Riverdale Releases First Photos From Luke Perry Tribute Episode

Fans are eager to see what's in store for Riverdale in its upcoming fourth season, and the hit The CW series just dropped a heartbreaking tease. On Tuesday, People.com debuted a trio of photos from the Season 4 premiere, which is set to serve as a tribute to Fred Andrews (Luke Perry). Two of the photos show Riverdale's teenagers in some sort of backyard gathering, while another sees Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) and Mary Andrews (Molly Ringwald) hugging each other.

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(Photo: Robert Falconer / The CW)
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(Photo: Robert Falconer / The CW)
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(Photo: Robert Falconer / The CW)

The premiere is expected to memorialize Perry's portrayal of Fred, after the actor passed away suddenly earlier this year.

"We obviously are going to deal with Fred’s death a story on Riverdale." Aguirre-Sacasa explained earlier this summer. "When Luke passed, we’d already more or less outlined the last two or three episodes, and we didn’t want to rush that or get it wrong. So we are 100% going to deal with it narratively at the beginning of season 4, and we want that episode to really honor the character of Fred and honestly, to honor the actor Luke and our friend Luke."

"We are 100% going to deal with Fred’s death." Aguirre-Sacasa continued. "We didn’t want to rush into that at the end of the season and give it short shrift or not make that story as great and emotional as it needs to be to honor both the character and the actor. I think that’s going to be a big part of Archie’s journey next season, honestly."

While it's unclear exactly what the episode will entail (outside of a guest appearance from Perry's 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty), Apa recently hinted that filming it was a cathartic experience for the cast.

"Everything in that first episode is so authentic and so real that it didn’t really feel like shooting an episode of our show... It was obviously really emotional." Apa revealed in an interview last month. "It’s a beautiful episode; we still have a lot to shoot for it... I’m super excited for people to see it."

"It’s a tough one, because you have to go back a bit and access that emotion — that is not something that everyone feels comfortable doing..." Apa continued. "The writers absolutely nailed it."

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Riverdale’s fourth season will begin Wednesday, October 9th, at 8/7c on The CW.