Welcome back to Riverdale! The swoon-worthy re-imagining of Archie characters promises to bring more heat for the show’s fourth season, but there will also be a new character added to the mix that may reign even more havoc on longtime friends Archie (K.J. Apa), Veronica (Camila Mendes), Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse). At this weekend’s New York Comic Con panel, members of the cast and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa teased a few things in store for fans this season.
One of the biggest pieces of updates out of NYCC was Aguirre-Sacasa’s confirmation that Veronica will be getting an older half-sister on the show, Hermosa, played by Vida‘s Mishel Prada. Described as a “Miami-born private investigator,” the showrunner teased that Hermosa will take after her dad, Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos), a shady character who’s been in and out of jail for the past three seasons for things like embezzlement, drug dealing and attempting to frame Veronica’s sometime boyfriend Archie for a crime he didn’t commit. “I think at one point, Veronica says ‘She’s just like daddy, but a woman, so more dangerous,” he said of Hermosa at the panel.
When we last saw the Lodge family, Veronica’s mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols) finally divorced her no-good husband after helping him in his schemes for too long. She had also tried to have him killed — twice. Unsuccessful, Hiram lives, and Hermione was taken off to jail at the end of season three for attempted murder. Without any parental support, Hermosa’s visit to Riverdale may find Veronica in a vulnerable spot.
Even though Veronica’s family may have had (and continue to have) their rough patches, Aguirre-Sacasa said there’s still love between their fraught household. “For me, I don’t think there’s any parent on the show that doesn’t love that tile,” he said. “And everything they do, pro or con, there’s still this love that they have. Even in even in episode one, there’s a kind of a beautiful moment where Veronica realizes that her father has done something really nice for Archie. I think we always try to ground it in their deep love for each other.”
Nichols confirmed Aguirre-Sacasa’s approach by explaining Hermione’s sometimes erratic behavior. “I know there’s things that Hermione did that seems sort of out of character for her starting in season 2 or 3,” she said. “I’ve maintained that the whole [idea is to] protect Veronica, this has to be about Veronica somewhere in there.”
Consuelos joked that Hiram’s having a great time in prison, going to the gym and living in a prison he built staffed by people he hired. “It’s like his version of a really good white collar prison for hire,” he said. “It’s a little bit of a vacation maybe.” No wonder the mobster of Riverdale will never learn his lesson. But Hiram won’t stay in jail for long. Aguirre-Sacasa hinted that a big trial in episode five will have a big effect on the Lodge family.
The competition between Hiram and Hermione extends (less fatally) to their acting counterparts. “It’s super fun,” Consuelos said. “We laugh about it all the time. We’re so competitive with each other, I know that if I get to set early enough, that I will take the chair that she wants. I’ll tell the group, ‘Watch, I’m gonna sit in this chair and she’ll be really pissed.”
As the NYCC teaser reveals, there is more to Hiram’s bad deeds still to come. There are also shots of Veronica meeting him in jail and talking with her mother, who looks to be out of prison (for the moment), and what looks like a reunion for Archie and Veronica. Riverdale will also address the loss of Luke Perry, who played Archie’s dad in the series. The actor died in March. “It’s so hard to expect to see him in Pop’s or turning the corner. You feel him all around. His spirit is still there, still with us,” Nichols said.
Riverdale returns to The CW on October 9 at 8 p.m.