Archie Andrews may think the Black Hood on Riverdale is his problem and his alone. That's every hero's often unguided belief, whether you're Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, or Katniss Everdeen. Nobody is alone in the final fight, and as it turns out, Archie's nemesis is not as concerned with the football player/singer-songwriter as he originally thought. Turns out, it's Betty's connection to the Black Hood that could be the key to his identity. Spoiler warning for "Chapter Seventeen."
The killer writes a letter to Betty in the Wednesday, Nov. 1 episode, along with a cipher detailing his next move. He says that, essentially, he is targeting the town's evils for Betty and in her honor. Cool — he's not only a murderer, but also a stalker obsessed with a teenage girl. Society historically has a weird way of idolizing innocent or "pure" women like Betty Cooper. Riverdale knows that there's more to Betty than just her "girl-next-door" image. Does the Black Hood?
Betty hides this letter from everyone except Kevin Keller, not wanting Archie to know that she is inadvertently responsible for what happened to his Dad and Miss Grundy. At the end of the episode, Betty and Jughead solve the cipher and Betty shows the letter to the Sheriff and her mother — and then later that night the Black Hood calls her on the phone! The creep factor on this show has reached a whole new level. What's his deal with Betty, and what can that tell us about who he is?
For some reason, the Hood is inspired by Betty's town hall speech from Season 1. In it, she condemned the town for trying to bury its dirty little secrets. "Riverdale is at a crossroads," Betty said way back when. "If we don't face the reality of who and what we are. If we keep lying to ourselves and keeping secrets from each other, then what happened to Jason could happen again. Or, God forbid, something even worse. Riverdale must do better. We must do better." Somehow, that urge to do better inspired something much worse.
As Betty and Jughead point out in the episode, the entire town was witness to Betty's inspiring (apparently in more ways than one) speech. So the person so affected by this statement could be anyone, including popular contenders like Sheriff Keller. He puts the town on a curfew in the most recent episode, which could aid him if he is the killer. That said, why would Sheriff Keller be so into impressing a girl who's just friends with his son?
There's also Betty's own father Hal Cooper to consider. This theory makes a considerable amount of sense, as heartbreaking as it would be if Hal were really the violent vigilante. Hal has some problematic views and tried to pressure both his daughter Polly and his wife Alice into abortions against their will. He doesn't have the best relationship with his daughters. Could this be his twisted way of winning Betty back?
Or, does this piece of evidence definitely mean that the killer is Betty's long lost brother? That popular fan theory seems undeniable as a possibility at this point, even if the Black Hood's physical profile doesn't quite fit actor Hart Denton, who will play Chic Cooper according to TVLine. From what's been shown of the vigilante, he appears to be an adult man, not a teenager. Betty also didn't know or grow up with her brother, so there's no reason why he would be aware of her affinity for Nancy Drew.
Betty may feel guilty or ashamed about this development — but she shouldn't. There's no way that one person who doesn't advocate violence can truly inspire a serial killer. The string of murders and attacks in Riverdale and nearby towns isn't on her at all. That said, she and her friends can use this connection to their advantage in an attempt to catch this creep. The Red Circle is no longer the only Riverdale crew taking action against this threat.