Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 binge recap: A goddess-send of a final season
Much shall be missed when we no longer have any more Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: the way Miranda Otto smokes cigarettes, how Michelle Gomez proves as Lilith that Hollywood should give her every role she would ever want, the coven working overtime to place "god" with "goddess" in every common exclamation, the male cast's thirst-trap Instagrams but specifically Gavin Leatherwood's thirst-trap Instagrams with Luke Cook... But at least we have Part 4, which in the show's final eight episodes manages to throw everything and the kitchen cauldron at the wall and it all sticks.
The show, which performed a flirtatious waltz with Riverdale but never formally crossed over and now never will, has become a bacchanal of insanity. It's the M.O. of showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Riverdale's first season was often compared to Twin Peaks with a CW teen drama template, but the seeds planted eventually blossomed into a garden of Jingle Jangle madness. Sabrina has now equally flourished with plots involving the Eldritch Terrors, using the pain of childbirth to destroy men, Prudence getting a sword, and Leatherwood ripping open his shirt to bear his chest at apocalyptic entities because it's a requirement now. If Sabrina is going out, it definitely gives us one helluva last hoorah.
Episode 1, "The Eldritch Dark"
Sabrina is bored as hell. Something many of us can probably relate to these days. The teen witch was moving at warp speed for the past three seasons between fighting Satan, embracing Satan, becoming queen of Hell, fighting pagan carnies, and then messing up time itself and getting a doppelgänger. Now, she’s given up her throne to... well, herself in order to live that “normal life” she always wanted — or she thought she always wanted. But with no demons to hunt, no world-ending plot to unravel, and no romantic entanglements, life is pretty dull for Sabrina. And when Sabrina’s bored, things take a decidedly wild about-face.
Sabrina's mortal friends have all moved on with their lives, leaving her feeling alone. The Fright Club has retired; Harvey and Roz are making their own music, actually and also romantically; and Theo is experiencing the bliss of his early relationship with Robin. The same goes for the Academy, where Aunt Zelda, still with Mambo Marie, has taken over as headmistresses of the school and high priestess of the new Order of Hecate. One of her first acts is to start a new annual tradition of naming three women to play the part of maiden, mother, and crone to symbolize the three faces of their goddess. Sabrina can’t even get herself named maiden, which is fair because she hasn’t exactly been the star pupil. But it still hurts! The only action Sabrina's been getting is her Academy classmate Melvin asking her out, and Billy at Baxter High relaying affections from his football buddy Carl. Sabrina really wants to visit her other self in Hell to see whether or not she made the right choice, but as Ambrose explains, there's that thing about every interaction with her self possibly creating a cataclysm that might blink another alternate timeline into existence.
Sidebar: Hmm. Alternate timeline, you say. That presents an interesting idea. While there have been hints and clues connecting Sabrina and Riverdale, just how specifically both shows are connected was a question. Billy did pop over for an episode of Riverdale when Betty was on the journalistic warpath, and Sabrina and Ambrose popped over to Cheryl Blossoms’ estate to retrieve a Satanic artifact. So, it would appear they playing out at the same time, but are they playing out in the same reality?
To shake things up a bit, Hilda suggests her niece create a supernatural reason for her friends to get the club back together. So, Sabrina gets Salem to turn into Bloody Mary and terrorize the boy’s bathroom at Baxter High. The banishing goes as planned, but Roz, with her cunning, sees through the ruse and explains to Sabrina that while they will always be friends, they’ve all been moving on since Sabrina effectively left them behind to become a witch and a Hell queen. Fortunately for Sabrina, there's something more pressing to keep her occupied.
Since unleashing whatever was in that lake creature’s time egg at the end of Part 3, Father Blackwood has started his own church, The Pilgrims of the Night, dedicated to worshipping the Eldritch Terrors. Ms. Wardwell is now a congregate, and can we talk about the fact that Agatha, who was Blackwood's STUDENT at the Academy is now supposed to be his WIFE?! Something the show just glosses over. No big deal, apparently.
The arrival of the Terrors signals the end of the world. They appear one at a time, leading up to the Void, which will mark the end of all things. Now, the Absolute Darkness has found its way to Greendale. It has taken hold of the mines and used the forms of ghostly miners as its conduits. The miners roam about town, using their pickaxes to take out any light source they find to cast the world into, yes, absolute darkness. Each of the Spellmans saw a miner at one point. One of them managed to infiltrate the Academy and tried to warp Zelda’s mind by projecting despairing thoughts. When the Spellman mortuary gets a call about three dead vagrants, they put the pieces together. Sabrina and Ambrose recruit Nick for a bit of necromancy to get the deceased to spill their guts, then they astral project into the mines to find a black ooze bubbling up from the ground. Only a light projected from within the darkness itself can dispel it. Oh wait! What about Morningstar light? But one Sabrina alone might not be enough. That’s all the excuse Sabrina needs to convince Ambrose to let her head down to Hell and recruit her other self, who’s having a ball. Every day in Hell is now a dance party with her fiancé, Caliban. Yes, Caliban tried to trap her for all eternity, but he’s really sorry about that and totally not all of a sudden interested in her because she’s now queen of Hell. (Remember this for later.)
The two Sabrinas get the Fright Club to distract the miners and the coven to use their magic to protect Greendale. Meanwhile, they sneak into the mines to trap the darkness in what is just a giant lightbulb. Darkness, meet the light. Yet, it’s not as easy as that seems. Once you’re inside the Darkness, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by dark thoughts. Hell queen Sabrina goes in first and meets this fate. Then the other Sabrina goes in and the same thing happens. If it weren’t for Ambrose telepathically calling on Prudence to rally the coven’s energies to help them, they’d be done for. But it’s all good, and the ooze of the Darkness is now wallowing in the bulb.
Cut to both Sabrinas dancing together to the sound of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.” Too on the nose, but it's the final season so who cares?
Episode 2, "The Uninvited"
Here is where Part 4 turns into an Eldritch Terror-of-the-week kind of show, minus the weekly format. After the Absolute Darkness comes the Uninvited, who takes the form of a homeless man pushing a cart. When life first came into being, mankind huddled around fire for warmth but shunned the Uninvited. The entity wandered the cosmos until he was welcomed among the other Terrors. Now, whenever someone doesn't welcome him into their home, he tears out their hearts for being so heartless. Sorry to the single mom who was having dinner with her daughter.
Of course, the Uninvited arrives just as Aunt Hilda is about to marry Dr. Cee. Plus, there's an incubus on the loose. As part of the preparations, Nick and Melvin were tasked with excising the demon from Dr. Cee, but the incubus jumped out and took over Theo unbeknownst to them. So, to be safe, they are turning away anyone without an invitation at the ceremony. Thanks to Roz and some magical detective work from Ambrose, they know about the Uninvited and are keeping an eye out for him. The Uninvited had visited during Roz and Harvey's makeout session, and her cunning urged her to let him in. He ate some soup and left peacefully, but Ambrose cast a spell on a batch of new heartless dead bodies and discovered the other victims weren't so lucky.
Unfortunately for the coven, the Uninvited made a pit stop at the Pilgrims of the Night church, where Blackwood was blessed as a servant of the Eldritch Terrors by eating a piece of the entity's flesh. He cleaned the Uninvited, gave him a tongue ('cause he was missing one, obviously), dressed him in a suit, and sent him off in the direction of Hilda's wedding.
Sabrina has been preoccupied with other things so she's a bit off her game. She had been meeting with the other Sabrina in secret in her magical dollhouse when she found out her self is planning to marry Caliban by the end of the week. Lilith doesn't want the marriage either as grandchildren could threaten her own child's claim to the throne. When Lilith arrives at the Spellman home and learns there are two Sabrinas, she and Sabrina agree to break up Sabrina and Caliban. Sabrina pretends to be her other self and get Caliban to cut off his own testicles in service of her new goddess Hecate. He does it, but he's clay, so it doesn't matter really. And Sabrina learns of the ruse, but isn't bent about it and even invites Sabrina to her own wedding. So there's Sabrina, alone again. By the time Hilda's nuptials come about, she's in her feelings. When she's paired with Nick to man the door, they don't recognize the Uninvited with his new makeover and refuse him.
Sabrina gets wasted during the reception and makes a drunken toast, but that's not the worst part of Hilda's big day. During the Fright Club's band performance, the incubus reveals itself inside Theo and it jumps from body to body until landing in the Uninvited, who promptly digests it. After Zelda reveals his true form, the Terror threatens to kill everyone in the room. He does end up killing Dorian Gray, and then Sabrina steps in. She invites him instead to the wedding in Hell as her plus one. The Sabrinas formulate a plan to contain him, but they've been outed to Lucifer in the process who's stunned and dismayed to learn there are two Sabrinas walking about. They host a double wedding: Sabrina and Caliban, and Sabrina and the Uninvited. Sabrina then tricks the Terror into walking through a door into the dollhouse, and Team Hell then magically seals the house. Sabrina is given the dollhouse and banished from Hell, never to return lest she creates that alternate reality Ambrose mentioned earlier.
Episode 3, "The Weird"
Roz touched the Uninvited last episode and received visions of the Eldritch Terrors that Harvey then drew in his sleep, so the coven has an idea of what to look out for. The next one to arrive is the Weird, which takes the form a weird-looking squid. This is the hive mind guy, who's looking to put everyone under his telepathic thrall. He first possesses the corpse of a man who drowned in Sweetwater River and arrives at Blackwood's church during a rainstorm. He needs a new body and wants Sabrina's, since she's been able to defeat two Terrors already. The Weird wants to use her magic to take over all of Greendale. Wardwell offers an idea about how to do that: a trojan horse. The drowned corpse is sent to the Spellman mortuary, and when Ambrose is distracted, the Weird creeps its way out of the body.
The coven, meanwhile, is using Harvey's drawings to stay vigilante about pinpointing potential Terror activity. Mambo Marie recognizes something in Roz and realizes she's not a "cunning women," she's really a witch. More specifically, a seer. Roz's ancestors called themselves cunning women to avoid being burned at the stake. So, now Mambo Marie brings Roz into the coven and, with Prudence, becomes a trio of Sentinels, using magic to keep tabs on the cosmos for any presence of the Terrors.
Elsewhere, Sabrina is busy making her dream man. She casts a spell to bring the best parts of Harvey and the best parts of Nick into one body. The guy, made of candle wax, is slowly growing in her bathtub when a real-life dreamboat shows up at school. His name is Lucas and he's a transfer student who has come to join Baxter High's swim team. He seems to be everything Sabrina is looking for at the moment, but she begins to have these weird dreams... maybe because the Weird is already working its ways on her mind. She can't stop drinking water and, in school, when she attempts to dissect a squid, she recoils in intense pain. Lucas brings her home where she then attempts to make out with him only to scare the crap out of him when her tongue turns into a hard tentacle.
Ambrose, who's become an unofficial doctor this season, casts a magic x-ray on Sabrina and finds a gross squid monster hiding among Sabrina's intestines. His first attempt to get it out (i.e. cutting her open) fails. So, he turns to the water witch, who drains as much water out of Sabrina without killing her. With little water, the carcass of the Weird spills out of her mouth voluntarily. Ambrose declares it dead, which is silly because he just earlier told everyone the Eldritch Terrors cannot be killed. Lo and behold, it's still alive. It's essence just fused with Sabrina's consciousness. There's an incident at school when Sabrina, now controlled by the Weird, psychically takes over everyone in her class. Ambrose intervenes and puts everyone to sleep. Now comes the harder part of separating their minds. He taps the witch of rot to rot Sabrina's brain, similar to how they deprived the Weird of water, but this obviously threatens to leave Sabrina as a mindless vegetable. Nick comes to be by her side out of concern and helps Sabrina focus on The Sound of Music lyrics to keep her sanity as visions of the Weird threaten to take hold. Finally, the Weird's consciousness is expunged and trapped in the body of a squid floating in a tank. Ambrose freezes the Terror, trapping it in a block of ice. Another Terror down, five more to go.
Elsewhere, in Hell, Caliban reveals himself to be the backstabbing leach he always was. He's secretly working with the Plague Kings to steal the throne. With Sabrina and Lucifer out visiting the circles of Hell, he casts a spell on Lilith to kill the baby. The baby sprouts within her belly and threatens to kill her if she doesn't give birth. She teleports to the Academy, asking the coven's help. Zelda, Hilda, and the witches use the power of Hecate to bear the pain of childbirth so that Lilith can push out baby Adam. When Caliban learns the child isn't yet dead, he sends the kings to make nice with the coven in order to get close enough to kidnap the babe. Roz foresees this plan and instead the coven rechannels that pain of childbirth on the kings. One actually dies from it, and the other escapes back to Hell to report back to Caliban. Zelda offers Lilith and Adam sanctuary at the Academy, promising to shield them even from Lucifer.
Episode 4, "The Imp of the Perverse"
Now, the fourth Eldritch Terror doesn't appear to be sentient, not in any way that is apparent. The Imp of the Perverse appears as a golden statue of an imp and it has the power to alter reality — to "pervert" reality — by granting any wish imaginable to the bearer. A supernatural trinket salesman arrives at Blackwood's church to sell magical wares. One of his trinkets is the Imp of the Perverse. It's unclear who this man is exactly or how he came to possess the imp, but he's not selling the imp. So, Blackwood steals it from him and throws him out.
Sabrina, in an attempt to find her new identity, is campaigning for Baxter High co-president with Roz when her running mate gets a telepathic message from Prudence. She sees a vision of Blackwood taking the imp but wants to kill him herself. She grabs her swords and teleports to the church, but before she can stab him, Blackwood wishes into existence a reality in which he's always been emperor of Greendale. It's a very House of M situation, for the X-Men crowd. Baxter High has been warped into a cadet academy for Blackwood's youth forces, adorned with authoritarian Hitler-esque imagery. The Academy is now an art school. Witches and witchcraft are outlawed. The town now has a very medieval, witch hunt vibe. Prudence is now a lieutenant of Blackwood's army, and Harvey and Billy are head cadets. Initially, it appears Sabrina and Roz are the only ones who've been able to retain their memories. They theorize it's because they both had direct physical contact with Eldritch Terrors. Not helping their cause, though, is that Sabrina is public enemy No. 1. So, she's forced to disguise herself with glasses because, as we know, glasses are the universal magic trick to make someone unrecognizable.
Sabrina and Roz sit through one of Wardwell's classes and are forced to learn about this perverted history Blackwood has cooked up. Then, the man himself arrives with his entourage. His spies have told him there's a witch among the students. He accuses Robin, who uses his speedster powers to flee, and then he turns his attention to Theo, who spoke up in Robin's defense. Blackwood carts him away, but leaves us with a choice line about witches flying on broomsticks and dropping "spell bombs" on Greendale.
After school, Sabrina and Roz make their way to the Spellman home, where they find Ambrose fleeing town. He has no recollection of ever having a cousin, or none that he's saying. The house has been defaced, branded with the symbol that accuses him of witchcraft, and he's getting the heck out of here. With little options left, the pair decide to split up: Sabrina will go to the Academy and Roz will try to get through to Harvey. Before Blackwood's wish, Roz came clean to Harvey about being a witch, something he had trouble digesting because, you know, he already dated a witch and it didn't go so well. In this new reality, she tries to get through to him again, but when she claims to be a witch and that he once dated Sabrina, he gets aggressive. Roz leaves with little hope for the man he has become. Sabrina, meanwhile, finds Aunt Zelda in her office at the Academy. She reveals herself with magic and tries using a spell to restore her aunt's memories. While it appears to be working, Blackwood makes another surprise appearance. Having been tipped off by his spies once again, he's come to look for illegal art and literature hiding at the school. He and Nick get into it when Blackwood notices the pupil not singing along with the rest of the school choir. Because of this, Nick is later arrested when Blackwood finds degenerate items.
When the coast is clear, Sabrina gets through the Zelda. She mentions her aunt's old familiar, a beagle whom she considered her soulmate and is now a taxidermy fixture on her table. Zelda instructs Sabrina to go to Dr. Cee's bookstore and ask for a specific book. Doing so will reveal some people who might be able to help her. Meanwhile, Ambrose is about to leave town but is terrified of the stories Blackwood told the people about what lies beyond Greendale's border — plague, dragons, and the like. But when he drives past the town's welcome sign, his memories return. Sitting close by is the trinket salesman. He tells him Blackwood stole the imp from him and perverted reality. He then gives Ambrose a different artifact that might help: the Omphalos Stone, the stone that the titan Kronos swallowed to create the center of the universe. It goes by another name, the stone of reality. Ambrose hopes to use this to restore what was, but the salesman warns that should he return to Greendale, he will have mere seconds before his mind becomes perverted again. So, Ambrose has to find Sabrina as quickly as possible, give her the stone, and tell her what to do before losing his memories. Fortunately, speedster Robin is listening close by and runs up to help.
At Dr. Cee's, Sabrina and Roz find Hilda. She asks for the book and her aunt brings her to a secret back room where lies the resistance, a group of people fighting back against Blackwood's regime. Wardwell and Carl are among them. So is Agatha. Something happened to her when Blackwood perverted reality that restored her mind from madness. Like Sabrina and Roz, she too has her memories. She explains what Blackwood did with the imp and that she's been pretending to be insane as not to draw suspicion. Ambrose and Robin arrive soon after with the stone, only his mind becomes perverted before he can finish telling her how to use it. He did say though it was obvious which gives Hilda an idea. Maybe they eat the stone, just like Kronos did. She makes a soup out of the stone, which turns out to be highly effective. "Stone soup for everyone!" (That's a direct quote and another reason why we'll miss Sabrina.)
In order to fix reality itself, Agatha says they must destroy the imp. And they should do so quickly because the next day, Blackwood will be executing accused witches. Sabrina goes to the Academy to awaken Zelda and the coven. Meanwhile, Harvey and Billy show up at Dr. Cee's to look for illegal activity. Harvey finds Roz hiding among the resistance in the back room, but he only arrests Roz in order to save everyone else. Another hitch to their plan comes when Prudence reveals Agatha's true condition to Blackwood and she too is condemned to the executioner.
The next day, all the accused are lined up to die. The community watches in what once was the coven's condemned church as Prudence piles stone after stone on top of Nick, hoping to force a confession of witchcraft out of him. Sabrina can't take it anymore and intervenes. With Blackwood distracted, Ambrose casts a spell to destroy the imp statue, but it turns out to be a fake. Sabrina throws the Omphalos Stone at Blackwood's head, which disorients him and sends a ripple through reality itself. The "woke witches," as Sabrina called them, use their magic to hold Blackwood in place as Harvey turns on the executioner and Roz and Mambo Marie use their powers to snap Prudence out of the perversion. With the Sentinels back to full power, they reveal you have to wish on the imp statue, not destroy it, to restore reality. They believe the real statue to be in a safe at Dorian's. Robin speeds over to retrieve it, but that too proves to be a fake. They then realize the imp would be close to Blackwood at all times. The only thing that hasn't left his side has been Anubis, his guard dog. Sabrina places her hands on the animal and makes a wish. Success! Reality reverts back to the moment Blackwood was about to make the wish, only this time Prudence drives her sword through his chest. Because he bears the mark of Cain, he cannot die. So, instead, she cuts off his head and brings it back to the Academy.
All is better than it was because Harvey remedies his relationship with Roz, she and Sabrina run their school president campaign as witches ("powerful, disruptive women"), and Nick reveals he still has feelings for Sabrina.
Episode 5, "Deux Ex Machina"
Worlds crashing into each other is an appropriate metaphor for the utter chaos that is Sabrina this season. There are so many subplots happening at the same time, and they all weave together as subtly as… two worlds on a collision course with each other. It’s so chaotic that the angel Metatron (played by The Walking Dead’s Pollyanna McIntosh) now has to intervene to Marie Kondo the situation.
Let’s try to make sense of it. Baxter High student co-presidents Roz and Sabrina are trying to bring order to all their classmates’ requests, including fixing the astronomy club’s broken telescope. Prudence tries telepathically extracting information from Blackwood’s head about the next Eldritch Terror but can’t break into his mental vault. So, she recruits Roz to bring Blackwood’s decaying, maggot-infested body to the Academy so she can torture him. Nick used magic to become a transfer student at Baxter High and proclaims his love again for Sabrina. Lilith refuses to leave the same room at the Academy in order to protect baby Adam from future attacks. And Theo has a run-in with one of Robin’s hobgoblin friends, Moth. The condensed version of that particular subplot is that all the hobgoblins sense something terrible is heading for the mortal realm and are leaving forever. Robin wants Theo to come with him to the fae realm, but he won’t. So, Robin decides to stay, which then means Moth intervenes and warns Theo that the longer Robin stays in the mortal realm, the weaker he becomes until he’s no longer a hobgoblin. Theo then pulls a Harry and the Hendersons on Robin, and they break up
Now, for the world-ending main plot. Because two Sabrinas have been existing at the same time for so long, the cosmos is trying to correct itself. The mortal realm and the infernal realm are trying to merge with each other, forcing random things in Greendale to all of a sudden teleport to Hell, and vice versa. The Sabrinas finally have to come clean to the aunts, resulting in a summit between Zelda, Hilda, Ambrose, Lucifer, Caliban, and the doppelgängers to brainstorm a solution. Nick has been loitering at the Academy, having accidentally pled his case for romance to the wrong Sabrina, and he has an idea. In the same way magnets can both attract and repel each other depending on the charge, maybe they can direct opposing energies into Hell and earth to get them to pull apart. Their attempt fails when Ambrose and Mambo Marie realize the two realms are so firmly joined together that pulling them apart could end up destroying both in the process. If that weren’t enough, now other realms, including Heaven, are being pulled towards their own realms. Metatron has to intervene.
The angel, one that relies heavily on probabilities in factoring decisions, only has two options: either one of the Sabrinas dies or they both merge into one being. There’s no telling if this means they’ll lose all their memories or retain some. After consulting with themselves, the Sabrinas agree to merge but request time to celebrate their last moments. Metatron grants them six hours. The Sabrina of Hell wants to hang out with the Fright Club, so they perform a version of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” The Sabrina of Earth wants to spend her last moments getting it on with Nick. Meanwhile, Lucifer and Caliban realize Lilith is at the Academy. Hilda hid Adam away somewhere safe as Lilith tells Lucifer Caliban tried to have her killed. The Devil doesn’t care about her life and instead commands her to give up Adam in the next six hours.
With their time up, the Sabrinas lay down next to each other so Metatron can perform the merging ritual, but there’s something the angel hasn’t told them. Ambrose finally fixed the telescope and looked up the stars to see another Eldritch Terror approaching. This one is The Cosmic, which results in three parallel realities popping into existence and heading for a collision course with their realities. How Ambrose saw it with a telescope if they are other realms and not planets is beyond comprehension. The short of it is that Metatron knew about this threat but kept it from everyone should it influence their decision to proceed with the merging of Sabrinas. There’s a virtually unwatchable scene that plays out because it makes no sense: Metatron is obsessed with probabilities. Apparently, the probability of successfully merging the Sabrinas is just over 50 percent, and the probability of stopping the Terror with both of them alive is next to zero. If the merging fails, Metatron plans to kill one or both Sabrinas. So, naturally, everyone uses their magic to kill Metatron. Wonder what the False God thinks of that.
Now, there’s a new plan. They won’t have to kill a Sabrina, but they will have to sacrifice one by sending her to the alternate realm to balance the scales. They literally do Rock, Paper, Scissors, and Hell’s Sabrina is picked. Nick and Ambrose open up a wormhole in a mirror and Sabrina steps through to find herself in a reality that is very similar to her own, only there are some tweaks. For instance, her aunts are now played by original Sabrina the Teenage Witch stars Beth Broderick and Caroline Rheo. And there’s a laugh track, reminiscent of the ‘90s sitcom. Everyone just has to wait and see if the plan worked because, yes, there’s still a chance that they didn’t fix anything despite all of this chaos. Prudence goes to torture Blackwood for more information about how to stop The Cosmic, which suggests it didn’t work.
Meanwhile, Lucifer goes to retrieve Adam from Lilith, but it appears she killed the baby and cooked him into a meal for the Devil. It’s unclear if she did in fact kill him. She’s practically a demon. On the other hand, Hilda did hide the baby from Lucifer before. Maybe she did it again. In any case, Lucifer is so furious that instead of killing Lilith he strips her of her magic and condemns her to live out her life with her guilt on earth.
Episode 6, “The Returned”
The next terror is a bit more recognizable. It's Lazarus, the Resurrected Man from the Bible. As his name and the title of the episode suggests, it’s time for the dead to rise. The first is Vinegar Tom, Zelda’s beloved beagle familiar. But Mambo Marie warns that the dead are not always themselves and they should not be discomforted. Some of them may not even know that they are dead and will lash out in dangerous ways if they realize it. Mambo Marie must face Lazarus and beat him in a board game of Senet to stop the effects of The Returned.
All the while, the dead are causing problems for the living. The Fright Club are competing in a Battle of the Bands against the Stoned Philosophers, a rival band led by Tobey. (All three are played by Riverdale actors who portrayed the main trio from Stonewall Prep.) But when Harvey finds his dad’s old guitar, he attracts Satanic Panic. Harvey’s dad used to play with them in high school, but they were visited by Satan who offered them fame and fortune if they killed a virgin. Kinkle left the band, but the others sacrificed Peggy Lou, the homecoming queen. In retaliation, Peggy Lou’s dad killed them in a fire. Now, the members of Satanic Panic have returned. They murder the members of the Stoned Philosophers and take their place in the Battle of the Bands with their eye on revenge against the Kinkles. They kidnap Mr. Kinkle and threaten to drag him to Hell should they win the competition. Other returned are Dr. Cee’s mom, forcing Hilda to face her demon mother-in-law; Dorcas, who’s just as unhinged as Agatha; the sounds of baby Adam, which drive Lilith to madness; and Edward Spellman. Sabrina, choosing to completely ignore all the warnings her aunties gave her, tells her dad that he’s dead and that she’s his daughter, which results in Edward renouncing her as his daughter and trying to kill her.
Theo asks Robin to come back and perform with the Fright Club in the hopes of beating Satanic Panic, but Sabrina fears for her friends. She pleads with Lucifer to stop the band, but he just enflames her fears of being rejected by a father figure. He even says he will gift them will the power of hellfire should they win in order to burn Greendale to the ground. Just more ways Sabrina tends to exacerbate everything this season. Instead, Sabrina assembles Nick, Prudence, and Ambrose for another plan. They will perform in the Battle of the Bands, as well, to give them a better chance of winning. They also summon the spirit of Peggy Lou, so she may take her revenge on Satanic Panic. Inspired by Lucifer, they give her hellfire so that she may burn them alive — but not before the Fright Club performs a cover of “Time Warp” and Sabrina’s band, the Dark Mothers, perform “Sweet Child O’ Mine” because of course.
Even with the Dark Mothers winning the competition, there’s still the game between Mambo Marie and Lazarus. She’s about to lose and allow Lazarus to keep the dead on earth when Lilith intervenes. She’d been so tormented by the sounds of her dead child that she asked Caliban to retrieve the Spear of Longinus, one of the only artifacts known to kill an immortal. She’s about to kill herself, but when she hears of Lazarus’s presence on earth, she interrupts his game to ask for the return of Adam. He denies her request, since there’s no body to return a soul to, so she instead kills Lazarus with the spear.
From here on out, it’s a bit of a disjointed rush towards the finale of the series. A lot of the plot involves random twists and reveals thrown in without much explanation or anything, and more jarring info dumps drop in when Mambo Marie reveals she’s really been a Haitian spirit of voodoo this whole time and must now stay in the underworld when she leads the dead back to her graves. It really doesn’t make much sense to throw this in, other than to not worry about the character anymore. She does have a parting gift for Zelda: she allows Vinegar Tom to remain alive.
Episode 7, “The Endless”
We go from one of the weaker episodes this season to one of the strongest, though it too suffers from an overstuffed plot.
Episode 7 takes place entirely in the alternate cosmos, picking up directly after Sabrina Morningstar walked through the mirror. She finds herself living in a supernatural television show, and the whole concept is a gag on writers rooms and TV productions. The first thing she sees are her aunties, only they are played (as we saw previously) by the actors behind Zelda and Hilda on Sabrina the Teenage Witch from the 1990s, Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea. There’s a laugh track and everything. After a brief moment of confusion, someone yells cut and some of the walls move away to reveal she’s on a set. Blackwood is the director and Wardwell is the script supervisor. Worse still, her magic doesn’t work in this realm and no one seems to know about the Eldritch Terrors. Sabrina isn’t up to speed on these threats as much as Sabrina Spellman. The Zelda and Hilda actors explain that they live and work on these stages. Canned tuna is the main food of choice. Every morning, they have to memorize their scripts and if they don’t perform their lines as written, they get a strike. Three strikes lands them in the Green Room, and no one who goes there is ever seen again. Sabrina explores the sets and finds a lot of doors that lead to nowhere or just more stages. She’s trapped. When she goes to bed that night, she crossed off a date on her calendar, but when she wakes, the mark is gone, almost like she’s repeating the day over and over. It’s… endless. That’s because this is the work of The Endless, the latest Eldritch Terror. On top of that, the mirror she walked through is missing.
The next day on set, Sabrina is dressed as a cockroach and made to act out a scene where her character Sabrina has been transfigured. Hijinks ensue. There’s even a talking cat that looks like the kind of puppet used on the original Sabrina sitcom. His name is also Salem and he’s the real star of the show. Sabrina flubs her lines out of surprise that he can talk and gets her first strike. She continues going about her day and has a one-on-one with Salem. He too doesn’t seem to know anything about the Eldritch Terrors and agrees to get her mirror back as a welcome-to-the-show present. She further learns that the actors who look like her own reality’s Zelda and Hilda have been downgraded to stand-ins, and in this reality, she’s dating the actor who plays Harvey. As the actor who plays Roz mentions, the writers wouldn’t dream of fleshing out her character like that with a romance. Sabrina goes over to Harvey’s house (a stage just 20 feet from her own) and sees all the Eldritch Terror sketches her own Harvey drew hanging on their wall. Harvey says they are just something the art department had made for the set. Adding to the weirdness, is what happens when Harvey asks to run lines with her. He gets the scripts early from Wardwell, who has all the scripts for all the episodes. The scene they are practicing is lifted directly from Sabrina’s life in her own reality. When she asks to watch previously taped episodes of this show they are making, it ends up being episodes of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina from season 1, though she perceives this as some creeps secretly watching and filming her every move.
In a panic to get the heck out of there, she goes through one of the stage doors with warning signs on it. She finds the Green Room and in it is this world’s version of Ambrose. He says Salem is The Endless, who has trapped everybody here in a never-ending stage production. He tried confronting Salem and was banished to work in the Green Room, grinding up the bodies of cast and crew members into canned cat food. She keeps going about her repetitive daily routine until she finds this world’s version of Caliban, who’s working as head of construction. He’s building something called The Void (uh oh!) which will be introduced in the script for tomorrow’s episode. Sabrina rushes to wake up the cast before morning and explains the situation as best she can to a crowd that claims to not know about the Eldritch Terrors. She fears The Void will arrive tomorrow and destroy everything, so they must get through the mirror before that happens. The main Zelda and Hilda actors seem suspicious. They seem to know a lot more the scripts than they should, given that they were only recently promoted to series regulars. Adding to her fears is the calendar in her room. All the dates beyond the 15th have mysteriously vanished, as if there will be no more days beyond that point.
The next day, she seeks out the head writer to make tweaks to the script. That, too, happens to be Salem. He admits to being The Endless, but Sabrina convinces him to work with her. The Void, she argues, would also put an end to The Endless should it be allowed to consume reality. Salem allows Sabrina to deviate from the script, but in doing so, it’s revealed that the entire crew, as well as the actors playing Zelda and Hilda, are agents of The Void. Their true forms are far more vicious, and Sabrina and Salem are forced to flee through the stages to find the mirror. Salem, being The Endless, is able to manipulate the reality around him by calling out changes to the script. While this allows them to avoid Zelda and Hilda, the other cast members were killed. Holding Salem, Sabrina finds the mirrors and crashes through it before the Void completely consumes the parallel cosmos.
Episode 8, "The Mountains of Madness"
It’s difficult to explain what happens in the finale of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina without sounding like a crazy person. Perhaps it’s appropriate, given how our heroine wound up in the Mountains of Madness. A lot of s--- went down at warp speed ‘causing all manner of chaos to ensue. Perhaps it’s too much for a mortal brain to comprehend, but we’re going to try it anyway.
Wardwell becomes the framing device for the series finale. She’s reading from Blackwood’s Eldritch gospel to the congregation about what happened when The Void arrived and what happened to Sabrina. Everything starts off normal enough for the young witch. She and her friends are having a make-out party with their respective lovers, and Nick later gifts her one of two lockets with their photos inside as a birthday gift. It's a scene reminiscent of the series premiere, when Harvey offered an early birthday gift to Sabrina on her doorstep. Nick and Sabrina are fooling around in her room when Sabrina Morningstar comes crashing through the mirror, warning about the arrival of The Void. For some reason that is never explained, she dies. Did The Void do this, even though she escaped the alternate reality before it was consumed? Her face is all cut up. Did she die from shards of glass from the mirror? Who knows? Oh, and also The Endless apparently is also dead or at least incapacitated. The body of alt-Salem is lying motionless by her side and never addressed again, as if to say “just ignore that because we have a lot of stuff to get through.”
Sabrina is a bit of an emotional cutter. So, on top of Sabrina Morningstar dying in her arms, she takes it upon herself to dress the body for burial herself. Ambrose arrives with confirmation that The Void ate the parallel cosmos, and the family head for the Academy while Sabrina stays at home with her own thoughts. She approaches the contained Eldritch Terrors and asks which of them can help her stop The Void—another stupid decision since the Terrors are supposed to be the heralds of The Void. The Imp’s eyes glow red, but it’s just a trick, one Sabrina would’ve suffered through if not for the trinket salesman unexpectedly arriving at her house. He wants the Imp back and warns it would’ve been a bad idea to wish on the statue. Sabrina asks if he has anything that might help her, and he brings out Pandora’s Box. He says that if she were to journey inside the belly of The Void and open it, the box will trap the entity. Though, it also comes with the risk that Sabrina herself could be pulled inside.
Sabrina leaves a goodbye note behind for her family and friends, and says her piece to Salem before walking through a mirror, turning it to stone behind her so no one else can follow. Salem tells the aunts what Sabrina has done, and the family regroups at home to try to save their niece. They try forcibly teleporting Sabrina back but The Void has a hold on her physical body. So, they try a new tactic. Sabrina has opened the box inside The Void when they are casting a spell that would summon Sabrina’s soul and transfer it into the body of Sabrina Morningstar. Sabrina has captured nearly all of The Void in the box when she’s interrupted by the spell. Both her old body and the box are left in the darkness of space when she awakens in her new body. They realize The Void’s presence can no longer be detected on their cosmic map, which puzzles Sabrina considering she didn’t capture all of The Void. But they don’t dig too deep into these questions and become content with planning for Sabrina’s upcoming 17th birthday. Forget the world-ending being that might be still hiding somewhere!
Lilith, still at the Academy, overhears how Sabrina Morningstar’s body now plays host to Sabrina Spellman, and rushes off to tell Lucifer and Caliban in exchange for her powers back. Caliban urges Lucifer to assemble an army of demons to kill his “False Daughter” and squash out the coven, so they unleash the demon Legion, which possesses a group of miners, including Harvey’s dad, and turns them into their demonic soldiers. Meanwhile, Blackwood escaped the Academy’s dungeon by rejoining his body with his head and goes to Wardwell to be properly sewn up. He says he must prepare for the coming of The Void.
The morning of Sabrina’s birthday arrives and something strange is happening. Random things seem to vanish spontaneously. First it’s Sabrina’s pancakes, which Hilda blames on Zelda’s familiar. Then it’s the candy when Sabrina tries to greet trick-or-treaters at her doorstep. Again, for some reason that doesn’t make much sense, nobody questions any of this. “I guess we’re out,” Sabrina says of the candy that has magically disappeared from her hands! Everyone is gathered around her later that night as she’s about to blow out her birthday cake candles and then the cake vanishes, too. Prudence and the aunts think it’s Sabrina playing a trick, but now she’s shaken. On top of that, Lucifer has assembled his horde outside the Spellman home. He demands Sabrina give up her body willingly or they will take it by force. And Sabrina, just deciding not to put up a fight, agrees to bind her magic and give herself over. Caliban sees Ambrose raising his wand and takes that as a betrayal. He calls the army to attack but Sabrina raises her hands and the demon miners begin to vanish. Caliban rushes her and he too vanishes. Then the possessed Mr. Kinkle, much to Harvey’s horror. With no one left, Lucifer returns to Hell, fearing Sabrina has developed godly powers—again! Sadly for Lucifer, he still refuses to give Lilith back her powers, so she stabs him in the back with the Spear of Longinus and drinks his celestial blood. She then banishes him from Hell to wander the mortal realm, just as he once condemned her.
Back on earth, everyone’s frantically trying to figure out what’s wrong with Sabrina and what she did to everyone. This only makes her more overwhelmed and she starts vanishing other objects in the room. Ambrose takes her aside to scan her body and realizes a piece of The Void has transferred into Sabrina Morningstar along with Sabrina Spellman’s soul. So, Sabrina now is The Void. For everyone’s safety, she teleports herself far away to the Mountains of Madness, where she’s approached by Blackwood. Just as Sabrina was immune to the power of the Imp, he has become immune to the power of The Void and promises he can help her control the it. Maybe even some day he will help her relinquish the powers entirely. This man has tried to trick the Spellmans every chance he has had, even tried to kill them on multiple occasions. But Sabrina makes stupid choices and agrees to let him help her. The coven and the Fright Club, meanwhile, are coming up with their own plan. They aim to finish what Sabrina started with Pandora’s Box. Nick can use the locket he gave Sabrina to track her body in space, but he will need something to help him breathe. So—and this is one of the most ridiculous things anyone has ever suggested in the history of CAOS—Ambrose suggests turning the squid body of the Weird into an “Eldritch oxygen mask.” Like, what the f---?! Sure, let's put a creature that tends to mind control everyone around it on Nick's mouth. They can resurrect dead homecoming queens and open wormholes in a mirror, but they somehow can't find a simple spell to allow Nick to breathe in space.
The story then jumps two weeks ahead at the Mountains of Madness where Blackwood is building some kind of temple. Prudence, Roz, Agatha, and Ambrose approach. Salem, poking his head out of Agatha’s bag, helped track Sabrina’s whereabouts. They are here to bring her home, but their magic is limited since the grounds are now a holy place for The Void. Blackwood leads them inside his cave, and they find Sabrina struggling to keep herself up with walking sticks. She has taken a vow of silence in order to contain The Void inside of her. She mustn’t move too much or risk devouring reality. The Weird Sisters use their combined strength to read Blackwood’s mind and discover he has plans to transfer the rest of The Void into Sabrina’s body and then cut it out of her for himself. She already knows this and seems content to let it happen. The sisters use their power to force Sabrina to come home, but the attempt results in Sabrina making both Roz and Prudence vanish. She sends a telepathic message to Ambrose before he and Agatha escape.
At the Spellman home, Ambrose tells the aunties Sabrina’s plan, that just before Blackwood sacrifices her on the Winter Solstice, the poles of the earth will be at their furthest points from each other and The Void will be containable. Something she picked up from studying the Eldritch Terrors with Blackwood. Nick then teleports into their living room, freezing to death and carrying Sabrina Spellman’s frozen body, which is holding Pandora’s Box. With everything they need to trap the rest of The Void, they all travel to the Mountains of Madness. They tempt Blackwood by offering up the Terrors, including Pandora’s Box containing the rest of The Void, should he give up Sabrina. He grabs the box and opens it but it’s a fake. Instead, gunpowder goes off and he’s permanently blinded.
Though Sabrina is safe, she says they still have to sacrifice her. She knows where everyone who vanished resides now, and the aunties must slowly bleed her in order to rescue them. Blackwood was building a containment field to extract The Void, so they can use that to their advantage. But a portal to travel inside The Void will only be open for as long as the bloodletting lasts. They have an ambitious order: get in, rescue their friends and Harvey’s dad, trap the other Eldritch Terrors inside (minus the Imp, of course), and finish containing The Void in Pandora’s Box, all before the last of Sabrina’s blood drains and kills her. Zelda and Hilda begin the bloodletting and are chanting spells to keep Sabrina alive for as long as possible while the coven and what remains of the Fright Club fulfill the mission. Memories of Sabrina celebrating her past birthdays with her family flash before her. It seems the process is taking too long. The aunties are hopeful, but Zelda turns and sees a woman dressed in black standing off to the side. It’s unclear who this is. Possibly Hecate, some manifestation of Death, or some ferry-woman of souls. Whoever she is, Zelda realizes it's a sign that Sabrina is dying. Sabrina begins saying her goodbyes to her aunts, and by the time everyone reemerges safe from The Void and Nick finally closes the box, trapping The Void for good, she’s gone. Yes, Sabrina Spellman has died.
The aunts believe Sabrina knew this to be her fate and didn’t tell anyone should they try to stop her. The coven and her mortal friends gather outside the aunts’ home to bury both Sabrina Spellman and Sabrina Morningstar. A statue of Sabrina is erected inside the Academy alongside the monument to Hecate. Hilda plans to move back into the manor with Dr. Cee to be close with Zelda during this time. Prudence is taking a more vengeful approach. She goes to Blackwood with a chainsaw and chops him up into smaller pieces with the promise of scattering his body parts all around the world so that he may never cause problems again.
In the final moments, we find Sabrina’s soul reading a book in The Sweet Hereafter. She sits in a white room adorned with paintings when Nick enters. This isn’t an illusion or some perk of living in Heaven. Nick died. He says he was swimming in the Sea of Sorrows when a “wicked undertow” drowned him. But now they can be together. And so, as Sabrina and Nick kiss, thus ends the often strange, over-the-top, sometimes preposterous, but never dull saga of Sabrina the teenage witch.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina