The final episode of Riverdale to feature late actor Luke Perry has officially aired — but fans will have to wait to see an official goodbye to Perry’s beloved character Fred Andrews.
According to a tweet from Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Wednesday’s episode “Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper” was the final episode Perry appeared in. Perry, who plays Archie’s father and Riverdale’s moral centre on the CW series, died following a stroke in March.
“This week’s #Riverdale is the last episode Luke filmed,” Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted. “As always, Fred’s imparting words of wisdom to Archie. A beautiful, true moment between a father and his son. Wish these scenes could go on forever.”
Season 3 of Riverdale has not featured many Fred-centric plot points; instead, Fred’s main role has been helping Archie (K.J. Apa) get back on his feet following his unjust incarceration earlier in the season. In “Fear the Reaper,” Fred attempts to get Archie to stop blaming himself when Archie’s boxing opponent dies in the ring.
It’s not a major scene for Perry or Fred, but it is one that sums up Fred’s entire existence on the series: He would do anything to help his son, whether that means punching Archie’s rival Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) square in jaw or having a heart-to-heart with Archie over the kitchen table. However, in terms of a “goodbye” to Fred Andrews, this isn’t it.
Given that Perry will not appear in any future episodes of Riverdale, a true goodbye to Fred will likely happen in future episodes — when storylines wrap up to the point that Fred’s absence can truly be addressed. After all, shoehorning in the loss of Fred (either by Fred’s offscreen death, or by some other explanation) while characters are focused on a cult called “The Farm” and the possible demise of serial killer Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro) doesn’t seem like the right way to honour a character and actor who has been a big part of the Riverdale family since day one.
With only several episodes left of Riverdale’s third season (the finale airs May 15), it’s possible that Riverdale won’t really say goodbye to Fred until the fourth season’s premiere, possibly after a time jump. If Fred dies on Riverdale — a more than likely scenario — it’s very possible that his death with be a major catalyst for the action moving forward.
As for Perry, he will be forever remembered by the Riverdale family: Every episode of the series, from now until the very end, will be dedicated to Perry’s memory.