Riverdale season 4 came in with a crash. A heartbreaking, tragic crash. Here’s our review of the season 4 premiere.
We all knew it had to come, eventually. Ever since Luke Perry suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, his absence has felt like a shadow hanging over Riverdale.
Since production was already so far along on Riverdale season 3 when the tragedy occurred, the show was unable to address it at the time. However, now that season 4 is here, they’re wasting no time before paying their respects to Riverdale’s best parent, and the actor who was such an important part of their family.
It’s impossible to watch the season 4 premiere, which memorializes Fred Andrews, without thinking about Luke Perry, himself. He has had such an incredible career, and he’s been the perfect addition to Riverdale, as Archie’s loving, supportive, and cool dad.
I was lucky enough to meet Luke Perry just a few months before he passed away, and I was blown away by two things. First of all, the man was hilarious. He was constantly cracking jokes about the show, Fred, and the other actors, especially KJ Apa, who he obviously cared for deeply. I came away from the interview quoting his funniest stories and one-liners to my friends and colleagues. He was, by far, the highlight of my day.
Secondly, the amount of care and thought that he put into his character was extraordinary. Not only did he understand Fred Andrews, he loved and cherished Fred Andrews. His personal connection to the character shone through in every episode of Riverdale he was on.
While the show didn’t need to kill off Fred Andrews, I’m glad this was the decision that was made. It was a great way to send off the character and the actor. We all know Fred would never leave his home in Riverdale, and to have the character simply fade into obscurity would have felt wrong.
I love that Fred died how he lived. As a hero. He was always the first to step up to help someone, as the stories told by Archie and his friends illustrated. Unfortunately, the fact that Fred died while being a knight in flannel armor only makes his death more unbearable and heartbreaking, but it was the ending he deserved.
I bet I’m not the only one who shed a tear when Archie finally made it to his dad’s truck. That truck is such a part of Fred, and it felt so wrong to see it without him. I also loved that Luke Perry’s former Beverly Hills, 90210 costar Shannen Doherty was able to be a part of this moment. It made the send-off so much more impactful than if an actor with no connection to Luke Perry had played the role.
From FP delivering the news, to the funeral, to the old footage, Fred’s goodbye was perfect. Riverdale’s writers and actors did an amazing job in giving this event the gravity that was merited. The season 4 premiere will likely stand among the most emotional and important Riverdale episodes of the series, when all is said and done.
Going forward in Riverdale season 4, I’m both intrigued and scared by how this will affect Archie. While the alleged driver’s child, and actual driver, gave Archie’s justice pause in the season 4 premiere, the latest trailer shows Archie going back to his vigilante ways.
Obviously, it would be excusable for Archie to react poorly to losing his father, but we’ve seen this storyline from his character several times already, so I really hope they go in a different direction. Either way, this will surely be a huge driving force for Archie, for the rest of the season.
The Riverdale season 4 premiere also hinted at a few more upcoming plot lines. First of all, Cheryl is taking things to a whole new level. She seems to know that Jason is dead, since she referenced it when talking to Mary, but is still spilling the morning tea to Jason.
I’m dying to hear what Toni knows and thinks about all of this, and also to figure out what Cheryl is thinking. I’m really hoping it’s not just explained away as Cheryl being desperate for family, and actually plays into the mystery of the season.
It looks like Hermione is locked up, and Alice is surprisingly free, considering she was supposed to “ascend” with the Farm in the season 3 finale! Hiram is also locked up, yet still able to pay for expensive funerals. Jughead is writing again, starting with a new story for a contest, and expanding to Fred’s obituary.
Everyone is facing new challenges as season 4 begins, and we can’t wait to see how the story unfolds. Riverdale started this season off strong with this tribute to Fred Andrews, and we’re excited to see what’s in store next week.
Since it’s Riverdale’s senior year, each week I will be giving out some yearbook superlatives for the episode. Check them out, here!
‘Riverdale’ season 4 premiere awards
Cutest couple: Veronica and Archie (Varchie)
Best dressed: Betty Cooper. Adorable overalls AND a Rosie the Riveter inspired outfit? Iconic.
Worst dressed: Hermione Lodge. Prison orange isn’t your color, girl!
Most likely to be a real life superhero: Fred Andrews
Most likely to have ulterior motives: Hiram Lodge. That guy doesn’t just do something out of the goodness of his heart.
Worst decision making: The guy who took the fall for his son who will now be punished much more severely by the law. Honorable mention to FP for telling Archie the name of Fred’s killer.