Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chapter Thirty-Five: “The Endless”
Directed by Kevin Sullivan
Written by Donna Thorland & Matthew Barry
* For a recap & review of Chapter Thirty-Four: “The Returned,” click here.
* For a recap & review of the series finale, Chapter Thirty-Six: “At the Mountains of Madness,” click here.
The Void is on its way.
On the other side of the wormhole mirror, something rumbles and Sabrina Morningstar comes through to the other side seeing her aunties Zelda and Hilda (Beth Broderick & Caroline Rhea), all of them being directed on a set by Faustus. They “live and work” on the TV set sound stages of a hit show. There are rules, too. You get three strikes before you’re sent to the “Green Room.” After that nobody hears from you again. Nobody knows about the eldritch terrors there, and there’s no Ambrose, either. Morningstar tries to explain everything to her aunties and neither of them understand. Also there’s no magic in this duplicate realm! Shiiiit.
When the aunts go to bed Morningstar takes the time to have a walk around the studio. She tries to leave the Exit door and it leads to a brick wall; all the Exit doors are dead ends, it seems. She goes back inside and upstairs, checking on her aunts, sound asleep. She then wonders if perhaps Ambrose’s research is still there, even if he’s not, and she checks the shelves: only books with blank pages. Because magic doesn’t exist, and here everything is a prop. So Morningstar goes to bed, albeit reluctantly in that strange place. Worst of all, the mirror isn’t there anymore.
Next day they’re shooting and Morningstar receives her first strike. She’s thrown off by a talking Salem, who’s got the voice of Lucifer. Apparently the cat is the star of the show here, too. They restart the scene so Morningstar can do her line correctly and all goes well. Back in her room, Morningstar gets a visit from the star. She asks about her mirror and if she can get it back. Salem says he’ll try to track it down. She decides to ask about the eldritch terrors and the cat replies he doesn’t know anything. Later, the next scene shot is one at the high school with Theo, Roz, and Harvey. Morningstar gets another strike after Harvey slips her tongue during a kissing scene and she’s freaked out. In this realm, she’s with Harvey on the TV show, #Habrina, and Nick’s only a stand-in; of course Harv doesn’t know Caliban when Morningstar mentions him. They manage to get through the scene. But there’s only one strike left for our witch.
At home, Morningstar talks to Hilda. She tries telling her of the “other cosmos” but her aunt thinks it’s all about being on some other show. Hilda suggests to just lean into it and be all-in for this show because this is where she is now, that’s how it goes. So Morningstar goes over to Harvey’s for supper later, a nice can of tuna. She notices strange drawings on the walls, supposedly courtesy of the show’s art department. It’s actually the drawings from the other cosmos, where Harvey drew those visions he saw from Roz’s cunning of the eldritch terrors. Hopefully our witch can use this to help her in this wild duplicate realm.
Line readings with Harvey start to echo the other cosmos for Morningstar and conversations they’ve had before as the original Harvey and Sabrina. This is a reshoot they’re preparing for, and so Morningstar realises there are tapes of previous episodes. She’s able to go back and watch previous moments Harvey and Sabrina shared, back in Season 1 of the series. All a bit uncanny and too frighteningly existential for Morningstar, who heads off looking around the sound stage set again. She decides to go through one of the Exit doors and finds the fabled Green Room. She heads further and sees bloody streaks on the floor. The Green Room is a nasty place, and it’s where Ambrose works away. Ambrose is trying to fight the latest eldritch terror: the Endless. And so Ambrose is making cat food to appease the terror—that terror is Salem Saberhagen. He doesn’t think there’s anything to do BUT appease Salem, whereas Morningstar’s determined to find a way out.
“This is the only thing that exists for you now”
Yet another Groundhog Day-like morning on set, more scenes to shoot.
Poor Roz is purposefully going blind because that’s what the writers determined. Everybody continually eats canned food—because that’s Salem’s favourite and everybody must eat what he says—that’s actually the Soylent Green of cat products as we now know from seeing Ambrose’s process in the Green Room/Spellman mortuary. Morningstar runs into her previous aunties, the Hilda and Zelda we know from the other cosmos; they’ve been dispatched from their roles, though didn’t get sent to the Green Room. She tries telling the aunts about the Endless to no avail.
Morningstar runs into Caliban working on the set. He’s part of the crew, he doesn’t remember any relationship he had with either Sabrina here. He’s head of construction, building the set and everything else necessary. Through their conversation Morningstar hears there’s a Void being built for the next episode. Caliban’s nearly finished and he can’t stop his work. That gives Morningstar another evening to figure out what to do, plus put her plan into action. She needs “tomorrow‘s script pages,” so she goes to Harvey for help. The pair set off together to find Mary, who’s sleeping with the scripts in her non-room. Although they’re being watched from a distance by Nick the stand-in. After Morningstar has the script she gathers everyone and tells them of the Endless, and the Void’s approach. The second pair of aunties think this happens ever year, like a big TV show sweeps event on a sitcom. However, the other Zelda thinks it’s best to listen to Morningstar, and it begins the two Zeldas. The Zelda and Hilda we know from this series trust their niece.
Next day on set, Harvey’s not there, and Nick is in his place. He says the other Harv was sent to the Green Room, according to rumour. Morningstar’s worried. She starts asking questions of Faustus and Mary about the Void, like she’s asking actor questions. She wants to speak with the head writer about some changes. Nobody seems to know who’s the actual writer. Hilda says the writer is never in the same place, but today should be over at the high school. And who’s the writer? You bet: Salem.
Morningstar confronts Salem about the Void. She asks if Salem understands what the Void will do. The cat already knows about “the end of all things.” He says he’ll be fine. But she urges that the Void will end even the Endless itself. Morningstar pulls out the script to show that after page 29, when the Void comes, there is nothing else but a blank page. What will Salem do if even he, the Endless, is threatened? Well the show goes on shooting, and Morningstar begins a bit of improv rather than reading the normal lines. Except Salem backs her up, now they’re on the same side. When the witch and the cat try to leave they’re trapped. Salem knows there the mirror is, so they can get out of there. But they have terrifying Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda on their heels, running after them through the sound stage. Thankfully, Salem can rewrite the script at a moment’s notice causing the horrific aunties to fall behind. Morningstar wants to save as many people as they can, only to see Prudence and Agatha have slaughtered a bunch already. Salem turns the sisters on themselves, then he and Morningstar rush for the Green Room where Ambrose and Caliban have been dispatched by Nick, another servant of the Void. Salem pulls another rewrite and they get out of there. Upstairs in Zelda’s office, the other aunties have been torn apart by the monstrous Zelda ad Hilda. Salem and Morningstar make another run for it as the Void begins sucking everything into its darkness. They just make it to the mirror and Morningstar makes a leap through the glass.
What happens next?
Maybe my favourite episode of the series! Such a great use of the Uncanny re: Freud here, and there’s just so much awesome stuff going on here in terms of existentialism with the duplicate cosmos/realms. It’ll be interesting to see how they end the series. Not ready to see Chilling Adventures of Sabrina go, but we’ll always have wonderful episodes to go back and watch over.