While we’re still months away from the Riverdale Season Four premiere, it’s safe to say it will go down in the Archie Comics adaptation’s history books.
Creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has revealed that the premiere will be a tribute to Luke Perry, who died at age 52 earlier this year after suffering a stroke.
Perry played Fred Andrews, Archie Andrews’ chill, supportive father.
Titled “In Memoriam,” the Oct. 9 premiere is “probably the most important episode of Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever,” Aguirre-Sacasa said.
“A tribute to our fallen friend,” he wrote on Instagram. “Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred.”
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.
A post shared by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; (@writerras) on
After the announcement, several cast members commented on Instagram, leaving hearts, both broken and whole, to express how bittersweet the premiere will be.
After the final episode with Perry as Fred Andrews aired in April, Riverdale said Fred was away on business, as Molly Ringwald’s character, Archie’s mother, stood in for him.
Aguirre-Sacasa, who once said every episode would be dedicated to Perry after his death, told Entertainment Weekly in May that the show didn’t address Perry’s death in Season Three because they didn’t want to rush into it in order to honor both the actor and the character.
“We are 100% going to deal with (Luke’s death) 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,” he told EW.
So grab some tissues and sit back for a few months. This one is going to be a lot.