Spoilers for the "Chapter Thirty-Four" episode of Riverdale ahead. Since his arrival on Riverdale, Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) has been getting more and more sinister every week. And after "Judgment Night," when it was revealed that Hiram was manipulating both the Dark Circle and the Ghoulies to cause chaos around town, it seems as if his scheming goes deeper than just financial crime. And then there's the Black Hood — that ever-elusive serial killer who keeps popping up to ruin people's lives. Could the two be connected — or even one in the same? With just one more episode to go in Season 2 could it be revealed that Hiram is the Black Hood on Riverdale?
Hal Cooper's (Lochlyn Munro) dramatic confession in the season's penultimate episode made it seem for a while like he was the sole hooded killer. But not everyone is convinced. For one thing, there's still the likelihood that there may be more than one Black Hood running around town. So, even if Hal's confession was sincere, he may have an accomplice.
However, some Riverdale fans think that the Hal reveal was a bit too obvious. Case in point, Theynotsmarterthanus on Reddit questioned whether it was just another red herring, in the same vein as poor Joseph Svenson, the school's janitor. "I still believe Hal started with the 2nd letter, the cipher, the calls, and his BH time ended with Svenson getting killed," the Redditor wrote. "For now, I refuse to believe Hal crucified Midge." Another user agreed, theorizing that perhaps Hal even confessed under duress. After all, wasn't the fact that he made Alice (Mädchen Amick) record his confession a bit on-the-nose?
If that's the case, then perhaps Hiram moonlighting as the Black Hood isn't so far-fetched after all. Or perhaps he's Hal's accomplice and is the second masked vigilante. Here's the evidence to support this theory:
Hiram Is A Known Crime Boss
Even before audiences set eyes on Hiram, he was nothing but trouble. Back in Season 1, Hiram was unseen because he was in prison, and both Veronica (Camila Mendes) and her mother, Hermione (Marisol Nichols) kept referencing his crime dealings. His schemes continued to get darker as Season 2 has progressed. Remember how he plans to make Southside High (the Serpents' former school) into a for-profit prison? Not only that, but in the past few episodes, it's become obvious that Hiram's essentially in the Mafia and meets somewhat regularly with the other families. If Hiram is really Riverdale's version of Tony Soprano, then audiences should be terrified of what he's going to do next.
He's Incredibly Manipulative
Remember back in Season 1, when Veronica kept pleading with Hermione not to get involved with Hiram's business dealings? Cut to present day, when Veronica is trying to convince her dad to open a casino with the money she acquired from blackmailing the St. Clairs. What happened, Ronnie?
And then there's sweet, impressionable Archie (K.J. Apa), who, in an attempt to win Mr. Lodge's favor, somehow became involved in organized crime. In fact, Archie went so far as to "make his bones" with Hiram, essentially swearing fealty to him, which was not a good idea, Archiekins! This shows that Hiram's a smooth-talker and has a way of getting people to do whatever he wants.
He's Not Afraid To Commit Murder
As viewers saw in last week's episode, Hiram orchestrated the feud between the Ghoulies and the Dark Circle, which resulted in Jughead being badly beaten (if not worse!). Plus, viewers saw what happened to Poppa Poutine during Hiram's poker game. That means that the crime lord would have no problem killing again — or even en masse, if need-be.
What's more, here's something I noticed: if you switch the order of Hiram Lodge and Black Hood, you get Black Lodge. For the uninitiated, the Black Lodge is a red, supernatural portal in David Lynch's Twin Peaks, which many people have compared to Riverdale. If this reference was intended, does that mean that Hiram's presence in Riverdale has a paranormal element?
Or Perhaps Hiram's Bigger Than The Black Hood Altogether
Over on the Riverdale subreddit, user dopewisp posited that the Black Hood (who this Redditor believes is Tall Boy) was actually hired by Hiram to incite violence in Riverdale, which is an interesting theory. Since he is already such a high-profile pseudo-villain, Hiram donning the Black Hood himself might be a reach. But if he were taking advantage of the anonymous vigilante for his own gain... now that sounds like the Hiram viewers know and fear. However, even if it's not Riverdale's crime boss, there may still be another Lodge beneath the hood. Indeed, others have predicted that the Black Hood is actually Hermione. Consider how effortlessly she took out Small Fry in last week's episode.
Whether anything new about Riverdale's hooded serial killer is revealed on the May 16 Season 2 finale, fans can rest assured that the show will be returning for Season 3. That means there will be more broody glances, dark-lit rooms, dramatic reveals, and most likely, more deaths.