Tonight's special Season 4 premiere works, says Alex Zalben, "not just on the level of paying homage to the sudden passing of an actor that meant so much to so many people, but because Aguirre-Sacasa’s expertly crafted script doesn’t let us forget that we’re watching an episode of Riverdale. I realize that might give some viewers pause, given that Riverdale is a frequent internet punching bag for its outlandish plots, graphic (by The CW standards) sex scenes, and frequent murders. The thought of seeing any of that in the midst of dealing with a real-life tragedy could, and would, come off as ghoulish, at best. What Aguirre-Sacasa does instead is structure the premiere script so that it starts as a regular kick-off episode of Riverdale, right up until tragedy strikes. In that way, we, as viewers, are put right into the same place as Archie when he receives the sudden news that his father has died. For actor KJ Apa, it’s surely a real emotion he’s channeling from back in March; for viewers, this is the first time we get to feel Fred’s passing, and subsequently Perry’s. ALSO: Aguirre-Sacasa says tonight's episode is "bursting with sadness, but even more so with love."