Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chapter Thirteen: “The Passion of Sabrina Spellman”
Directed by Michael Goi
Written by MJ Kaufman & Christina Ham
* For a recap & review of Chapter Twelve, “The Epiphany” – click here
* For a recap & review of Chapter Fourteen, “Lupercalia” – click here
The Dark Lord has come to see Lilith a.k.a Ms. Wardwell a.k.a Madam Satan (Michelle Gomez). She wants to know more of his plans for Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka). He says “the Gates of Hell” are to open and the young witch will be his “prophet” on Earth. This surprises Lilith. She thinks the half-witch won’t be able to do evil.
Then, Satan goes to visit Sabrina. Interesting that it’s 3 am, given that the Witching Hour, as judged by science— the best time for apparitional experiences and sensed presences— is 3 am. Bit of witchcraft grounded in scientific research. Either way, the Dark Lord has finally come to ask for his Vito Corleone-like favour, collecting on “dark devotions.” This begins with a small test: steal a pack of gum.
In the morning, Sabrina asks her aunts about whether or not they’ve been visited. Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) explains, in no uncertain terms, there’s no way out of doing the Dark Lord’s bidding. You simply do what he wishes.
A great visual reference to The Last Days of Pompeii, a 1913 Italian silent film, as Sabrina heads into Dr. Cerberus’s on a mission to steal gum. She’s caught by Madam Satan and questioned about why she’d steal something, which is entirely out of her nature. The Dark Lord’s watching nearby as Madam Satan gloats quietly, knowing the girl well.
Faustus Blackwood (Richard Coyle) is preparing for the students to put off his play, The Passion of Lucifer Morningstar— a riff on the final period of Christ’s life, known as the Passion. It’s a new adaptation. Sabrina is understudy in the role of Lilith while Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) will perform as “the False God.”
At the high school, William Shakespeare is the author given worship. Harvey (Ross Lynch) finds himself noticing Roz (Jaz Sinclair) more than usual. They’re getting closer. He asks her to partner up for the Bard. She keeps seeing the vision of their kiss. Theo (Lachlan Watson) is having trouble in the locker with all the dudes standing around watching, waiting for him to undress. “Take it all off,” they taunt like creeps.
Maybe I need to get back to my non-Satanic friends
The Dark Lord keeps lurking around Sabrina trying to convince her to take Dorcas (Abigail F. Cowen) out and secure the lead role in the play as Lilith. She imagines herself doing it, too. Then she makes a scene, speaking out loud to Satan when nobody else can see him. Later she starts to choke on an apple. No coincidence, what with the talk of Eve and the Garden. She passes out and when she wakes, she’s back at home in bed. Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) is there with tea. She tells her niece about being tasked by the Dark Lord once upon a time. She succumbed to the temptation of a test from their Master. It was all psychological head games. It’s all about control.
This prompts Sabrina to go back to Baxter High, hoping to get away from the Dark Lord’s influence. She tells Roz and Harvey about how the Academy’s been. He makes a joke about Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. And everything gets, somewhat, back to normal. Harvey is still very heartbroken. In drama class, Sabrina finds Satan hasn’t gone anywhere. She later discovers “the Devil‘s Claw” on her shoulder.
Madam Satan suggested to the young witch that an outstanding spell could be a reason for the claw mark getting bigger. Things get troublesome after Sabrina’s given Theo a knot to conjure a spell, resulting in Theo angrily twisting the knot and tossing Billy down the stairs, snapping his leg.
In drama class, Billy’s gone, obviously, and Roz has gotten ill. This leaves Sabrina and Harvey together doing a scene from Romeo and Juliet. Sweet, in spite of it being about two tragic lovers who die. Strange how she sees the Devil’s Claw mark on his chest when they’re making out. She suddenly feels differently. She doesn’t want to put him in danger. And it’s making life so much harder for them both.
Soundtrack note: When Harvey and Sabrina fall into each other’s arms, then into bed, “Gently Break It” by Beck Pete is playing. Amazing tune! Another instance of great soundtrack choices here on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
At home, Sabrina finds Salem on the porch lifeless. Nearby is the Dark Lord. Everybody’s getting sick, being marked. Satan will not stop— he refuses to be denied. It’ll require “greater devotion” for Ms. Spellman to prove herself. If she wants Salem to be okay, and Roz to be okay, and Harvey to be safe, she must burn down Baxter High. Shiiiit. If she doesn’t, she’ll have to do something worse. That night, Sabrina takes a gas can and heads into the school. Lilith and the Dark Lord wait to see if she’ll actually go ahead with it. Sabrina lights the match. This alone is enough. She’s proved to be entirely under His control. At least Salem is alive.
In the morning, Sabrina’s told she will now play Lilith in the play, after Dorcas comes down sick. At the Academy, the students perform Blackwood’s play for the entire coven. Quite the production. Eerie to see the real Lilith watching herself being played onstage by Sabrina. Not to mention it all mirrors Sabrina’s actual predicament in real life, as well. Very metafictional. Really, it’s all an elaborate dress rehearsal for the witch’s subjugation to the Dark Lord.
“… that’s only because the claw’s inside you now.”
Interesting to see Sabrina steal the pack of gum after all, on her own. The Dark Lord’s got his claws in deep after all. And with everything deteriorating around her, like the relationship with Harvey, all the adolescent angst, the horrors of being a young woman in a misogynistic world, safe to say things will get a whole lot worse from here.
Soundtrack note: The final tune is “Heaven” by Charly Bliss.
Chapter Fourteen: “Lupercalia” is next.