Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chapter Eight: “The Burial”
Directed by Maggie Kiley
Written by Lindsay Calhoon & Christianne Hedtke
* For a recap & review of Chapter Seven, “Feast of Feasts” – click here
* For a recap & review of Chapter Nine, “The Returned Man” – click here
Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) waits on Harvey (Ross Lynch) to finish his shift at the mine so they can go to the movies. Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) dreams about a hopeful future with his new man. At that moment Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) gets a call about an accident in the mines, telling her niece to “pray to Satan” her boyfriend is okay.
Men are pouring from the mines injured. Luckily, Harvey’s fine, save for a gash on his forehead. A handful of guys remain trapped, including Tommy. Everyone from Greendale lends a hand. Harvey’s going back into the mines, trying to keep up hope.
Susie (Lachlan Watson) slips through a hole in the mine where nobody else was able to go, finding nothing except a crushed helmet covered in blood belonging to Tommy. Things shut down at the mine after Mr. Kinkle tells everybody who isn’t an employee to go home. His youngest son’s left feeling not enough’s being done, worried his brother could be dead. He feels bad for escaping while his brother saved him from the collapse and got trapped— all because his girlfriend placed a protection spell on him recently.
Next morning, Zelda and Ambrose have bad news. He was astral projecting and saw there are no survivors in the mines. But they can’t go tell everybody because there’s no earthly explanation for how they’d know. They’ve got to maintain the “natural order” of things. Such is the harsh reality of “being a witch who consorts with mortals.” This only means further suffering for Harvey. Speaking of Harvey, he’s finding things with his father are deteriorating. Dad called off the search in the mines. He wants an insurance payout, which also means he’s going to arrange a funeral. Everything’s so twisted.
This drives Sabrina to ask her Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) about possible ways to resurrect a person. Supposedly the process involves “soil that was harvested from Cain‘s garden and soaked with Abel‘s blood.” (For those who don’t know, here’s some info on Cain & Abel.) An old family spell Zelda used to bring her sister back after murdering her each time. Hilda warns bringing mortals back from the dead has consequences.
The funeral home receives everybody from Greendale to mourn Tommy, despite no actual body. Madam Satan (Michelle Gomez) and Sabrina talk alone, and the latter wonders if there may be a connection between the Weird Sisters and the mine’s collapse. Harvey gets up to give a eulogy for his brother, and when he struggles Sabrina gives him the power to speak confidently. Dad gets up and talks about the mines a bunch. This makes Harvey angry about the “family legacy,” confronting his father in front of the crowd. Dad knocks him into the casket, dropping the helmet onto the floor, and the son runs from the funeral.
Later, Sabrina asks the fake Ms. Wardwell about a “resurrection spell.” But “death magic” is treacherous, she’s warned. And resurrecting one person means another must die to complete the spell.
Faustus (Richard Coyle) comes to see Ambrose. We discover Ambrose taught magic to Houdini, among other things, and wound up in the company of a “young Crowley” who steered him into dark things. Like plotting against the Vatican. Father Blackwood says the young witch can have freedom if he gives up the other witches involved.
In the meantime, Zelda undertakes “Satanic confession” with Blackwood. She says her family’s falling off the path from the Church of Night. She’s concerned for her sister and her niece. She believes herself a failure. Faustus complains about his pregnant wife not putting out before embracing Zelda. Oooh— witch adultery!
Roz tells Sabrina she had a vision after touching Tommy’s helmet at the funeral. She was transported to the mines, where she witnessed the Weird Sisters playing with their voodoo dolls, smashing them with rocks. More ammunition for Sabrina re: her theory on the Weird Sisters being involved in the tragedy. She goes to the woods, summoning Prudence (Tati Gabrielle). She wants revenge against Dorcas (Abigail F. Cowen) and Agatha (Adeline Rudolph), and she wants to bring Tommy back to life. When confronted, Agatha confesses to being the one to come up with the plan, so Prudence and Sabrina decide on a resurrection + execution extravaganza! Even Nick Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood) is invited.
In the woods, Madam Satan watches the “necromancy” commence. Sabrina starts a ceremony around the pentagram circle to begin resurrecting Tommy, along with Nick and Prudence. They must sacrifice Agatha as an offering. Sabrina cuts the girl’s throat herself. Afterwards, the witches attempt to conjure Tommy back to the land of the living. They take the corpse to the Spellman “Cain pit,” drawing the ire of Ambrose. Sabrina’s trying to resurrect Agatha while also bringing Tommy back, too. Her cousin believes she’s going to regret whatever happens next. First, they wait 13 hours for the spell to finish.
Roz tells Sabrina about her grandmother and the Cunning, including the family history of an ancestor crossing a witch and getting the family cursed. To her it’s all sort of kooky. To Sabrina, it sounds like a lot more. She knows all this magic and yet she’s unable to talk with her real friends about anything even magic-adjacent.
Faustus returns for Ambrose’s decision. The young witch refuses to name names. This actually pleases Father Blackwood, to see loyalty in his congregation. He can’t fully break the sentence, but offers a job to Ambrose at the Academy of Unseen Arts. We see more of Faustus and Zelda. He decides they ought to be flagellated for their transgressions, right after hearing news of “snips and snails” concerning his wife’s pregnancy.
Sabrina is bummed: no resurrection. There’s no sign of Tommy having returned. That’s because his soul is probably back in his body, and his body is in the mines. She rushes down there only to see broken boards at the entrance. Meanwhile, Harvey and dad are having dinner when they receive a knock on the door that won’t stop— Tommy’s returned, and he may be in one piece, but that doesn’t mean he’s in good shape.
Good cliffhanger at the end! Anticipating something gruesome and weird.
Chapter Nine: “The Returned Man” is next.