SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear The Reaper,” the April 24 episode of “Riverdale.”
“Riverdale” has aired late actor Luke Perry’s final scene as Andrews patriarch Fred.
In “Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper,” the 19th episode of the third season of “Riverdale,” Archie (KJ Apa) was worried about the outcome of his boxing match against Randy the previous week. Randy had been taking drugs to give him an edge — drugs that Archie was also offered but declined. Fred tried to reassure his son that Randy died from the drugs, not anything Archie did in the ring, telling him an autopsy would support Archie’s innocence.
But Archie felt guilty because he knew Randy was using and declared that he would never step into “that ring ever again.”
While Fred commonly offers his son heartfelt advice, this time unfortunately the scene ended on a down note from Archie instead, as the episode had a lot of plot to push through, including the Joneses playing a game of Gryphons and Gargoyles to save Jellybean (guest star Trinity Likins), who had been kidnapped, as well as Betty’s (Lili Reinhart) investigation into the Evernevers — during which she learned Edgar (guest star Chad Michael Murray) is married to Evelyn (guest star Zoé de Grand’Maison).
A few days before the episode, series creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted that Perry’s final scene would be “a beautiful, true moment between a father and his son.” He added that he wished “these scenes could go on forever.”
Perry passed away after having a stroke in early March of this year. At the time production shut down, allowing cast and crew to grieve. The March 6 episode, which was the first episode to air after Perry’s passing, was dedicated to Perry, with an in memoriam card running at the end. At the time, Sacasa tweeted that Perry was “Our heart, always.”
It is still unknown how the show will handle the absence of Fred in future episodes.
The episode also laid the groundwork for Josie (Ashleigh Murray) to leave the show, should new Archie-verse pilot “Katy Keene” go to series. In this episode, Josie told Archie she was going to go on tour with her father and see what “was out there” for her, which “maybe” included New York. Josie is an integral part of the “Katy Keene” pilot and presumably the subsequent series, which is now in contention at the CW for the 2019-20 television season.
“Riverdale” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.