Is Hiram Lodge The Black Hood On "Riverdale"?

9 May 2018, 19:52

Hiram Lodge Black Hood Riverdale
Picture: The CW
Katie Louise-Smith

By Katie Louise-Smith

Veronica's dad has been plotting against the town ever since his arrival - but is he the mastermind behind the mystery of the Black Hood?

In case you didn't get the red alert notification, the Black Hood is returning to Riverdale and will, no doubt, be back at it again with the terrorisation and murder. Yes, that's right, he is not dead as we all previously thought.

At the end of the first half of the season, the culprit was “revealed” to be Joseph Svenson, the school janitor, but as Archie Andrews suspected, he was not the real killer. So who the bloody hell is?

Now that the investigation has been blown wide open again, it’s time to dust off those suspect boards and get back to sleuthing on some of our main characters. At this point, everyone is a suspect but there’s one person in particular who seems to occupy every box on the Black Hood checklist… and his name is Hiram Lodge.

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We knew Hiram was shady from the drop but over the past 17 episodes, we’ve come to learn about his true intentions for Riverdale and we've seen his manipulation first hand. Could Hiram be at the centre of this whole nightmare? There's a strong case for his involvement, and a strong case against his involvement. In fact, there’s three possible scenarios in which Hiram could be part of the Black Hood scandal.

Scenario 1: He’s the mastermind behind the violence.

By creating fear and terror in the town, Hiram has created a demand for the one thing he wants to do in Riverdale - build a for-profit prison. If the townspeople are convinced that their home is riddled with bad people, then demand for safety will be at an all time high. The Black Hood's "motive" certainly would benefit Hiram's game-plan too. If everyone is terrified that they'll be murdered for sinning, then surely they'll keep themselves - and the town - in check, ensuring Riverdale becomes a nice profitable selection of real estate.

But what about the victims? Hiram hasn’t really been privy to all the goings on in Riverdale prior to his release from jail but this is Hiram Lodge we’re talking about. He’s probably got eyes and ears everywhere.

The first victim was Fred. While it seemed like Fred's shooting was a random occurrence, Hiram is literally the only man in Riverdale with a motive to harm Fred because he (somehow) knew about his lil' half-affair with his wife Hermione. In case you forgot, Hiram was also at Pop's when Moose and Midge bought drugs and was present in at the Cooper's house when the Sugarman was mentioned in conversation. But there's no possible way for Hiram to know details about Ms Grundy. (Unless he was working with Svenson this whole time? More on that later...)

Clearly, it's not Hiram himself under the hood because, lol, since when does Hiram do his own dirty work?! Hiram could have hired someone to do it for him, and that person could very well be Tall Boy. Tall Boy is a physical match for the BH and we already know that Hiram has hired him before. In 2x12, it’s revealed that Tall Boy was the one who removed the head of the statue in Pickens Park on Hiram’s orders. Funny how none of the Serpents, arguably the most morally corrupt in the entire town, have managed to escape the Black Hood's clutches, huh? Interesting.

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Scenario 2: He’s the one that’s been manipulating Betty on the phone, not the one behind the violence.

Hiram is an opportunist and his favourite sport is manipulating teenagers - that we know for sure. There’s absolutely no reason to dismiss the idea that he could have jumped on the back of the Black Hood’s terrorism and used it for his own gain.

Exhibit A: He exposed Alice Cooper's serpent past. After she prints a hit piece about Hiram in the Register, the caller retaliates by sending Betty newspaper clippings of Alice's teenage arrest. It could be a blatant red herring but it's still reason for suspicion. Hiram's all-knowing side eye when Hal mentioned it to him at the open house did NOT go unclocked.

Exhibit B: He wanted to separate Betty from Veronica. Hiram needed Veronica on his side, to pledge allegiance to her family rather than her friends, and he got it at the end of 2x6. #Checkmate, anyone?

Exhibit C: He never acted on killing Nick St Clair when Betty gave him his name. He claims it was because he's "not a son of Riverdale", but it's most likely because Hiram would not benefit from killing Nick and he could still use his "save" as leverage on Betty.

Exhibit D: The Sugarman. Hiram knew there was a prominent drug dealer on the southside, where he wants to build his prison - and he needs him gone. When Mayor McCoy mentioned shutting down the southside, Hiram's wig almost flew thinking about all that land he could buy for his prison. He later used Betty to locate the dealer and somehow used a hitman to gain access to the prison to kill him.

Exhibit E: It’s coincidental that around the same time Archie was getting deeper into his own investigation into the identity of the Black Hood, Hiram approached him and told him to start a vigilante group. Almost one episode later, the calls to Betty started. Was it a distraction to stop Archie from digging too deep and figuring out who the caller was?

Exhibit F: Svenson. Hiram made a few visits to Riverdale High as he could have possibly roped in or blackmailed Svenson into doing his bidding.

Exhibit F: Oh, and there’s the small fact that, when the pitch is altered on those phone calls, the voice on the end of the phone is literally Hiram Lodge. The cadence, the vocabulary… it’s Hiram, fam.

There is one problem though... how would Hiram have known THAT much about the Coopers? Betty's phone number and email address would be easy to obtain. But Polly's location? Betty's love of Nancy Drew? Maybe he's just a really good guesser and an even better bluffer?

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Scenario 3: He’s behind both the violence and the manipulation of Betty.

Hiram is a terrible guy who will pop a cap in your ass if he wants to, there's no denying that (RIP Papa Poutine, gone too soon.) So the idea that he could be behind the whole thing is plausible. But do we believe it?

Not really. We're leaning more towards the idea that Hiram jumped at the chance to manipulate Betty so he could gain traction with his master plan. The caller only killed ONE person remember, the one person who would have hindered Hiram's plan. But if that's the case, then who is the REAL Black Hood?

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