As fans know, Perry died in March following a massive stroke at the age of 52. On Wednesday night (October 9), the departed actor and his character, Fred Andrews, received an emotional sendoff during The CW series’ opening episode to Season 4. Viewers learn of Fred’s passing within the first few minutes of the show as his son, Archie, receives the unfortunate phone call about his dad’s death while dining at Pop’s.
As the story continues, it’s revealed that Fred was returning to Riverdale when he noticed a woman (played by Perry’s former Beverly Hills 90210 costar Shannen Doherty) stranded by the side of the road with her stalled vehicle. As he pulled over to help, Fred was struck as he tried to push the woman out of the way of a speeding vehicle coming down the road.
Scenes afterward, Archie obtains a hearse for his father and later lays him to rest with a teary-eyed tribute. Among those who attended to pay their respects and condolences during Fred's touching farewell include Jughead, Hiram, Hermione, Cheryl, Pop, Alice, and others.
In speaking on how they decided on Fred’s fate on the premiere, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told E! News: “Very early on, we landed on the idea that Fred should have a heroic death, and that that would be impactful for Archie. And it felt like that's a way that Fred could have gone. After that we really said that this episode really isn't going to launch any huge stories for the season; it was really going to be kind of focused on that, and the kind of emotional effects of that passing for everyone.”
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
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