Mark Consuelos is done with his villainous ways—for now.
In the season five finale of Riverdale, Hiram Lodge left the city after being exiled by Archie (KJ Apa) and the rest of the gang. The group had uncovered evidence proving his corruption and, rather than kill him, they gave him the option to leave without ever looking back.
He took the opportunity to get out of dodge but not before leaving a gift behind for Archie: a bomb.
While Hiram's departure seems like a temporary fix to Riverdale's problems, showrunner and creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said that Mark will not be returning as a series regular in season six.
"So tonight's episode is Mark's swan song playing our hunky villain Hiram Lodge on Riverdale after four insane, glorious years. From the moment Mark joined us, he was up for literally anything, a hundred percent committed to making Archie's life a living hell," the statement read. "And what's funny is, Mark couldn't be more different from Hiram. A classy pro and the sweetest guy, always looking out for everyone."
Roberto continued, "We wish Mark the best and hope this isn't the last we've seen of Hiram Lodge."
In his own statement, Mark shared, "First and foremost, I would like to thank Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for this incredible opportunity. 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."
In an interview with Deadline, Roberto said the writers "considered killing Hiram off," but couldn't bring themselves to do it. As he put it, "Our love of Mark Consuelos and our hope that he'll always be a part of Riverdale won out…by a very narrow margin."
And this "grand, Shakespearean" ending to Hiram's plotline more than pleased Kelly Ripa's husband. "Mark loved his exit, by the way," Roberto shared. "He texted me how happy he was."
Mark joined the show as the father of Veronica (Camila Mendes) in 2017. Not long after that, his son, Michael Consuelos, booked a role as a guest actor, becoming a young Hiram in numerous flashback episodes.
Following Michael's most recent guest appearance, the proud dad wrote on Instagram, "He absolutely killed it. A big thank you to @brianepaterson for writing such a beautiful script. @jamesdewille for a masterful job directing this episode. To Louis Ferreira for playing the perfect mentor and gangster. Thank you to @writerras for giving me and my family a memory that will last a lifetime. #riverdale."
And Kelly even landed a spot on the show too. In 2019, she played Hiram's mistress, Mrs. Mulwray, joking on Instagram that it was "a role i was born to play."