Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chapter Thirty-Four: “The Returned”
Directed by Catriona McKenzie
Written by Oanh Ly & Ross Maxwell
* For a recap & review of Chapter Thirty-Three: “Deus Ex Machina,” click here.
* For a recap & review of Chapter Thirty-Five: “The Endless,” click here.
Sabrina tries to speak to Morningstar through the wormhole mirror. She wants a sign her other self is okay. She’s worried, naturally. No telling what the other Sabrina’s going through in that duplicate realm. All she can do is wait. The other cosmos hasn’t stopped yet. But they have to wait a bit. And until then they cannot let people know or it’d cause panic in Greendale. Could it be that the eldritch terrors have been drawn not to Sabrina but to the offspring of Lilith and Satan? Even if baby Adam’s dead. Hmm.
The Fright Club is going to have a Battle of the Bands with another new band at Baxter High, the brutally named the Stoned Philosophers. That’ll decide who is the one band to rule them all! Doesn’t hurt that Harvey’s got himself some sort of magic guitar. Only issue there is it seems to call out to a few dead rockers who used to rock ass at Baxter. The guitar playing pisses Harvey’s dad off too because Mr. Kinkle’s a pit of broken dreams. At the school, the dead rockers from Satanic Panic take out the Stoned Philosophers. Bloody stuff.
In the meantime, the Spellman house receives a gift: Vinegar Tom the beagle. This thrills Zelda, not concerned with why the dog has returned. Yet Mambo knows there’s a “thinning between the fabric of life and death” and that might start bringing back more than just dogs. This is the next eldritch terror: the Returned, revenants coming back. Mambo says they have to make the dead feel welcome. Or else! She’s got to go face the avatar of the dead, and she must do it alone. She meets an old man for a game of senet. This is a game to try putting those revenants back in the grave. If Mambo Marie loses, the revenants will never rest. The man she’s playing against is actually Lazarus. He specialises in “pain and suffering.”
When Sabrina rushes to see Zelda she finds her father Edward there; another revenant. They have to pretend like all is normal. They’ve got to make this revenant feel welcome. In Lilith’s room it’s a far darker, different story. She can hear Adam crying out, but he’s nowhere. Just a disembodied voice. And mad Agatha receives a visit from Dorcas, back from the dead. Across town, Hilda arrives to tell Dr. Cee about the dead returning. He already knows because his mom, who passed away a decade prior, just showed up recently. Oh, my. Not the mother-wife meeting that most married couples imagine. Cee’s mom also may be psychotic. Later that night she frightens Hilda and tries to kill her before she gets locked up.
Harvey asks his dad about Satanic Panic. Seems that Mr. Kinkle was part of the band. Then one night, Lucifer—disguised as a talent scout—found him while he was alone in the garage. So he tells his band members and they want to do the deal. Mr. Kinkle wasn’t into it, so he left the band. Then a girl named Peggy Lou was found dead. A little while later, Satanic Panic burned to death in a woodshed where they were practising, dead at the hands of Peggy’s grieving father. God. Damn.
Things aren’t going so hot for Marie in her game of senet. Uh oh.
At the academy, Sabrina has a private chat with Edward. Maybe a bit too in depth. Edward believes his daughter’s only a couple months old. He’s having a hard time understanding everything. It’s worse when he finds out his wife Diana is dead, and that he’s been dead near two decades, as well. Sabrina is having a great “second chance” and Edward is not, calling her an abomination for being Satan’s child. These revenants aren’t second chances. Thankfully Edward doesn’t hurt Sabrina because Zelda stops him in his tracks. Then there’s Dorcas figuring out Agatha was the one who killed her. She nearly gets stabbing when Prudence comes in to interrupt. What about Lilith? She summons Caliban. She wants to put an end to her life. To do that, because she’s immortal, she needs the Spear of Longinus a.k.a the Holy Lance.
Satanic Panic still wants a hellish Battle of the Bands. They’ve gone so far as to take Mr. Kinkle, in order to make sure Harvey and the Fright Club compete. Both the living and the dead will be judges. Theo figures they need to play what they’re good at, not compete as a metal band against those undead metalheads. They’ll need more help, so Theo asks Sabrina to try summoning her former hobgoblin lover, Robin. Sabrina also drops by Hell to see dad, asking about Satanic Panic and the issues in Greendale. She knows dad can’t do anything about the revenants, given they’re eldritch terrors. She asks him to get the band to release Mr. Kinkle. But she’s rejected by yet another dad here. Lucifer decides to give Satanic Panic the ability to “ignite hellfire” if they win the big battle, for the purposes of burning Greendale down.
Caliban has brought back the Lance for Lilith. She’s now going to kill herself. Except Zelda finds her and tells her about Marie’s game with Lazarus. This word of the Resurrected Man intrigues Lilith. What’s she thinking? Will she try to have Adam brought back from the dead? Yes. She asks Lazarus if he can help bring the child back. However, without a body nothing can be done.
Sabrina’s too smart for her own father’s bullshit. She knows Satanic Panic want revenge. She also knows dead Peggy Lou probably wants revenge for her murder, too. At the show, Robin’s ready to play with the Fright Club, and a crowd is ready to rock. Lucifer drops in to play MC, introducing Satanic Panic who plays “Partytime” by 45 Grave (familiar to fans of Return of the Living Dead). After that it’s the Fright Club’s chance to play a cover of “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. When Lucifer wants to call the competition the Dark Mothers turn up, a band comprised of Sabrina, Prudence, Nick, and Ambrose. They do a cover of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. Soon, Peggy returns and she uses this time to scorch Satanic Panic with her own fire.
What of the fateful game of senet?
And before the game’s complete he’s stabbed through the back by Lilith with the Lance. LILITH WINS! Sadly, Marie’s got to lead the dead back to their graves and then stay with them. Mambo Marie is not her real name. So who is she, really? Baron Samedi. This shocks Zelda when she finds out the truth. Samedi says they’ll see each other again, when Zelda shuffles off the mortal coil. Dorcas obviously also has to leave, and when she does she leaves Agatha with a kiss, as if in forgiveness. Then Agatha is released from her madness finally.Exciting, fun episode. Always love a good cover, and this series does it without letting things get too cheesy. Just cheesy enough, I say. Also love whenever Baron Samedi is referenced, in anything. All the occult stuff and more religious subversion, via Lazarus, makes the entire show richer.