Whoa. The season finale of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2, “Chapter 20: The Mephisto Waltz” is a surprising, exhilarating episode of television that tied together most of the series’ plot threads to date. It also opened, to echo Sabrina’s threat to Father Blackwood earlier in the season, a Pandora’s box of narrative possibilities. We know that the show has been renewed by Netflix for two more seasons, so there’s no worrying about whether or not we’ll see these characters again. (It’s worth noting that if the show had been cancelled, this installment would have been a more than satisfying series finale).
The big question is, where the heaven does the show go from here?
The most obvious answer comes directly from Sabrina herself. “Let’s go to hell and get my boyfriend back,” she excitedly declares to Theo, Roz, and Harvey, all of whom are ready for their next Fright Club adventure. Perhaps getting some PTSD counseling first would would be a way more reasonable route, but you know.
Expect the friends to do just that when the show returns (most likely before the end of the year). With the new alliance between Sabrina and Lilith, she should have no problem getting back into hell. But how can Nick be separated from Lucifer without the latter getting freed and wreaking vengeance against his mounting group of enemies?
That’s a problem for showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and the rest of the writers to figure out. As this second batch of episodes illustrate, this is a show that is just getting warmed up. Count on there being plenty more obstacles to be thrown in our characters’ paths. It’s actually an extremely daring move for the series to sideline Satan this early on, one that smacks of confidence and planning. Are the producers flying too close to the sun here? Perhaps. Although it’s more likely that they have more tricks up their sleeve than Nick Scratch at an Academy of the Unseen Arts talent show.
Having died and been resurrected, lost and regain her powers, and almost causing the end of the world, Sabrina is now stronger and more confident than ever before. Her enemies will not be underestimated again, and in the case of Lilith, she actually seems to be respected by her former foe. It’s something of a bummer than that in a show that is so progressive in its showcasing how the patriarchy needs to be destroyed, that Sabrina’s immediate thought is to save Nick. She does not need to be with a man to be complete, and it would be nice to see this addressed in future episodes. Sabrina also should take some time to analyze that even though Nick sacrificed himself to halt Lucifer’s plans, his betrayal should not be forgiven so quickly. If there’s any doubt Sabrina’s heart is good despite her true parentage, her desire to rescue the man who almost cost her everything should alleviate it.
We also saw Sabrina’s yearning to realize her fathers dramatic transformation of the Church of Night’s basic tenets. With Father Blackwood on the run (more on that in a second) and the Church in disarray, now is the perfect time for her to help Zelda revitalize the faith into something that will unite both the witch and mortal worlds — an idea that despite Sabrina’s idealism would probably cause more harm than good. Because of this, it’s likely that she will butt heads with her beloved Aunties over the future of the Church.
Of the various options that Zelda mentions, the Church of Lilith seems the most feasible: A faith in which witches and warlocks are on equal ground. (But really, the show proves time and time again that witches are way more capable in practically every way). Along with the aforementioned potential conflicts with Sabrina over how to reform the Church, Zelda may run into followers from both sects who have their own idea of what the religion should be reinvisioned as. And who knows what zealots Father Blackwood will encounter while on the run that he can convert to his Church of Judas. Hovering over all of these possibilities is the greater question of whether or not the Church can even possibly survive the loss of Satan as its central figure.
With Father Blackwood going full Jim Jones on his followers and driven purely by his hatred of the Spellmans, he is more dangerous than ever. He remains a threat to all of our Earthbound characters, as well as his own newborns. Since Satan is currently incapicitated, Blackwood is the series’ big bad. And he has a target on his back.
As the season ends, Prudence and Ambrose are on the hunt for Blackwood. He has wronged them both on countless occasions, and they are determined to make him pay for his crimes. It won’t end well for Faustus, and it’s just a matter of time.
Meanwhile, to describe the relationship of Ambrose and Prudence as complicated is something of an understatement. They have been lovers and foes. But now, drawn together on a shared quest, they will become closer than ever — their relationship building into something unpredictible and new as they feel liberated by their journey.
It’s fun to speculate about all of this, but perhaps the most easily guessed storylines are that of Sabrina’s friends. Theo will continue his journey of self-discovery, likely guided futher by Dorothea (the supernatural nature of their relationship hasn’t been explored as of yet). Roz and Harvey will continue their relationship with Sabrina’s blessing, helping her on her quest to rescue Nick. When that inevitably happens, Nick will probably feel a debt to Harvey and drop his “farm boy” name calling. A growing friendship between the two would also further complicate Sabrina’s feelings. Will Nick ever decide to leave Greendale and go to art school? Will Roz ever discuss how the Spellmans cursed her family in an adequate fashion?
Over at Baxter High, the real Mary Wardwell is going to have to adjust to a new life where she is missing both a year in her life and a fiancé. That is if she is in fact the real Mary Wardwell. Although Sabrina helped Lilith achieve her goal of ruling in hell, she still isn’t entirely to be trusted.
Finally, what will Lilith’s experiences be like in hell? There’s a danger to getting something you’ve yearned for for so long. Will becoming Queen of Hell be everything Lilith wanted it to be? Now that she has had a taste of love with Adam, will she seek that out again, and with whom? What will her relationship with Sabrina be like now? Probably a mixture of respect and annoyance at the teenage witch’s plucky nature. Because it doesn’t take a tarot reading to see that some things will never change.
With Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2, the show has elevated itself to the level of modern classic. There’s still so much more of it on the way, and we’ll be here to cover it all for you. Praise Satan, or whomever really, for that.