Netflix Mini-Review: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3) – All Hell Breaks… In?

The Devil is in her boyfriend, the throne of Hell is up for grabs, and a whole new class of weird comes to Greendale.

SUMMARY 

At the end of Part 2, it was revealed that Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) is in fact Sabrina Morningstar, the daughter of Lucifer Morningstar (Luke Cook), the fallen angel and king of Hell. Her boyfriend, Nick Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood), sacrifices himself to imprison the Devil within his body and keep the forces of Hell from conquering Earth. Lilith (Michelle Gomez), the mother of demons, takes the throne of Hell and leaves Sabrina on Earth. Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), the head of the Church of Night, having betrayed the coven, is now on the run, leaving the school in the hands of Hilda and Zelda Spellman (Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto). 

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Lilith at least isn’t a misogynist.

This season, Sabrina, Harvey (Ross Lynch), Theo (Lachlan Watson), and Roz (Jaz Sinclair) head to Hell to rescue Nick, while discovering that no Devil means no Satanic magic. At the same time, no Devil also means that the throne of Hell is up for grabs, leading Sabrina to compete for it against the Prince of Hell, Caliban (Sam Corlett). With the Dark Lord no longer claiming dominion over parts of the Earth, other gods and other worshippers start trying to take the place of the Devil and his coven and intent on bringing their own Apocalypse.

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The throne of Hell is kind of gauche, man.

END SUMMARY

This Season is probably the one I’ve enjoyed the most so far because it actually ties most of its plotlines together effectively and stays pretty focused on them as the season progresses. The season plays out what happens when there is a sudden power vacuum due to an abdication, but from almost every level. We not only see how the day-to-day operations of Hell are run (and how Sabrina wants to change them), but we also see that the vacuum prompts challenges both from within and from without. Admittedly, this does result in a lot less of the high-school drama elements that were in the last two seasons, but I didn’t really miss them. We do see Sabrina join the cheer squad, and before you ask, yes, we see her perform “Mickey” by Toni Basil (as well as weirdly “Tricky” by Run DMC). 

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I remember when she was a kid in the 1950s.

Aside from cheering, the biggest adolescence issue in the season is mostly about virginity. In the magical world, orgies are pretty common, so Sabrina being a virgin is almost an anomaly. At the same time, her ex-boyfriend Harvey is struggling with the idea of losing his virginity to Roz (who is not a virgin despite being the preacher’s daughter). Theo, too, is having issues about his sexuality due to him being transgendered, issues which come to a head when he starts seeing new kid Robin (Jonathan Whitesell). 

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Witches on a church picnic wear white too, but it ain’t for that kind of purity.

While the other seasons of the show mostly focused on Sabrina trying to balance her life as a witch against her life as a teenager, this season mostly moved past that. Her friends know she’s a witch and they don’t really seem to care anymore about it, aside from getting dragged into magical hijinks. They’re also not above using her abilities for their own interests, which is exactly what someone in their position would do. In this season, the split is between the Sabrina who is dedicated to her friends and family versus the Sabrina whose responsibilities are broader and ambitions are greater. This season is also the first time that the witches and warlocks are shown losing their powers for good, meaning that they finally start to learn what it is like to be helpless, including Sabrina. This leads her to want power more than she ever had before.

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All hail.

I admit the season feels a little scattered at the beginning, but it does become much more coherent and powerful towards the end. Even though the ending does kind of feel like an ass-pull, it actually sets up for a much bigger conflict in the next season which I am now looking forward to. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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