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How Did Fred Andrews Die In 'Riverdale'? The Season 4 Premiere Was So Sad

Riverdale fans have been waiting months to see how the show would pay tribute to Luke Perry in its Season 4 premiere, and while everyone was ready for a super emotional experience, one question loomed large over the tribute episode as it approached: How would the show depict Fred Andrews' final moments? Well, now fans have an answer. So, how did Fred Andrews die in Riverdale? Fred's death was actually a perfect ending for his character, underlining just how good of a guy he was to everyone around him.

Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from Riverdale Season 4 Episode 1, "In Memoriam." The Season 4 premiere of Riverdale wasted no time in revealing that Fred Andrews had died. After the customary brief intro monologue from Jughead about how the town had miraculously settled down after a cult and a masked serial killer had terrorized everyone, Archie received a call from his dad's cell while at Pop's with Veronica, Betty, and Jughead. He then dropped the phone in a haze of disbelief and fell to the floor, after learning his father had been killed.

In the very next scene, sheriff F.P. Jones laid out the circumstances of Fred's death. It turned out, Fred was driving back to Riverdale from a town called Cherry Creek when he pulled to the side of the road to help someone with car trouble. While he was helping the driver, another car hit him and the driver sped off, leaving Fred for dead.

When Archie and his friends went to the site of the hit-and-run, more details about Fred's death were revealed. A character played by Shannen Doherty — Luke Perry's longtime friend and Beverly Hills, 90210 costar — admitted she was the driver who Fred stopped to help. She said Fred had told her all about his son while he helped change her tire, and that as a speeding car careened toward her, Fred pushed her out of the way and was hit by the car instead. To end her emotional cameo, Doherty's character led the teens in a prayer for Fred.

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As all Riverdale fans well know by now, Archie's deep devotion to justice often leads him to act first and think later, so it definitely felt in-character for Archie to channel his sadness into anger at the driver responsible for killing his father. But since this is Riverdale, things got even more complicated than they seemed.

Archie managed to track down the driver, but after coming to his home and threatening him, the man's teenage son burst into the room and revealed the truth: He was the one who killed Fred when he took his father's car out for a joyride, and his dad took the fall in order to protect his son. It was a particularly emotional twist for Archie and viewers, since it mirrored all the ways that Fred would do anything to help protect Archie.

With the truth about Fred Andrews' death fully revealed, all that was left to do was mourn Riverdale's best parent. Archie delivered a tearjerking eulogy at his father's funeral about what Fred meant to both himself and to Riverdale as a whole, and the characters celebrated Fred's life afterward with a fireworks display. In the end, the episode not only highlighted the kindness of Fred Andrews as a character, but also the deep care and love that the whole cast had for Luke Perry.

Riverdale Season 4 continues on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.