TV’s greatest villain got his origin story tonight… and it was, as expected, dark, twisted, and a little harrowing.
On Riverdale Season 5 Episode 12, we finally tapped into what led to Hiram Lodge becoming the most feared man in town.
Hiram might be all mighty and powerful now, but that wasn’t always the case.
Jaime’s origin story (his real name isn’t Hiram) starts in New York assisting his father with his shoe-shining business.
A wealthy suit informs them about palladium in Riverdale, which motivates Jaime’s father, Javier, to move there in hopes of digging it up.
When his plans hit a snag following an accident at the mines, he gives up his quest and revives his shoe-shining business outside of Pops.
At this point, we begin to understand what motivated young Jaime to become someone different, and eventually, to pursue the palladium his father long searched for.
Jaime doesn’t enjoy being looked down on by the upper class and jumps at the opportunity to make some extra cash by running deals for Vito, a gangster in town.
The rise of Hiram Lodge — a name young Hermione helped him pick — is largely fueled by Vito.
He admires the boss for being able to make a lot of money with little effort, he proves his loyalty by not selling him out when he gets arrested, and he eventually, gets promoted to collector.
While Hiram definitely seems to enjoy the finer things in life, he’s also getting the extra cash to help out his family.
However, when he tries to officially change his name from Jaime Luna to Hiram Lodge, some of the guys in class, including Reggie’s father, Marty Mantle, give him a hard time.
The moment is crucial for explaining why there’s so much animosity between Hiram and Marty in the present day.
When Hiram shakes him and some of the other jocks down after school, it leads to a tense fight with his father that serves as a turning point in Hiram’s life.
A lot of words were said that they wish they could take back, including “being your son is embarrassing,” which were the last words Hiram ever spoke to his father. Throughout the conversation, he also belittled his father for not being able to provide for the family.
It’s a truly heartbreaking scene as you realize that Hiram’s father was only trying to keep food on the table by doing honest work.
After their argument, Javier pays Vito a visit and demands that he leave Hiram alone. When Vito pushes back, Javier threatens to go to the police.
At this point, it’s very clear that Javier was naive about the whole situation, which is unfortunate. Dealing with shady and terrible men his whole life should have made him more aware of the dangers of threatening a mob boss. And while he knew Vito was a bad man, but he didn’t know just how bad he was since he always saw the good in people.
In trying to save his son, he was gunned down right in front of Pops.
Can you believe how much Pop has seen in his lifetime?
What happens next is yet another turning point for Hiram as it leads to the point of no return.
Vito shows up at Javier’s funeral and basically confesses to ordering the hit on his father. Shortly after, Hiram kills all of Vito’s men as payback.
It’s a deeply powerful scene that shows just how far Hiram was willing to go to avenge his father.
And since then, that’s all he’s been trying to do.
I like Hiram as a villain, but he’s a terrible man. This doesn’t make me like him anymore, but it does explain why he is the way that he is and why he does the things that he does.
His quest for palladium is all about doing what his father was never able to do.
It’s unclear why he has to destroy Riverdale in the process, but well, it’s not surprising as destruction seems to follow him around wherever he goes.
After Hiram’s murder spree, Vito was never seen in town ever again, but in the present day, Hermosa was able to track him down to a nursing home where Hiram paid him a little visit and put a bullet in his head.
Hiram is known to keep a grudge, but this was dark even for him.
Now, while I’m sure that was satisfying to finally make your father’s murderer pay, but could he not have done it in a way that was more subtle?
In the present day, Hiram’s past also reminded him of what was happening with Marty and Reggie. Marty paid Hiram a visit beginning him to leave his son alone, and while Hiram initially told him to get out, he cut ties with Reggie because he didn’t want history to repeat itself.
He couldn’t change the past and how his relationship with his father ended, but he could save another father-and-son from making the same mistakes he did.
It was big of Hiram, however, Marty and Reggie’s relationship is slightly different since Marty used to beat his son. Abuse is never okay, and I’m a bit disappointed that the series made it seem as though Reggie needed to forgive his dad and work with him side-by-side. After everything he’s been through, it was his prerogative to walk away from his father and all the pain he’s caused him.
Hiram regretted how his relationship with his father went down, but that doesn’t mean Reggie would’ve regretted his decision.
Though, I am glad Reggie drew a line and told his father that he needed to trust him more. Reggie’s skilled and has good instincts.
The fact that Hiram said he would give up anything to have some more time with his dad proves why he’s constantly searching for more and more.
Hiram has never let up on Riverdale because he’ll never be happy as he can’t have the one thing he always wanted.
Becoming the big man on campus cost Hiram a lot, including his father, his wife, and his daughter.
He informs Hermosa that he hopes he can get them back once he digs up the palladium under the Blossom estate.
Good luck with that.
Now that Penelope has opened up her own church, I doubt she’s letting anyone dig on her land.
Is there a redemption arc for Hiram Lodge in our near future?
Other Riverdale Musings
- How awesome is it that Mark Conseulos got to act opposite of his son, Michael Consuelos, who played young Hiram on the episode.
- While I’m sure it was all fun to film, can you imagine how intense it had to be to film the fight scene between Hiram and Jaime considering Mark and Michael are actually father and son?
- It’s always fun to see the core cast play the young versions of their parents.
- I truly appreciate the shirtless scenes of Mark. Keep ’em coming.
- It also makes sense why Hiram was so upset when Veronica changed her name to Luna as the name reminds him of weakness.
- The more I hear Jughead narrating the episodes, the more I think this is all part of one of his stories. What if none of this is real?
- The connection to New York would’ve been cool if Katy Keene was still airing since last we saw, Hiram returned to his hometown to torment Jorge and the rest of the residents!
- It was cool to see the beginning of Hiram and Hermione’s relationship, especially how she pushed him aside since he wasn’t good enough at first because he was the son of a “lowly shoe shiner.”
- I love that we got to see Hermione on The Real Housewives. Despite everything we learned about Hiram, she would be a fool to come back to him again!
The episode strayed from the typical formula, but it worked. It was well constructed, well written, and quite a blast getting to see what shaped Hiram into the devious man he is now.
Riverdale Review – Dance of Death (5×17)
The mystery of the Mothmen finally came to an end, along with the mystery of what happened to Polly Cooper.
Jughead, Betty, and Tabitha closed in on the truth on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 17 as another young girl named Britta went missing while Lynette Fields aka Squeaky was confirmed dead.
Is anyone else a bit bummed that the Squeaky mystery didn’t have too much meat to it?
The Mothmen mystery also wasn’t supernatural in the slightest, which isn’t exactly shocking when it comes to Riverdale.
The series always hints at the supernatural before elaborating on a story of serial killers.
In this case, the serial killers picked up women on the Lonely Highway because they enjoyed the hunt.
When compared to all the previous mysteries, this one was definitely the weakest.
Jughead’s former student, the sleepwalker who turned up after a week, is the one who clued them into the location of the Mothmen’s lair.
Turns out, it was none other than old man Dreyfuss, the one who told Jughead all about the Mothmen in the first place.
Dreyfuss was a Starkweather, a member of a family of Blossom offspring that were given away and raised in the woods. Yes, this is a true story straight from Nana’s mouth.
Another Starkweather brother included the man Betty captured that bit off his own tongue.
They were all in cahoots working the Lonely Highway and protecting each other.
They assumed they were preying on women that no one cared about — that is until Polly came along.
Eventually, Betty was able to get the location of Polly’s body out of Dreyfuss, and while it provided her family with some closure, it was far from the outcome Betty wanted for her sister.
And it was even more disturbing that it was an act of crime on Betty’s family by her own family.
On the plus side, it was nice to see Betty and Jughead team up for yet another mystery. There hasn’t been one that these couldn’t solve.
Toni was back, and she joined the crusade along with Fangs, who is helping her raise baby Anthony.
There hasn’t been much of a storyline for Toni, but it was sweet that she went to bat for Britta, a student who confided in her about being gay and asked her to be there to come out to her parents.
But all of this was maple syrup under the bridge because the most shocking moment came when Veronica killed Chadwick and turned on Hiram Lodge.
I know she’s turned on her father plenty of times before, but this time felt different.
This time, she took Archie’s side 100%.
And she didn’t even seem phased to shoot Chad as she zenned out in a tub with Archie just hours after.
This whole show is bonkers.
Chad deserved everything that came his way after he plotted to kill Archie and then attacked Veronica in her own home.
Clearly, taking advice from Hiram Lodge wasn’t a sound solution.
Veronica also realized she could never forgive her father for drumming up a mine explosion to kill Archie.
It’s honestly insane that this adult is still so hung up over a man half his age.
Archie may have been collateral damage in Veronica’s beef with Hiram over the palladium, but it was still very a very childish decision on his part.
Will this be the final straw in Veronica’s relationship with Hiram?
I feel like after all that has transpired, she either abandons her father or faces the consequences of losing Archie.
Will she pay to price for what happened to Chad? Or will self-defense hold up considering he tried to ambush her?
Cheryl may have found her calling as the divine.
Though her friends, including Kevin, had little faith in her religion, Cheryl seemed to believe in herself after seeing her prayers to Mother Earth aka Gaia answered as Archie emerged from the mines.
Will Kevin return to stand by Cheryl’s side?
And am I the only one completely annoyed with this church storyline?
What did you think of Riverdale? Are you enjoying the fact that it gets crazier by the week?
Let us know in the comments below!
Riverdale Review – Band of Brothers (5×16)
Riverdale is slowly trudging along toward some kind of resolution for the varying stories it introduced throughout season 6, including the Moth Men, TBK (Trash Bag Killer), the Trucker Killer on the Lonely Highway, the Church of Cheryl, and Hiram’s obsession with palladium.
As of right now, none of these things seem to intersect, but we’re all still watching hoping that it all feeds into some bigger picture.
Otherwise, this may go down as the most random season of Riverdale to date.
Archie continued to deal with the ghosts of his past by attempting to get justice for his men and putting General Taylor in his place. Seeing how Taylor threatened Archie, I anticipated that we would see Archie and Eric testify at the tribunal. At the very least, I expected to see some form of retaliation from Taylor, but the storyline wrapped up almost as quickly as it ended.
Are we to believe that Archie finally found peace? And that Taylor went down without a fight?
Jughead was making amends with an apology tour. Mr. Weatherbee made the cut, as did Tabitha, and, eventually, Betty.
He needed to apologize for the voicemail he left the night of his book release.
But for Betty, it was all under the bridge as she admitted to willingly choosing her obsession with serial killers over him.
I’m glad Betty and Jughead worked it out and found themselves on good terms, but I’m even happier that Jughead came clean about the fact that he submitted Cora’s novel as his own.
While he may have found himself in a tough spot with his writing career hanging in the balance, it’s never okay to pass someone else’s work off as your own.
Not meeting deadlines is bad, but plagiarism will get you canceled.
Thankfully, he knew better and took the hit.
Jughead’s first novel was born from spontaneity, and clearly, forcing another best-seller isn’t how it works.
Though, if he really wanted to, I’m sure he could find plenty of inspiration right in Riverdale.
He could always take inspiration from Betty, who admitted that she would rather investigate serial killers than socialize with other people.
It’s weird, yes, but Betty has always had a darkness about her that made her different from everyone else. It’s not exactly surprising.
Her work on the Lonely Highway is proving to be fruitless, and that’s probably because word of the truckers disappearance got around.
Unfortunately, the episode ended with an ominous warning from Jughead about something bad happening to both Betty and Tabitha.
Cheryl has gone off the deep end, I’m convinced of it.
She teamed up with Kevin to gain authority over the church, but while he thought they were simply punking the general public, Cheryl seemed to believe that she was really a gift sent from the divine.
Kevin’s face when he realized what he’d gotten into was priceless.
I don’t really understand the storyline with Cheryl, and to be honest, I feel like it’s a wasted character.
And finally, no one messes with Veronica Lodge.
In one fell swoop, she freed herself from Chad’s grasp and undermined Hiram Lodge. Win-win!
I’d expect plenty of retaliation from both parties, but when Chad sent the SEC on her company, she pushed back by stealing the palladium from Hiram Lodge, auctioning it off for a hefty price, and paying back all the investors he screwed over.
And then, as he celebrated his company going public, she tanked his stocks to ensure that no one ever messed with her again.
Petty Veronica is my favorite Veronica.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!
Riverdale Review – The Return of the Pussycats (5×15)
As the title of the episode revealed, Josie and the Pussycats returned to Riverdale.
Well, to be honest, I have no idea where Val and Melody have been this whole time, so it’s possible they’ve been thriving in Riverdale and it was just Josie who rolled back into town.
Regardless, Riverdale Season 5 Episode 15 saw their overdue reunion of the girl group and even sparked a reconciliation.
If memory serves me, Riverdale takes place roughly two years after the events of the now-canceled Katy Keene, which is when fans last saw Josie living in New York as a struggling artist.
It’s safe to say that her efforts paid off; By the time she arrives back in her hometown, she’s a global superstar!
Josie the pop icon has a nice ring to it, even if it does feel slightly forced.
Her return to Riverdale is personal as we find out that she ditched a show in Berlin after finding out that her father died of a heart attack unexpectedly.
It doesn’t take long for Josie to be reminded that Riverdale is a dark place when a man named Mr. Sweets approaches her and her mother to inform them that her father was mixed up in some bad stuff in New Orleans and may have been murdered.
Normally, one would question such an accusation made by a random man, but again, this is Riverdale; Josie and her mom simply get on the tour bus and decide to make NOLA their first stop in order to investigate.
The whole episode basically felt like a backdoor pilot to yet another spinoff, which should’ve happened long ago.
While I love Josie and I love that she finally got the recognition she deserved throughout most of the series, I don’t see this working simply because Katy Keene failed.
And what would it even be? A musical series hinged on a murder mystery? The CW sure loves those, so I’m not putting it past them.
Everyone on that tour bus would surely appear on the spinoff, including Sweet Pea (Josie’s new-again lover) and Alan Mayberry, Val’s boyfriend. Yes, Alan Mayberry, just like character from the comics who also appears in Scooby-Doo. Now, I’m convinced there’s going to be a murder mystery, detective-aspect to the spinoff!
The only way I’ll be fully behind a Josie spinoff is if they cast a live-action Scooby-Doo, too!
While Val and Melody were even more sidelined on Riverdale than Josie, the episode tapped into their backstories, and it turns out, they’ve both been pretty successful.
Val is an artist and a political activist, while Melody wrote a book that was optioned by Tyler Perry.
Both of their trajectories make me think that they were able to get far, far away from Riverdale considering the rest of their peers haven’t seen even a sliver of their success.
As Josie navigated her old stomping grounds, she made it clear that she wasn’t someone to be messed with.
When Hiram Lodge tried to file a noise complaint, Josie proved that she had way more pull than he did, and it was the icing on the cake that she called him out for still being a “little b****.” Don’t mess with Josie!
However, the episode felt very disconnected from what’s been happening on Riverdale this season, which, in its own right, has been all over the place. There was no mention of Archie’s PTSD, Betty was somehow totally over the fact that she’s been hunting down creeps on The Lonely Highway, and Jughead’s Rat King story seemed like a very faint, faint, faint memory.
It almost seemed normal…. almost.
Coincidentally, Alexandra Cabot also happened to be in Riverdale at the same time Josie returned. A little refresher: Josie dated Alexandra’s brother, Alexander, on the brief spinoff, so the two are rivals.
Alexandra confronted Veronica in hopes of getting back the money she invested with Ronnie’s husband, Chadwick, whom we know put her in a really tight financial situation.
Instead of paying out, Veronica took the opportunity to present Alexandra with an investment into Pop’s as Tabitha explained that she wanted to franchise the business.
Small town vibe at a diner with delicious food? Alexandra would be a fool to pass up on this opportunity!
Since Riverdale can’t pass up on a musical number, Alexandra, Tabitha, and Toni joined forces up for a little choreographed performance to sweeten the deal.
Was anyone else as surprised to see Toni as I was? I thought the show forgot about her!.
Thankfully, her presence was felt as she went into labor during Josie’s set, once again upstaging the Pussycats.
In true small-town fashion, everyone stuck around to be there for the birth, which happened in a backroom of Pops’…. I can’t imagine that’s sanitary!
Cheryl and Fangs teamed up to deliver the baby, which is also strange. I wouldn’t want my ex to deliver a baby, but weirder things have happened in Riverdale.
And finally, Toni, Fangs, and Kevin introduced their baby boy, Anthony a.k.a. Tony, to the world. Yep, Toni and Tony. That’s bound to get confusing.
Tony’s birth was a glimmer of hope and light in an otherwise dark and twisted town!
What did you think of the episode? Would you watch a Josie-centered spinoff?
It takes courage for a series to acknowledge the missteps it made with characters, particularly characters of color, Riverdale did more than acknowledge as it seemingly tried to make amends. Let’s hope the sentiment is extended to Toni as she was promised so much screen time but hasn’t had much of a storyline all season!
Sound-off with your thoughts in the comments below!
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