Pretty much everyone can agree that the parents in Riverdale are the worst. Petty, angry, violent and deceitful, their criminality runs the gamut from white collar to blue, and their abuse from physical to emotional. The major villain from Season 1 one was revealed to actually be a Riverdale parent: Clifford Blossom, who murdered his own son.
In Season 2, Riverdale gave us a new villain in the Black Hood, a hunter out to rid the town of sinners. But in the mid-season finale, the identity of the Black Hood was revealed to be Riverdale High janitor Joseph Svenson and it was… meh.
Many fans still believe that the reveal was a fake, that someone else is the real Black Hood. The face under the mask was disappointing because, given all the potential baddies in Riverdale, Svenson had the least emotional connection to Betty and the others he terrorized. The reveal of Jason Blossom's murderer in the first season was far more powerful because of that emotional connection between Jason and his murderer -- his dad. In a world of maple syrup drug running, incest babies, and teen pole dancing to the worst karaoke song ever, viewers need more than just a run-of-the-mill “I endured trauma in my youth and now I’m violent” bad guy. If you’re not going to give us epic family drama or blood feuds, at least give us some of that Sabrina magic, all right?
The thing is, Riverdale isn’t short on blood feuds, and there is more than enough family drama that could turn a law-abiding citizen to murder. Take Hal Cooper, the subject of many a theory about the Black Hood’s secret identity. On the surface, he’s an overbearing father who thinks he knows what’s right for his family. But just a little deeper is a guy who lied to Betty and the whole town about where Polly was and why, gaslit Betty as she started to figure out the truth, stole files from the Sheriff, tossed his wife from the paper they co-ran by changing the passwords and locks, and who knows what else. His whole family is either angry at him or afraid of him in alternating moments, and he’s been suspected of murder.
Or another nasty Riverdale dad, Hiram Lodge. Unseen for all of Season 1 due to his incarceration, he made it out of prison this season but is continuing his criminal ways. Apart from the embezzlement and fraud, Hiram is known for hiring gangsters to devalue the drive-in so he could purchase it for cheap, hiring other gangsters to his own construction site since he was mad about Fred Andrews and his wife, threatening said wife and daughter on the regular, and causing the car accident of his daughter’s would-be rapist Nick St. Clair. Hiram Lodge is not one to mess with, and is not above using his family or threatening his family to get what he needs.