SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam," the Riverdale Season 4 premiere.
In "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam," the Riverdale Season 4 premiere, Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Shannen Doherty guest-starred to honor the late Luke Perry. She played a minor, but critical role in the episode.
Early in the episode, Archie learned his father was involved in a hit and run. Fred had pulled over to help someone whose car had broken down on the side of the road. While he was helping her fix it, he was struck by a vehicle, which then sped off. Doherty played the woman who Fred helped in his final moments.
"One of my tires blew and I was stranded out here. The cars, you know, they kept whizzing by. Nobody would stop, but your dad did," she explained to Archie. "He talked about you the entire time. Just his son. How he couldn't believe that a man like him was blessed with such a thoughtful, kind boy."
"We were working on the tire and a car just -- it came out of nowhere, speeding, and... I froze in its path," she continued through her tears. "Your dad, he just pushed me out of the way. He saved my life. If he hadn't done what he did, there's no way I would be here right now. I know that. I am so sorry. There is nothing I could do to ever repay him, but I would like to say a prayer for him."
There, on the side of the road, Archie joined hands with her, Betty, Veronica and Jughead. Together, they said the "Our Father" in his memory.
Perry and Doherty co-starred on Beverly Hills, 90210 in the 1990s, becoming close friends on-set. Perry went on to star on Riverdale, before passing away from a stroke in March. Following his death, she approached Perry's family and manager for permission to appear on the Archie Comics adaptation.
"I went into it knowing that I was being supported by everyone that really mattered to Luke," she said. "And knowing that it was a show that he had been trying to get me on since Day 1. It was this really beautiful moment."
Riverdale dedicated its Season 4 premiere to Perry. Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa penned the episode, which he described as, "Probably the most important episode of Riverdale we'll do this year, if not ever. A tribute to our fallen friend." The episode saw Riverdale come together as a community to celebrate Fred and all the good deeds he performed over his life, culminating in a parade through town.
Airing Wednesdays at at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW, Riverdale stars KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Casey Cott, Mark Consuelos, Skeet Ulrich, Marisol Nichols and Madchen Amick.