Riverdale Preview: How Do Fred and Archie Really Feel About Mary’s Return?


Make no mistake, we are just as excited to have Molly Ringwald join the cast of Riverdale as her onscreen husband and son are. To see our favorite 80s princess and our favorite 90s bad boy on the same show is a treasure we are forever grateful to the show’s casting director for. Ringwald’s turn as Archie’s absentee mom Mary is going to cause major waves, as you could tell by the look on Archie’s face before the show went on hiatus. Luke Perry and KJ Apa are thrilled to be able to delve deeper into the Andrews’s family dynamic, but how do their characters really feel about her return? We got that answer when we spoke to the onscreen father and son at Wondercon, as well as why Mary’s relationship with her son will always be different from Fred’s.

When last we saw, Fred shocked Archie by bringing his mother back, hoping to test the waters on what their family could be again. “She’s the woman I love, she’s the mother of my child, so that’s a big thing for Fred. For us to separate wasn’t my idea, it’s a lot to put together.” As Apa puts it, “Archie loves his mom and he does miss her. When she comes back it’s clear that Archie, a bit of him wants his mom and dad to get back together again and I think there’s a little bit of hope in there. He loves his mom and they have a great relationship. Unfortunately, she’s just not there for him like Fred is.”

Much of this realization comes not just from the fact that Mary has been absent, but because of how Fred has stepped up as a parent and a friend to his son. This was none more prevalent than early on in the season with the Ms. Grundy storyline. “I think the show, just by addressing it and having a storyline about it, showed they wanted to take a chance. But I also thought they were really responsible about not having it be an ongoing thing. It had to end. I appreciate the position that Fred took on it. He appreciates that things are going to happen between men and women. There’s times when it’s proper, there’s times when it’s not. The thing that I liked about it was that I never negated Archie’s feelings…it’s just because of your age it can’t happen. Not making any moral judgments, I was really glad they approached it that way. It was intelligent. It gave me [as Fred] respect for [Archie’s] intelligence, respect for the teacher as well. It didn’t get all reactive.”

Apa appreciates that they are the most stable parent-child dynamic on the show. “Archie can come and talk to his dad about everything, and the further we go on we can kind of see it flip over where…Fred can come to his son.” It’s certainly unlike anything Perry has ever played before, an onscreen and offscreen relationship he can appreciate. “A lot of the times when we’re playing the scenes, we’re not necessarily father and son. We’re just a couple of guys, like roommates. Depending on what the issues are I have to step in and be the father, but I learn from my son, he teaches me some stuff along the way. As a father you’re proud to realize your son is somebody you can lean on. Even though we’ve done some scenes with a lot of emotional punch to them, I feel like he’s got my back. I feel safe taking chances with K.J.”

Would you like to see Molly Ringwald stick around long-term, or does this father-son dynamic stand too well on its own? We’ll see how it goes when Riverdale returns tonight on The CW.

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