When part one of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina came out last year, it was surprising to me how much I really enjoyed it. The show is fun, quirky and heavy on the darker elements of Archie Comics’ favourite witch. The arrival of Chapter Eleven: A Midwinter’s Tale was a raucous, festive treat. It was perfectly timed to help get us over the wait until Part two. The wait is now over.
The series wastes no time getting into the thick of it. When we last saw Sabrina (Keiran Shipka), she had agreed to sign the Book of the Beast in order to defend Greendale and save her friends. A high price to pay for the ones you love. Of course, the Dark Lord always extracts a high price for the gifts he bestows. Sabrina spent the majority of Part 1 fighting against this destiny and the Dark Lord. Part 2 shows her having taken the steps onto the dark path yet she does have some fight left in her.
Her friends Roz, Harvey and Suzie are all going through their own personal battles. While not always on the same level of apocalyptic outcome as Sabrina, their struggles are still interesting and powerful nonetheless
Sabrina’s best friend Roz (Jaz Sinclair) is trying to get back to normal. In part 1 she discovered that the women in her family not only lose their eyesight when they are young but also gain another form of vision: the ability to see the future. Her ancestors were cursed by the witches of Greendale and that curse lingers today. While helpful at times, it’s also troubling as it shows her that Harvey likes her before he tells her himself.
Roz’s story is developing in a rather interesting way. Rather than hiding her visions from Harvey, she’s learned from Sabrina’s mistakes and handles things more cautiously. She shows actual growth as a character and as a human being. While still being a clairvoyant character, she really gets to feel real and have agency, a rarity in TV teens.
Harvey (Ross Lynch), now split from Sabrina, is starting to develop feelings for Roz. He’s in with both feet and letting Roz know how he feels. This is a big improvement over most teen TV dramas. He is also trying to decide what he should do with his life and art after high school.
As a major character, Harvey feels the most like he’s spinning his wheels. He is still hung up on Sabrina even though he is exploring his feelings toward Roz. He’s angry about Sabrina’s use of witchcraft and for lying to him for so long. Luckily they keep them separated for most of these initial episodes. With Harvey’s anger still lingering, it only makes sense they steer clear of each other. It’s difficult to get over
Sabrina’s other best friend Theo (Lachlan Watson) is the one character that is going through the closest personal story that would rival Sabrina’s apocalyptic battle with the Dark Lord. Previously, they fought off bullies and more as they began understanding who they really are. At the beginning of Part 2, Theo tries out for Greendale High’s boy’s basketball team. They face an uphill battle as they are only four foot nine, badly uncoordinated, and also outwardly appear to as a girl.
When Lachlan Watson was cast in the series they met with showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to discuss the formation of this character. Lachlan was heavily involved in helping to craft a story about a teen transitioning. It’s obviously a hard road to face for anyone, especially in a prototypical small town like Greendale. This story is the most interesting storyline to watch thus far. It has topical elements as kids around the world are struggling to find the acceptance in who they truly are. Most of all, it’s surprising to me how well the series handles this subject matter. A large part of that, of course, goes to Lachlan and their performance as Theo.
Lachlan’s performance as Theo is also fascinating as there is a subtlety in their performance that obviously, a binary actor would not be able to tap into. That personal experience is what makes their story so compelling. I just hope that it continues to be a thoughtful examination of what transitioning in high school can be like.
Sabrina’s journey has been full of twists and turns. Her romantic relationships with Harvey and Nick have not been a straight line in the least. Same goes for her friendships with Roz and Theo either. Plus, the mother/daughter relationship with her Aunt Ze
While Sabrina continues to fight the good fight against the Dark Lord and the church, she is completely unaware of the influence of Madam Satan (Michelle Gomez) on her. Sabrina is still deeply influenced by Ms. Wardwell whether she realizes it or not at times. As Part 2 unfolds, we also see that Madam Satan has her own plans taking root. While I won’t spoil any major story elements from these new episodes, I will say that Ray Wise makes a guest appearance. I love Ray Wise any time he’s on screen, so that’s always a win for me personally.
If you enjoyed Part 1 of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I don’t think you will be disappointed at all. The fun ride of this show continues to provide the magic we all need in these dark times. In Sabrina, it’s much easier to spot those with bad intentions (unlike our real world lately). Go enjoy Part 2, now streaming on Netflix around the world.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!