Credit: Robert Falconer/The CW
Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter

Five months after the death of Luke Perry, the cast of Riverdale reunited in Vancouver to read the season 4 premiere, a tribute to their beloved costar.

“I’d never really experienced the power and the emotion of a group of people gathered,” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa reflects of the table read. “Even the actors who didn’t have lines in the episode came to be a part of that. We were all crying. At a certain point, KJ [Apa] started, then Cami [Mendes] started, and I started, and we just didn’t stop. I’m really, really proud of the way everyone came together in terms of honoring the memory of Luke and honoring the character of [Archie’s dad,] Fred.”

The season premiere, airing Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CW, finds the citizens of Riverdale dealing with the loss of the elder Andrews. “It’s the immediate aftermath of what happened to Fred, and the story is really set around Archie [Apa] wrestling with this huge tragedy and his friends being there for him and helping him through it,” says the writer-producer, who doesn’t specify how Fred dies.

Aguirre-Sacasa has shared an exclusive script excerpt with EW, complete with his own notes, from the emotional hour, which is titled “In Memoriam.”

Riverdale "In Memoriam" script CR: The CW
Credit: The CW

“This scene is set on July 3 and the bulk of the episode is set on July 4, so it’s a really contained episode,” explains the showrunner. “It’s almost like a mini-movie. We wanted the first few scenes of the episode to capture the kids in the glow of summer vacation, be youthful, optimistic, and then that comes crashing down in one second.”

“Veronica’s kind of prepared,” Mendes says of how her character reacts. “She had to step up in the beginning of season 3 and be this girlfriend she didn’t know how to be that was very supportive and kind of a rock. She’s older now and she’s more experienced, and she’s ready to help Archie through this tragic time in his life.”

Additional reporting by Maureen Lenker.

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Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter
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