The season 4 premiere of Riverdale will pay tribute to the late Luke Perry, and will finally address his character's fate on the show. All who were close to Perry, including his fans, were devastated by the news of his passing in February, and many were left wondering what would happen to his character, Fred Andrews. It sounds like Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has a plan to honor Perry's memory, and he also shared some details about the next season.
On February 28, Luke Perry was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California after suffering a stroke, and unfortunately the beloved actor passed away a few days later, at the age of 52. Perry rose to prominence on the show Beverly Hills 90210 as the character Dylan McKay, but the teen hearthrob also had movie roles such as Pike in the original film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fans later came to know him as Fred Andrews, Archie's (KJ Apa) father, and compared to some of the other father figures on the show, Fred set a good example. Fred isn't without flaws, but he's undeniably caring, consistent, and considering he's essentially a single parent, he's doing his best to support his son. His last episode, "Fear the Reaper," aired April 24, and as always, Fred Andrews was there to provide some honest guidance. To fill his absence, Molly Ringwald, who plays Archie's mother Mary Andrews, stepped in, but the show has yet to handle Perry's passing, and what that might mean for his character's future.
The Wrap reported the news that Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had finally answered everyone's questions pertaining to Fred Andrews' fate. Aguirre-Sacasa himself shared on Twitter that the season 4 premiere will "Probably [be] the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever." He also shared the title page for the script, revealing that the episode is called "In Memoriam", and will finally bring closure to Riverdale fans. Aguirre-Sacasa, who wrote the episode, finished his statement with "A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred." Without spilling too many details about the episode, and what will happen to Fred, it's clear that the season premiere will not only address Perry's passing, but honor his memory as well.
When asked in an earlier interview with The Wrap why Perry wasn't honored on Riverdale immediately following his death, Aguirre-Sacasa said,
“We’d started writing the end of the season and we made the decision to not address it at the end of Season 3 because we felt it would be rushed. We felt it wouldn’t be the right way to honor neither Luke nor the character Fred. So we decided not long after the tragedy that we would wait and do a tribute to Luke and honoring his memory and deal with losing Fred Andrews at the beginning of Season 4.”
The end of season 3 was far from anticlimactic, especially with regard to that flash forward where a half-naked and bloodied Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Veronica Lodge(Camila Mendes), and Archie gathered around a fire in the woods, and threw in a missing Jughead's signature hat. The ending shocked and surprised fans, leaving them in deep anticipation for season 4. Aguirre-Sacara probably made the right decision to address Perry's passing at the beginning of the next season, so that they could spend the appropriate time on the topic, and in a way that respects his memory.
Luke Perry will undoubtedly be missed, not only by family and friends, but by colleagues and fans alike. His 90210 co-stars felt the weight of his passing as well, as Shannon Doherty, Tori Spelling and others expressed their regret that he'll be missing from the upcoming reboot/reunion. Riverdale season 4 premieres in October, and will finally pay tribute to both Perry and Fred Andrews. Fans will still have to wait to find out what happens to Jughead in the next season, but if season 3 was any indication as to how season 4 will turn out, it should be just as unpredictable and exciting.
Riverdale season 4 premieres October 9 on The CW.