The CW has released the official synopsis for Riverdale "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam," the episode in which the town of Riverdale will say good-bye to Fred Andrews and the cast and crew of Riverdale will bid their last and most profound farewell to Luke Perry, the TV icon who played Archie's father until his untimely death earlier this year. The character of Fred was quietly worked around in the last part of Riverdale's third season, while the writers elected to give his passing some breathing room rather than trying to tackle the emotionally-charged topic right away. With a new season beginning in just a few weeks, Riverdale will finally have to reckon with the loss of one of its most popular actors.
The series will do so in an episode that airs on October 9, and features a guest appearance by Shannen Doherty, who appeared alongside Perry on the career-defining Beverly Hills 90210 and remained friends with him throughout the rest of his life. There are few details as to what role she will play, and she is not mentioned in the official synopsis for the episode, but it has been said that she will have played a significant role in Fred's life.
The October 9 premiere will reflect Perry's enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character, Fred Andrews, had on Riverdale. Her presence on the series "is something that Luke wanted to happen since season one," said executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. "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. She read the script and immediately said 'yes.' It's very impactful."
Here's the episode's official synopsis: "A FAREWELL TO FRED ANDREWS — As the residents of Riverdale prepare for its upcoming Independence Day parade, Archie (KJ Apa) receives a phone call that will change the rest of his life forever. Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Marisol Nichols, Madchen Amick, Mark Consuelos, Skeet Ulrich, Casey Cott, Charles Melton and Vanessa Morgan also star. Gabriel Correa directed the episode written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa."
"His legacy is gonna live on in the lives around him, that he worked with, you know?" KJ Apa, who stars as Fred's son Archie Andrews, said in a previous interview. "I'm never gonna forget him and I think it's still very fresh and we're all still dealing with it... We're definitely gonna obviously have to address it at some point. [Possibly] that [means] Molly stepping in as more of an active parent for Archie, but that all depends on the availability of the actors around us. So, you know, we'll do what we can."
In addition to his Riverdale role, Perry is best known for playing Dylan McKay in Beverly Hills, 90210. His work also includes appearances in The Fifth Element, The Simpsons, and The Incredible Hulk. In addition to upcoming episodes of Riverdale that had already been filmed prior to his death, Perry is set to appear this summer in Quentin Tarantino's new film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The addition of Doherty also continues Riverdale's tradition of introducing its stellar young cast to the teen icons of previous generations. The show has previously included appearances by not just Perry but also Skeet Ulrich, Molly Ringwald, Madchen Amick, and Gina Gershon.
Riverdale "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam" will air on October 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.