We all knew this episode was coming and yet we still weren’t prepared for it. Riverdale returned for its fourth season on Wednesday night with an emotional episode as the cast officially said goodbye to the late Luke Perry, who played Fred Andrews for three seasons until he unexpectedly passed away in March.
In case you missed it, here’s a recap of the show’s most emotional episode to date.
The phone call no one wants
The premiere kicks off with a look at what Veronica, Jughead, and the rest of the characters are up to. Everyone is busy preparing for the 4th of July parade but Cheryl is talking with Jason’s corpse. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all. At Pop’s, Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead are planning a senior camping trip but that’s where the fun stops.
Archie gets a phone call and the look on his face says it all. He drops to the ground in shock with his friends looking on with concern. Back at home, F.P. delivers the news to Archie and his mother, Mary, that Fred was driving home and pulled over to help someone with car trouble when he was struck and killed by another car.
The scene with F.P. giving the news to Archie’s family was so moving because you could genuinely see the hurt and sadness on everyone’s faces. It was just one of the many ways the show did a great job with this tribute.
Due to the July 4th holiday, Fred’s body wouldn’t be brought back to Riverdale until later. So Archie heads to Cherry Creek, where the accident happened, to bring his dad home himself. At the funeral home, Archie can’t bring himself to identify his father, so Betty and Veronica do so for him.
The gang tracks down his truck and Archie finds his dad’s jacket and chewing tobacco still in it. He is thinking about his father when he is interrupted by a woman paying her respects. Shannen Doherty makes a cameo as the woman Fred stopped to help. How fitting! She tells Archie that Fred saved her life and pushed her out of the way of the oncoming car, and that he died a hero.
In perhaps what is the most emotional moment in Riverdale history, Fred’s funeral takes place with Josie singing “Amazing Grace”. Archie delivers a heartfelt eulogy and says his father’s spirit will live on forever in Riverdale.
“He’s the greatest man I’ve ever known,” Archie said.
Following the funeral, everyone celebrates Fred’s life with a fireworks show in Archie’s backyard. Archie vows to honor his father’s memory every single day and heads to garage for some private time. There, he reflects on the memories of his father like the time Fred soundproofed the garage walls and helped him fix up his jalopy. Archie finally lets it all out as the picture fades to black with the title card saying, “In Loving Memory: Luke Perry, 1966-2019.”
- This episode was so emotional and heartbreaking. It is important to remember that these were real tears from these actors and actresses for their friend, who they miss dearly.
- Interesting note from the episode is Hiram paid for the entire funeral.
- Speaking of the Lodges, with both Hiram and his wife in prison, who is the Mayor of Riverdale? I’m sure we’ll learn more about this in next week’s episode.
What was your favorite moment from the premiere? Let me know in the comments below!
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.