With the excellent third season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina now streaming there’s a ton to unpack. The status quo in Greendale (and in hell for that matter) has been completely upended. Yes, the pagans have been vanquished, but there’s a new and imminent threat on the horizon in the form of whatever Lovecraftian beastie that Father Blackwood has unleashed as the season draws to a close.
“The beginning of the end” of all things is how Blackwood summed up his conjuring, meaning that when the series returns later this year our characters will be forced to deal with evils that their minds can barely comprehend.
In other words, some more great TV will be here before we know. It’s never too early to look ahead, so with the season fresh in our collective memory lets examine what has happened here….and speculate on what’s to come.
Obviously we will be starting with Sabrina. When we last see her, she is finally content. The duality that has been her main obstacle since the series began is no longer an issue thanks to some clever (if wildly irresponsible) timey wiminess. Now there are two Sabrinas: One whose lust for power has taken over and is ruling hell, the other getting to live a normal teenage life. As Ambrose rightfully points out, this cannot be. Sabrina failing to heed her cousin’s warning will almost certainly cause a horrific paradox that could threaten all the realms.
But then again, the natural order is about to be destroyed anyway thanks to Father Blackwood unleashing his egg creature. Perhaps a good old-fashioned paradox can be utilized to combat such a thing…
Romantically, we see Sabrina on her own as the season ended. She has performed the ritual supposedly eliminating all emotional ties that she may have for Harvey and Nick. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind illustrated that these things never work out as expected, so there’s still some hope for Habrina and/or Sick shippers. As for those of you wanting Caliban and Sabrina to get together, the clay Prince of Hell is supposedly gone for good. Not that anyone is truly gone in genre TV.
We’d like to see Sabrina spend some time in the upcoming season by herself, further figuring out what she truly wants from life. Plus, Harvey and Roz are so adorable together (Sabrina herself calling them “endgame”) that we don’t want to see them apart.
In the third season Sabrina has truly come into her own, becoming more of a well-rounded character. She still tends to make super bad mistakes but show us a 16-year-old who doesn’t. Supposing that Cthulhu and its minions don’t destroy all things, she may just be okay.
(Speaking of Cthulhu, its worth mentioning again that Sabrina was forcibly married to Lovecraft’s HBIC in the Afterlife with Archie comic. This show is weird enough that a similar thing could conceivably happen here).
Elsewhere in the Spellman family, we see Sabrina’s aunts starting new phases of their lives. Zelda has just begun a new relationship with Marie LaFleur, and this is literally the biggest power couple on TV right now. By learning from each other they will find the strength to not only battle what is coming next, but help their mission to refocus the coven and the Academy of Unseen Arts into worshipping the Triple Goddess. What will their lives be like without the Dark Lord in it? Probably just as chaotic as ever. In fact, we are counting on it.
This season taught us that Hilda just wants a nice life any from all the struggles between good and evil. She got engaged by Dr. Cerberus, a perfect pairing if ever there was one. She then transformed into a spider, was shot in mercy by Zelda, and then, finally, resurrected. For awhile it didn’t look like she would make it, which would have been a dire mistake for this show to make. Lucy Davis’ Hilda is the most human and likable of all the show’s characters, and the most hilarious.
Next season should have her and Dr. C performing in Sweeney Todd together before their nuptials. (We’re betting that we get a full-on musical episode of which they’ll be a crucial part). The show has already almost ripped this coupling apart a few times, and we don’t want them returning to this narrative well once more.
Ambrose developed his warlock powers considerably in the third season. He still doesn’t get nearly enough screen time and serves largely as an exposition dump character, which is unfortunate due to how great of an actor Chance Perdomo is. Expect him to continue his pursuit of learning about different forms of magic and how to utilize them next season. (After all, he knows of the impending paradox Sabrina has created and will want to combat it). Personally, he and Prudence were a great pairing, and one you shouldn’t count out for good.
Speaking of Prudence, her journey in the fourth season should prove to be a fascinating one. She blames Ambrose for the death of Dorcas and the insanity that has gripped Agatha – two things that would not have occurred had he not discouraged her from killing Father Blackwood while they were in Scotland. This mission of vengeance now drives her, although we did see some sparks between her and Nick in the finale.
Ahh Nick. Is it too on-the-nose to say the third season put him through hell? And where does he go from here? Nick is a frustrating character because of his inconsistency. Intellectually we know that we are supposed to like him, but he’s also kind of a dick? Pairing him up with Prudence would be a great move that would bring him towards his inevitable redemption. (If the writers don’t backtrack and have him and Sabrina reunite).
When it comes to Sabrina’s friends, they are all in good places now. Surprisingly. Roz and Harvey are solid relationship wise, as are Robin and Theo. This is Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, so the bliss won’t last long. They’ll probably have some time to kick out some jams as Fright Club though before having to help save the world again.
Of these pairings, we’d like to learn more about Robin and his skills as a hobgoblin. As well as how he is adjusting to life outside of the Pagans.
Down in hell, Lilith and Lucifer are satisfied with Sabrina ruling as Queen. At least for now. When Lilith gives birth to the son of Satan, all bets are off. We fully expect that Satan will plan to kill Sabrina so that he can have a male on the throne. (Patriarchal thinking is equally bullshit in all the realms). He also hasn’t forgotten Lilith’s betrayal either and will seek to get bloody revenge. Not that any of this will happen. There is a strong bond between Lilith and Sabrina, one that we expect will just continue to grow closer as the series continues. Eventually they will dispense with him for good. Before the battle for the throne commences, look for the underworld players to have to unite with our earthly heroes to battle whatever it is that Blackwood has released. Which should prove interesting given the whole two Sabrinas thing.
(Ms. Wardwell will continue to have everyone play Etch-A-Sketch with her memory, the poor thing).
Finally, there’s Father Blackwood. Now bearing the Mark of Cain he is indestructible. He also possesses the knowledge he accumulated while studying for 15 years in the time bubble. This was enough to provide him with the wisdom to learn about the Eldritch Terrors, making him a threat to existence himself. To take him down will require all our characters to unite against him. We have no doubt that he will eventually be defeated, but fully expect at least one of our regulars will die in the forthcoming battle.
This series continues to enchant, and while there’s been no word on how long – if at all – the show will continue past the fourth season. Even if it doesn’t at least we will have one more batch of Chilling Adventures ahead of us.
Chris Cummins is a writer, producer and Archie Comics historian. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter at @bionicbigfoot and @scifiexplosion.