018. Be sure to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule for the important TV dates of the new year, and don't forget to take a gander at our rundown of the 2017 TV cancellations. While you're here, take a look at the hilarious spoof of Peanuts courtesy of the Riverdale cast!