Riverdale Confirms Its Luke Perry Tribute Episode Will Be Bigger & Sadder Than We Expected

Photo: Courtesy of the CW.
In March, Riverdale star Luke Perry died at age 52 following a massive stroke. He was in the middle of filming season 3 of The CW drama. Though Perry was absent from several episodes at the end of the season, his character Fred Andrews was written out as being away on a business trip. Now, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that Riverdale will address Perry's death — and likely Fred's — in the season 4 premiere, which will also act as a tribute to the late star.
On Thursday, Aguirre-Sacasa shared an image of the title page for the script of the season 4 premiere, which will be titled "In Memoriam." He wrote, "Probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever. A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred."
Exactly what the episode will be about is unclear, but it seems likely from the title alone that the series will address Perry's death by saying goodbye to Fred as well.
Fred, who is the father of Archie (K.J. Apa), was the moral center of the often dark Riverdale. He was always ready with sage advice for his sometimes-troubled son, and took other teens, like Archie's best friend Jughead (Cole Sprouse), under his wing.
Fans noted that some of Perry's final scenes were quite emotional, given the circumstances. In one scene, Fred greets his longtime friend F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) at his birthday party.
"As I live and breathe," Fred says before greeting FP with a hug. "Happy birthday, brother. You don't get too many nights like this, you gotta soak it up."
Offscreen, Perry — who rose to fame on teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210 was a parental figure to the young cast, especially his onscreen son Apa.
"We had a really close relationship. He would call my parents every week and, like, keep them updated on how I’m going," Apa said on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. "He made such a huge effort from the very beginning and I was like, 'I wish I could be like that.'"
Shortly after Perry's death, Riverdale announced it would dedicate every episode of the series to him. The tribute episode will likely be emotional for not just the characters in the episode, but for the cast — and the fans watching from home.

More from TV

R29 Original Series