Spoilers for the April 25 episode of Riverdale. Just when the denizens of Riverdale were beginning to believe that the only things left to worry about were town elections and organized crime, the Black Hood strikes again. While "Chapter Thirty-Two: Prisoners" features the return of the Black Hood, the biggest twist in the episode comes from the revelation that Chic Cooper is not Betty’s brother, he’s just been pretending. While this news throws yet another wrench into the Cooper family structure, this opens up a whole new possibility – that Betty’s real half-brother is the Riverdale’s Black Hood.
After going to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy to ask about her brother, a nun shows Betty a picture of the boy she remembers as Betty’s brother, Charles – and it looks nothing like "Chic." When confronted, the man who’s been posing as Chic swats at his family with a knife before Alice knocks him out and ties him up in their basement. He tells Betty that her brother, who went by the name Charles Smith, met "Chic" on the street and they started living together. He also claims that Charles was a junkie who "OD’d on Jingle Jangle," but if "Chic" lied about being the lost Cooper brother, why wouldn’t he lie about Charles’ death too?
Jughead and Betty do some more investigating and hear a different account from someone who lived next to "Chic" and Charles’ old apartment — hinting that Charles’ roommate murdered him. It’s around this time that Betty and the Black Hood’s phone calls pick up again, and Betty strikes a deal with the killer. She delivers "Chic" for him to chase down. Betty returns home and the episode doesn’t reveal whether the Black Hood ever catches up with him. So it seems that the faux-Cooper brother is definitely is not the Black Hood — but the episode presents the possibility that Charles Smith is.
The key detail here is that Charles Smith apparently came to the Cooper house one night hoping to meet his family, and Alice Cooper turned him away. While "Chic" claims this made Charles feel rejected, it may have caused Charles to feel envious of the Cooper’s seemingly perfect life. So envious in fact, that Charles may start punishing the people around them. If the Black Hood’s goal was to disrupt Betty’s perfect life, then they certainly succeeded.
This theory also explains the Black Hood’s endless obsession with Betty. Charles Smith could be trying to get Betty to become as dark-minded as he is, forcing her to confront the fact that her plain, suburban life isn’t plain at all. Besides, how could anyone know about Betty’s childhood codes and her family’s secrets if they didn’t have the ability to snoop around the Cooper household? Charles Smith knows where the Coopers live, and probably wouldn’t have much trouble poking around Betty’s room while she’s attending school.
For all the evidence that suggests that Charles Smith could be the real Black Hood, there are also clues that seem to disprove that theory. For starters, the Black Hood seems to have the body of an adult man, so unless Charles had a few growth spurts or is padding his clothes, it’s unlikely that Betty’s real brother is carrying out these crimes himself. Plus, why would the Black Hood spend all of their time terrorizing all of Riverdale if their only interest was getting revenge on the Cooper family? Why did Midge and Ms. Grundy have to die?
So while there’s not enough evidence to prove conclusively that Charles is the Black Hood — or even alive at all — the possibility of the lost Cooper brother being Riverdale‘s angel of death is worth considering.
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