Entering tonight’s Riverdale episode on The CW, it was clear that there were going to be some plans to honor Luke Perry. Show executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa dedicated the installment to the late actor, who died earlier this week following complications of a massive stroke.
For the better part of the past few years, the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star lit up the screen as Archie Andrews’ father Fred, a guy who did his best for his son in the midst of some extremely complicated circumstances. Riverdale has long been a show with tumultuous storylines, but Fred Andrews was the rock. While there were man parents on this show with dark secrets and skeletons, he was never one of them. There was an honesty to his character that we couldn’t get enough of — Fred wasn’t aggressively problematic or out to hurt some of the younger characters and with so much darkness in Riverdale it was so nice to have a shining light.
In a lot of ways, we like to think that Fred was modeled after Luke Perry himself, someone known for his kind, giving nature and trying to ensure the best for everyone around him. We cannot even begin to tell you some of the super-nice things that we’ve heard about him since his passing, whether it be random encounters or him going far out of his way to give back to fans. He’s one of those rare actors who got famous at a very early age and never really let the celebrity change him.
So what did Riverdale do specifically tonight to honor Perry? At the end of the episode, they showcased a title card (reading “In Memoriam”) that was beautiful and honored the man and all he has done for the show. It’s something similar to what other shows have done for cast and crew members who are no longer with us. It’s a way to ensure that this person is never forgotten for future generations who watch this show. There may also be the occasional Riverdale viewer out there who did not know about Perry’s passing previously. That may sound outlandish, but there are many people who watch this show and may not keep up as much with the news cycle.
We are sure that in time, the producers of Riverdale will figure out precisely what they want to do with the Fred Andrews character. The general sentiment among fans is that they would prefer to have the Fred character written out rather than recast, but that is a decision that the showrunners will need to make. We also understand that there are other challenges they will face, as there was probably a Fred storyline planned through the end of the season.
Thank you, Luke
For everything you brought to Riverdale the show and everything you brought to the cast and crew behind the scenes. You were a mentor, a friend, and someone who led by example. We’re sure the outpouring of stories and positivity will continue in the days ahead.
Our thoughts go out to Perry’s family, friends, and everyone who loves him during what remains a difficult time. (Photo: The CW.)