After the events of the Season 2 finale, the Spellman Mortuary has become a boarding house for the wayward witches that escaped Faustus Blackwood’s attempted Jim Jonesing and Zelda is ready to move them all back to the Academy with her running the school.
Harvey has been letting Sabrina hit the mines daily before the crews show up so that she can try and open the gates of Hell and hopefully get Nick out, even if she doesn’t have a plan for what to do when she gets him back.
After a chat with the returning Ms. Vardwell Sabrina heads off to Dorian Gray’s bar where she strikes a bargain for a round trip to hell and then she interrupts Theo, Roz, and Harvey mid-My Sharona cover at band practice to tell them to get ready because they’re headed to hell. Prudence and Ambrose are running through, literally with a sword and everything, glamoured Judas Boys, in an attempt to find the twins and bring her father to justice, or death. And, Lilith is living her best life as Madam Satan and she’s even eviler than Hell’s previous ruler and is keeping Nick’s tongue in jar and Theo’s uncle semi crucified on the side of the road where he endures never-ending torment as they make their way through a twisted Wizard of Oz Hellscape.
WHAT WORKED: The episode length is perfect, it’s like getting a mini-movie which allows for a full story to be told. As a season premiere, it hit all the right notes by giving us all of the major characters, a slow reveal/hint of this seasons big bad, a unifying triumph and a couple of problems that will need to be resolved over the course of the season so, no matter why you’re watching, you found a reason/person/cause/problem that you will want to see play out. I also like the writing, it’s realistic (within the realm of a supernatural, campy, comic book based TV show), and the direction and lighting and the whole thing was so pretty and perfect, like looking at a super stylized graphic novel come to life.
WHAT DIDN’T: Honestly, the only thing that I could find wrong with the episode was there wasn’t enough Hilda and while I am happy for the few scenes she was in, most of the time she was wearing a Faustus Blackwood suit and while that was integral to the story and keeping Zelda and the school safe, I hella missed the way she manages to be both the voice of reason & compassion AND comic relief.
“Guys, what was that?” – Theo
“Nothing. It’s just the wind.” – Sabrina
After everything that they’ve been through, seen and done , they know and WE know that it is NEVER just the wind. So, choosing to end our final shot of the episode that contains our infernal foursome on that note, is ominous and bloody brilliant.
BEST MOMENT: When Sabrina declares herself the Queen of Hell and Lilith as her Regent. Here’s the thing, Sabrina may be destined for the throne but, she doesn’t want it and is more than happy to give it to Lilith so she can take her love, Nick, and head back to Greendale. But, in this moment there’s a coup rising and Caliban, a Prince of Hell, really wants that throne now that all of the realms are standing behind him. Sabrina has a choice to make, she can say f* it and leave Lilith there to sort out the kingdom she so desperately wanted, she can just claim the throne and be the youngest ruler Hell has ever had throwing Lilith to the wolves, or she can give Lilith the throne without giving Lilith the throne by giving Lilith the power to rule in her absence and naming Lilith her Regent. It’s brilliant and low key feminist AF, in choosing to name Lilith her Regent, she is giving her dominion over all of the men clamoring in the room who would try to belittle her or rule her so that in Sabrina’s absence, at least for the time being, Lilith is safe from the male wolves at the door who do not wish to be led or ruled by a woman. Sabrina in one echo booming hell voice, sent the patriarchal oppressive powers of hell back to their respective realms and put a woman on top of the infernal food chain and pulled another woman up with her and I am here for it.
EPISODE’S MVP: Prudence! There is a lot going on in this season premiere and while her scenes were minimal but, they were potent. While Sabrina embarks on her mission through hell, with her friends to save her sort-of boyfriend Nick, Prudence is scouring this world and any other ones, if she has to, to rescue her twin baby siblings from her self serving, murderous father. While both of their actions are fueled by love, Prudence’s mission is selfless and shows a real evolution in her character. She is also a Judas Boy slaying badass who manages to stay flawless with her fashion while she uses her wits in her mission to bring her siblings home. Tati Gabrielle is an amazing actress who plays Prudence so effortlessly with such a range of emotion and so much depth that it is impossible not to be on team Prudence. When it comes to the character who stood out the most, in this episode, it was all about Prudence and I couldn’t wait for her brief returns to the screen. I stan a smart, loyal, badass, determined, fearless queen and Pru was all of that in this episode making her this episode MVP.