Say goodbye to The Black Hood mystery; he's no longer a concern. The identity of the killer was finally revealed on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 9.
After weeks of digging deeper into the killer's past, we got down to the truth. And a death that freed the town of its serial killer problem. However, was the reveal worth the payoff?
The reveal of The Black Hood didn't have the same power as the Jason Blossom climax on Riverdale Season 1 Episode 12. In fact, this was quite lackluster.
We spent much of Riverdale Season 2 building up this mystery and the control of the killer. The Black Hood was supposed to be this menacing murderer who harmed the sinners of the town, like Ms. Grundy and the Sugar Man. He held all the strings, could see all and would eliminate people if they did bad.
The fact that it was a background character with no real prominence on Riverdale feels pointless in hindsight.
Did anyone else notice Mr. Svenson before he helped Josie on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 7? Was he shown before that?
I may have to do some digging to find out if he had an earlier character introduction. It's still a missed opportunity that Sheriff Keller, or another familiar face, wasn't the killer.
Archie: Your instinct about Svenson were right, Ronnie. You thought he was The Black Hood. We could’ve ended it, right there at school where we confronted him. I didn’t see it...I...I...I didn’t see it in his eyes.
Veronica: Forget his eyes. I can’t believe he cut off his own finger.
Betty: The finger of accusation.
There are a few gaps in the plot now that the killer is known.
Does this mean the real Riverdale Reaper will never be found? Why did Svenson punish sinners when he also sinned? How did he break into the prison to kill the Sugar Man? And, most perplexing, why did he send Betty to check out the house?
Without visiting the house, Betty and group would never have been able to solve the crime. It made no sense for him to send them there if it was so closely connected to HIS identity.
Penelope: Cheryl Marjorie Blossom! What have you done?!
Cheryl: Isn’t it obvious, Mother? I saved Christmas. Look how happy Nana Rose is.
Penelope: You spoiled wretched little brat. How do you expect to pay for all of this?!
Cheryl: Oh, I was thinking...maybe you could go to Mr. Lodge for a job? Of course, he’d probably ask what skills you have and you’d be forced to admit that only skill you have is being a terrible mother. So I guess you’re gonna have to get creative in the New Year.
Nana: You should have drowned them at birth, like a basket of kittens.
I love Nana Blossom. She is a whimsical woman who speaks her mind and knows a lot more than what's going on.
Her having a part in the town's secret wasn't surprising, especially since she's a well-connected person. I do wish that we learned about the other people involved in the murder first before finding out the identity of the killer. All of the remaining plot points were pushed together to get to the reveal of The Black Hood.
There could've been an episode that tied these characters together and who they were. It all felt very rushed to go from Nana to the photo to the tree.
Veronica learning the truth about the Lodge family business was a long time coming. I just wish WE got to learn the truth.
For a while now, she had been living in her bubble and only started questioning her father's actions during Riverdale Season 2. It was clear as day that Hiram and Hermione were up to something. What that something was had never been made clear.
Since this is the midseason finale, I will forgive the cliffhanger twist. We need something to keep us hooked when Riverdale comes back in January 2018.
As compared to The Black Hood twist, the reveal better be shocking.
Veronica did a nice thing by clearing Fred's medical bills. She didn't have to do that for him, even if she did still have feelings for Archie. That was a caring action.
On the other hand, that's a lot of money to give away. It's understandable why Hiram and Hermione would be upset over Veronica going behind their backs to spend the money. She lied AND disobeyed their orders as parents.
Though, Veronica should be counting her lucky stars Hiram and Hermione weren't more furious. Calmly walking into a room after a move like that is not a typical reaction. It's almost as if they expected her to do that.
Hermione: Now you know. You know everything.
Hiram: So miha, what do you think?
Veronica: I’m in, but I have ground rules. Well...one ground rule.
Hiram: By all means...
Veronica: I refuse to do anything illegal.
Hermione: That’s fine, especially since we’re not doing anything illegal either. Let me share two words to live by: “Plausible deniability.”
Did anyone like the kiss between Archie and Betty? I'm on the fence.
Sure, we brought back the feelings explored on Riverdale Season 1 Episode 1. However, we may already be over this storyline. Both characters decided they were friends a long time ago; they gave up having feelings for each other.
The relationship does tie back to their romance in the Archie Comics, though. And it was something I wish was explored more before the relationships we love got in the way. This is a tricky subject.
Hopefully, that one kiss doesn't affect the Betty and Veronica friendship now that Veronica and Archie are back together.
Speaking of Archie and Veronica, it's great to see them work things out. Their breakup never seemed like a permanent situation. All it took was saying 'I love you' to fix the matter.
As I mentioned in the review for Riverdale Season 2 Episode 8, it all felt very high school.
Veronica shouldn't have needed a locket gift nor should she have needed to hear about Fred's medical bills to make her realize she loved Archie. She's a mature enough person to know what she wants in life.
I'm more curious about the camera during their makeout session. Who could be watching them? Does it have something to do with the Lodge business?
Jughead had the biggest character change during Riverdale Season 2 Episode 9. It's almost night and day to his attitude during Riverdale Season 1. The character is not the same shy loner we saw with his laptop.
Obviously, he would want to get involved in the activities of the Southside Serpents, especially with the guilt he had. FP would've had a calm life if Jughead had not gone to Penny Peabody. Instead, he's back to the life of crime.
His actions with handling Penny, on the other hand, were utterly different than what you'd expect Jughead to do.
Kidnapping, threatening, and torturing are not things Jughead Jones does. He's a thoughtful person who takes a democratic approach to leading people. He's more focused on doing good than reaping the rewards.
However, the minute he took out the knife to cut out Penny's tattoo changed him.
Jughead can't go back from this point. He kidnapped someone, took them to Greendale and left his mark. He's a Southside Serpent now, and from the way he spoke to FP, he loves the new gang member side of him.
We'll have to wait to see what revenge Penny has in mind. There's no way she's staying away from Riverdale when her secret is still up in the air.
Jughead: “In unity there is strength.”
FP: Oh God.
Jughead: That’s the sixth law! While you were in jail, I recited that every day. I lived by that. You want to take my jacket? You want to relegate me to “Toys for Tots”? Fine! But I’m still a Serpent, Dad. And this...this life that you wanted to protect me from. I’m proud of this. I’m proud of who I am. You can’t take that away from me.
Betty decision not to burn The Black Hood's mask: cause for concern or red-herring?
I don't want to hypothesize that Betty will take over the role of the killer. She doesn't seem like that type of person, nor do I think she could take a life. However, her interactions with The Black Hood had to have changed her.
We've seen her be more righteous and determined in her pursuit of virtue. As the evil continues to spread in Riverdale, Betty could take the approach of trying to fix it. Whether it's in a good or bad way is still up in the air.
What did you think of "Chapter Twenty-Two: Silent Night, Deadly Night"? Were you happy with the killer's reveal? Will Penny try to kill Jughead as revenge? Why was Penelope so against Cheryl wanting to decorate the house?
If you missed the latest episode of Riverdale, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and let us know what you think.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.