According to showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Riverdale's Season 4 premiere will pay tribute to the late Luke Perry.
Aguirre-Sacasa took to social media to share the cover page for Season 4's first episode, titled "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam." Aguirre-Sacasa himself will pen the episode, which he describes as, "Probably the most important episode of Riverdale we'll do this year, if not ever. A tribute to our fallen friend."
"Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke and Fred," he added.
Probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever. A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred. ❤️🏆💎👨🏻💻 pic.twitter.com/MH7xOjNyDu— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) June 19, 2019
Perry played Fred Andrews, father of series protagonist Archie Andrews, since Riverdale's Season 1 premiere back in early 2017. During the back half of Season 3 earlier this year, Perry suffered a "massive" stroke, tragically passing away on March 4.
All subsequent episodes of the Archie Comics-based series were dedicated to Perry following his death. However, the character of Fred did periodically pop up throughout the rest of Riverdale's third season, with his final on-screen screen appearance coming in the episode "Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper," which aired on April 24.
Perry's passing was something of an elephant in the room as Riverdale Season 3 drew to a close, with the series not acknowledging Fred's absence. If Aguirre-Sacasa's tweet is any indication, it appears the Season 4 premiere will do just that and provide what is sure to be an emotional goodbye to both the fan-favorite character and the beloved actor who played him.
Returning to The CW on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. EST, Riverdale stars KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Casey Cott, Mark Consuelos, Skeet Ulrich, Marisol Nichols and Madchen Amick.