“Chapter Eighty-Eight: Citizen Lodge” sheds some light on Riverdale’s biggest villain while managing to deliver one of the most well told and deep episode of the series so far. The series stars KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Mӓdchen Amick, Casey Cott, Mark Consuelos, Charles Melton, Vanessa Morgan, Erinn Westbrook, and Drew Ray Tanner. For the remainder of this recap, we will be getting into heavy spoilers; so only continue reading if you’ve seen episode 5×12.
MICHAEL CONSUELOS GUEST STARS AS YOUNG HIRAM LODGE — Hiram (Mark Consuelos) shares with Reggie (Charles Melton) his origin story and how he went from a young Jaime Luna (guest star Michael Consuelos) to the powerful kingpin of Riverdale. Elsewhere, Reggie reflects on his relationship with his father.
As Jughead narrates, we know little about Hiram Lodge and this episode finally fills us in. We start off with Reggie and his father, already beginning the father-son theme. Hiram seems to be searching for someone and from a phone call, it seems that the person has finally been discovered. Whoever it is, Hiram wants to handle it himself. Reggie has managed to collect enough money to pay off his father’s debt to Hiram, paying the other man back, so that things with his father are settled. When asked about their arrangement, Reggie insists he wants to continue working with Hiram as long as there can be advancement. Hiram agrees, but says he needs a ghost gun first.
Reggie steps in to save a deal that his father screwed up at the lot, leading to his father confronting him. When Marty begins to grow angrier, Reggie calls him out on abusing him when he was younger before adding that he’s not in high school anymore. That seems to silence his father on the subject before he brings up putting the money aside to pay Hiram. Reggie tells him he already took care of it and his father seems relieved that he won’t have to work for the other man anymore, but Reggie immediately defends Hiram and says that’s where his future is. Marty goes to Hiram to beg for Reggie’s freedom and the meeting starts to grow heated before Hiram kicks him out. Reggie successfully gets Hiram’s gun before the older man fills him in on Marty’s visit.
Hiram tells Reggie he needs to get his house in order and that immediately leads to another conflict between Reggie and his father. Marty tells Reggie he’s ashamed of him and Reggie finally stands up for himself. It’s a powerful moment for the character and Melton does a fantastic job with it. When Hiram asks how everything went, Reggie states that he doesn’t have a father anymore, which seems to strike a cord with Hiram. He claims it reminds him of his own relationship with his father and that leads to Reggie asking where his father is. That question is our way into Hiram’s origin story.
We start off in New York City, 1988 with Javier shining shoes while his son watches. His client forgot his wallet and Javier says he can just pay him double next time, but instead he is given a piece of palladium. Where did the man get the precious metal? Riverdale, of course. This starts Javier’s quest to search for the buried palladium. The family moved to the town, but after six months of working at the mines, they collapsed and shut down; Javier didn’t find any palladium. Still, the family stayed to make their “American dreams” come true. Hiram’s mother worked at Pop’s, leading to us getting a brief glance at young Fred, Hermione, Alice, and FP in a booth together. Though, we see Hiram clearly only has his eyes on Hermione. Outside the diner, Javier went back to shining shoes. A customer leaves without paying and Hiram is ready to confront him, but his father says it’s not worth it. Hiram ends up also shining shoes to keep up with business, which introduces us to Vito, who tells Hiram to come see him if he ever wants any extra work.
Javier immediately tells his son not to be fooled and that Vito is a gangster. The next day, Hiram goes to Hermione’s locker, which leads to the girl telling him that even if he continues to ask her out every day, her answer is no. When questioned why, she explains that her mother forbids it due to his father’s occupation. She apologizes, saying her mother just wants what’s best for her and adding that for what it’s worth, he is cute. That interaction and the realization that he’d always be looked down on leads him to Vito. He takes the man up on his offer to gain money and respect, or rather fear. Hiram begins making deliveries for him, which includes really disgusting comments about Hiram’s background. He tells Vito about it, but the other man tells him he just has to keep his cool, especially in this business, before paying him.
Javier obviously knows what’s going on, but his son continues to lie about how he’s getting the money. When he asks Hermione out again, the confidence and outfit manage to win him a yes. They go on a date to Pop’s and the two bond over how hard their parents work despite little reward. Hiram tells her about working for Vito, which intrigues Hermione. She asks Hiram where he’d go if he got out of Riverdale and he says he’d live in a penthouse in New York City, running his own business. Hermione reveals she wants to live in Manhattan too, but before they can continue, Hiram is arrested. The police try to get Hiram to flip on Vito, but he refuses to say anything. Hermione rushes to find Vito, telling him about Hiram’s arrest. Vito posts his bail and Hiram assures him that he didn’t tell the police anything.
As a reward for protecting Vito and his business, he bumps Hiram up to the inner circle, which means he will be collecting instead of doing deliveries. Every word Vito tells him helps to continue driving Hiram away from his family, especially his father. Hiram tries to get another date with Hermione, who rejects the idea at first, before offering her a ride home in the new car Vito gave him. That wins her over and we see the two share a moment in the parking lot at Pop’s. This scene depicts the decision for him to change his name to Hiram Lodge, the last name being Hermione’s suggestion.
At school, he tells his teacher about the name change, even assuring her that he’s already filled out the necessary papers and they’re currently being processed. Marty, of course, makes a comment about how he’ll still be shining his father’s shoes, which clearly angers Hiram. Later on, he beats Marty and another student up for the comment, forcing him to call him by his new name. When he gets home, Javier reveals that the school called him about his son’s actions. He finally confronts Hiram about his job and everything else he has been doing. Hiram’s response is a cold and hateful one, ending it by saying that being Javier’s son is embarrassing.
Mirroring what occurred in present day, Javier goes to Vito and tells him to leave Hiram alone. If the arrangement doesn’t end, Javier threatens to call the police and tell them about Vito. The other man says he’ll be in touch after he thinks it over, which ultimately leads to Javier being killed outside of Pop’s by Vito’s men. Hiram has to identify his body and we then see the funeral. Hermione’s mother, played by Marisol Nichols, makes an appearance to apologize for their loss. Hiram calls her out on her judgement of his father and she immediately says she misjudged him. Alice comments how Hiram seems so calm and Hermione says it’s probably shock. Penelope adds that Hiram was playing with fire, blaming him working with criminals, but Hermione quickly comes to his defense.
Hermione tells Hiram that she’s here for whatever he needs, but he only manages to thank her before Vito makes his way over. Hiram doesn’t really engage with the man, shocked at his nerve after realizing he was responsible for his father’s death. Her mother begs him to cut ties with Vito and his business, and Hiram promises that he will. He searches for Vito, but only finds those who works for him. He pulls out a gun, asking if Vito was responsible for his father’s death before killing all three of them. After that night, Vito disappeared and Hiram took over the role. We skip to see Hiram moving up, showing that he is now the one paying to get his shoes shined.
Reggie is intrigued and Hiram continues to share how he got married and became a father, saying he then knew true happiness. We get to see Nichols and Mark Consuelos share the screen again with a baby Veronica, Hermione saying she’s ready to go to New York. With that, the saga comes to an end. He then fills Reggie in that he came back to Riverdale because his father was right about the palladium and was just looking in the wrong place. It was under the prison and he had his prisoners do the digging. The result wasn’t what he hoped so now, he needs to get to the one under the Blossom Groves to finish what his father started. Reggie is amazed by Hiram’s story and determination. Hiram seems to think differently.
It is then revealed that after all this time, Hiram found Vito in a nursing home. He then asks Reggie to drive him there for a visit. Hiram ends up going and reveals his identity before killing the man. He thanks Reggie, but then lets him go. It’s probably the first act of mercy Hiram’s ever shown as Reggie still insists he wants it. Hiram comments how if he could go back, he’d do it in a heartbeat and spend more time shining shoes with his dad. Reggie says he can’t go back, but Hiram tells him to try giving his father one more chance or just take the out that he’s being given. Reggie finds his father at the dealership and Marty finally admits his faults, specifically how he’s treated his son. He promises he’s going to be better and that he’ll trust Reggie more with the business. It ends up being a very beautiful scene between the two as Reggie comforts his father and they agree to go forward with the business together.
Meanwhile, Hiram is watching his ex wife and daughter on Housewives actually somewhat content. Hermione asks about Hiram and Veronica just says he’s causing trouble as usual. This leads to them discussing how he’s never satisfied by what he has and this seems to be a wakeup call for Hiram. Veronica comments how he should’ve retired seven years ago before bringing up his illness. She questions if he was ever really sick, which we’ve definitely all been wondering, before Hiram mutes the TV. It turns out that Hermosa was the one that found Vito and has already ensured Hiram won’t take any blame. He then makes a vow that he will get his family back after he collects all of the palladium.
Overall, this was by far one of the most well done and deep episodes for a character that the show has done so far. Riverdale would greatly benefit by doing more storylines and episodes such as this one with their main characters. Michael and Mark Consuelos brought this story to life in a way that was all consuming and genuinely enjoyable. It definitely didn’t redeem the character, but gave us the background context that has been missing. This episode also left me craving more from Charles Melton and shows exactly why we need to go deeper with his character. It’s definitely a standout episode.
New episodes of Riverdale will continue airing on Wednesdays at 8PM ET on The CW.