Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Chapter Thirty-Six: “At the Mountains of Madness”
Directed by Rob Seidenglanz
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, Chapter Thirty-Five: “The Endless,” click here.
Mary is with the Pilgrims of the Night Church in the absence of Faustus a.k.a Reverend Lovecraft. She’s left to take up the mantle to help usher in the last of the eldritch terrors. We then get a shot similar to Halloween outside a house where the Fright Club are together, making out, only a couple nights before the night itself. They’re planning to go to the Spellman house for Halloween and have a Dario Argento fest. Looks like Nick and Sabrina’s relationship is going well now that they’ve started over. But while they go back to her place to makeout more they’re interrupted by Morningstar flying through the mirror, closing the wormhole before anything else can follow her through to the other side. Morningstar warns the Void is coming, and then she dies in her other self’s arms.
The head of Faustus is attempting to lure his body, so he might get prepared for the Void. His body pulls his head from its stump, and now it looks like they’ll be back together again. At home, Ambrose arrives to tell his aunts and cousin that the three orbs of the “Ro–Cosmos“—the duplicate—have vanished. They were consumed. Just part of the Void rolling its way to the original cosmos. The family head for the academy so they can use the observatory to see what’s happening out there. Sabrina stays behind to say goodbye to Morningstar in her own way. She’s also wondering how she can destroy the Void. She looks over the various eldritch terrors in her possession, and the Imp’s looking mighty good right about now. She’s about to make a wish when there’s a knock at the door. The Trinket Man has returned. He says wishing the Void away would be “unwise,” so she asks if there’s anything other trinket that could help. The man has a box that belonged to Pandora. The box used to contain all the universe’s evil, now it could be used to trap the Void within it. Sabrina trades the Trinket Man the Imp for Pandora’s box.
But it’ll be dangerous to trap the Void, and it may require Sabrina making a major sacrifice.
Our teenage witch reopens the wormhole mirror. She tells Salem not to follow her through, turning it to stone when she gets to the other side. “You really are a good boy,” she tells the cat before stepping past the mirror’s frame. She finds herself in the Void, all right. It’s a literal white space with planets floating in it, as well as several paintings hanging around them. At the academy, the Void is pressing down on them fast. Salem drops by to tell Ambrose and the others what Sabrina’s up to out there in the cosmos, naturally worrying everybody. Nick, Zelda, Hilda, and Ambrose try to pull Sabrina back from the Void by force, casting a spell. The Void has hold of the young woman’s soul, and it isn’t letting go.
The Void speaks to Sabrina, asking why she’s come. “Why so much death?” asks the witch. The reply: there is no life or death, merely the Void. Sabrina shows off Pandora’s box, opening it to try pulling the Void inside. Everything starts to get sucked inside the box, planet by planet. On Earth, Ambrose thinks they might be able to still grab Sabrina’s soul and transfer it back into Morningstar’s body to get here out of there. As Sabrina traps everything in the box she’s pulled out by the soul, and the Void’s still coming. Now the box is left out there with the Void.
They’re called to the academy where the Void has disappeared. Is it really so easy? Hmm.
Not good for anybody to have Mary out there, creeping, watching, preaching to the congregation. Particularly when Faustus has returned, stitched together somewhat, along with Judith and Judas. Mary helps get Faustus stitched together better and he urges her to keep spreading the gospel of Lovecraft.
Halloween and Sabrina’s birthday have come, even if everything doesn’t seem quite right. Vinegar Tom is still around. Food and alarm clocks are disappearing. Everyone’s planning for the big day to celebrate for Sabrina. Down in Hell, Lilith is meeting with Lucifer to tell him about Morningstar’s death, and that Sabrina has taken over her body. She’s looking to have her powers restored, sucking up to Satan. Caliban urges that this is disrespect by the witches, that they’re mocking the Dark Lord. He wants Sabrina to die and they’ll take back Morningstar’s body. Lilith makes sure the hellish men know where Sabrina and her family will be tonight. Caliban and Beelzebub are already on their way to start their chaos.
Nice Halloween III: Season of the Witch reference with a witch, a skeleton, and a pumpkin trick-or-treating on the Spellman doorstep, right before the birthday party. Everyone sings Happy Birthday while the young witch blows out her candles, only for the cake to disappear. Everything keeps disappearing! Right then they hear a horn blow in the distance: Hell’s battle cry. Caliban and Beelzebub, along with Lucifer and their army, have come to take back Morningstar’s body. So Sabrina goes outside to confront them. She decides to give herself up, binding her spells so she’s helpless. Ambrose refuses to let his cousin go and takes out his wand. This is when Sabrina realises she can make things disappear, probably why that’s been happening as of late. Has she been given the power of the Void? Well, she vanishes Mr. Kinkle along with a bunch of others, even Caliban. Satan now realises Sabrina wasn’t using magic, she’s “manifested godlike powers.”
When Satan goes raging back to Hell he won’t give Lilith her powers. She responds with using the Spear of Longinus on him, stabbing into the scars where he once had wings. She takes a taste of that “celestial blood” and the power starts running through her veins. She doesn’t want to kill Lucifer, she’d like him to suffer a while. She banishes him from the Court of Hell, into the Mortal Realm. Back at the Spellman house, Sabrina doesn’t know what happened, she doesn’t know how to control her new power. She gets overwhelmed with everybody yelling and her powers get out of control, so Ambrose and Nick take her off with them alone. They see Sabrina has, effectively, become the Void. She wants to get away from everyone, to ensure she won’t hurt anyone else. Then she’s gone.
They’ve got to go to space, to retrieve Sabrina’s body and Pandora’s box. Nick offers to go, having been forged with hellfire while they used him as a flesh acheron a while back. How will he breathe in space? They’ve got the Weird preserved. Ambrose will enchant it and turn it into an “eldritch oxygen mask” so Scratch will be able to survive out there. Then there’s Sabrina, self-exiled at the Mountains of Madness. The witch gets a visitor by her campfire eventually, none other than Faustus. He’s immune to the Void’s powers, and he wants to help Sabrina wield the power by his guidance. She may actually be interested, too.
“Then let us begin our dark purpose”
A couple weeks later, Faustus is at work when several cloaked people show up at the mountain. It’s actually Roz, Ambrose, Agatha, and Prudence; Salem is there, too! They’re brought into the Void’s temple where Sabrina emerges from a cave, like some old crone, barely able to walk even with two crutches. Faustus calls her the “final shadow,” the “star Wormwood.” He says she’s holding back the Void, allowing them all to exist every minute she holds it back. Right now it’s time for the Void to feed. The others figure out that Faustus is seeking the rest of the Void that isn’t in Sabrina. He wants to pull the rest of the Void down and join it with the piece inside the young witch. Yet Sabrina won’t go, she believes she’s saving everyone else. Roz and the others will take Sabrina by force if she won’t leave on her own.
But Sabrina makes Roz disappear, then Prudence. She urges Ambrose and Agatha to go now, telling her cousin she will see them again “at the end.” Back at the house, Ambrose and Agatha let the rest know they have until the Winter Solstice to save Sabrina. They have to get to her right before Faustus sacrifices her. After that, Nick comes back from space half frozen and carrying Sabrina’s body, along with Pandora’s box.
The coven rush back to the Mountains of Madness in time as Faustus is about to kill Sabrina. Zelda stops him and show that they’ve brought all the eldritch terrors for him, as well as the remainder of the Void in Pandora’s box. They attempt a trade. Faustus takes the box, only to get his eyes burned out with gunpowder. They’ve saved Sabrina. Nevertheless, she knows all about the Void, and she knows that to defeat it they’ve got to get the people back whom she made disappear. They’re alive, but inside the Void; inside Sabrina. They’ve got perform the sacrifice, to drain the Void from her. Ambrose and Harvey also have to go in to pull everyone out. They’ll also bring the eldritch terrors in to rid the world of them forever.
Thus, the bloodletting starts, and the Void begins to drain from Sabrina.
A Stargate-type portal opens, then Harvey, Ambrose, and Nick go into it while Theo and others hold onto them with a rope. Poor Sabrina struggles while the Void continues draining. She remembers all the sweetest moments of life, being with her aunts and cousin as she grew up, year after year. Literally, her life is flashing before her eyes. She’s slipping away right in front of her aunts’ eyes. She says goodbye to Hilda and Zelda, to Harvey, to Roz, Theo, Robin, Ambrose, Nick, and Salem, and everybody else. She’s prepared to die. Soon, everyone’s coming back through the Void’s portal. Nick unleashes Pandora’s box and returns before the Void sucks him into its darkness forever.
But it’s too late. Sabrina’s dead.
The Spellmans gather with the coven to bury and honour both Sabrinas.
Everybody’s devastated by the loss, obviously. At the academy, a statue is erected in Sabrina’s honour, to stand near the statues of Hecate. Hilda’s decided she and Dr. Cee will move back to the mortuary, wanting the family to stay together as closely as possible in light of all this tragedy. Elsewhere, Faustus is being kept locked away blind and in chains. He’s visited by Prudence. She wants to scatter him to the “four corners of the Earth” by chopping him up with a chainsaw. Somewhere else in the Sweet Hereafter is Sabrina, sitting to read. She then sees Nick appear. He went swimming in the “Sea of Sorrows” and got sucked into the undertow. At least they’re together forever. Bitter and sweet at the same time.
“For they are both our daughters”
Not sure I love the very end with Nick and Sabrina because it seemed weird, or rushed. Or both.
All the same, I do love the general ending, and I think it was bold to have Sabrina die. She was selfless after realising how much trouble she’d caused throughout the cosmos, and I feel this was the only appropriate way to end the series without making it feel too saccharine. If Sabrina had lived it would’ve felt too light. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has always had lots of heart, but it’s always had plenty of darkness, and this ending felt appropriately light and dark in equal measure. Maybe someday we’ll see the gang back.
For now? See you later, Sabrina and friends.