Riverdale is kicking off its fourth season with an anticipated tribute to the late Luke Perry, and the first photos for the episode are filled with emotion. The episode is set to honor Perry through the characters' mourning the unexpected death of Archie's (KJ Apa) father Fred Andrews.
While details on the episode are still being kept under wraps, series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa previously revealed the episode will be an emotional tribute to Perry's legacy, as well as his character's influence on the show.
Take a look at photos from the Season 4 premiere of Riverdale.
The official description for "In Memoriam" reads: "As the residents of Riverdale prepare for its upcoming Independence Day parade, Archie receives a phone call that will change the rest of his life forever."
The call is likely the news of his father's unexpected passing, which fans at NYCC got a first look of during the show's panel.
In usual Riverdale fashion, the characters seem to all gather quickly to stand by Archie after receiving the difficult news. Aguirre-Sacasa told TVLine filming the episode was a difficult task for everyone involved.
"We kind of knew this was going to be brutal on the cast, especially KJ [Apa], who was Luke's main scene partner," he said, then adding that — while it was an emotional challenge — "everyone was really proud to gather to tell this tribute to Fred, and to Luke."
This photo provides the first look at the new character played by Perry's Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty. The actress was cast in a special role to help honor the actor's legacy during the episode.
Who she plays is being kept under wraps until the premiere, though it seems she will be bonding with Archie and the gang as they mourn the terrible loss.
Perry passed away unexpectedly in March after suffering a stroke. The actor's absence was vaguely explained at the end of the season, with Aguirre-Sacasa saying they would hold a tribute episode for him until Season 4.
"We didn't want to rush it. We didn't want to sandwich it in between all the other plotlines," he told the outlet. He also revealed they considered ended the season with news of Fred's death, but "that felt a little cheap. So we thought, 'Let's just hold it, so we can think about it over the hiatus and reflect on it.'"
"It kind of allowed us to absorb what happened, and really think about what kind of story we wanted to tell,” Aguirre-Sacasa said.
"When it happened, we were all kind of scattered," he said. "So there was something really special when we gathered to do the table read that was cathartic. You know, shows are families. But we knew it was going to be hard, and it was."
Fans should brace themselves for an emotional hour of television when Riverdale returns. It's not clear if the episode will address the big cliffhangers left in the Season 3 premiere, including the disappearance of The Farm and Jughead's (Cole Sprouse) possible death in the future.
Are you ready for Riverdale's return? The show premieres Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.