Riverdale recap: Hiram gets an origin story
Welcome to the Hiram Lodge origin story, everybody! This hour is all about how Jaime Luna became Hiram Lodge (and it's about more than just putting on a leather jacket, though that is very important).
We start in the present day when Reggie arrives at Hiram's office to pay off his father's debt. And yet, Reggie doesn't want to stop working for Hiram. In fact, he'd rather stop working with his own father at Mantle Motors. Hiram agrees and asks Reggie a favor: He needs a ghost gun, one that can't be traced. That will come into play later.
For now, Reggie returns to the dealership, sells a car with a rather aggressive pitch about how a father is buying his son "the car he'll get laid in" — it works! — and then tells his father he's quitting. Unhappy, his father goes to Hiram and asks that Hiram leave Reggie alone. Instead, Hiram decides to tell Reggie a little tale…
Hiram's story starts when his father, a shoe shiner, hears rumors about a town called Riverdale being home to palladium. In the hopes of finding said palladium, Hiram's family moves to Riverdale, where his father works in the mines for all of six months before a collapse shuts them down. And no, they never found palladium.
With that behind them, Hiram's mother goes to work at Pop's, and Hiram and his father start working outside of Pop's at their own shoe shining booth. At school, Hiram starts to crush on Hermione, but when he asks her out, she says her mother forbids it. Apparently, she doesn't want her daughter dating the son of a shoe shiner, which is rich coming from someone who cleans rooms at the Five Seasons.
Then one day, Hiram — still Jaime back then — shines the shoes of a local gangster they call Vito. Hiram then starts making deliveries for Vito, and just like that, he's wearing nice shoes, a leather jacket, and getting a date with Hermione. He's also, however, getting arrested.
The first time Hiram is arrested, Hermione asks Vito for help, and when Vito bails him out, Hiram is all but cemented as one of his guys. Vito gives Hiram a car for not talking to the cops, and suddenly, Hiram is changing his name — bless Hermione for stopping him from changing it to Hiram Lot — and beating up anyone who doesn't like it.
When Hiram's father finds out about all of this, he disapproves. He tells Hiram he's brought shame to his family and then he goes to Vito and asks that he leave his son alone. And then he… threatens Vito. He says that if Vito doesn't leave his son alone, he'll go to the cops. So naturally, Vito has Hiram's father killed.
And this brings us to another first for Hiram: His first kill. And second. And third. When he shows up to retaliate against Vito, he isn't there, but Hiram kills everybody who is. Then, quite simply, he becomes the big dog in Riverdale, at least until he and Hermione have Veronica and decide to move to New York City.
Hiram only ever returned to Riverdale when he found out his father was right about the palladium. So now, his mission is to get to the palladium from underneath the Blossom Maple Groves. It's what he's been working for his entire life.
As for that ghost gun? Reggie drives Hiram to a nursing home, where he puts a bullet in the head of none other than Vito Alto, the man who killed his father. On the drive home, Hiram sets Reggie free. He gives him an out, letting him know that if he had the chance to go back in time, he'd spend a few more years shining shoes with his dad.
So Reggie returns to the dealership where his father apologizes and they decide to give this father-son business one more try. After all, as Reggie puts it, "I have good ideas sometimes." And only sometimes.
Hiram ends the hour by watching what I think is an episode of Real Housewives with Hermione and Veronica on it? Either that or he's watching surveillance from the apartment? Regardless, we find out that his other daughter is the one who found Vito for him, so she's still in the picture. And he claims that once all of this is said and done and he has the palladium, he'll get back everything he's lost, a.k.a. his family. But we'll just have to see about that. If only his plan was as impressive as his workout regimen...