Fred Andrews not only died a hero but his legacy will live on in Riverdale. This is the message given in this episode and a truly fitting one not only for the character Fred Andrews, but also for Luke Perry. This episode solely focused on the death of Fred Andrews and nothing else and I am glad for that. Obviously, it will be part of the plot going forward in that he won’t be there and they need to explain it in Archie’s life, but it wasn’t used as a plot device which I though was very respectful.
The beginning of the episode has Riverdale healing after the season finale with the Farm and Griffons and Gargoyles coming to an end (Sort of). Even though both the farm and Penelope Blossom are in the wind, the town plans to celebrate Fourth of July since the death of Jason Blossom in the series premiere. There will only be the parade, no fireworks since that was always sponsored by the Blossoms in the past. Cheryl isn’t taking this well since she is still talking to her dead brother’s body after it was dug up last season.
At breakfast with Veronica, Betty, and Jughead while planning a camping trip is when Archie gets the news that his father was involved in a hit and run accident with Fred dying on the scene while waiting for help. FP is at the house to relay more information about the accident, like that the driver had yet to be found. They make the funeral arrangements to have him buried next to his father Ernie.
Later they main group with Kevin and Reggie are reminiscing about Fred. Betty tells a story about how he participated in a father/daughter event with her when her dad couldn’t make it and Jughead talks about when his father was drinking and Fred made sure to get FP home and that Jughead was eating. Archie though chokes up when talking with his dad and needs time to himself.
That night he dreams about his father not being in Riverdale and decides that he needs to go get him and bring him home. Reggie brings a hearse that was at his father’s car lot and the Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica all head to get Fred. He first stops at the sheriff’s office to talk about the accident and no one has been caught yet for the accident. He then heads to the funeral home but runs into a bump being that he is a minor. He calls his mom who talks with the funeral director and is now permitted to get his dad and take him home. When it comes to identifying the body, Archie is unable to go in so Jughead stays with him and it is Betty and Veronica that go in to ensure that it is in fact Fred. Archie also takes this time to ask Jughead to write the obituary.
They then head out to pick up his dad’s truck which is still parked on the side of the road. Archie takes time to reminisce in the truck and then meets the woman that he was with when he died. The character is unnamed but played by Shannon Doherty, his co-star from 90210 and close friend. She explains to Archie that Fred at stopped to help her with her tire and was hit by a speeding truck but he pushed her out of the way and saved her from getting hit as well. They then all pray together.
The four then stop to eat at a diner where Archie fails to make sense of his father’s death. FP calls to tell him that a man named George Augustine turned himself in but posted bail. Furious Archie looks up the address in a phone book and heads there only to find out after a few punches that it wasn’t George that hit Fred, he was covering for his son that took the car without asking.
Later the others find Archie who is ashamed of his behavior after seeing George and his son and seeing the relationship so like that of his own father and him. Veronica though comforts him and tells him that they best thing he can do is to finish why they came here. They then pick up Fred’s body and head back to Riverdale. When they get close FP stops them and offers a police escort the rest of the way which then turns into a Fred Andrews welcome home parade. (This was when I cried)
At the funeral, Archie talks about his dad and all the hard work that he put into this town, building it with his own bare hands and vows to do the same to carry on his father’s legacy. He also promises that he will always have a part on Riverdale, which I think was a double meaning for both Fred as a character and Luke Perry as the actor. When Veronica goes to settle the funeral bill, she finds that her father has already paid it in full. Betty also stops to he her father’s grave which has graffiti and trash all over it, but she grieves all the same.
Jughead then writes the obituary for Fred and we see characters that are not in Riverdale at the time reading it, like Hiram and Hermione in prison and Alice with the Farm. That night the crew get together to set off fireworks but the part that really got me was Archie going into the garage and showing scenes with Fred and Archie as the episode ends
I thought this was a beautifully made memorial episode and glad that it was all the focus. Archie is still going to be grieving for the remainder of the season and beyond, but I expect that they will go on with the story starting in the next episode.