Riverdale Season 4 premiere: Season 4, Episode 1, “Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam,” Aired Oct. 9, 2019
During the Riverdale season 4 premiere, which focused on the heart-breaking passing of Luke Perry back in March 2019 and his character, Fred Andrews, I noticed another heart-breaking scene that would be wrong to not talk about as well. It lasted no more than 30 seconds, but it was very important.
In the season three finale, we had to witness the devastating scene, in which Betty Cooper watched her own father die, in the hands of Penelope Blossom. Of course, Hal Cooper, was a complete monster who disguised himself as The Black Hood, killed multiple people and manipulated Betty in to giving him a chance to rebuild their extremely broken relationship.
However, despite all of that, he was still Betty’s father and no child should ever have to witness their parents death, no matter how much they deserved it. Betty was quite content in despising her father from his jail cell. She had the control of where their complicated relationship might go in the future, but now that has been taken away from her.
While Fred’s funeral was coming to a close, we see a short clip of Betty standing alone at her father’s grave, covered in trash and defaced with spray-paint, the words, ‘The Black Hood burns in Hell” across the entirety of his grave. Betty stands there staring at the mess created with an unreadable expression on her face.
We still don’t know the full extent as to how Betty is feeling about the loss of her father. The season three finale was a roller-coaster, and couldn’t really give much time to that, so I’m looking forward to seeing how she deals with it throughout season four.
Despite his huge mistakes, Betty still shows some compassion towards her father, by moving the trash aside. It’s clear to see that Betty is completely alone in grieving Hal and my heart aches to think after all he’s done, she still makes the time to visit him.
So, why was this scene such an important addition? This episode showed how much of a hero Fred was and how the town treats him because of this. Hal is the polar opposite of Fred. Hal was a monster and is receiving a whole other type of treatment in Riverdale. As we see on the headstone, Hal passed away May 19, 2019, only two months ago – making this still extremely raw for Betty.
The loss of Fred, who was pretty much a second father figure to her, so soon after her own father’s passing, must have brought back a flood of emotions, whether she wants them or not. It also shows you the difference in how Betty’s friends have been there for her and how they’ve been there for Archie, but of course, this doesn’t mean that they didn’t offer at all to go with her, I’m sure Jughead would’ve stood by here to support. Maybe this is something that she needs to do alone.
With that all possibly being a reason as to why Betty visits Hal’s grave, there is also the other possibility that she was just consumed with emotions after losing Fred. With the episode focusing on Archie’s perspective of grief, it’s easy to forget about everyone else who have also lost someone in their lives, therefore through the process of grieving, Betty has clearly reached the point where she needs to revisit past pains.
With everything Betty goes through in each and every season, you wouldn’t really blame her if her “dark side” came out for good, but she manages to impress us every time by coming out of everything a stronger and better person. From sharing memories of Fred being her dad for the day, to brushing trash away from her father’s headstone, I personally would’ve broke by now – not this girl though. This girl bounces back every single time and we applaud her for that. Fred Andrews was the heart of Riverdale, but Betty Cooper is the backbone.
It’s a beautifully complex scene. It’s an important addition to the episode that shows that underlying the initial grief of Fred, Betty also held a lot more in for the sake of Archie. It also shines a light on the complexities and importance of a child’s bond with their father – good and bad.
Although Betty is sure to face a whole other pile of problems, I hope we see her get the closure she deserves when it comes to Hal Cooper. He’s haunted her enough times now, we want to see Betty happy!!!
Riverdale airs every Thursday on The CW and Netflix