Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chapter Eighteen: “The Miracles of Sabrina Spellman”
Directed by Antonio Negret
Written by Christianne Hedtke & Lindsay Calhoon Bring
* For a recap & review of Chapter Seventeen, “The Missionaries” – click here
* For a recap & review of Chapter Nineteen, “The Mandrake” – click here
Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch) and the others bring Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) back to the Academy, where Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) already has Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) to deal with, and the whole thing’s one bloody, chaotic mess. The young witch is “likened to a god.” Without any further medical attention, Sabrina is back on her feet looking to help her cousin. She lays hands over his wounds and heals him.
Again, the parallels of Sabrina being like a Dark Christ deepen. Harvey compares it to the Dark Phoenix and Jean Grey from X-Men. Even if he’s referencing comic books, he’s only doing so because he can barely grapple with the strange reality of what he saw in the desecrated church. On top of all this, Sabrina’s caught between her new feelings for Nick Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood) and the old ones lingering for Harvey.
You’re always there to catch me
Everyone in the family’s concerned about Sabrina. Although she’s working miracles it’s not normal. Hilda wants them all to stay close until Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Faustus (Richard Coyle) return from their honeymoon— the same date of Ambrose’s intended execution. Sabrina would rather go to school.
Her friends are all curious about what’s going on with those powers. Roz (Jaz Sinclair) particularly wants to get the healing help of the witch. If not, she’ll be sent to a special school by her father. Theo (Lachlan Watson), Harvey, Sabrina, and Roz go to the bathroom, where the witch uses her newfound skills to return her friend’s sight.
Faustus— interim Anti-Pope— and Zelda have come back early. They’ve heard about the witch hunters. Everybody tells Father Blackwood of Sabrina’s “miraculous abilities.” He’s suspicious. She mentions the “story of Pandora” and defies his questioning. The council’s going to figure out what to do. Also, Hilda finds Zelda quite strange after her return. Her sister’s acting uncharacteristically housewife-y. She’s become a Stepford Wife-like robot.
Something’s drawing Harvey back towards the mines. He’s seen a strange, towering beast with horns down there, and also saw Sabrina appear like a terrifying Jesus with her blank eyes and the Crown of Thorns atop her head. He wants answers.
In the meantime, Sabrina’s attempting to spread the word of her father Edward’s manifesto, believing that “Witches 2.0.” are the future. This means gathering disciples, who are lining up in worship. This puts her at odds with Prudence (Tati Gabrielle).
The council’s decided to reinstate Nick and Sabrina. However, Ambrose will be executed in twenty-four hours if there’s no proof for the theory Faustus controlled him via his familiar. Anti-Pope Blackwood is already angling to try and make sure Ms. Spellman’s no longer a threat. There may be “definitive lethal action” if the witch interferes with the execution using any of her miracles.
Sabrina and Nick find Leviathan at the Gray Room, then she brings the mouse back to life. Leviathan is willing to corroborate the story about Faustus. They’ll need to stay safe. Shitty surprise: Dorian Gray (Jedidiah Goodacre) calls Faustus to let him know, as a bit of spectator sport, and at the same time the Anti-Pope’s controlling his new wife, using her to hopefully kill Leviathan.
While Hilda argues with Sabrina over the “cosmic debt” she’s building through her miracles, neither of them realise Zelda’s come home. The little mouse is put through a meat grinder before her sister and niece discover what she’s done. Hilda finally understands her sister’s under an old spell used by warlocks on their wives.
Sabrina tracks down a “music box” by which Faustus is controlling Zelda, pulling it through “space and time.” They manage to free Zelda from her trance. She knows the true intent of Faustus: to force Sabrina into showing her powers to the council and, as a result, have her burned “as a heretic.” The warlocks are threatened by a young, powerful witch, similar to the when the original witches were hanged in Pendle and burned in Salem.
Madam Satan (Michelle Gomez) has decided to “birth a monster.” She’s no longer satisfied with playing subjugated woman to the Dark Lord’s cruelty. She’ll do ANYTHING to teach him a lesson. She’s lured a man in, murdered him, and, at the tub, she pulls out a rib— a subverted Satanic version of Adam’s rib— to complete the Frankenstein-ish creation. (Lots going on here, given the connections between John Milton’s Paradise Lost, featuring Adam and Eve heavily, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which shared thematic similarities with Milton’s poem.)
The execution is going ahead.
Ambrose is at the guillotine. When the blade falls, the executioner’s head rolls. Prudence watched Sabrina with no indication the young witch did anything. It was actually Aunt Hilda. Yet the execution will continue.
The Anti-Pope decides to make Sabrina lower the blade.
That’s when the Dark Lord appears, sick of their shit. He insults Faustus in front of everybody, calling for Ambrose to be let go. Is Sabrina working her magic? The way she grips her hand tightly until Satan disappears suggests yes. One thing’s for sure: the council have stripped Faustus of his interim Anti-Pope title.
Sabrina wants to have a mortal-witch mixer and bring the two worlds together, believing her new powers are an indication it’s the proper path. At the Spellman house, witches and mortals party. Bit of Cyndi Lauper plays in the background. Some drinks, some dancing. Sabrina envisions this as “the future,” if only petty differences don’t keep people apart, whether it’s humans and witches, or witches and witches. And Nick’s curious where this leaves his witch-witch relationship with Sabrina.
Across town, Harvey’s showing Theo stuff about the mine, such as how Tunnel 13 isn’t charted on the plans. He heard a woman’s voice there, a.k.a “the Woman in White.” He found old family mining notes about sightings. Harvey and Theo go down into the mines. Theo references The Descent in “a bad way” right before they’re attacked by a feral woman with pale skin and white hair. They kill it.
What’s the Woman in White guarding?
Everybody’s called out to witness Sabrina perform a miracle. Out of nowhere, Harvey rushes to tell her he has something important she must know first. He begs her to come down. They all head to the mines, where Sabrina and the others see a mosaic of prophecy, depicting Sabrina herself, with those white eyes and the Crown of Thorns on her head, as the “Herald of Hell.”
All part of the Dark Lord’s plan.
Another great chapter in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Season 2 has been so much darker and, in many ways, more emotional. There’s so much character development in the space of these episodes. The writing’s been impressive. Glad it’s already confirmed we’re getting several seasons.
Chapter Nineteen: “The Mandrake” is next.