Riverdale’s season four premiere “In Memoriam” celebrates and remembers Luke Perry after his sudden death earlier this year with a touching tribute.
The 'Riverdale' writers decided not to acknowledge the actor’s absence at the end of season three and planned an episode dedicated to Perry for the season four premiere. Closer to the premiere, the writers of the show as well as the cast announced they were dedicating the whole season to the late actor.
Perry gained his success starring as Dylan McKay on the hit TV series "Beverly Hills, 90210." Throughout his career, he appeared in an array of projects like "Criminal Minds," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and "The Fifth Element." His last appearance was in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film "Once Upon a Time In Hollywood."
Even though Perry had an incredible career throughout the previous years, he was introduced to a new generation as the father of Archie Andrews (KJ Apa.)
Fred Andrews was a great character on the show and always added light and humor to the often dark and heavy storyline. Much like Perry, Fred was a man who was loved by many and will be remembered by everyone he impacted.
The episode begins with Jughead, played by Cole Sprouse, narrating and introducing that it once again is Fourth of July in Riverdale. The holiday haunts many in the town, especially Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) with it being the day that her brother Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines) passed away.
Once she hears that Veronica, (Camila Mendes) Betty, (Lili Reinhart) Jughead, and Archie are planning a Fourth of July parade she’s immediately against it.
While at Pop’s planning a final summer trip before senior year, Archie gets a call that brings him to his knees; a call saying that his father had died. We learn that Fred was driving back to Riverdale and pulled over to help someone fix their tire and was hit by another vehicle that was speeding.
Archie’s close friends gather to remember the good times they had with Fred in a touching scene honoring the character. Fred taught Archie how to play sports, fix cars and even bought him his first guitar. He was a great dad to Archie, but he was like a dad to all of Archie’s friends and someone they could always rely on.
With Fourth of July around the corner, Archie and his mother are told that Fred’s body wouldn’t be able to be transported to Riverdale until after the holiday. Archie was already unsettled by the fact that his dad died without his family, so he didn’t want him to stay away from home any longer, so they go to get his body and his belongings.
Still looking for the person responsible for the hit and run, Archie, Veronica, Jughead and Betty go to pick up Fred’s truck at the sight of the crime and see a woman arrive with flowers. That women happened to be Perry’s "Beverly Hills, 90210" co-star Shannen Doherty.
The woman they meet is the woman Fred was helping, and she shared that he saved her life by pushing her out of the way when the car came. She then leads the group in a prayer that was beautiful and a lovely way to handle the tragedy.
Once the driver responsible for hitting Fred is found, Archie takes it upon himself to get justice for his father.
Archie finds out that the man was actually covering up for his son that had taken the car out without his knowledge. Archie struggles to deal with this because he knows that taking the car is something he would have done, and his dad would have protected him as well.
After getting his dad, Cheryl surprises Archie with a change of heart. She has F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) give Fred a police escort back into town. Archie is then welcomed to the whole town gathered with signs and flags welcoming Fred back home.
I wasn’t sure how they would work the memoriam into the storyline, but they honored Fred Andrews in a very special and heartfelt way. The episode highlighted the greatness of Fred Andrews and the traits Perry brought to role from his own life, showcasing his wonderful caring spirit.
They then had a service for Fred, and Archie was amazingly strong as he always is, like his father was. Fred helped build Riverdale and his spirit and memory will live on and in everyone he’s ever met.
Fred Andrews will always be a part of Riverdale, just as Luke Perry will a part of the show.
With Jughead focusing on writing again, Archie asks him to write Fred’s obituary that highlights his life and the joy he left behind. After reflecting on his father’s life, Archie vows to honor his memory every day and work to be as good as a man he was.
After a touching story Archie shared about his father getting him fireworks on a previous Fourth of July, all of Archie’s friends go to his back yard and light fireworks in his honor. They’re able to look up and smile at the sky, remembering all of the good times they shared with Fred.
The writers, cast and crew handled the heavy topic with such grace and made something Luke would be proud of.
Gone but never forgotten, this season is Luke. His kind spirit and wonderful heart will surely be felt throughout the rest of the show and he’ll be in the minds and hearts of fans forever.