Riverdale Season 4 Details Include Luke Perry Tribute

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BY October 4, 2019

When actor Luke Perry died unexpectedly last March, it was a shock to us all. Many of us knew him as Dylan McKay on 90210. However, he was best known to younger TV viewers as Fred Andrews on Riverdale. As Archie’s dad, he was part of Riverdale‘s Hot Dad Squad, and had been a part of the show since the beginning. It was reasonable to wonder, then, how the show will handle his passing. With the cast’s appearance at Comic-Con, we have some hints on that. We also got the scoop on other upcoming aspects of Riverdale season 4.

Perry Tribute Will Kick Off Riverdale Season 4

Creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed last month that season 4’s first episode is titled “In Memoriam.” This episode, which he wrote, will function as a tribute to Fred and Perry both. The show could have included his death last season, as he died while they were still filming. However, as Aguirre-Sacasa said earlier this year, “…we didn’t want to rush that or get it wrong.” So, they waited until they had enough time to write it properly.

As such, the episode will function as a stand-alone. It will be a remembrance of Fred that honors what he means to “the town with pep.” Although specific plot details are scarce, including how Fred will leave us, we do know that the show will incorporate one of Perry’s wishes. According to Aguirre-Sacasa, Perry had been lobbying since season 1 for his 90210 costar Shannen Doherty to appear. She will finally make her appearance in an “emotional role” during the first episode. In addition, Molly Ringwald is expected to take on a larger role now that she’s Archie’s sole parent.

Going Back to School

Riverdale season 4

In season 3, the gang spent more time running businesses and gangs than attending school. That’s going to change in the new season, though, as the kids start senior year. The show doesn’t want them missing out on things like prom, after all. As a further sign that we’ll spend more time at school, Dawson’s Creek alum Kerr Smith is joining as new principal Mr. Honey.

We’ll also be spending time at a different school. You might recall that season 3 ended with an ominous flash forward. Veronica, Betty, and Archie were standing around a fire in their underwear, as Archie held Jughead’s bloody hat. We may not need to worry, though. Jughead will transfer to a private school, so that could explain his absence. The bloody hat remains a mystery, though.

Other Things We’ve Learned

With Josie departing for spin-off Katy Keene, there will likely be a crossover between the shows. In addition, the show will pay more attention to characters beyond the core four. To that end, Cheryl and Toni get more storylines, including one in the show’s first Halloween episode. We’ll also get to meet Toni’s family.

Family will figure into Riverdale season 4 in a big way. Jughead will become closer to younger sister J.B., while Betty will deal with Hal’s death. She also might get to know her brother Charles–the real one this time–better. And with Hiram in jail, Veronica will start to accept that her father isn’t a good man. (FINALLY.) Meanwhile, Alice and F.P. will see their relationship heat up. Lastly, there will be another musical, for those of y’all who are into that.

All in all, the Riverdale Comic-Con panel held no big shocks or surprises. Hopefully they’re saving those for the actual season. After the Gargoyle King shenanigans of season 3, this season sounds like it’ll be back on the right track. Riverdale season 4 will premiere October 9th, followed by the series premiere of Nancy Drew. Will you be watching?


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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf.

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