Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has confirmed that this week’s episode, “Fear the Reaper”, will be the final one featuring the late Luke Perry as Archie Andrews’ loving father Fred. The actor’s fans were left shocked in March when the 52-year old Perry was suddenly struck by a massive stroke and passed away just a few days after. Perry has reprised his role as Archie’s working-class dad a few times on the Riverdale episodes that’ve aired since then, but with every passing appearance comes the knowledge that, sooner or later, the character’s next scene is going to be his final one.

Perry’s Fred has long been regarded as the heart of The CW’s stylishly dark take on the Archie Comics universe, which only makes the actor’s untimely passing all the more painful and heart-breaking. The TV show’s cast and crew have had nothing but loving things to say about the man over the past couple months, with Perry’s former costars on series like Beverly Hills, 90210 similarly taking to social media to express their heartbreak over his loss and reminisce about their most cherished memories of the actor in life.

While Aguirre-Sacasa has followed suit and dedicated the remainder of season 3 to Perry’s memory, the showrunner has yet to reveal how, exactly, Riverdale will deal with Fred’s absence in the future. The answer should be coming sooner rather than later now, as Aquirre-Sacasa has taken to Twitter to confirm that this week’s “Fear the Reaper” will mark Perry’s final appearance on the series, with Fred once again imparting some words of wisdom to his red-haired son. You can check out his full post below:

Fred’s impending disappearance isn’t the only change on the horizon for Riverdale this season. The show has been setting up Josie McCoy’s departure in recent episodes, with the up and coming singer-songwriter doing her best to make it clear to Archie that their current romance is a temporary thing and not a long-term relationship. Thankfully, Josie actor Ashleigh Murray will be sticking around in the Archie-verse and starring in the spinoff pilot Katy Keene, a Gossip Girl-esque series about her character, Katy Keene (Lucy Hale), and other twenty-somethings pursuing their dream careers in modern New York.

With Katy Keene expected to land a series order in the foreseeable future, it’s good to know that Riverdale fans won’t have to bid a permanent farewell to two beloved characters over the next few episodes of season 3. That doesn’t make the situation with Perry any less tragic, but at least the show will take the time to give Fred as proper and touching a farewell as anyone gets in a place as treacherous and dangerous as The Town With Pep.

Riverdale continues Wednesday, April 24 with “Fear the Reaper” on The CW.

Source: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa