Luke Perry’s final scene on “Riverdale” aired Wednesday night — and it’s a tearjerker.
Spoilers below for “Riverdale” episode “Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper.”
The “90210” star, who died suddenly of a massive stroke at the age of 52 in March, plays Fred Andrews on “Riverdale,” father to Archie (KJ Apa). While every other parent on the show is a nightmare (respectively dealing drugs or running gangs or joining cults or being serial killers), Fred has long been the show’s moral compass.
And that doesn’t change in his final appearance.
Perry doesn’t get any major moments or show-stopping monologues — it’s a typical “Riverdale” episode teaming with kidnappings, sword battles, wrestling and a chilling evil cult. He doesn’t get a funeral, either. If the show plans to kill Fred offscreen and address his death, that’s likely not happening until Season 4.
Instead, Fred is barely in the episode, which is heartbreaking on some level. But it’s also appropriate, as he’s the calm at the center of the storm of “Riverdale’s” madness: he gets a simple yet touching father/son moment as Archie agonizes over his latest problem (involving the death of a wrestling rival). Fred offers fatherly support with his calming presence.
It’s quiet, but a fitting send-off for both a character and an actor who are remembered for being profoundly decent and kind.