The Season 3 finale of Riverdale was a non-stop thrill ride full of gasp-inducing twists, but when the show returns for Season 4, the tone will be much different. The premiere episode will serve as a tribute to Luke Perry, who died suddenly of a stroke in March while Riverdale was still in production on Season 3. The cast recently finished filming the emotional season opener, and Cole Sprouse's comments about filming Riverdale's Luke Perry tribute express just how difficult it was for the cast to make the episode.
Back in June, Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed the Season 4 premiere will be called "In Memoriam," and it will center on the Riverdale folks grieving the loss of Luke Perry's character Fred Andrews. In a new Variety profile of Cole Sprouse, it is mentioned that Jughead will be helping Archie say goodbye to his father, and although it sounds like KJ Apa could end up using his actual sadness over Perry's death in the episode, Sprouse noted the trickiest part about making the premiere was having to separate his real feelings of sadness over losing Perry from Jughead's less intense feelings surrounding the loss of his friend's father. After all, Jughead and Fred Andrews rarely interacted with each other on screen.
The important line we’ve all been trying to draw is how to separate, how we can portray real emotions, but in the eyes of the characters. If I was making this an entire sob story about my relationship with Luke, it wouldn’t be a job well done. My job is to do it in the eyes of Jughead ... Luke was the kind of guy who would not like people crying about him. I hope this episode does him justice, but I think the way we lived with him does him justice as well.
From Sprouse's comments, it sounds like the upcoming episode will be an emotional one, but still grounded within the world of the show. Fans also know the tribute episode will bring in Luke Perry's longtime friend and former Beverly Hills, 90210 costar Shannen Doherty as a guest star. As for how the show will look moving forward, Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed Molly Ringwald is stepping up to play Archie's usually-absent mother Mary Andrews full-time, so Archie won't be alone in the Andrews house.
It also sounds like Riverdale will be jumping right back into its usual dark, mysterious storytelling right after the characters pay their respects to Fred. Aguirre-Sacasa spilled some details about the first four episodes of the upcoming season at Comic-Con, teasing that the second episode will introduce a new principal at Riverdale High, the third episode will wrap up The Farm storyline for good, and the fourth episode will be the show's first Halloween-themed episode. Oh yeah, and someone is going to die in that episode! Don't worry, though, because Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed the victim won't be any of the Core Four or Cheryl Blossom.
Riverdale's Season 4 premiere, "In Memoriam," will debut on Oct. 9 on the CW.