At San Diego Comic-Con back in July it was announced that Shannen Doherty, star of the original Charmed and Beverly Hills 90210 was set to appear in the season four premiere of Riverdale, and episode that will serve as a sendoff for the character of Fred Andrews as well as a tribute to Luke Perry who played the character. Now, thanks to a photo shared by Entertainment Weekly, we're getting our first look at Doherty's appearance.
In the photo, Doherty's character stands holding hands with Fred's son Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart). In the photo all five appear to have their eyes closed and heads bowed, their faces painted with grief, presumably as they take a moment to remember Fred. You can check out the photo below.
Entitled "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam", the October 9 premiere will reflect on Perry's enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character had on Riverdale. It's not yet clear specifically what character Doherty is playing in the episode, though showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly that she will be the person to explain what happened to Fred.
"Shannen plays the person who tells us what happened to Fred," Aguirre-Sacasa said. "She was there and she's an unexpected source of comfort to Archie. A big piece of what happened to Fred comes to Archie through Shannen's character. The scene is so heartbreaking because you really feel Shannen's love for Luke."
Doherty's appearance on Riverdale delivers on something that Perry had wanted since the first season of the series and her appearance is made even more special given their real-life friendship.
"They were such good friends, and when we were putting together this tribute episode, we wanted to make it as special as possible, and so we asked Shannen to do a pivotal, super-emotional role," Aguirre-Sacasa said back in July. "She read the script and immediately said 'yes.' It's very impactful."
Aguirre-Sacasa also told Entertainment Weekly that the season premiere will also reflect the loss the close-knit cast and crew felt at Perry's death, with something Apa saying to the showrunner making its way into the episode.
"It's been really, really intense," Aguirre-Sacasa said. "Luke and Fred were very similar guys. Everyone loved Fred. Everyone loved Luke. They were both salt of the earth. They were both generous and led with their heart. And it was really hard the days after Luke passed. I remember KJ took a break from filming and he went off and I sat with him and he said, 'Gosh, Roberto, can you imagine if we were all as good people as Luke was?' That sentiment really resonated, and a similar sentiment is expressed in this first episode. Archie says Veronica, 'Imagine if we were all as good as my dad,' and Veronica says, 'You are.' And it's really cathartic."
Riverdale returns on Wednesday, October 9th at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.