Riverdale is constantly throwing unexpected twists at viewers, but the show's most recent revelation about Hiram Lodge took things to a whole new level. For the bulk of the show, Hiram has been a constant rival to the Core Four, but Hermione dropped some shocking news that could change everything... or not. The big question now: Is Hiram really sick on Riverdale, or is this just yet another scheme to mess with Veronica? There are reasons to believe either option, but it all seems to point to one important season-ending decision.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers for Riverdale Season 4, Episode 12, "Men of Honor." While Betty and Jughead were investigating the increasingly weird goings-on at Stonewall Prep, Toni, Kevin, and Fangs were blackmailing Nick St. Clair with a tickling video, and Archie was literally fighting the Punisher, Veronica was busy being the only normal high school senior by taking a trip to New York for a college interview. Well... maybe she's not an entirely normal high school senior, since she runs a speakeasy, is trying to launch her own rum label, and her dad's in the mafia, but hey — it's as close to normal as Riverdale is going to get.
Veronica wound up nailing her interview with Barnard College and also catching up with her NYC bestie Katy Keene while she was at it, but she came home to some disappointing news: Hermione told her Hiram had been diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder. The specific disorder was not named, but Hermione said Hiram's muscles will begin to atrophy. Despite Hiram's antagonistic role in her life, the news brought Veronica to tears, and it led her to accept her admission into Barnard under the Lodge name rather than the rebellious Luna name she had taken, telling her parents to get ready for move-in day next fall.
But as all Riverdale fans know, anything the Lodges say should be met with speculation. At the end of the day, this news about Hiram's health could easily be just another ploy to manipulate Veronica. While it does seem like a heartless and extreme lie — plus it came from Hermione, who is the more trustworthy of the two parents — Hiram and Hermione could be working together to try to bring Veronica back into the Lodge family fold and keep her close. Of course, this would help Hiram out by nipping Veronica's competing rum business in the bud, and it also seems like a goal Hermione would share, given that she would probably want peace among the family.
Whether Hiram's illness is real or not, Hermione's news also hints at what's to come for Veronica after high school. Riverdale has been picked up for Season 5, but fans are really confused about what next season will look like if the gang all splits up to go off to separate colleges. Hiram's medical news could be the thing that solves that problem... at least in terms of Veronica's storyline. While Veronica may have already accepted her place at Barnard, if Hiram's condition worsens toward the end of Season 4, there's a major possibility she may choose to remain closer to home rather than jet off to New York. I mean, the show is called Riverdale after all, so it seems likely the writers will find some way for all of the Core Four to stay in Riverdale after high school, right?
Since the Hiram bombshell dropped at the very end of the Feb. 5 episode, fans have yet to really see Veronica fully react to it, or even to see Hiram talk about his condition himself. Fans should definitely expect some more drama in the Lodge family in coming episodes, as if that's anything new. Riverdale Season 4 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.