"I'm never gonna forget him and I think it's still very fresh and we're all still dealing with it," he admitted.
So far, the show is handling it by essentially not addressing it. Perry's last scene was a heart-to-heart with Archie, and since then his character has been simply described as out of town. In his absence, Molly Ringwald has stepped in as Archie's mother, Mary. But that's not a permanent solution.
"We're definitely gonna obviously have to address it at some point," Apa admitted. "[It could mean] Molly stepping in as more of an active parent for Archie, but that all depends on the availability of the actors around us. So, you know, we'll do what we can."
In other words, if Ringwald is available to sign on in a more permanent basis -- or at least heavily recurring -- Mary can essentially fill the voice in Fred's absence. That still leaves the narrative thread of what to do about the character of Fred?
Would they really leave him out of town indefinitely, or have him suddenly start traveling? Perry's last episode just aired this past week, but as the show films well in advance, Apa is indicating that even at the point they're filming on future episodes, it's yet to be officially addressed.
More than likely, the writers will probably build up to the death of Perry's fictional counterpart. It would be an opportunity for the cast to grieve the actor while their characters grieve the loss of such a central adult figure in their world. It may be something saved for the fall, with the death happening during the hiatus.
For now, though, Apa says, "His legacy is gonna live on in the lives around him, that he worked with, you know?"