Now that we know Fred Andrews survives the awful shooting at Pop Tate's Diner, the big question that will run through Riverdale this season is who shot him -- and why?
Archie described his father’s shooter as a man in a “black hood” -- not a mask -- but didn’t have much more information than that. Understandable, given the fact that people tend to have a hard time processing memories during traumatic events. Viewers have a bit more information, however: The hooded man is white, with green eyes, and is probably (though not definitely) middle-aged. That doesn’t rule out anyone who doesn’t have green eyes, though -- the Black Hood could have been hired by someone to shoot Fred.
Of course, this Black Hood did more than just shoot Fred Andrews. At the end of Riverdale's season premiere, we saw him enter Ms. Grundy’s home in Greendale after she finished a piano lesson/sexual assault of yet another minor. This time, however, he didn't use a gun, opting instead to strangle his victim. As Ms. Cooper said in the promo for the second episode, it was more of a crime of passion than the shooting in Pop’s.
So, what’s the connection between Fred Andrews and Ms. Grundy, if there is one at all? And who would want them dead? Let's run down the list of likely -- and one not-so-likely -- suspects.
One of the suspects is new to town. Hiram Lodge, Veronica’s father, just got out of jail and returned to his family in Riverdale. He’s got plenty of reasons to want Fred dead, of course; Fred was recently having an affair with Hiram’s wife Hermione, and he refused to sell his company when the Lodges asked him, making their shady business dealings harder to hide. Hiram Lodge is definitely not above hiring someone to deliver a beat down; he did that back in Season 1 when he hired some Serpents to trash Fred’s construction company.
It’s unlikely the Black Hood is Hiram himself, but it’s possible he’s being paid by Hiram to do his dirty work. But why would Hiram Lodge want Ms. Grundy dead? Was it to protect his daughter Veronica and her boyfriend Archie in case Ms. Grundy returned to Riverdale? He’s got good motivation for the one attack, but not the other.
She’s got much of the same potential motivation as her husband Hiram -- Fred’s refusing to sell to them, their affair -- but she has a bit more reason to want to go after Ms. Grundy. After all, she was there when Archie’s abuse at Ms. Grundy’s hands came to light. Hermione has shown time and again that she’s willing to commit illegal acts to protect herself and her family. Does she consider Archie part of her family now that he and Veronica are so close? Or does she simply want to protect more young men from Ms. Grundy’s abuse?
Ms. Grundy’s Ex-Husband
The other obvious suspect is a character we haven’t actually seen on screen, but we’ve heard about his awful deeds. When Ms. Grundy was preying on Archie, she told him that she had an abusive ex-husband. That’s why she ended up in Riverdale in the first place, trying to escape him. The main connection between the Black Hood’s victims is Archie; Ms. Grundy’s ex-husband may be trying to make him pay for his relationship with Grundy by attacking his father. As for why he’d kill Ms Grundy, well, abusers often do end up killing their victims, especially when they try to leave.
The Southside Serpents
The Serpents are well known for their illegal activities and they have good reason for wanting Fred Andrews dead. Fred had hired a number of Serpents for his construction company -- and they all got fired. Could they be seeking revenge? Many fans have noted that Jughead’s new Serpent friend looks a lot like the Black Hood. It’s entirely possible, but much like with Hiram Lodge, it’s unclear what his motivation would be for killing Ms. Grundy.