After three drama-packed seasons full of unexpected twists, Riverdale is taking on one of its most challenging and emotionally charged plot turns: the death of star Luke Perry.
In an untimely tragedy that shocked fans of the CW show and cast members alike, Perry passed away from a stroke at the age of 52.
His death occurred halfway through the production of season 3. Perry’s character Fred Andrews, father to co-star KJ Apa’s Archie, made appearances throughout the season. But the 90210 vet’s death was never addressed directly on the show.
Until now. In a season 4 premiere titled “In Memoriam,” Archie will discover that his father Fred has died. The episode, written by showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, will explore Archie’s earth-shattering grief and the consolation he receives from the town’s teens in his moment of need.
In a touching Instagram post teasing the new episode, the showrunner 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 top honor Luke & Fred. ❤️🏆💎👨🏻💻”
In Perry’s absence, Molly Ringwald will assume a more active presence on the show in the role of Mary, Archie’s mother and Fred’s wife from whom she is separated with a pending divorce.
His Riverdale co-stars recently honored Perry in an Instagram photo. The picture, posted by Madchen Amick, who plays Alice Cooper, showed the cast gathered at a table reading of “In Memoriam.”
“There was nothing but love, memories and mourning for our beloved Luke as we honor him in our first episode back ❤️,” Amick wrote, adding the hashtags “#wemissyouluke #inmemoriam#riverdale #S4 #tableread.”
The season 4 premiere of Riverdale will air on Wednesday, October 9th at 8pm on CW.