The show’s creative team decided to take pity upon us with “The Returned” after putting us through the emotional ringer in episode five but, they still came for us a little and toyed with our hearts. There’s a battle of the bands brewing and the latest Terror is bringing back the dead of Greendale, for better or worse. This episode was filled with equal parts camp and bittersweet sadness, taking you on an emotional roller coaster that is so satisfying, even with all that tears, that you don’t want to get off.
Camp Level 11: Satanic Panic, a band that Harvey’s dad used to play with is back from the dead and they’ve got a bone to pick with Mr. Kinkle because he ratted them out and got them burned to death in a woodshed after a possible devil’s deal. It is every 80s teen movie about those darn satanic killers in the wood mixed with a huge dose of Sometimes They Come Back. It’s a nice C story that adds a bit of fun to the rest of the episode.
Terms of Endearment: This episode has our characters coming face to face with their loved ones back from the dead but, they haven’t come to spread love but, pain and suffering and watching so many hearts get broken after everything they’ve already been through, it cuts deep, not as deep as the last episode but, I still got caught in my feels.
Overall: “The Returned” ended with a few more heartbreaks one of which I saw coming and had time to prepare for and one I didn’t see coming at all even with all the breadcrumbs that were dropped ever since one of my favorite characters entered the show! They also managed to put in a sweet moment that brings you to tears amidst all the sorrow only to have it boomerang and break your heart. This show consistently draws you in, makes you feel deep, real feelings for imaginary characters so definitely watch this episode but please, bring tissues.
The Mortal Realm: In “Deus Ex Machina“, Sabrina and Roz are co-Presidenting at Baxter High, where Nick has transferred to win OG Sabrina back. Hell is breaking through the mortal world. Lilith is hiding out at the Academy avoiding Hell and resigned to keep Adam away from hell until he 16 and can claim the throne.
The Infernal Realm: Future Sabrina is trying to clear out space in Hell because it’s overcrowding. The mortal world is breaking through to hell. Robin decides to stay with Theo and fight, instead of returning to the unaffected Fae Realm with his people because Theo refuses to go with him.
Heaven Help Us: Metatron comes down to offer a solution because every solution both sides come up with, the Sabrina’s can either kill one of them or merge. The Sabrina’s are given six hours to get their affairs in order before the merge Future Sabrina wants to spend it saying goodbye to her old friends and OG Sabrina wants to spend it with Nick.
Overall: There’s a lot of twists and turns in “Deus Ex Machina” that I left out because you have to see it to feel it and this episode was full of feels. I didn’t mention this episode’s terror because it is cosmic. Everything about “Deus Ex Machina” is heart-filled and centers upon personal sacrifices and all sorts of things that will make you cry, in fact, if you don’t cry at least twice during this episode, I will assume you have no soul or heart. There was a cute little cameo that we’ve been waiting for all season and it added a smile to my face. There’s also the heart-wrenching moment where Lilith faces the consequences of her actions and anyone with a heart feels actual sympathy for the devil. It was a lot going in expecting some simple horror camp and coming out the other end of the episode feeling emotionally drained and raw because you connected to everything that happened in the hour, that felt like more.
So It Begins: Prudence sets out to murder her father just as he mugs the third terror of his Imp of the Perverse and makes himself the supreme ruler in “The Imp of the Perverse“.
The Fright Club: In the warped reality Robin the hobgoblin gets to go full Flash, Theo gets deemed a witch for defending him, Harvey goes junior SS officer in his service to Blackwood, Roz and Sabrina have to save the Greendale in the horror camp female buddy drama that we all needed and Nick and Sabrina flirt in the face of death.
The Third Terror: The Perverse is the Archieverse version of Loki and his level of petty mischief is kind of cool, he tells Ambrose how to reverse his own horror because Blackwood tries to pull a fast one and mugs him.
Overall: “The Imp of the Perverse” is a good one that has Sabrina focusing on something other than her love life and boys. In the end, she gets Nick back in a way that complements her instead of defining her. I really liked that Sabrina and Roz got to spend some sister/BFF time saving the town and restoring things. This episode had a fun twist with a very 1984 style layout and a call to resistance and doing what is right in the face of authority and even death. Overall it knocks another terror off the list and traded the show’s usual fun time campy horror with a real cautionary tale that managed to still tie in with the way the series normally runs. This season seems very into isolating each episode and making it a good stand-alone story while still keeping it tied into the overall season arc.
Oh The Terror: In “The Weird”, we meet the weird, where they turn Sabrina into Seven of Nine level baddie because she is the strongest and the weakest. The Weird has a squid-like appearance and Borg like demeanor. They take over Greendale absorbing its science class and demanding that they all kill themselves to feed the coming Void.
Sabrina’s Love Life: So, not only is Sabrina being slowly taken over and puppetmastered by The Weird, but she also has a new boo in her life who may or not be the love Gollum she created, named Luke who she’s got a crush on. But, Nick is still in the picture more than once when she needs him, even going as far as doing a Sound of Music duet to Sixteen Going on Seventeen while Ambrose extracts The Weird from her.
Plot Twist We All Should Have Seen: From the beginning of the series I thought that it was weird that out of all the families in Greendale, the witches that were slaughtered in the town’s early days chose to curse her family. Well, it turns out Roz comes from a family of witches who denied their power and named it the cunning, and turned on the other witches because they didn’t want to be thought of as in league with the devil.
Best Scene: When two of the Kings of Hell show up to kill Lillith’s baby with the Dark Lord, the coven attacks them, murdering one and sending the other on the run by, inflicting upon them the pain of childbirth which of course the men could not handle. It was campy and glorious.
Overall: “The Weird” is another solid episode that finally focuses on Sabrina and deals with her inner turmoil and finally chooses to forget about her love life and focus on taking a breather, while still trying to stop The Terrors, on romance and focus on herself. It’s a level of self-discovery and a path towards her own personal growth as a woman, giving her agency which is something that her character has needed and deserved since the beginning,
Episode Terror: This episode’s terror is “ The Uninvited” and his special power is removing the heart of the heartless. He appears as a beggar to people and knocks at their door, murdering anyone who does not endeavor to help him or invite him in.
Best Scene: Nick tries to release the incubus from Dr. Cee so that he’s free to enjoy his wedding to Aunt Hilda but, his plan doesn’t go according to plan. The incubus is released into the wild and the whole crew is worried as the incubus hates the divine feminine and is on the hunt for a perfect male host. The newly freed incubus finds its perfect host in THEO ! The reason it is the best, perfect scene because it is a big FU to anyone who is a TERF of anti trans, in cannon Sabrina just said something that most people already knew, TRANS MEN ARE MEN! and, they let people who didn’t know that they are as well and it was refreshing and wonderful to see.
Sabrina’s Bag of Tricks: Sabrina goes all in at Hilda’s wedding during a toast to love where she flames Nick during a pity party speech. She also tries to ruin Queen of Hell Sabrina’s engagement to Caliban who despite her best efforts to rip them apart instead makes him prove his love to her future self in the most painful way,leading Sabrina to approve of the union and Underworld Sabrina to lay out that Sabrina’s real problem is that she is lonely.
The Fright Club: Roz and Harvey escape the Terror by Roz using her cunning and deciding to invite him in. Later Harvey and Roz are able to ID the terror for Ambrose and Harvey uses the drawings from his dream to identify all eight terrors giving a preview of what is to come.
Overall: Beautiful episode that includes a game of incubus wack-a-mole as the demon pops from body to body at the wedding landing inside The Uninvited himself where it not only dies but, allows the terror time to eat Dorian’s heart and start a toasted his own where he tells his origin story. Each episode so far is a fully contained story that is not only well crafted and wonderful but, builds upon the last.
When season three ended, the Fright Club and the Witches joined forces to take down the Pagans, Future Sabrina decided to take her place as a Morningstar and reign as the Queen of Hell by her father’s side while OG timeline Sabrina returned to live her life out as a Spellman. The Dark Reverend Blackwood released something called The Eldritch Terrors to get his revenge on the Spellman family, while Prudence broke Ambrose’s heart and set out into the world to mourn the loss of one sister at the hands of the other. A lot went down in the finale all of which led us to this point, where we are at the edge of our seats waiting to see what will happen next because a time paradox, like the one Sabrina surely created allowing both versions of herself from different timelines to exist simultaneously, instead of merging and restoring the timeline, had to have some unforeseen consequences. That is where we pick up for the current, just released season of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrinaand, despite this being the beginning of the end for one of my favorite campy horror shows, I couldn’t be happier to watch how it all plays out.
Where We Begin: “The Eldritch Dark” kicks off with Blackwood in a church revival tent scribbling and chanting to himself a gust of wind signals to him that the Eldritch Terrors that he released in the Season 3 finale are finally free, setting the stage for the current season and this episode. Back at the Spellman homestead, things seem to have returned to normal and Sabrina is still Nick free, he is dating Prudence after their steps of the Academy link up at the end of the last season, so she’s playing the fifth wheel with her friends and she’s missing the band and the Fright Club since life is boringly normal. A murdered homeless man outside of the mines signals something that seems like a normal crime instead of supernatural since everyone seems to have forgotten where they live. Zelda is still in charge at the academy, and dating the voodoo high priestess Marie who she fell for last season, the coven is now the order of Hecate, and Hilda is still going strong with her fiancé Dr. Cee. Ms. Vardwell is visited by Agatha who invites her to join her new “church” which she strongly considers because of her memory gaps and witchy flashbacks.
The Fright Club: Initially the gang is all there for the invented Bloody Mary excuse but, things get a bit harder when the Terrors show themselves. The first terror is a darkness that preys on fears and has set up the mines as a home base. As the Avatars of Darkness shut down the power all over the town, Fright Club stands by as Prudence, Nick, Ambrose, and Sabrina get ready to face it head-on, setting the stage for the B time and the Varsity Squad to join forces to start taking it on.
A Tale of Two Sabrinas: With nothing else going on or sparking joy in her life, Sabrina wants to visit her other self to see how things are going for her, despite Ambrose’s very real and very logical objections. To get her friends back into her life she takes Aunt Hilda’s advice and gives the Fright Club a little something to be frightful of by making blood flow in the boys’ bathroom with a little help from Salem acting as the ghost Bloody Mary. The two get to meet up to generate some light to slay the darkness it’s kind of charming and sweet watching Sabrina see what her life could have been.
Best Scene: Roz and her cunning helped her see through the trick but, she had a one on one chat with Sabrina to explain to her that they’ll always be friends and if she misses her she just has to ask to hang out. I loved this scene most of all because it was the purest, girl-powered, grown-up friendship talks that I’ve seen on a teen show.
Episode MVP: Aunt Hilda. She has stayed the course as the heart of the show. She saved Zelda from the first terror and his emotional bullying by sowing seeds of doubt on her. She was there when Sabrina needed a way to get back in with her coupled-up friends. Plus she stays the epitome of speak softly and carry a big stick and I’m always here for her.
Overall: I tried to keep this spoiler-free because I really think “The Eldritch Dark” is worth a watch. The writing, pacing, and direction set the stage and world for the current season, and if this episode is any indication this season is going to be full of heart, hope, horror, and fun and that is something to look forward to as the end of the Sabrina era comes to an end.
Sabrina tries to get a little alone time with Nick, who’s still body sharing with Lucifer before she heads to cheer practice and in her rush she accidentally breaks the salt circle, just a little bit. Madam Satan shows up to remind Sabrina that she still has a job to do and sends her off to collect the soul of a man who gave his up to be a chess master and in the end, she can’t so she sends him to heaven instead which results in her being summoned to hell. Zelda is still getting the witches at the Academy to pray to Lilith and abandon sexist traditions but, she’s having a bit of trouble commanding respect inside of the classroom. If that’s not enough to get you interested, Sabrina has a new job dragging souls to hell and Prudence and Ambrose & Prudence has finally tracked down Faustus.
WHAT WORKED: For the starters, the soundtrack is a whole BOP! Between the It’s Tricky cheer routine and Harvey, Theo and Roz’s band doing a super good cover of Teenage Dirtbag, I think I”m going to need to cop this on vinyl and digital download.
This season they’re doing something new where they’re wading in the more serious end of the dark camp pool and it’s kind of amazing, I actually find this change in pace refreshing and prefer it to the previous seasons.
The low key, understated but, very there LGBTQ representation, shout out to the writers for making it so effortless and normalizing it as it should be.
WHAT DIDN’T: I am happy to report that I have nothing to report on this front.
BEST LINE(s): Not a line per se but, watching Sabrina and Roz do a whole cheer-leading routine and RAP the lyrics to Run DMC’s It’s Tricky gave me life!
BEST MOMENT: Theo on a possible date, nothing cliche or exploitative just two kids on a maybe date and I’m here for it. Especially because there is nothing more pure, heartwarming and beautiful than Theo with an ear to ear grin after all that he’s been through he deserves all the joy and good things.
EPISODE’S MVP: Roz and her I’ll ride but, why do we have to die moment. Roz had to give Sabrina a mini vibe check when she decided to go off half-cocked to travel by pinwheel to save a missing girl, she told her not to do it because she didn’t know what was waiting for her on the other side of the pinwheel and didn’t go with her. The reason that’s huge is, Theo, Roz and Harvey have been pretty ride or die so far, they even went with her into hell itself to rescue her boyfriend but, going to the lair of a serial killer who eats little kids hearts, that was a bridge to far and it turns out Roz was right. What makes Roz an MVP is that she called Sabrina on her impulsive nature, was willing to go with her if there was a plan (there was not), told her why her lack of planning was bad and, told her she wasn’t down with going with her. Roz spent a lot of the episode using her cunning and I like that she’s getting more screen time and this episode reminded us why we all need a friend like Roz.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina tells the story of Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), a half-witch half-mortal teenage girl. She’s been waiting her whole life for her 16th birthday, but something wicked this way comes, forcing her to choose between the path of light and the path of night. A Netflix Original Series from the makers of Riverdale and based on the comics from Archie Comics.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrinaarrives October 26th