|“||This is the Black Hood. I am the man who shot the adulterer at Pops', I killed the child predator in Greendale. I shot the drug and sex addicted teenagers at Lover's Lane. Riverdale is not innocent. It's a town of hypocrites, degenerates and criminals. My wrath is the price of your lives, your secrets, your sins. I will not stop. I cannot be stopped. I am the wolf, you are the flock, this is the bloodletting. You will hear from me again...||„|
|~ The Black Hood's letter.|
Harold "Hal" Cooper otherwise known as The Black Hood is one of the main antagonists of the CW Soap Opera Riverdale.
He served as a supporting character in the first season, the main antagonist of the second season, and one of the main antagonists of the “Gryphons and Gargoyles” storyline in the third season.
He was portrayed by Lochlyn Munro.
The first hints of Hal's villainous nature are revealed in season 1, when Polly reveals he tried to pressure her into aborting her and Jason's baby. His wife Alice is outraged by this atrocity and confronts him about this, during which time she brings up how he tried to get her to abort Polly when she was pregnant with her. Hal claims that he felt it was best for Polly, but the real reason is he doesn't want to raise a child with Blossom Blood. An enraged Alice kicks him out on the spot. He was later convinced by his daughter's speech to begin using the mantle of the Black Hood.
The shooter/Hal appears at the very end of the season finale where he shoots up the popular restaurant Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe on the morning after the Riverdale 75th Anniversary Jubilee where he appeared to be robbing the restaurant. He draws his attention to Fred Andrews and his son Archie attempts to intervene between the shooter trying to rob his father however his efforts go to waste and Fred is shot. The Shooter then points a gun to Archie's head paralyzing him with fear giving him time to grab Fred's wallet and flee the restaurant.
In the season 2 premiere, many suspect that the shooter was a Southside Serpents member much to Jughead Jones' annoyance, an investigation begins in order to uncover the shooter's identity however very little is discovered about his identity. He later appears in an unconscious hallucination of Fred Andrews' in which he shoots Archie and Fred dives in front of the bullet to save his son, after the dream Fred awakens from his coma. Towards the end of the episode,the shooter/Hal infiltrates Geraldine Grundy's house and silently murders her by strangling her to death with a bow.
Hal has a smaller role in the next episode in which he shoots Midge Klump and Moose Mason several times while the two were having intercourse in a car.
In the third episode, the shooter/Hal sent a letter out to Alice Cooper telling her to publish a message from him in her next article detailing his goals towards his crimes and also says to expect more letters to come from him. It is also revealed that Midge and Moose both survived their encounter with the shooter in the woods despite Moose receiving chest injuries.
The Red Circle then send a video message to the Black Hood/Hal, threatening him and telling him that Riverdale is strong and not afraid of him anymore.
In his next appearance, it is revealed that the teenage members of the Southside Serpents view them as a hero due to their sickening towards the Northsiders of Riverdale constantly blaming them for every crime which happens in Riverdale. The Black Hood/Hal also decided to write a second letter, this time to Betty Cooper in which he reveals his inspiration for his attacks is because of Betty's speech inspiring him to punish those in Riverdale who he views as sinners. He also attached to his letter a code revealing the next location of his crimes which was later discovered to be at the Riverdale town hall on the night of a meeting discussing the recent misfortunes happening in Riverdale. That night the town hall was evacuated before Black Hood could make his next attack.
The episode ends with the Black Hood/Hal calling Betty with his voice modified once again to conceal his identity.
In the subsequent episode, Black Hood/Hal blackmails Betty into severing her ties with the people in her life, as Black Hood claims to be obsessed with her and wishes to have her to himself exclusively. He threatens to kill the people she loves if Betty does not cut them out of her life. So, Betty lashes out at Veronica at a party hosted by her old friend Nick St. Clair, damaging their friendship. As Betty retreats to a park bench and cries over what she's been forced to do, the Black Hood calls her again and twists the knife by forcing her to do the same to Jughead, declaring him unworthy of her love. Betty despairs over the prospect of cutting her boyfriend out of her life, but Black Hood is unmoved and reiterates the consequences of her refusal. Betty subsequently has Archie tell Jughead she doesn't want to see him for a while, and afterward gets another call from Black Hood. She demands to know who he is, and he lures her to an empty house within which is a copy of his mask. Telling Betty to wear it to figure out who he is, he tells her as she looks in the mirror and sees herself with the black mask on, that they are the same.
The episode ends with Black Hood/Hal calling Betty again, upset that she talked to Archie about him. He gives her another sadistic ultimatum of choosing between her family and a "guilty person" for him to kill. Betty tries to protest, but in the face of him threatening her pregnant sister and parents, she gives in and names Nick St. Clair (who had earlier tried to rape Cheryl Blossom)
In the following episode, Betty asks why Black Hood/Hal never killed Nick to which he informs her that since he is not a son of Riverdale he is immune to his justice. Betty then decides to no longer answer Black Hood's calls.
The Black Hood/Hal does wind up calling Betty again telling her that the Sugarman is their next target due to him being a disgusting drug dealer and a corrupter of children. Betty then decodes to research the Sugarman only to find that it's a legacy name taken on by several individuals including the late Clifford Blossom who was the most recent predecessor.
Penelope Blossom then reveals to Cheryl the name of the current Sugarman: Robert Philips a teacher at Southside High. Betty has internal conflict over telling the Black Hood the Sugarman's name and the following morning when he calls Betty and she reveals to him that she already told the sheriff.
Betty then vows to the Black Hood/Hal that she'll discover his identity before he hangs up. Despite Betty's refusal the Black Hood proves himself unstoppable when he breaks into the prison where Robert is being held, makes his way past the guards and murders him.
The Black Hood/Svenson was soon confronted by Archie and Betty who had previously called the police before heading towards a location where he claimed to have held Joe Svenson the school janitor. Archie and Betty dig up a grave assuming Svenson to be inside however the Black Hood appears forcing Betty to bury Archie alive. This fails however after Betty whacks him over the head with a shovel after he was distracted by the police coming. The Black Hood attempts to flee before Archie threatens to shoot him, before Archie can kill him however Sheriff Keller appears and shoots the Black Hood. Keller then unmasks him only to find Joe Svenson.
Following Riverdale High's announcement of its spring production, "Carrie: The Musical" and Cheryl Blossom's casting as Carrie White, someone claiming to be the Black Hood sent Kevin Keller a letter demanding that the role of Carrie be recasted. When Kevin failed to comply, he sent Kevin another letter, claiming responsibility for the sand bag that fell and nearly crushed Cheryl during rehearsal. Should Kevin fail to heed his warning, the Black Hood claims that the sand bag won't miss next time. Kevin does as instructed of him by removing Cheryl from the play. Her understudy was Midge Klump, who the Black Hood/Hal killed on opening night. Midge was crucified and staged on set for the entire auditorium to see. On the wall, written in blood was a message. "I Am Back From The Dead. All Those Who Escaped Me Before Will Die... B.H."
Black Hood/Hal calls Betty. He asks if Betty missed him. Deep down, she knew it wasn't over. Betty accuses him of killing Midge and setting up Svenson. The Black Hood admits that both is true. And yet, for all he's taught her, she's been making amateur mistakes by allowing Chic, a sinner in her house. The Black Hood claims that Chic has lived in a den of sinners and that he kills as easily as he did in the house. Chic has supposedly murdered before.
When the Black Hood calls again later, Betty admits that he was right about Chic being a killer, but he won't admit it. Some sinners only confess when faced with certain death. If Betty delivers Chic to the Black Hood, no one will ever know about the man who met such a gruesome end in their living room. Betty seems to be considering the Black Hood's offer, but before she can answer, FP and Alice barge into the house. The Black Hood meets Betty and Chic at a cemetery. Chic doesn't believe that Betty is truly offering him to the Black Hood as she too would be running for her life if it was really him. But Betty tells Chic that the Black Hood is only interested in him. She lowers her gun and gives Chic a head start as the Black Hood slowly approaches. Chic takes off in the opposite direction. The Black Hood /Hal briefly makes eye contact with Betty before chasing after Chic.
The night of the Mayoral debate between Fred Andrews and Hermione Lodge has arrived. The Black Hood/Tall Boy bypasses security for the event by entering through a trap door leading from the balcony to the roof, a layout that isn't on any building plans. From the balcony, the Black Hood begins shooting with a rifle. His first target is Fred, but he misses, though he fires several more rounds before leaving the event. He later stops by Thistlehouse. When Cheryl answers the door, she screams in fear. 
Cheryl screamed and ran to her bedroom, where she locked herself in. The Black Hood/Hal slashed down the door with an ax, but not before Cheryl managed to escape through the window. He followed her outside the house, finding Cheryl in a hunting cape with a bow and arrow. After he was shot in the shoulder, he fleed into the woods. Cheryl called Betty and informed her of the situation.
FP called Betty and informed her that Hal was at the hospital. She arrived at the hospital to find Dr. Masters dead in her father‘s bed. The Black Hood called her and told her to return home or he will hurt Alice.
At the Cooper house, Betty found Alice and Hal sitting in the living room, preparing to watch some old home movies. Hal showed them a clip of himself as a young boy promising to keep Joseph Svenson's mouth shut about his family’s murders, which were performed by Hal’s father, Louis Cooper a.k.a. The Riverdale Reaper. Hal then enticed Betty tray expose him on tape. She revealed that he is the Black Hood, listing all of the murders he did, though Hal did admit the attack on the debate was not his doing. As he tried to strangle Alice after she successfully managed to trigger him in order to free themselves, Betty hit him over the head with a poker, knocking him out. Hal was arrested by Sheriff Keller in front of curious neighbors gathered on the sidewalks.
Earlier that evening, however, another Black Hood/Tall Boy attacked Fred and Archie. He attempted to kill Fred again, but Fred was wearing a bulletproof vest that saved his life. Archie then chased the Black Hood outside the house, but he had already vanished into the night, later realizing that this Black Hood could not have been Hal.
In season 3, in a flashback, he was approached by Alice Cooper and was simply asked for a date.
Hal fakes his death and escapes a prison bus en route for Hiram Lodge's prison. After escaping the fiery crash, he takes back up the mantle of the Black Hood and resumes killing. He makes his return as the Black Hood the night of the high school Prom. He sets his sights on Betty, attacking her in the hall. He stands before her with a hook in hand. Just a few feet behind him stands the Gargoyle King, who watches as this unfolds.
The Black Hood/Hal lunges at Betty, but she avoids his attack and makes a run for safety. She enters the Blue and Gold, and shuts the door behind her. Inside, on the floor, lays the body of a female classmate. Just outside, the Black Hood bangs on the door, attempting the gain access. Betty pleads with the Black Hood, whom she assumes is her father, to stop but he continues to pursue her, forcing his way in, and grabbing Betty. Betty does, however, fight back. She stuns the Black Hood long enough for her to get out the Blue and Gold, though the exit is chained lock, and so Betty is forced to find another way out, running through the halls, calling out for help, with the Black Hood not far behind her, dragging his hook along the lockers as he stalks Betty.
Betty runs into the boy’s locker room, where she finds another dead classmate inside the showers. As the Black Hood enters, Betty attacks him from behind with the hockey stick and makes her way out the locker room. She then hides in the storage closet under the steps. Inside that closet, Betty finds yet another body but this one is headless. Betty screams, which alerts the killer of her location. He attempts to fight his way in but Betty manages to keep him out. He eventually leaves, and not long after, Jughead arrives. Betty rushes out the closet, into Jughead’s arms. She tells him how the Black Hood is back and that he attacked her.
Jughead and Ethel arrive at the junkyard in search of Jack. They find him on the broken-down bus. Unfortunately, they are not alone. The Black Hood/Hal arrives right behind them. Jughead covers Ethel’s mouth with his hand and tells both her and Jack to stay quiet and crouch down in between the seats, in hopes that the killer will pass them. However, the Black is already aware of their location, slamming on the hood. He then gets on the bus, forcing Jughead, Ethel, and Jack to force their way out the back door. Jughead then props something up against the door, preventing the Black Hood from getting out the back. He then races to the front door, barricading that one as well, locking the Black Hood in.
The Black Hood attends the gathering hosted at Thornhill's Nature Preserve for Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. Penelope calls in the two remaining guests, the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King. The Black Hood rips off his hood, and as suspected, it’s Hal Cooper. The Gargoyle King unmasks, and as Jughead suspected, it's Chic, though he has dyed his hair red since their last encounter. Jughead surmises he did this only after he started working with Penelope, but this was also after he got the Gargoyle symbols tattooed on his back. This is why Ethel said the Gargoyle King was Jason. Because Penelope called and dressed Chic up like Jason. Hal explains to Betty that he didn’t kill Chic because he recognized a kinship in him and spared him. He begged for mercy and pledged his life to Hal in service of his mission. But it wasn’t just Hal’s mission. He started working with Penelope, who also has a grudge against Riverdale.
Betty recalls the affair her father had with Penelope in the middle of the Black Hood attacks last year. Penelope takes credits for cultivating Hal’s murderous impulses in order to take her revenge on a town that allowed her to be sold to the Blossoms as a child bride. Their parents knew, but they did nothing but mock her. And years later, when Jason was murdered, none of them even reached out to her. Riverdale is a cruel and hideous place by Penelope’s account. She and the Black Hood were on a mission to exterminate the town’s sinners, and they were doing well until Hal was arrested. But that’s when Chic came to Penelope in search of a purpose. And so, with Chic, she decided to continue her work, but instead with the Gargoyle King. Penelope introduced G&G to their parents 25 years ago and reintroduced it this year to Chic, who gave it to Ben Button, who started playing with Dilton Doiley and Ethel Muggs. From there, the game spread like a virus. This whole time, the true mastermind behind it all, the true king, Jughead says, is Penelope. Now, it’s time for one final round, with them, the Midnight Children, as she refers to them. It’s to reveal their true nature. To prove they’re as dark-hearted as the town that birthed them. If they win, they escape. If they lose, they die.
Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead have reached the final quest. Betty’s quest. She and Jughead express their love for one another before starting the quest. Betty finds a black box tied with a red bow. Inside is a loaded gun with one bullet. The Black Hood then appears. He rips off his hood and tells Betty that this has to end. Hal tells Betty that she must kill him. It’s her destiny. He then pulls out his gun and points it at her. either she kills him and gets the antidote or he kills her and her friends. He counts down from three, leaving Betty with no other option. She fires, but rather than killing her father, she simply shoots off his fingers, as she’ll never be like him. Hal falls to the ground in pain, with his gun just a few feet away. Penelope calls an end to all of it. Hal has outlived his usefulness, and so Penelope pulls out her gun and shoots Hal in the head.
- Pop Tate - Threatened at gunpoint by Hal. (survived)
- Archie Andrews - Threatened at gunpoint three times and attempted to have him buried alive by Hal, Joseph Svenson, and Tall Boy. (survived)
- Fred Andrews - Shot in the stomach once by Hal, and the second time by Tall Boy. (survived)
- Geraldine Grundy - Strangled with cello bow by Hal. (deceased)
- Moose Mason - Multiple shots in the chest and stomach by Hal. (survived)
- Midge Klump - Shot at but was missed; later was impaled with several sharp objects against a wall by Hal. (deceased)
- Robert Phillips - Shot by Hal. (deceased)
- Betty Cooper - Threatened at gunpoint by Joseph Svenson; later was shot at the Mayoral debate by Tall Boy, but missed. (survived)
- Joseph Svenson - Hal mutilated and cut off his finger and forced him to dress up as the Black Hood and attack Betty and Archie. (deceased)
- Cheryl Blossom - Hal chased Cheryl through Thistlehouse with an axe, but failed to kill her after she struck him with an arrow. (survived)
- Steven Masters - Throat slit by Hal. (deceased)
- Alice Smith - Strangled with his bare hands after Hal revealed himself. (survived)
- 3 Riverdale High Students - Murdered during the Prom by Hal. (deceased)
- He was portrayed by Lochlyn Munroe as an adult, Zachary Hayden as a teenager, and Beckham Skodje as a six-year-old.
- As the Black Hood, he was portrayed by Jay Clift in season one, an unknown stunt double in season two, and Cameron Macdonald as Joseph Svenson.
- In the Archie Comics, the Black Hood is actually an identity used by several costumed superheroes, not a serial killer.
- The Black Hood appears to be primarily based on the infamous serial killer the Zodiac Killer who is particularly well known for being one of the few serial killers to never get caught or identified for any of his crimes.
- His tormenting Betty through phone calls brings to mind the similar tactic employed by Ghostface towards his/their victims in the Scream franchise. Coincidentally, the actor for Billy Loomis the original Ghostface (Skeet Ulrich) is in the show Riverdale as Jughead's father F.P. Jones.