(Doug Porter – Staff Writer)
Riverdale Season 4 premiered on the CW on 10/9/2019 and was the standalone episode that was used to honor Luke Perry’s role as Archie’s father Fred Andrews. Luke Perry passed away on in March of a stroke. His death cause ripples in the Hollywood community with many people coming out and saying lovely things about Luke’s influence on their lives. As Luke was a multi-season cast member of Riverdale, people were wondering how the Riverdale writers would handle Luke’s abesence in future episodes.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed in the final episodes of Season 3 that they would be postponing any mention of Fred’s disappearance as 1. he had already completed his scenes for season 3 and 2. they did not want to rush a monumental storyline to try and shoehorn it into the final episodes of the season. Instead they took the seasonal hiatus to really map out a great first episode to address Fred’s departure from the show. It was announced that while there were some open ended items from season 3 that would be addressed this season, episode 1 title “In Memoriam” would be a stand alone episode with little to no mention of season 3. This epsiode was meant to give Luke Perry his much deserved departure, honoring Luke.
Refraining from using potential spoilers, the death of Fred Andrews in the storyline was handled ver gracefully, and envokes alot of emotions as Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, and Kevin handle the loss of a man they always viewed as a father in their lives. The emotional character arcs were also given for Archie’s mother, and FP Jones who was Fred’s lifelong friend. The town also honored Fred, with a very poignant showing of appreciation who at one point in the show was poised to become the Mayor of Riverdale.
The acting in this episode was far and above the normal acting you receive from this cast. It was very obvious that the production of this episode was made with time, compassion for the cast and crew, and very much thought out. While the actors did a phenomenal job showing their characters dealing with the emotion in a character centric way, it was very obvious in their eyes and the breaks in their voice at certain times that this episode was a monumentally emotional challenge to get through. Close friend of Luke, Shannon Doherty also made an apperance as a stranger who has a very pivotal role in this episode.
There were many stories that came out about the kindness and gentle nature of Luke Perry. One story in particular has always resonated with me. KJ Apa and Luke Perry had become very close on set, a very father/son relationship. KJ being very young, away from home, and always busy as he is the main character of the show, Luke took it upon himself to help KJ feel like he had someone in his life to look out for him. KJ became very much a part of Luke’s family, and Luke would personally stay in contact with KJ’s family in Australia to keep them updated on their son. KJ has been very quiet about Luke’s death, issuing very few statements about the loss of his dear friend. Hollywood has taken that in stride, and has never pushed KJ to speak about a life altering situation in any interviews.
I will leave you all with this piece of advice: take the time to keep in touch with your loved ones. There will always be hectic chaos in your life. But those loved ones may not always be there in the end. It is important to express your love and appreciation for those around you, as there could come a day when they are taken from you. Something as simple as text message could do wonders with your loved ones.