At San Diego Comic-Con, Riverdale creator, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, announced that the premiere episode of season 4 will be a special tribute to the late Luke Perry (Fred Andrews).
“When Luke passed it was toward she need of season 3 and we thought rather than rush an episode in we would take our time,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “We really wanted to honor Luke, to honor Fred and we wanted it to be a standalone, really emotional, really focused on what this character meant to this group of people.”
Perry’s longtime friend and former costar Shannen Doherty will guest star in a special role in the episode, titled “Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam,” the season premiere will reflect Luke Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character had on Riverdale, according to Warner Brothers.
Perry died in March 2019 at the age of 52 after suffering a major stroke. At the time, Doherty expressed that she was “struggling with this loss” and that “processing (it) is impossible.”
Perry and Aguirre-Sacasa had long planned for Doherty to appear on Riverdale. Her presence on the series “is something that Luke wanted to happen since season one,” said 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.”
“It was cathartic for all of us, it put the cherry on top of that episode and made a nice tribute. She was overjoyed to have the ability to share some of the burdens of Luke’s passing that she had gone through in a cathartic setting with the rest of us,” Cole Sprouse said about working with Doherty.
Roberto hinted at the fact when he posted the episode’s script cover page on Instagram, with the caption, “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 to honor Luke & Fred.
At the end of season 3, we see Molly Ringwald, who plays Archie’s mom, come back to Riverdale saying that Fred left town for a bit, but the future of the character was never explained. Going forward into season 4, Ringwald will be back and playing a larger role.
“Roberto said it was the most important episode we will ever do and it was and is. We had to get it right and I think we did. It was therapeutic in a sense that we were all together and we spent the whole episode talking about him and celebrating him and celebrating Fred Andrews and the lovable character that he created so it’s a very beautiful and very touching episode. It’s a stand-alone episode for Luke and it’s really special,” Lili Reinhart told Variety.
Riverdale season 4 premieres Oct. 9 on The CW.