Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season 3 (AKA Part 3)
February 9, 2020 7:09 AM - Season 3 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Sabrina is thrust into a role she never expected. A dark carnival appears on the scene, like something from the bleakest nightmares of Ray Bradbury, or the Insane Clown Posse. Meanwhile, Ambrose and Prudence hunt for Lord Blackwood, Zelda and Hilda struggle to keep the Church of Night alive against a host of new foes, and Sabrina's friends start a band for some reason. They're okay, I guess.
posted by kittens for breakfast (12 comments total)
 
The problem with an everyone-seems-to-die-and-the-world-apparently-ends setup for the finale of a show like this is that it's obviously not going to stick. They're not going to kill everyone midway through the third season and flash forward to the apocalypse.

When the stakes are artificially, ludicrously high, the tension dribbles out.

I still enjoyed it. But it was silly.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:42 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


*I was underwhelmed by the finale of season 2 and very concerned that the new status quo it established looked lame (it was; briefly, at least), but I love where the show is going at the end of season 3. My favorite Sabrina is selfish, petty Sabrina who uses magic not to save the world, but for a good time. "Sabrina, do you think it's a good idea for us to create a massive time paradox and rule as Queen of Hell?" "Dude! Sabrina, yes. I do."

*That said, the plan Sabrina was supposed to follow...also seemed paradoxical, at best. Where did the Sabrina who freed Sabrina come from? And was Sabrina really supposed to follow a loop of imprisonment and apocalypse prevention for the rest of eternity? I hardly think so.

*The time egg seems to contain a Baby Cthulhu (CAoS is evidently part of the Neonomicon/Providence expanded universe, or -- more likely -- vice versa), which sounds cool, but the Elder Gods are not terribly well-suited for TV. Cthulhu is pretty much a big octopus-faced Kaiju. He doesn't talk much. And he's gonna look pretty dumb on a small budget. Sabrina does face the Elder Gods in the never-finished Afterlife with Archie comics series, and I seem to remember that being an impressively creepy issue (it was a long time ago; the guy who wrote it started working on some TV shows or something and it kinda fell by the wayside), and so I guess we shall see.

*Poor Dorcas. Never assigned a credit in the main titles; denied an on-screen death scene; named "Dorcas."

*Good for Abigail, though! Turning her into a giggling psychopath is a step up. Maybe Dracula can bite her and they can just start calling her "Drusilla" already.

*Speaking of Angel, I mean Nick...huh. I thought they were doing something kind of interesting at first with Nick as a rape survivor, and the actor did a fine job of showing how a survivor can struggle with normal everyday peer interactions. Except that...Sabrina's crew aren't really his peers, and the metaphor gets increasingly wonky as it seems simultaneously less and more literalized as the story progresses. It's possible the show just isn't built for whatever it was trying to do here, well-intentioned or not.

*I have a feeling that the actors who play Sabrina and Harvey just turned out to have less chemistry than anybody expected, but Roz and Harvey really work -- to a point where their relationship basically justifies their continued presence on the show. They don't seem terribly important to the story otherwise. Where Harvey just seemed weird and controlling in relation to Sabrina -- who definitely doesn't need anyone's protection -- his angst and anguish make sense when we see Roz in danger, because Roz could actually get hurt. His tendency to freak out just reads very differently when the situation is two basically helpless kids who are constantly being buffeted around by supernatural forces beyond their comprehension, much less their ability to fight back.

*How did Blackwood get the kids back? Just run with it, whatevs.

*Zelda and Mambo Marie...uh...well, gee, that...escalated quickly...

*I'm glad Dr. Cee is still alive, and I don't even care that it's a copout. It's fine.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:00 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I do love the dual Sabrinas setup enormously.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:03 AM on February 9


Abigail? I meant "Agatha." Abigail is Agatha from a different timeline, obviously.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:06 AM on February 9


It was a very silly season, but still fun and I’m glad I watched it.

My partner and I are rooting for “Sabrina, Queen of Hell” to be the Big Bad for the next season.
posted by a device for making your enemy change his mind at 8:09 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


The costume department must've had a great time with Sabrina's Virgin Queen getup. I wonder when Lucifer updated his court clothes to Las Vegas stage magician?

As a character, Sabrina basically never ever does anything she's told to do. It makes sense to me that she'd even blow off a warning from herself if she thinks she can get what she wants (everything!) by doing it a different way. This would bother me a lot if the show insisted Sabrina was a saint who kept getting tripped up into iMpOsIbLe SitUatTioNs. But the show is actually pretty insistent that a lot of the problems Sabrina encounters are things that she causes -- only sometimes for good reasons -- and that's awesome to me? I dunno, man, what a fun show.

Also, I was really relieved that the Robin Goodfellow storyline didn't end tragically. AND it was very funny that, after Caliban spent all season lurking shirtlessly in the background, the last we heard of him was that he died within three days of winning the throne of hell.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:30 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


This was a silly season, but I like it. They really should lean more into silly and less into angsty.
posted by Pendragon at 9:37 AM on February 9


I was really relieved that the Robin Goodfellow storyline didn't end tragically

God, yeah... for Theo's sake.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:55 AM on February 9


*I'm glad Dr. Cee is still alive, and I don't even care that it's a copout. It's fine.

Not a copout, a payoff. When arachno-Hilda went after him, she wasn't whispering about being hungry, she was whispering about needing to fertilize some eggs. Which I guess might or might not be fatal for him, depending on what species she was meant to be, but at any rate it definitely left the door open for her not having killed him, and I thought it was a little weird that was the assumption everyone made.

And I think there's a second payoff coming - I wouldn't look for him lasting too long next season when those eggs mature. I think they are in him.
posted by solotoro at 10:39 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]


That's...not how spiders reproduce, though. I guess there could be a giant egg sac full of Hilda and Dr. Cee's terrifying embryonic spider babies, but that seems a bit much for this show.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:29 AM on February 17


De Cee and Hilda are great together -- possibly this is the vibe they sought, but never found with Sabrina/Harvey -- and I refuse to have him devoured by parasitic monster babies.
posted by grandiloquiet at 4:26 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


I like this show, and I'll keep watching, but my favourite season was definitely season 1. The plotting has gotten too over the top since then. The characters barely have time to talk to each other. I liked the show better when Sabrina was just a 16-year-old girl hanging out with her friends, clashing with her aunts and her school principal/headmaster (and okay, Satan too), and trying to carve out her own path in life in a relatively low-stakes way, instead of staving off the end times and ruling hell.

Zelda screaming out an incantation over Hilda's grave was a surprisingly affecting moment. I could actually feel her grief and desperation.

Hilda is both more capable and more ruthless (when anyone messes with those she loves, anyway) than Zelda could ever be.

I do love the set design and costuming on this show, especially Sabrina's clothes, which are super cute. This is one of those rare shows that are an immersive watch: it draws me in and makes me want to live in Greendale.
posted by orange swan at 7:20 PM on February 17


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