Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s horror-filled reimagining of our favourite half-witch half-mortal is back for a third season of The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina – and hell has never been hotter.
A lot happens in the not-so-sleepy town of Greendale at the end of season two. The Dark Lord (Luke Cook) revealed that he is Sabrina’s real father, wanting her to rule at his side as the Queen of Hell. And once Sabrina fulfilled her role as the doting daughter, he planned to usher in “The End of Days” in which hordes of demons would enter Greendale through the Gates of Hell.
Rejecting her father’s wishes Brina (with a little help) foiled his plans. But in Greendale, not all endings are happy ones. The Church of Night was left severely depleted, Faustus Blackwood escaped with the twins and Nick chose to make a selfless sacrifice – using his body as a vessel to trap the Dark Lord.
After Prudence and Ambrose find and capture Faustus Blackwood (Richard Boyle), who has found a way to manipulate time by accessing ancient dark magic, they join the Spellman’s and work to restore their coven to its former glory.
Meanwhile, Sabrina is determined to make good on her vow to bring Nick back from Hell. After a few failed attempts she realizes the only way to save Nick is by claiming her rightful place as Queen of Hell – with Lilith serving as her regent.
But there’s a catch. Citing infernal law, The Prince of Hell, Caliban (who was formed from clay), challenges her claim to the throne. After collecting 666 signatures from the highest-ranking demons in Hell, Caliban’s request is granted. The challenge is a quest to retrieve all three pieces of the Unholy Regalia – the three most powerful occult objects in history. Whoever finds and collects the relics may take their seat on the throne of Hell, regardless of birthright.
With Nick (sort of) safe and sound but acting a bit distant and strange, Sabrina focuses on Caliban’s challenge and business of being Queen – which includes things like literally dragging people to Hell.
In the mortal world Harvey (Ross Lynch), Roz (Jaz Sinclair) and Theo (Lachlan Watson) encourage Sabrina to do normal teenage things like cheerleading and going to a carnival. But this is Greendale and not everything is as it seems. The carnival is run by a group of Pagans who, after a stand-off with the Church Of Night, try to take over the town by resurrecting the “Green Man”. A battle for Greendale ensues in which Sabrina is forced to choose between the throne and the town she calls home.
The third season of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina sees the show embrace all its witchy madness, blending together the perfect mix of creepiness, silliness, fun and sass. The gorgeous sets and fast pace leaves no room for boredom or annoying subplots that distract from the central story.
The entire cast is phenomenal with stand-out performances by Kiernan Shipka (Sabrina) and Gavin Leatherwood (Nick). Australian newcomer, Sam Corlette (Caliban) is a scene-stealer giving off some major Thor vibes. Lucy Davis (Hilda), Miranda Otto (Zelda), Michelle Gomez (Lilith), Chance Perdomo (Ambrose) and Tati Gabrielle (Prudence) match their energy with a dash of their own fun and sass.
If you haven’t seen the show yet you may want to skip over the next section.
The only drawback in an otherwise flawless season is the time loop scenario in the eighth episode. Let’s recap!
In episode seven, Caliban tricks Sabrina into giving him the final piece of the Unholy Regalia, and traps her in stone. In the days that follow, Caliban, the newly crowned King of Hell, led the infernal army on a crusade to claim the Earth as the tenth circle of Hell. But he failed. The Pagans beat back his army solidifying the Earth as theirs. And Hell was subsequently emptied by an army of celestials.
But what of Sabrina Spellman/Morningstar?
She was where Caliban had left her – entombed in stone. Decades passed as Sabrina wondered who would save her. Eventually, she was saved by the only person could pull off such a feat – herself. Explaining that she just needs a little help waking up (because she’s done it once before), a version of Sabrina from the future casts a spell to wake up past Sabrina.
Taking her place in the stone future Sabrina tells her past self to collect the Unholy Regalia and save Greendale. But, most importantly, once she’s done saving everyone past Sabrina needs to come back to “right here, right now” and do what future Sabrina just did to complete the time loop. It’s the only way to keep the realms preserved and prevent chaos.
The questions that remain unanswered are these…
How exactly was Sabrina freed from the stone the first time so that she could save the Earth and go back to free herself again?
If Sabrina eventually managed to escape by herself the first time wouldn’t it have been unnecessary for her to go back in time to free herself again?
And since she altered the events that transpired in Greendale, shouldn’t the future version of Sabrina have vanished from her stone prison?
Although the ninth circle of hell exists in its own time pocket, it still doesn’t give us a definitive explanation of how the time loop works. But I’m sure season four will deal with the fallout of the time loop and find a way to rationalise the flaws away.
The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Season 3
If you loved The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina before, you will be delighted with the super binge-able eight episodes that dropped on Netflix recently. And with season four already in the works, you don’t want to miss a second of all the Hell-ish fun.