The onscreen and offscreen world of Riverdale was shaken in a pretty significant way earlier this year, with the sudden death of series star Luke Perry. The show's Season 4 premiere is set to be a tribute to Perry and his character of Fred Andrews, but it sounds like his effect on the show will stretch far beyond that.
In a recent interview with TVLine, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that Archie will “be committed to honoring his father’s memory” throughout all of Season 4. This will culminate in an array of ways, including him opening a center for at-risk youth.
“All of the plans and dreams Fred had about Riverdale, he’s trying to fulfill those," Aguirre-Sacasa explained.
To an extent, the foundation of Archie's at-risk youth center was set up in Season 3, as he opened up his boxing gym to take in some of his fellow former prisoners from juvie. Let's just hope it doesn't end with Archie getting stabbed by a kid (again).
The nature of Perry's death, and how it affected Fred's storyline on Riverdale, has been a topic of conversation in the build-up to Season 4.
"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."
The season premiere, titled "In Memoriam", will serve as a tribute to both Perry and Fred, complete with a cameo from his 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty.
"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."
Riverdale’s fourth season will begin Wednesday, October 9th, at 8/7c on The CW.