All the details about Riverdale's "tear-jerking" Luke Perry tribute episode
5 September 2019, 16:49 | Updated: 5 September 2019, 19:08
Riverdale season 4's first episode will honour Luke Perry and Fred Andrews and is said to be "stunning" and "really emotional."
Episode 1, titled 'In Memoriam', will reportedly be a standalone episode, taking detour from all the usual Riverdale drama. The episode will instead focus on honouring and paying tribute to the heart and soul of the show: Luke Perry, who passed away in March 2019, and his character Fred Andrews.
Luke's last appearance was in season 3, episode 19 and it was explained in the season finale that Fred was out of town. Show-runner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa previously explained to The Hollywood Reporter that he didn't want to squeeze or rush something about Fred's fate into the last couple of episodes, saying: "Let’s really think about it, and let’s tell that story at the beginning of season 4.”
As expected, the first episode will do exactly that and it's safe to say there won't be a dry eye in the house.
According to People, the episode "will follow the residents of Riverdale preparing for the upcoming Independence Day parade — as well as Archie receiving a phone call that will change his life forever."
The trailer for the episode still hasn't been released yet (we know, we know, we're waiting for it too...) but The CW have released several images of the Luke/Fred tribute episode and they're all tearjerkers.
The photos show the teenage characters coming together for an emotional gathering in the Andrews' backyard. Archie and Veronica, Betty and Jughead, Cheryl and Toni alongside Reggie, Kevin and a returning Josie are all back together in one scene after a chaotic season spent, for the most part, separated.
In another photo, Archie can be seen hugging his mum Mary Andrews in a tearful embrace that seems to take place after they find out that Fred has passed away.
Luke's long time friend and former Beverly Hills 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty will appear in the episode. While her role hasn't been revealed yet, Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed to TVLine that she would have scenes with Archie and the rest of the teens that would bring about "a powerful moment of catharsis."
"Shannen is wonderful in [the episode.] The role would not nearly have the resonance it does if not for Shannen," he said.
Shannen also revealed on Live with Kelly and Ryan that the tribute to Luke is stunning. "The script is beautiful, the tribute to him is beautiful. They sent me the script and I read it and I was crying ... I just started sobbing and I was like yes, of course. Of course, I'll be a part of this."
The actors have also been spotted on set and in behind-the-scenes Instagram stories wearing black clothes, which could suggest that a scene following his funeral will also feature in the episode. Photos have also surfaced of the cast filming scenes at the Independence Day parade with homemade signs saying "RIP Fred" and "Fred Andrews always in our hearts."
Speaking to ET Online, Aguirre-Sacasa said the premiere is "a really emotional episode, a tear-jerker.”
“We had the table read for it about [two weeks] ago and I’m not going to lie, we were all crying,” he said. “But we think it … honors the memory of Luke [and] it honors the memory of Fred. They were both such amazing human beings that we wanted to really, really craft an emotional and deep tribute to him, which is what I hope this episode is.”