Warning: Spoilers ahead. Riverdale‘s Veronica Lodge (played by Camila Mendes) is finally saying goodbye to her dad! Mark Consuelos as Hiram Lodge departed the show in a surprising turn of events during the season 5 finale in October 2021. Then, months later — in season 6, episode 6 — the character seemingly died!

“He’s as dead as anyone on Riverdale has ever been,” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly in March 2022. “Even when characters are dead, they come back sometimes in flashbacks or dreams. I’ll say this: Mark Consuelos isn’t dead on Riverdale, though Hiram pretty much is.”

After terrorizing the town for six seasons, the big bad mob man was exiled in the season 5 finale, which was aptly titled “Riverdale: RIP.” Fans will recall that following the seven-year time jump earlier this season, Archie (played by KJ Apa) and the gang returned to Riverdale after it had been — almost literally — torn down by Hiram and his villainous antics. Once his corruption was revealed to his business partners and the entire town in the finale, Hiram fled the city. Naturally, he left behind a bomb (under Archie’s bed, nonetheless) to go off in his wake.

Before deciding to let Hiram live in the season 5 finale, Riverdale‘s creator Roberto revealed during an interview with Deadline that the character was actually almost killed off.

“We had fun imagining the ways that might happen. The two versions of Hiram’s death we were seriously entertaining late into the breaking of the episode were that Archie would take Hiram into the woods … and only Archie would come back, like something out of The Sopranos,” the executive producer shared. “And the strong implication (never confirmed) would be that Archie had murdered Hiram and buried his body somewhere in Swedlow Swamp. The other thing we talked about is that Veronica and Archie would take Hiram to one of his construction sites and entomb him in wet cement in the building’s foundation. In the end, though, our love of Mark Consuelos and our hope that he’ll always be a part of Riverdale won out … by a very narrow margin.”

Prior to the episode’s premiere, Camila took to Twitter to tease the surprising episode.

“Wishing you all the best tonight,” the actress teased. “Our #riverdale season 5 finale may or may not start a Twitter war. Stay safe you guys.”

Mark, for his part, addressed his character’s departure in a statement to Deadline.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for this incredible opportunity,” the actor shared. “Never before has playing a character that was so bad, felt so good. Huge thanks to the Riverdale fandom, to the brilliant crew and amazing cast, whom I consider dear friends and family.”

Scroll through our gallery for everything we know about Hiram’s departure … and whether he’ll be coming back. 

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