When actor Luke Perry died unexpectedly earlier this year after suffering from a massive stroke, he left behind two generations of fans. One knew him as the heartthrob Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210. Another as doting, dependable dad Fred Andrews on Riverdale.
The season 4 premiere of Riverdale pays tribute to Perry's character who dies as he lived in the eyes of everyone who love him — a hero. Amidst all the murder, mayhem and darkness that often engulfs the town Fred Andrews loved, he was the calm at the center of the storm. Fred is gone, but he won't be forgotten. Here are the 10 most touching Riverdale moments featuring friend, father, and all-around good guy, Fred Andrews.
10 Fred Shows His Support ("Chapter Three: Body Double")
Archie's (KJ Apa) sophomore year gets off to a rocky start. He finds himself torn between being a football hero or a rock star, and his summer fling with his music teacher, Geraldine Grundy (Sarah Habel), puts them both within possible earshot of a murder. Archie's many secrets strain his relationship with Fred, who may come off a bit like an alpha male at first, an old-school Friday Nigh Lights' dad who values athletics over art.
But all Fred wants is for his son's dreams to become a reality. The two call a truce when Fred builds Archie his own music studio by soundproofing the garage. The conflict between them stems from Archie's need for his father's approval — which he's had all along.
9 The End Of The Affair ("Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show")
Archie and Miss Grundy's affair is exposed thanks to investigative reporter and helicopter mom, Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick). Alice doesn't just want to take down the Mary Kay Letourneau of Riverdale — she wants to break up besties Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Archie. Desperate to shoulder the blame, Archie tells Alice he's "stupid" and "selfish" and undeserving of Betty's friendship.
In the aftermath of the confrontation, a defeated and despondent Archie needs just one thing from his dad — understanding. Fred could go off the rails, but he's too shaken up by Archie's display of self-loathing. Alice Cooper's parenting style may include foaming at the mouth, but Fred prefers to give his son a shoulder to cry on.
8 The Last Episode ("Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear The Reaper")
Luke Perry's last appearance on Riverdale is during Season 3, Episode 19. There's nothing that stands about his interaction with Archie. Fred does what he always has done — gives his son unconditional love and support as Archie navigates yet another crisis. The conversation is overshadowed by the knowledge of what lies ahead for Archie and how Perry's beloved character will be written out of the series. Riverdale, which is a dark place on a good day, gets just a bit dimmer without Fred Andrews.
7 Friends For Life ("Chapter Eight: The Outsiders")
When Fred's business becomes collateral damage in a battle between Clifford Blossom (Barclay Hope) and Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos), Fred finds himself without a crew and in danger of losing Andrews Construction. It's not just Archie who benefits from Fred being a stand-up guy. As the series progresses, Fred's generosity of spirit extends beyond his immediate family to include an extended one as well.
Instead of Fred swooping in to clean up FP Jones' (Skeet Ulrich) mess, as he's done numerous times over the years, it's FP — determined to be less of a hot mess deadbeat dad — who shows up to lend Fred a hand (along with his fellow Serpents).
6 Fred's Near-Death Experience ("Chapter 14: A Kiss Before Dying")
Fred spends so much time making sure the people he loves are safe, he doesn't see danger coming for him until the Black Hood shoots him at Pop's. As Fred clings to life, he envisions Archie's future, and with every milestone (wedding, graduation), Fred's reminded he's not there to see it. All signs and visions point towards death, but it's fatherhood that keeps Fred alive. Archie is still very much a work in progress and, as Alice Cooper says, Fred isn't one to leave unfinished business.
Call it a premonition or just a bad dream, but it's ultimately the danger the Black Hood poses for Archie that brings Fred back from the brink. Archie promises not to let another bad thing happen to his father, but even lying in a hospital bed, recovering from a nearly fatal injury, Fred swears he'll be the one doing the protecting.
5 Archie Breaks Down ("Chapter Forty-Five: The Stranger")
In Season 3, Archie finally returns to his hometown, but he's a very different person than when he left. He's got no girl and no purpose. What he does have is a horrible case of PTSD. Archie confides in his dad about his troubles, and Fred sizes Archie up as one would a wounded animal. He doesn't want to come on too strong and scare Archie off when he's been waiting for him to open up. Sometimes Fred leads Archie in the right direction, and other times, he lets him figure out his own path.
4 A Short-Lived Reunion ("Chapter Forty-Three: Outbreak")
Thanks to a stint in juvie and going on the run from Hiram Lodge, Archie doesn't get much quality time with Fred for the first half of Season 3. That makes their brief reunion following Archie's escape much more bittersweet. Fred can't go with Archie, and Archie can't come home, so the two say goodbye. They agree it isn't forever, but neither looks like they believe this story will have a happy ending.
For Fred, his inability to keep Archie safe is his biggest failing as a father. It's sadly ironic that one of the only parents in Riverdale who isn't deeply damaged is also the one who can't be with his child.
3 The Old Jalopy ("Chapter Thirty-One: A Night To Remember")
Throughout much of Riverdale Season 2, Fred finds himself struggling to break Archie free from Hiram Lodge's hold. Despite knowing about many of Hiram's shady dealings, Archie can't resist the allure of power and unchecked alpha male aggression. There are times when Fred's "aw shucks" wholesomeness pales in comparison. But when Hiram oversteps, Archie begins to come around.
After Hiram buys Archie a car, he eventually returns it in favor of an old jalopy he picks up at the junkyard. This gesture is Archie's mea culpa to his dad for his foray into Goodfellas territory. Fred, who has dreamed of helping Archie restore his first car, breaks down, barely able to hold back the tears.
2 A Roadside Remembrance ("Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam")
The Season 4 tribute to Fred Andrews is full of touching moments, and though the character only appears in photos and flashbacks, his presence is palpable. When Archie encounters the woman (played by Perry's 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty) who Fred stopped to help, he learns his father wasn't just a good Samaritan who got hit while changing a tire; he sacrificed his life for someone else. On a quiet country road, Archie, his friends, and this stranger join hands in the soft glow of the sun and say a simple prayer.
Riverdale is an over-the-top, sudsy confection, but this moment is so authentic. It's something that could only be created because of the genuine love those involved have for both the character Fred Andrews and the man who played him.
1 Archie Brings Fred Home ("Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam")
As Archie returns to Riverdale with Fred's body, he drives through streets crowded with people who have come not to say goodbye, but to welcome Fred home. Fred wasn't an old-school mafia boss. He didn't run a sex club or go undercover to expose a cult leader. He wasn't a deranged serial killer or a crooked politician. Fred Andrews was just a dad. But on a show where the charm of life in a small town has been completely overshadowed by its subversiveness, Fred was apple pie, fireworks, family dinners and a reminder of all the comforts of home.