Luke Perry's Fred Andrews, left, has always been a strong, supportive father for Archie, played by KJ Apa, in CW's 'Riverdale.' The final episode for Perry, who died in March, aired Wednesday. (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)
Spoiler alert: This story contains a few plot details from Wednesday’s episode of CW’s “Riverdale.”
Luke Perry’s final “Riverdale” appearance Wednesday epitomized his wise, decent character, Fred Andrews, father of Archie.
Perry had filmed unaired episodes before his death at 52 in March following a stroke. This week’s show marked his final appearance on the CW teen drama.
“Riverdale,” which acknowledged Perry’s death with a short tribute during the first episode featuring him after his death, did not mention his departure in Wednesday’s episode, but executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed earlier this week that it would be his last appearance.
Earlier, he had said all future “Riverdale” episodes would be dedicated to the actor, who first rose to fame on “Beverly Hills, 90210.”
“As always, Fred’s imparting words of wisdom to Archie. A beautiful, true moment between a father and his son. Wish these scenes could go on forever …” Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted on Monday.
This week’s #Riverdale is the last episode Luke filmed. As always, Fred’s imparting words of wisdom to Archie. A beautiful, true moment between a father and his son. Wish these scenes could go on forever…❤️????? pic.twitter.com/meokbvo0Wt
Perry’s final appearance was short, simple and straightforward and reflective of Fred, a supporting and supportive character who always offered gravitas.
At the beginning of the episode, Fred was with Archie at the hospital when they learned that the younger Andrews’ boxing opponent, Randy, had died after their bout.
Archie contends Randy was “juicing” and that villainous Elio had given the fighter drugs, but Elio tries to shift blame to Archie.
Later at home, Fred tries to console and support Archie, once again serving as an anchor in his son’s turbulent life.
“Son, from everything you’ve said, it’s clear that Randy died from those drugs. An autopsy will support that. You’re innocent,” Fred says.
“But I’m not, dad,” Archie responds, feeling great guilt even if he’s not responsible. “I knew Randy was using. I could have stopped the fight but I didn’t want to forfeit. I’m never stepping in that ring ever again. I can’t.”
In Perry’s final shot, Fred looks sadly as his son walks away, not certain how to ease his pain.
Fans acknowledged Perry’s “Riverdale” goodbye on social media.
Sammi Ryan offered a Twitter appreciation: “Thank you Luke Perry for giving us 3 seasons of Fred Andrews, an amazing, hardworking and loving father who always puts his son first. I will miss seeing your beautiful smile light up the dark town that is Riverdale. Rest in love”
Thank you Luke Perry for giving us 3 seasons of Fred Andrews, an amazing, hardworking and loving father who always puts his son first. I will miss seeing your beautiful smile light up the dark town that is Riverdale. Rest in love ❤️#riverdale
Alex R. mourned the meaning behind Fred’s final “Riverdale” scene: “This is so sad to realize that this was the last episode that Luke Perry filmed.”
This is so sad to realize that this was the last episode that Luke Perry filmed.
And, uhhhrissa felt a strong mix of emotions watching “Riverdale” on Wednesday: “Seeing Luke Perry makes me very happy but also hurts my very soul.”
Seeing Luke Perry makes me very happy but also hurts my very soul ?#Riverdalepic.twitter.com/uYADIOmItD
It is expected “Riverdale” will address the loss of Fred in a future episode.
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