Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chapter Nineteen: “The Mandrake”
Directed by Kevin Sullivan
Written by Joshua Conkel
* For a recap & review of Chapter Eighteen, “The Miracles of Sabrina Spellman” – click here
* For a recap & review of Chapter Twenty, “The Mephisto Waltz” – click here
Harvey (Ross Lynch) is drawing a picture of the mosaic they saw in the mines. Is the prophecy truly that Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) will become “the Herald of Hell“? Right now, they have to keep the mosaic a secret, as well as the “albino witch” Theo (Lachlan Watson) had to slay. Plus, Nick (Gavin Leatherwood) and Harvey are butting heads, and Roz (Jaz Sinclair) questions things after hearing her new man talk about the love he had with Sabrina. What a mixed up bunch of youthful emotion!
Such is life— messssssy.
Madam Satan (Michelle Gomez) sits by the fire with her Frankenstein monster Adam. She orders him around using the rib. Her plan for the monster is to tear the “half–witch” to pieces as revenge for what the Dark Lord did to her human boy-toy Adam. Madam Satan receives a visit from Sabrina and Nick asking about the mosaic. She tells the pair it suggests Sabrina will help bring about the Apocalypse. She subtly gathers info about her nemesis. Then she explains Sabrina must give up her powers using the “Mandrake Spell,” effectively becoming mortal, to stave off the End of Days. Sneaky, sneaky, Lilith.
Sabrina wants to use the mandrake to “siphon off” her dark energies into a double. She could kill it, keeping her powers from causing the Apocalypse. She seeks the help of her cousin Ambrose (Chance Perdomo). He’s unsure if it’s all true, yet she knows it is by the feeling in her bones. She’s prepared to give up being a witch if necessary, even if that means mortal life and leaving everybody in the world of witches behind. Because she’s been subjugated all over again by the Dark Lord, and her genetics. This is a way of regaining control.
Ambrose helps Sabrina with the mandrake spell. It’ll take thirteen hours to take hold. The older cousin sits watch over the younger while the night fades into morning. It doesn’t work. This means a new plan.
Faustus Blackwood (Richard Coyle) has reconfigured the Church of Night into the Church of Judas. He’s instated the Five Tenets of Judas on his own, feeling the council abandoned them. Things are changing to achieve “Satanic greatness“— Make America Satanic Again? Not looking good for the women of the church. Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) reads all the new rules and doesn’t dig them. She asks her father about why the tenets are beyond sexist. She’s realising Faustus isn’t as great as she once imagined. Like the Christians and their misogyny towards Eve, so does the Church of Judas, as well as the Church of Night, see all women as they falsely see Lilith— second to Man. Perhaps Prudence and Zelda (Miranda Otto) can come together to help the church’s women.
Oh, and Faustus dispatches dudes to murder Ms. Spellman.
Something’s wrong with Sabrina. She’s acting strange. First, at breakfast, then at Harvey’s place. She wields those new dark powers as if they’re trivial. She goes to see Roz, who touches her and sees the mandrake root did create a double, placing another mandrake as a decoy. Later, the evil double goes to see Theo, again prompting the emergence of those dark powers.
“My life is not my own”
Adam pulls a Michael Myers gag with a white sheet, sneaking into the bathroom where he tries to drown Sabrina in the tub. Nick rushes in and tries to stop the Frankenstein monster. He pulls a rib from out of its gut and the creature falls lifeless to the floor. Sabrina couldn’t use her magic on it— she knows the mandrake spell worked. This worries Nick. He doesn’t want to lose her. Aside from that, he’s found the “Codex Prognostica.” He located a footnote about the prophecy of a “half–shadow girl” who’ll bring on the Apocalypse via perverting “the Nazarene‘s path on Earth.” She’s already performed several: Jesse’s exorcism, raising the dead/going into Limbo, and restoring Roz’s eyesight. Madam Satan had her hand in all of them.
They go confront Lilith. Sabrina wants answers. She questions Madam Satan while Nick uses the rib to keep the woman trapped. They don’t get any info, so Sabrina leaves to find her double, planning to kill it and then Lilith.
Theo wakes in a mandrake garden where she, Roz, and Harvey are producing doubles. A second Harvey is hatching, but Theo wakes up and kills it. He has to kill his own mandrake, as well, and then the one for Roz. Soon, Sabrina’s double finds them, screaming in an homage to the Donald Sutherland moment at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Things are getting ugly for Zelda. Her actions re: baby Leticia are revealed by Prudence. This prompts the older witch to take Prudence hostage, and then Father Blackwood proves how little he cares for his daughter, by allowing her to be killed if that’s what Zelda decides. She doesn’t, of course, and she’s taken into custody. Prudence later hears directly from dad that Leticia will be renamed Judith, and on the girl’s dark baptism she will be “espoused to her brother.” Yuck.
GREAT JOB, PRUDENCE! She automatically knows she must break Zelda out.
At home, Sabrina’s double lures Ambrose in with sadness over her supposedly dead friends. Sabrina shows up in time. But can the cousin tell them apart? Ambrose suggests a duel with pistols, by “Witch Law,” like the old days.
There’s a development, too. Nick and Madam Satan figure out there’s more to the prophecy, and it’s not good. The final act necessary to start the Apocalypse is a perversion of the resurrection, meaning a suicide. Like what would happen if Sabrina kills her double/herself.
In the forest, the duel commences. The two Sabrinas pace off. The real Sabrina turns before the count is finished, firing on her double. Nick and Madam Satan are too late to stop it. The “final perversion” has occurred. The End of Days is about to start, and Satan himself will walk the Earth with Sabrina “as His queen.”
Another great episode, and a game-changer for the series. This penultimate Season 2 episode is setting things up for a wild finale, but also for an interesting Season 3. So many compelling plots, and so many wonderful homages/references to history, horror, and more. Chapter Twenty: “The Mephisto Waltz” is next.