Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
This episode is a bloodbath. So many murders, and of so many varieties! Pagan pollination ritual, semi-crucifixion by giant haunted tree, stabbing, skewering. It would all be quite alarming, but because we’re in a magical place it’s very hard to tell how hung up one is supposed to get on any of these deaths; people don’t really seem to stay dead in Greendale. Even Brina’s parents are always popping up in ghost form to weigh in on something or give infuriatingly vague guidance on a matter when time is of the essence and the fate of the cosmos may hang in the balance.
Mambo Marie is tending to Zelda, because on top of all her other skills I guess she is also a surgeon? Zelda’s soul is hovering between the land of the dead and the living, and in that soft-focus world, she gets some quality sibling bonding time with Hilda and Edward, Sabrina’s dad, who takes them on a leisurely stroll down memory lane, pointing Zelda in the direction of information that will save her coven but not actually just up and TELLING her what to do, for reasons.
Meanwhile in the land of the living, there’s a banshee howling outside the Spellman house, which probably doesn’t mean anything bad! Or it’s an omen that someone is going to die soon, one or the other.
Lucifer is back in his body, completely naked, because when this show commits to a bit and the bit is male nudity, it DELIVERS. Lilith is awaiting him in the parlor, just catching him up on everything he missed while he was sleeping: She gave Blackwood the mark of Cain, so he can’t be killed (sounds handy; why doesn’t she ever hook Sabrina up with one of those? Also why can’t she give one to herself?) and in exchange for that magic, Blackwood gave Lilith Lucifer’s seed. (Truly the grossest way to describe what happened but those are Lilith’s words!) Lilith is pregnant with Satan’s baby. She says she knows it’s a boy because what she really knows is how hot and bothered that information will make Lucifer. This buys her some time — he’s not going to kill her until that baby is born healthy — and Lilith suggests he use this window of opportunity to “sort out the mess your daughter’s made in hell.” Summon the infernal court, because daddy’s home!
Blackwood has taken his bulletproof body to the carnival, where he tells the pagans that all he wants is for everyone in the Church of Night to die. He knows about the secret tunnels they can use to break in and kill those visiting witches while they sleep, and in exchange, he wants an assist getting his twins back. (Those twins have been kidnapped a lot in this series.)
In Theo’s room, Robin is here to provide even more shirtlessness. He reveals that he’s (1) ripped, and (2) a hobgoblin, cute! He can run extremely fast and his ears are pointy, and at least one of those things will turn out to be quite useful. I have to say that “there’s going to be a virgin sacrifice” is SUCH a good reason to have sex. All the teens who do not make haste and hook up are going to be full of regret when this episode is over. For instance: Harvey. Roz has a vision about Harvey and Sabrina, and Harvey — who, again, is shirtless for this conversation — accidentally reveals that his declaration of love for Roz didn’t pass Aphrodite’s smell test.
In hell, Lucifer is addressing his minions and Caliban strolls in. (Lilith: “Oh, this should be good.” This line reading! Perfection!) Of course he is wearing that open vest so everyone can see his abs. The contest has to be seen through to the end, which means Caliban and Sabrina have one more match-up left: to collect Judas’s 30 pieces of silver. I assumed they were going to be scattered around, but they’re all in a little bundle, so at least one thing about this quest is easier than anticipated.
In order to get Sabrina the powers she needs, Ambrose has the idea of doing a siphoning spell — sort of like mooching off someone else’s Wi-Fi, but for magic. The witches are too old and that sort of thing would kill them, but Brina knows a young, peppy source of energy, and apparently it doesn’t matter that they’re mortal: the cheerleading squad. Naturally this means a dopey time-suck of a cheer routine that is also, of course, a musical number. (When does Sabrina even learn these dances? Also the girls from Dare Me would crush the Baxter High Ravonettes.) It’s actually hilarious that the girls are all cheering and everyone around them has their eyes closed to chant and make the magic happen. I am pleased that this cheerleader detour has some payoff for our main story.
Just in time for Blackwood’s arrival, Sabrina’s power is restored. The cheerleaders are zapped safely back to the high school and Brina escapes to Pandemonium with the rest of the coven. She goes back for the effigies of the aunties (extremely creepy dolls) and runs into Blackwood again, but manages to get out before things get too dicey. Instead, Blackwood is reunited with Agatha, who is covered in blood because she MURDERED DORCAS. “Will you take care of me Father? I’m good at killing things now.”
Back to hell: Lilith lets everyone know that she’s pregnant but she and Lucifer are so not a couple. I love that Brina just breezes right past that information and bounds ahead with the quest. Only Judas knows where the silver is, but Lucifer knows where Judas is: The ninth circle of hell. (Sabrina would also know this if she ever showed up to her English class.) She introduces herself as Sabrina Morningstar, but honestly I’m not sure this is the person to whom she should be namedropping her connection to Satan, considering Lucifer’s the one who stuck Judas here in the first place. Sabrina says that in exchange for guiding her to the silver, she’ll give Judas one sip of cold water. It’s all very The Search for Delicious. He tells her there are two ways to get it: Betray someone you love with a kiss OR go to the fields of blood (ew) and take it from the crypt of the first vampire. (Sabrina: “If you tell me I’m about to meet Dracula —” Judas: “His name is Vlad the Impaler.”)
Sabrina attempts option one but can’t bring herself to kiss Harvey and mess with his relationship with Roz. So it’s off to the fields of blood, accessible via a portal at Dorian’s, Grand Central Station of Greendale. As she’s counting the silver, Vlad rises. Judas is Vlad’s father! Lot of daddy issues on this show. Vlad does some casual mind control — “You’re going to let me drink your blood and feast on your flesh, aren’t you?” — but he starts frothing at the mouth at the taste of her blood, because Sabrina’s dad was an angel. “Also, consent. It’s real.” I rolled my eyes at that last part even though I am generally pro sassy Sabrina.
Why does Sabrina have to bring the coins to Judas at all? I do not understand why she is so cavalier with all these objects. Go straight to hell, Sabrina! Don’t pass Go, don’t collect $200, etc. But no, she swings by Judas’s place and he asks if he can feel the coins in his hands, and I think, isn’t his whole deal that he betrays people?? So maybe don’t? And it turns out that Judas was in fact Caliban in disguise! He accuses Sabrina of betraying her mortal friends and family to go on this little treasure hunt, and then he traps her in stone, alongside Lilith and Lucifer. “All hail King Caliban,” he says, announcing his plans to conquer the mortal realm to create a tenth circle of hell.
At the Spellman residence, Prudence, who is wearing great leather pants, is attacked by Agatha and has no choice but to SKEWER her with her sword. As if that’s not traumatic enough, Prudence then immediately gets stabbed in the back, figuratively but also literally, by Blackwood, who demands to know where the twins are. Zelda, returning from her trip to the netherworld, has the solution to how to beat the pagans now! But the second she regains consciousness, Blackwood stabs her. He killed Mambo, too. Gonna be a real nightmare to get all the blood out of the Spellman floors.
Also in a tight spot: Sabrina’s mortal friends, who are eventually tracked down by the carnival pagans, despite assists from Robin and Nick. (The best part is when Nick tells them to “talk fast” as they catch him up, and Robin replies with, “the great flowering is upon us.” Like, buddy … please skip the preamble.) Roz and Theo are tied to the dunk tank, watching Harvey, if I understand this correctly, literally get crucified and swallowed up by a giant tree all because he’s still a virgin. Is this show just a long, elaborate PSA for having sex in high school?
Ongoing mysteries: Is there still hope for a Sabrina-Caliban alliance? Are the twins actually going to be important and honestly why does Blackwood even want them around, he can barely be bothered the parent the kids he already has? Does anyone know if Robin is alive or dead? Or if anyone is alive or dead, including Sabrina?