Riverdale fans got sad news on Monday when Luke Perry died after suffering a stroke. The actor was starring in the show as Fred Andrews, Archie's father, and production was suspended to allow time for the cast and crew to grieve. However, Season 3 is currently airing, which means Perry will still be in Riverdale until the previously filmed episodes have all been broadcast. After that, the series' team will have to decide how to move forward without his character.
The March 6 episode will be the first to feature Perry posthumously, and Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted that fans can expect it to follow "Fred doing what he does best — helping Archie." He added that the episode, as well as all that follow, will be dedicated to Perry.
Understandably, the show's cast and crew are still mourning and likely haven't mapped out how they'll tie up Fred's storyline. But barring any major reshoots, Perry should appear in the next few episodes since they've already been shot. At this point, it's unclear exactly how many that includes.
USA Today previously reported that Season 3 will have 22 episodes, just like Season 2 did. Filming for Season 2 lasted from late June 2017 until March 27, 2018. Season 3 began filming a little later than that, beginning in early July. The later start date coupled with this break in filming to let the cast and crew grieve could mean that filming will end even later, possibly sometime in April. That would mean there are about three or four weeks of production left — enough time to film a couple more episodes. So of the remaining nine episodes, it's likely that about half will feature Perry and about half will take place without him.
It's going to be hard for Riverdale's cast and crew to film without Perry. Following his death, the show's team took to social media to commemorate their former peer and co-star. Some of those sentiments are included below:
Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted that he and Perry talked on the phone before each of Fred's scenes.
Marisol Nichols, who plays Hermione Lodge, posted a photo of herself with Perry on Instagram. "I don't have any words now. Maybe I will later," she wrote alongside a broken heart emoji.
Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper, took to Twitter to express her devastation.
Casey Cott, who plays Kevin, tweeted that Perry helped him feel like he belonged on set.
KJ Apa, who played Perry's son on the show, has yet to post on social media, but it's understandable that he may just need some time to grieve. Their characters had the most storylines together, and it has to be hard to process this news.
It's going to be strange to continue seeing Perry on the show for the foreseeable future. But like Aguirre-Sacasa said, at least his character will be doing what he does best — helping his son through whatever perils Riverdale throws at them both next. And keep an eye out for a potential dedication to Perry in Wednesday night's episode and those that follow.