Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s beloved CW series, based on the Archie comics, returned for another season Wednesday night with a heavy task at hand: Riverdale‘s Season 4 Fred Andrews death reveal. Actor Luke Perry, who passed earlier this year in March, played the beloved Fred Andrews on the series. While we’ve all known for some time that Riverdale would need to wrap up his character’s story on the show, we were not quite sure what that would look like. But last night’s episode honored Perry and his character in the best way possible.
The Season 4 premiere episode, titled “In Memoriam,” got straight to the matter in letting audiences know how Fred Andrews died. Fair warning: if you haven’t watched the episode, think twice before reading the spoilers ahead!
Turns out, we already caught a glimpse of Fred Andrews death reveal in last week’s New York City Comic-Con full-length trailer for the premiere. Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Archie were eating out at Pop’s and catching us all up on last season’s drama, (you know, like Riverdale‘s cults and serial killers), when Archie got a call from his father’s cell. His dad, Fred Andrews, had been killed. Everything began to blur as Archie dropped his phone to the ground and collapsed to his knees, his friends rushing to his side.
In the moments that follow, we learn from sheriff F.P. Jones that Fred died a hero. It looks like he was driving from a town called Cherry Creek, and when he was on his way home to Riverdale, he encountered someone whose car broke down on the side of the road. Right as he was helping the driver, another car sped by and hit him. In typical hit-and-run fashion, the driver left the scene of the crime and Fred to die on the side of the road.
Yet there’s more to these circumstances than meet the eye: in another scene, we meet the driver who Fred stopped to help. In a bittersweet twist, she is played by Shannen Doherty, who was Luke Perry’s longtime Beverly Hills 90210 co-star. Archie and his friends learn that Fred pushed her out of the way of the speeding car, therefore sparing her life in the process.
We also discover who the driver is who killed Fred. But, as these things go, there is a twist involved there, too—one that leaves Archie searching for peace instead of revenge. The premiere’s strongest moment, then, was when Archie delivered a teary and powerful eulogy at his father’s funeral. As for both Fred Andrews and Luke Perry, “In Memoriam” made good on honoring the legacy of a truly beloved man. Rest In Peace, Luke.
Riverdale Season 4, Episode 2 will air on Wednesday, October 16, at 8 pm ET on The CW.