Review: Riverdale season 4 honors Luke Perry’s legacy

Riverdale returns with an episode dedicated to the late actor, Luke Perry

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Jennifer Le, Staff Writer

The return of Riverdale brings forth the topic of Fred Andrews, played by Luke Perry who passed earlier this year. Fans and viewers of the show have been speculating on how the writers will close off on Perry’s character in an honorable way instead of recasting Fred Andrews. As a person who watches the show and follows the plot routinely, the premiere of season four was one I’ve been preparing to watch through a re-binge of the prior seasons. Nothing prepared me for the emotions delivered in watching this episode.

Chapter 58, “In Memoriam” brings back déjà-vu to Riverdale‘s first season, and personally, its best season. It’s July Fourth, a way of setting into the town’s more American-dream like setting. We see into the current lives of the main cast, who are preparing for their senior year of high-school and where they are now after last season’s finale. The town struggles with its return to normalcy, but remains in the most order it’s ever been, which shifts when the episode begins to dive into Fred Andrews.

Andrews’s death is one that isn’t closed off extravagantly due to the circumstances, though it didn’t need to in order to bring closure to the beloved character. Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Fred’s son, and his friends bond together over the impacts Fred had left behind. Writers of the show added guest star, Shannen Doherty, who starred on Beverly Hills, 90210 alongside Perry as tribute to his former works. The tears shed by the characters and the moments they shared in grieving Fred Andrews, left me emotional.

The idea of Fred Andrews leaving a lasting imprint on many Riverdale residents felt all too real. The writers did their best in bringing back as many of the characters as they could, most of which faced a wave of sorrow of the loss. It’s Archie who experiences and demonstrates the most grief in this and you can tell his lines in the episode felt to be more for Perry and less his character, the touching words given by his TV son. Halfway through the episode, I was already crying as the characters let go of the show’s purest father-figure.

Like any show does, Riverdale drops in a couple flashback scenes of the late Andrews, paying respect to the actor as they follow through with some of his scenes in the show, from the very beginning, to one of his last.

“In Memoriam” is a hard goodbye. The emotions portrayed by the cast seemed so genuine that I started sobbing at points. The absence of Luke Perry, a TV icon who I’ve watched for most of my life is so surreal at moments and the writing of this season’s premiere is the best I’ve ever seen come from the show.

While watching this episode, bring tissues. It’s quite the roller coaster and tears will be shed if you’ve watched the actor, and the proper writing and directing leads me to hope that this season will be a lot better than the last. It’s sad to see such a wonderful character go, and the passing of Perry leaves me a little broken up, but the episode beautifully wraps together Fred Andrews’s legacy and pushes the season in a good direction.