Is Hiram Really Dead On 'Riverdale'... Finally?

- Riverdale -
Is Hiram Really Dead On 'Riverdale'... Finally?

For years, the residents of Riverdale have tried their best to take down Hiram Lodge. At the end of Season 5, it seemed as if they did: The gang banished Hiram out of their town, not knowing that he had the Ghoulies plant a bomb under Archie's bed in order to finally finish off his sworn enemy. However, in the Season 6B premiere, "Unbelievable," Hiram's final act in Riverdale is the nail in his own coffin — and his own daughter, Veronica, is the one with the hammer.

The Season 6B premiere reveals that Betty and Archie are perfectly fine following the explosion in Archie's house, though both are a little confused as to how that's possible. Both Archie and Betty develop strange powers following the ordeal, with Betty now able to see threatening auras and Archie gaining super strength and invisibility. However, the person who is most freaked is Veronica, who sees just how far her father has gone to destroy Archie. Veronica decides that she should put an end to Hiram once and for all, and calls upon one of the hitmen she has in her contacts to off her dad for a cool $2 million.

Images: The CW

Veronica has a change of heart, however, when her boyfriend Reggie's father suffers a heart attack. (It should be noted that this happened in the "Rivervale" special event series as well, under slightly different circumstances. Hmm.) Reggie and his dad have had a rough relationship as well, but Reggie is devastated — he thought they had more time to really repair all their old wounds. Inspired by Reggie's plight, Veronica calls her hitman to call off the murder — but it's too late. He tells her to check her inbox where, presumably, she sees a photo of a dead Hiram. Her sister Hermosa calls, having heard the news, and tells V to watch her back — which may mean Veronica has another shady family member to worry about.

Of course, the real question here is: Is Hiram actually dead? We know that actor Mark Consuelos left the show prior to the Rivervale event series, after having starred on the CW show for four seasons as its primary villain. However, a statement from showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa hints that maybe this "death" isn't as permanent as some of the Riverdale regulars would hope.

Per Aguirre-Sacasa's statement prior to the Season 5 finale, "So tonight's episode is Mark's swan song playing our hunky villain Hiram Lodge on Riverdale after four insane, glorious years. From the moment Mark joined us, he was up for literally anything, a hundred percent committed to making Archie's life a living hell. And what's funny is, Mark couldn't be more different from Hiram. A classy pro and the sweetest guy, always looking out for everyone. We wish Mark the best and hope this isn't the last we've seen of Hiram Lodge."

In fact, Aguirre-Sacasa even told Deadline that while the writers had considered murdering Hiram, "our love of Mark Consuelos and our hope that he'll always be a part of Riverdale won out…by a very narrow margin."

So if Consuelos was so important to the show...why kill Hiram off screen?!? There are two theories I have as to why this hit played out the way it did. The first is that, well, Hiram isn't actually dead — he'll return later in the series for a guest arc to rattle Veronica, who is guilt-stricken over what she did to her own father. It wouldn't be the first time someone we thought was dead wasn't (there was an entire season arc about Jughead's "murder") so it feels very in line with Riverdale's M.O.

However, the other theory is a sadder one: Perhaps Hiram's death means that Riverdale itself is coming to an end, and this is one way to definitively close that chapter, while also giving Veronica some juicy emotional material to work with. If Hiram can't come back to the series because there's simply no time, well, why not kill him off?

Right now, we don't know if Riverdale is renewed for another season, though members of the cast, like Betty's Lili Reinhart, have hinted that the show will likely go through Season 7 before bowing out.

Either way, Hiram's "death" will have a serious ripple effect on Riverdale — and Veronica should definitely be looking over her shoulder.

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