Heading into the fourth season of Riverdale, we knew we would be saying goodbye to Luke Perry, while also getting a Shannen Doherty cameo.
There were a lot of expectations heading into Riverdale‘s fourth season. It needed to do justice to the characters and, of course, to the memory of actor Luke Perry, who passed away in March. But at the same time, it also had a special cameo that needed to make sense and not be too over the top (even though over the top is what the show does best).
When it was announced that Shannen Doherty would be making a special appearance in the Season 4 premiere of Riverdale, fans of the actress and her role alongside Perry in the original Beverly Hills 90210 were excited and even a bit nostalgic. However, there were also questions about how they would utilize the actress and make her appearance work within the story.
What ended up happening was absolutely perfect. Not only did they not try to magically turn Doherty’s character into some long-lost family member, they also allowed her to talk about Perry’s character in a way that made it seem like she wasn’t talking about a fictional person.
In Doherty’s cameo, she actually plays a woman who was stranded on the side of the road. It seems that Perry’s Fred Andrews had stopped to help her when he was subsequently hit by a car and killed. While we never see the accident itself, Riverdale lets us see the aftermath and the trauma of the event. And this means that Archie got to meet the woman who was with his father when he died.
This was a chance for shared sadness and tragedy between a woman who barely knew Fred and his son. And while that might not seem like the kind of cameo we would have expected from Doherty, it was exactly what it needed to be.
Saying goodbye to Luke Perry and in turn his character was hard enough without worrying about how they would make a Shannen Doherty cameo work. And now that we can look back at the episode without bawling (there are still tears, but maybe a few less), we can admit that this was the perfect tribute to the actor from not only Doherty, but also his Riverdale family.
What did you think of Shannen Doherty’s cameo? Do you think Riverdale did a good job saying goodbye to Luke Perry? Tell us what you think in the comments.