Riverdale says goodbye to Luke Perry

Tea Wheat , Entertainment Writer

In March of 2019, Luke Perry passed away in his home from a massive stroke. Riverdale fans all mourned Perry and wondered how the show would address this tragic death of the man who played Archie Andrew’s father, Fred Andrews.

It was not until Oct. 9, 2019 that fans would have their answer. On that day, the rumored final season of Riverdale aired on The CW. This episode opens with the planning of a Fourth of July Parade for the first time since the death of Jason Blossom. Though, focus soon shifts to the four best friends Archie, Betty, Jughead and Veronica all enjoying a meal as usual at Pop’s Diner. Suddenly, Archie gets a phone call from his father’s number, rises from the booth where the group is found sitting and falls to the ground within moments. Fred Andrews has gone too soon. This scene was powerful and showed how shocking the news on the other end of the phone was. Viewers are then taken to Archie’s home, where he sits with his mother and Officer Jones. Jones explains that Archie’s father had passed away on his way home from Cherry Creek when he found a woman on the side of the road who was stranded. Andrews was the only one who stopped to help the woman, but while assisting her, he was struck by an oncoming vehicle that did not slow down or change lanes.

The episode follows Archie through his grieving process and his journey to bring his father home. This episode follows the emotions that come with grief in a real and to-the-core way, from nightmares and bouts of sadness to fits of rage and everything in between. Many times, people talk about the seven stages of grief, but this episode does a superb job in illustrating that these processes do not always happen in order. After a nightmare that insists Archie brings his father home, Archie makes a trip to the funeral home in Cherry Creek, accompanied by friends Betty, Jughead and Veronica. Once Archie acquires his father from the funeral home, he makes the long drive back to his home in Riverdale. Just outside of town, Jones, the father of Jughead and friend of the late Fred, is waiting for Archie. Jones gives Fred the proper police escort home, honoring him once more. Upon arriving to Riverdale, the streets are lined with people, waving flags and holding signs. “We will never forget Fred Andrews and Fred Andrews always in our hearts” were a few things the signs read. Following was the funeral of Fred, with a beautiful eulogy from Archie, surrounded by friends and family. Archie told a heartfelt story about when there was no longer going to be a firework show for the Fourth of July, and how his father brought home many fireworks so that they could all still enjoy the show together. The episode concluded with Archie and his mother, along with friends, shooting off fireworks like they had with Fred all those years ago.

This beautiful tribute episode allowed for Fred to be written off the story in a way that was true to his character: heroic and kind. This was just as much the goodbye that Perry deserved. The impact that Fred had on the town of Riverdale is evident through the actions and reactions of those that lived in the town of Riverdale. Riverdale has given a final goodbye and a wonderful tribute to late Perry.