- Riverdale -Debunking The Hal Cooper Twin Theory On 'Riverdale'
Twins are about as commonplace on Riverdale as businesses owned by teens. In fact, it was the murder of a twin — Jason Blossom — that kicked off the first season's biggest mystery. With the addition of Claudius Blossom, the identical twin brother of Jason's murderer Clifford Blossom, it seemed like just about anyone on this show could have us seeing double. That's why it makes plenty of sense that a new theory about who the Auteur could be revolves entirely around the notion of Hal Cooper, also known as the Black Hood, having an identical twin.
This particular theory comes from Redditor SouthsideSerpent2019, and reader, it will make you think. The theory hinges on a moment at the end of the Season 5 premiere "Climax," in which Archie receives a video reenacting the moment from the end of Season 1, in which the Black Hood puts a gun to Archie's head, just before shooting his father, Fred.
SouthsideSerpent2019 notes that this is a very specific moment, and one that would only be possible to be recreated if one was actually there. Since we know that Archie isn't the Auteur, and that Fred is no longer alive, it would make sense for it to be Hal. Except, Hal is dead, murdered by Penelope Blossom in Season 3... or is he?
The theory suggests that maybe the person who was in the diner with Archie and Fred wasn't actually Hal, but Hal's identical twin — or, that the person we thought was killed by the Black Hood was his identical twin, and it was Hal in the diner. Either way, it would open up the possibility that now Hal or his twin is now the Auteur — still a villain, but operating under a new name with a new M.O.
It's worth noting that this isn't the first time that the "Hal has a twin" theory has sparked interest within the fandom. Hal, after all, hails from the Cooper/Blossom line (the Blooper clan, if you will) where twins run rampant. His daughter, Polly, is mom to twins Juniper and Dagwood, though they are not identical. That's why, prior to the Black Hood's reveal in 2018, fans suspected that it was Hal's twin brother who was the real villain, or even that they were working in cahoots to terrorize the town.
While this would be a pretty epic twist (as a Pretty Little Liars stan, I approve any and all evil twins coming to town) I'm not sure how well the evidence for it holds up right now.
It's true that the Auteur's latest movie is a very good reenactment of the diner moment, but it's also true that Archie has spoken, at length, about what happened in the diner. It was a defining moment of his life, one that made him create the Red Circle, and almost turn to the dark side entirely thanks to Hiram goading him into protecting his town by way of the mafia. Even if someone didn't hear the story directly from Archie, he likely explained what happened in very specific detail at the sheriff's office, and the office still likely has a recording of it. In fact, perhaps the better question is not who was in the diner, but who had access to that evidence. (Um, like maybe Jellybean, the daughter of Sheriff Jones?!?)
Yet we can't write off that something weird could happen with Hal. In November 2020, Riverdale's showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted a photo of a zombie hand reaching out from the grave, along with the caption, "Nothing stays buried forever..." One person we know is buried in the Riverdale cemetery, because we saw Betty having several existential crises at his grave, is none other than the Black Hood himself.
We shouldn't necessarily take this photo too literally, though. Riverdale already pulled off a bait-and-switch with someone rising from the dead. At the end of Season 3, it was revealed that Jason's body had been removed from his grave, leading some people to wonder whether Jason was actually the show's then-villain the Gargoyle King. In fact, it seemed pretty likely that Jason was actually alive... until the show pulled back the curtain to reveal that it was actually just Betty and Jughead's creepy faux brother Chic posing as Jason in order to appease Penelope.
In a way, that was the bigger surprise: There was a normal explanation (well, normal for Riverdale) surrounding this returning from the grave scenario. If Hal is suspected to be alive, perhaps the bigger shock would be if he's actually not, and there's something even more disturbing going on. Why would someone make it seem like Hal is back in town? Could it be another way for someone to mess with Betty?
While we're still waiting for more answers — which, hopefully, we'll get through more episodes of Riverdale very soon — this show is bound to shock us in a plethora of ways. We don't know if Hal is part of the Auteur drama, but clearly, someone is. The real villain behind these heinous videotapes may be a person that the rest of the Riverdale gang is suspecting even less than an undead identical twin of a serial killing dad.