Luke Perry in an earlier episode of Riverdale.
Photo: Jack Rowand (The CW)

Luke Perry’s death was shocking and tragic, and it left a hole—not only with fans who appreciated him, but in the CW series Riverdale. The show chose to wait to address Perry’s death until after season three was over. Now, they’ve unveiled plans for the season four premiere, an episode that showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa calls one of the most important Riverdale may ever do.

Aguirre-Sacasa announced that the season four premiere would be called “In Memoriam”—honoring both Perry and his character, Archie’s dad Fred Andrews. He hasn’t given any more details yet on how the show is going to portray Perry’s death in the series, but Aguirre-Sacasa did call the episode “a tribute to a fallen friend,” who passed away on March 4 after a massive stroke.

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Perry’s death happened while Riverdale was filming season three, and fans were a bit surprised that it wasn’t addressed in the story before the end of the season. Instead, Fred was sent away on business, and Archie’s mom (played by Molly Ringwald) stepped in as Archie’s parental figure. There’s a reason for that, according to the showrunner.

In a previous interview with TV Line, Aguirre-Sacasa said his team had already figured out how they wanted to address his death, but wanted to make sure the tribute was given the time and space it deserved. “We just didn’t want to rush in and do something before we had fully figured it out. We’d already written basically the end of the season, so rather than try to squeeze in something that’s so monumental and so important, we thought, ‘Let’s take the time to think about what we want to do, and do it right,” he said.

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Riverdale returns with “In Memoriam” on October 9.


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