'Riverdale': How Luke Perry's Absence Was Explained

The April 24 episode of Riverdale featured the last scene Luke Perry had filmed for the show before his death in March, and fans wondered how his absence would be addressed on the show moving forward.

Spoilers ahead for the Riverdale Season 3, Episode 20 ("Chapter Fifty-Five: Prom Night").

Perry plays Archie's (KJ Apa) dad, Fred Andrews, who is often on hand to offer his son words of advice, which Archie doesn't always take. He is also one of the central figures in the town of Riverdale and always wants the best for the town and his family.

On the May 1 episode, his absence was quickly explained when Archie's mom, Mary (Molly Ringwald) came to town to spend some time with her son while Fred was out of town, with Archie mentioning that his dad had taken the truck.

Mary then serves as Archie's primary parent for the rest of the episode, discussing his future in boxing and even inviting a recruiter from the Naval Academy to watch him fight. When he goes down hard doing said fight after overworking himself, Mary has one of Fred's signature life talks with her son, telling him that she's only thinking about what's best for his future. She's still there when the episode wraps up, telling her son that she'll continue to stay in town because she doesn't want him to be alone while Fred is gone.

It's possible that Riverdale will use the trip storyline for the next few episodes before Season 3 wraps up this month, ultimately addressing Perry's absence for good when Season 4 returns in the fall.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight this week, Apa opened up about how the show will handle Perry's death, noting that he isn't fully sure of the plan moving forward.

"We're definitely gonna obviously have to address it at some point," the actor said. "[Possibly] that [means] Molly stepping in as more of an active parent for Archie, but that all depends on the availability of the actors around us. So, you know, we'll do what we can."

"His legacy is gonna live on in the lives around him, that he worked with, you know?" Apa added. "I'm never gonna forget him and I think it's still very fresh and we're all still dealing with it."

Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa also spoke to Entertainment Tonight last month and revealed that the series will eventually address Perry's death in a narrative way.


"You know, honestly, we are I think all still in shock and are all still processing and grieving," he said. "We know that we have to address it in some way, but we're giving ourselves a little bit of time and space before we figure out the best way to honor him."

Photo Credit: The CW