What That ‘Riverdale’ Midseason Finale Reveal Means For Dark Betty

Bettina Strauss /The CW

Mistletoe alert! (Or spoiler alert for the Dec. 13 episode.) Christmas on Riverdale brought not only an awkward Secret Santa to the not-so-quiet town, but an alleged end to the terror its residents been facing all season. Now that the assumed culprit has been caught and killed, will Betty become the Black Hood on Riverdale? While the authorities think the case was solved, the connection between the girl next door and the town avenger was never properly revealed and could continue to grow.

It turns out that Janitor Svenson, also known as Joseph Conway, was the hooded vigilante all along — or was he? Anyone else worried that the Black Hood is still at large? The mystery somehow wrapped up too neatly, as Jughead says in the final monologue, and yet not neatly enough.

There are still so many questions to be answered when Riverdale returns. Why did Janitor Svenson do it, if he really did? The motive that the gang came up with, evening the score of sin in town, does not quite suffice. Who was taking pictures of Archie and Veronica smooching on the front steps? Most importantly, why does Betty pull the hood back out of the fire, keeping it for herself?

"This isn't over," Jughead claims Betty is thinking in that moment.

In the episode, Betty learns that her grandfather Lewis (or Louis) Cooper was part of a group of townspeople who buried the Riverdale Reaper alive. That's different from the previous rumor that the murderous preacher young Joseph Conway identified was hanged, and different still from Farmer McGinty's claim that he left town.

Plus, let's not forget the huge bombshell that drops when Betty visits the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Apparently Conway also thought he identified the wrong man. So on top of all their other problems, the Riverdale Reaper is probably still at large as well. The episode purports that Conway became the Black Hood after Betty's town hall speech shook the skeleton in his own closet — sending an innocent man to a lynch mob — so loose that he couldn't handle it. He apparently righted his own wrong by taking lives and making threats.

Sure. There's no way this is actually over, and Betty's own darkness and twisted sense of justice is going to make sure of that. Who else was part of that group, besides Nana Rose Blossom and Grandpa Cooper? If Betty starts to investigate further, it could lead her down a frightening path.

“I think people really respond and love seeing that little side of her that’s not the typical Betty,” actor Lili Reinhart said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.” It’s darker and a little more — I wouldn’t say ‘stone cold b*tch’ — but a little more assertive, you know?” Whether or not the existence of this darker side means she has the potential to be a killer is unclear.

At this point in the series already, Dark Betty is about as iconic and beyond reproach as her ponytail. It is often acknowledged by the other characters, with Kevin calling out her "BDSM tendencies" while upset that she was judging and shaming him for cruising in the woods. She wants to be a part of the Serpents' world. She wants to unleash some well-earned rage. She also, apparently, wants to kiss Archie still. But whatever truth the Black Hood taught her is a little different than just some wild oats.

Betty is at a crossroads, and she's already put on the mask one time. Maybe she'll start punishing the other sinners in town. Maybe she'll discover that Svenson's story was only the beginning. All we know for sure is that the fire at the end of the midseason finale is ominous as heck. Betty may be done with the Black Hood, but its clear that the Black Hood is not done with her.