Two months ago, the world lost Luke Perry and Riverdale lost its patriarch Fred Andrews. Perry appeared in his last episode of the show on April 24 after passing away at the age 52 from complications following a massive stroke. But fans might have been surprised to see that the Riverdale Season 3 finale didn't address Perry's death. Don't worry, though, Riverdale will say goodbye to Perry in Season 4 with help from Molly Ringwald, who will reportedly play a bigger role in the upcoming season.
While Fred has not been written out of the show yet, Riverdale did make mention of his absence by having Ringwald, who plays Archie's mom Mary, say he was off on business. However, there was no final goodbye in the Season 3 finale or explanation on why Fred would not be back. That's because Riverdale plans to address Perry's death in Season 4 and to do that, the show's creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa would like to see more of Ringwald in Riverdale.
“[We’ve told her], ‘You’re welcome back anytime, as often as you want and as much as you want,'” Aguirre-Sacasa told TVLine. “We actually already had her scheduled to come back to Riverdale to visit Archie and Fred. When the tragedy happened, she said, ‘If you need me to stay, I’ll stay.’ And I said, 'We’d love you to stay’… We’ve talked about Molly having a bigger presence next year to help her son.”
Previously, the Riverdale creator said that because the scripts were already written for the season when Perry unexpectedly died, they didn't have time to properly pay tribute to him and his characters. “It felt like trying to squeeze this in would have been a disservice," Aguirre-Sacasa recently told Variety.
In his interview with TVLine, Aguirre-Sacasa said Riverdale won't wait too long before addressing Perry's death, saying it will happen "at the top of Season 4," echoing what he had previously said in other interviews. “We just didn’t want to rush in and do something before we had fully figured it out," he said, adding, "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.'”
And to do it right, it makes sense that Riverdale would like to have Ringwald there, who like so many involved with the show is still mourning Perry. “I expect him to just be there," Ringwald told WSJ Magazine earlier this month. “We thought it was going to be a temporary thing. He was so beloved by everyone."
Even after the show says goodbye to Fred, Aguirre-Sacasa promises that Perry's memory will live on within Riverdale. "His spirit, which was so generous and wise and vivacious, we hope will infuse every episode," Aguirre-Sacasa said in a March Entertainment Tonight interview. So in my mind, every episode for the rest of time on Riverdale will have a bit of Luke in it."
Fans will have to wait until next season to see how Riverdale officially says goodbye to Perry, but clearly he will not be forgotten by those who worked with or watched him on TV.