Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Time for this ragtag team of outcast witches to join up with Zelda’s coven so nobody gets destroyed by the carnival crowd. Unlikely alliances among a bunch of wild, unruly, magical women? Yes, yes, yes! This is an idea that always been bubbling under the surface of the show: that these female witches are part of a culture that, as with mortal women here on earth, demands so much of them but does not value them; that they’ve been following male leadership for an awfully long time and would likely be better off without him; that, if they united, their powers would astound even Lucifer himself. It is a real treat to see CAOS lean into those ideas and let all these different kinds of witches, with their different ideas about how magic should operate and what power really looks like, get some much-deserved screen-time. Everyone has something fun to offer, like how Pesta can curse the soil around the Academy so any pagans who step on it will immediately die. I honestly lost it when, as Zelda talks about having them slumber party in the desecrated church, one witch goes “I brought my house” and gestures at this like, mossy/slimy stump beside her.
Prudence gives Sabrina excellent relationship advice: Brina and Nick were never really a great match (“We were all living for the drama, but come on”), and also, Nick never actually thanked Sabrina for saving his life and getting him clean. Sabrina says she doesn’t need romantic advice from Prudence, but… why not? Her relationship with Ambrose seems swell.
Over at Harvey’s place, Robin tells Theo and the young Kinkle everything about the pagan rituals, including the need for a virgin sacrifice. Wow, how embarrassing it must be for all these teens of varying intimacies to just talk about how they’ve all never had sex! High school me would have sooner died than had that conversation with a bunch of friends and new-ish hookup buddies, but I guess these mortals are stronger than I am. Caliban appears and I barely recognize him, clad as he is in a T-shirt. I love that his bit is just reminding everyone that he’s made of clay. Sabrina is also here. She has been single for approximately two hours and Caliban senses an opening and flirts his clay heart out, and I support it. Life is short! Flirt while you can! Then he just carries Sabrina away in this little flame-tornado he creates out of nothing. For some reason these kids think it’s not a terrible idea to leave the Roz statue unattended. Obviously while Harvey is taking a dinner break, Circe pops in to shatter Roz.
Sabrina and Caliban are looking for a Pygmalion spell, which is based on this romantic myth that makes Sabrina cry. Caliban, who knows her vulnerability is an opportunity, pivots to his proposal, which it turns out is quite literal: They could get married! Align their interests, rule hell together. Their back-and-forth about this is hilarious — “I think we want different things, Caliban,” Sabrina says, like “I don’t want to turn the Earth into the tenth circle of hell” — and Caliban is game to negotiate. He correctly points out that monarchs need to compromise. Sabrina’s vision involves working with heaven instead of against it, in the interest of cosmic balance, and also she’d like everything in writing. “Our alignment would be political and not romantic,” she adds, essentially confirming that they’re going to hook up before the end of the season. “Carnal?” Caliban asks hopefully. She says no but I do not believe her.
So the kids put the Roz puzzle back together and bring her to the site of her and Harvey’s first kiss. As long as Harvey swears he’ll never kiss her again, his true love can bring her back to life. The only problem, as I have been saying and as Aphrodite confirms, is these two have no real chemistry and Harvey is obviously not in love with Roz. The spell is a bust. Meanwhile he and Sabrina have a little chat about how she never had sex with Nick; her hand brushes Harvey’s and I write in my notes do NOT get these two back together, they are EXCESSIVELY BORING and this is a show full of SMOKIN HOT SHIRTLESS WARLOCKS and Brina needs to LIVE like the QUEEN she has become!! I will NOT SHIP. Anyway, Robin suggests an alternative to Aphrodite: Circe, whose hands have the power to transform anyone into anything.
Back at the Academy, Mambo Marie, the voodoo priestess who helped Prudence and Ambrose in New Orleans, is so charismatic and Catholic that Aunt Zelda gets extremely insecure. Prudence wisely points out that the coven needs to adapt—and if Mambo Marie gets her magic from some non-Lucifer source, maybe the coven could get some tips from her, so as to be less dependent on a vengeful god who is always on the verge of crushing his followers. Zelda comes around and Mambo Marie gets to be an honored guest. Prudence 2020!
Sabrina and Caliban bolt back to the Academy, because of course they cannot accomplish anything without Ambrose, who is the best. Nick sees these two together and snarls “well that didn’t take long” and we get the BEST Sabrina we’ve seen all season: Sassy and full of righteous indignation. She finally gets a backbone and it is a JOY to see as she reams him out for (paraphrasing here) being a pathological liar who screwed sex demons behind her back while she was busy saving his life. “Don’t ever disrespect me again or we will never be friends,” she warns, and then breezes away with, “I have more important things to deal with than your narcissism and drama.”
Sabrina and Ambrose figure out that, with the power of all the assembled witches, they can stand a chance against Circe. So they bring everyone wine, get all the girls sloshed, and rally the troops to bring the fight to the pagans instead of waiting for the fight to come to them. Brina marches into the carnival grounds (with Salem, finally!) and all the different witches transmit their different powers to her so she can zap away all her enemies. It’s very cool. Salem distracts Circe so Sabrina can trap her. At the Academy, they threaten to, in Harvey’s words, “do this the Zero Dark Thirty way,” since technically all they need is her hands, and Circe acquiesces, bringing Dorcas and Roz back to life. The only downside here is that Circe now knows Robin is a traitor. It’s also sad for the jocks, who get turned back from literal pigs into just figurative pigs, that they won’t remember their brush with the magnificent Prudence.
Circe is stashed in the dungeon and everyone is happy except Sabrina, who runs into a chagrined Nick. He apologizes and asks if they can be friends. She dodges his hug and walks away. GOOD FOR YOU BRINA. Later that night, she does a ritual Prudence told her about to totally and forever snuff out her romantic feelings for both Nick and Harvey. Honestly, thank Lilith for this because I for one am ready to see Sabrina and Caliban be a thing.
Hilda is turning into this monstrous spider-creature, so she decides to savor her final moments in this life by putting on a glamour of her old self and having a sweet night in with Dr. Cee. They work on their audition for Sweeney Todd and sing “By the Sea” together and I take back everything I said about the gratuitous musical numbers in this show being annoying. They are, EXCEPT for when it’s Lucy Davis, in which case, they are delightful. Her glamour falls apart, though, and she tells Dr. Cee all she wants is to spend her final night with him in peace, drinking milkshakes. But then her spider-self takes over and she kills a Southside Serpent (Riverdale crossover!) and, later, poor Dr. Cee himself, whose blood SPLATS everywhere. Zelda comes to the rescue to murder her sister and bury her in the yard where she’ll presumably come back to life.
As Zelda awaits Hilda’s return, she opens the door to find Wardwell WITH A GUN. “This is for Adam,” Wardwell says, and then she does a murder which is not really something I thought this tender teacher had in her, but people can really surprise you. Zelda, in character to the end, gets in one last drag on her cigarette before collapsing. Obviously no one important on this show actually stays dead for very long so the question is not if she’ll come back but how. I assume Ambrose will take care of it, as he takes care of everything.
In other news, Lilith flees hell because she knows Satan is coming for her. She tries to seek asylum at the Academy and Zelda, in a move I think she’ll regret, kicks her out — feels like Sabrina, as Queen of Hell, could’ve pulled rank if she’d been consulted on the matter, though — and Lilith realizes she can hide out, using some clever glamours, in Wardwell’s house. Disguised as Adam, back from the dead, she stows herself away there, but inevitably the Dark Lord, disguised by/still AirBnBing in Blackwood’s body, finds her there. Wardwell realizes the devil is alive and well in Greendale and that the Spellman witches are, in some roundabout way, connected to her beloved Adam’s death.
Because she is unstoppable, Lilith manages to get the Dark Lord “asleep” so Blackwood can have a coherent and private conversation with her. She has a plan to “avoid a horrific death” for both of them, which I’m sure piques Blackwood’s interests. Never count this woman out.
Ongoing mysteries: Am I supposed to be invested in the twins in the dollhouse? I keep forgetting they’re there and frankly it feels like the shows does, too. Or that the show regrets bringing in a few too many characters that are now just dead weight on the main story. Does this candle trick mean we can officially be done with Sabrina and Harvey?