Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chapter Ten: “The Witching Hour”
Directed by Rob Seidenglanz
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Ross Maxwell
* For a recap & review of Chapter Nine, “The Returned Man” – click here
* Season 2 to come next year!
Love the opening image of a figurine depicting Death on a White Horse. Madam Satan (Michelle Gomez) is awaiting Sabrina’s (Kiernan Shipka) final steps towards “fulfilling the Dark Lord‘s prophecy.” She can see all the pieces falling into place, from Susie (Lachlan Watson) and Roz (Jaz Sinclair) discovering their friend’s a witch, to Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis), Ambrose (Chance Perdomo), and Nana Ruth’s (L. Scott Caldwell) own involvement in this intricate tapestry of darkness. Nana speaks of “the Thirteen” returning— those witches who were executed centuries ago in the Greendale woods.
At home, Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) is trying to get Sabrina out of bed to face the day after things have gone terribly wrong. The niece faces all the heartache of being young, along with all the aches of being a witch, too. At school, she tries to get back to normal. Her best friends ask the tough questions right away. She comes clean about her heritage and the Academy of the Unseen Arts, as well as resurrecting Tommy “all wrong.” The friends are there for her, after what happened with Harvey (Ross Lynch), and they see her sincerity. Of course, as always, Madam Satan watches over them, disappointed with this turn of events— she underestimated the capacity of compassion in mortal women. This means she has to turn up the heat by bringing back the Thirteen.
At the academy, Sabrina gets taunted by Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) over her failure to bring Tommy back properly. Nick (Gavin Leatherwood) actually admires the young witch for her half-mortal qualities, such as her capability to actually love. Everything’s interrupted by the Baphomet statue bleeding from its eyes. Probably not a great sign?
Madam Satan is finding a “warm body.” She lures in a virgin jock— nice homage with his name being Steve Loomis, referencing the wonderful Donald Pleasence character from Halloween. At the Witching Hour, she conjures the Greendale Thirteen back to the woods. She gives them the power to briefly come back to the town for revenge, tasking them with summoning “the Butcher.” Sounds ugly! Simultaneously, Hilda feels a disturbance, as does Faustus Blackwood (Richard Coyle). Susie likewise feels a presence, and Dorothea (Anastasia Bandey) explains she cut the Thirteen down and buried them on the Putnam farmland. The witches gather outside her home before heading into town.
In the forest, Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) and Luke (Darren Man) come across the witches in a circle around a fire performing a summoning, before the women disappear leaving only the White Horse figurine. Ambrose is then in the clutches of an undead woman, who gives him a message.
Harvey’s drawing in the library, listening to Des Rocs, when Sabrina shows up. He mentions Riverdale— where his dad called to arrange a funeral. He’s beginning to understand her more now, after finding out she’s a witch. Things are different. The betrayal cuts deep. He loves her in spite of everything. Doesn’t mean there aren’t bad memories connected to his brother.
Father Blackwood gathers the congregation, claiming the “blatant disregard for Witch Law” have drawn the wrath of the Dark Lord. Ambrose and Luke show up to explain it’s actually the Thirteen. “The Red Angel of Death” (Samael, anybody?) is coming, too. Faustus decides to take the coven to the academy, where they’ll try and survive the coming terror. This doesn’t sit well with Sabrina, who’s concerned for the Greendale citizens.
We’re given more info on the Thirteen. Seems witches gathered and decided to appease mortals by offering a sacrifice of those baker’s dozen of women. This is why everybody’s in danger. Zelda decides the Spellman family will “stand tall” against the Thirteen. This has the family calling to the four corners of the Earth, starting a windy storm to drive all the humans into Baxter High, where they go down into the storm shelter. A few people refuse to go, like Nana Ruth, resigned to her fate – keeping Roz and Susie with her – and Harvey at home wanting to prove himself brave. Lucky for the Kinkle house, they’ve got Nick Scratch, though Harv’s curious about his relationship to Sabrina.
The Greendale Thirteen summon their Butcher, as the Church of Night recite incantations. Zelda’s called to take care of Lady Constance (Alvina August), who’s going into labour. Ambrose also gets taken away, called by Luke to the academy. This leaves Hilda and Sabrina alone to keep Baxter High safe. But Madam Satan talks Sabrina into going with her to the woods.
The two witches go back to where “the Book of the Beast” awaits. Madam Satan says Sabrina must sign in order to save Greendale. Will the young witch relinquish agency? The Angel of Death has already come. The Dark Lord appears behind her – in an homage to one of the final scenes in The Witch – cutting her hand. She signs her name, giving up the mortal world for the world of witchcraft. This brings back visions from the first episode, where she saw the hanging tree on fire. She proceeds to light the Thirteen aflame with power from the Dark Lord.
The witches burn up, and the Angel of Death disappears.
Nana passed, leaving Roz to mourn her. Lady Constance only birthed one son, after he consumed the other, and this leaves Prudence by the wayside with Faustus on more of his patriarchal bullshit having a male heir, aptly named Judas. Nice to see Dr. Cee and Hilda finally smooching, but it’s quickly dampened by his eyes appearing strange, suggesting something’s not quite right. Hilda later discovers the whole Lady Constance one son thing isn’t true. Zelda took the other child— a daughter. She knew the girl would’ve been in danger. Oh, shit.
With her new hairdo, Sabrina goes to see Harvey, apologising for the deception. He wants to start their relationship over. Except she’s worried about those around her, now that she’s given over agency to the Dark Lord. This may be a temporary end to their relationship. It won’t be forever, will it?
The final scene sees Madam Satan with Principal Hawthorne (Bronson Pinchot) tied up, revealing herself to the man as the “Mother of Demons” a.k.a Lilith. She gobbles up the principal, preparing to become the crowned Queen of Hell.
“I touched something dark inside me”
So much has happened in this final episode! Lots to look forward to in Season 2. This has been a home run in every single way. Such a fantastic adaptation, used in all the right ways. Father Gore’s already dying for more.