Sabrina’s Secrets Are Revealed in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Episode 9 (RECAP)
Sabrina’s attempt to do the right thing tears her friends and family apart in the penultimate episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
When we last saw Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) she had performed a ritual to bring Tommy Kinkle (Justin Dobies) back from the dead. A ritual that involved the murder and subsequent resurrection of a fellow witch. It was essentially an act of evil committed for what Sabrina deemed the greater good. She simply wanted to fix things for her grieving boyfriend Harvey (Ross Lynch).
The thing is, as Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) later points out, Harvey never asked Sabrina to do such a thing. The young witch took it upon herself to go through with what Zelda referred to as a “reckless, stupid, selfish” plan. Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) warned his hell-bent cousin in the previous episode that she was messing with things beyond her control and that she had a crossed a line. Now she must deal with the consequences of her actions.
“The Returned Man,” written by Axelle Carolyn and Christina Ham, sees Sabrina’s world ripped apart. Her well-intentioned plan backfired. Tommy is back but in a dead-eyed, zombified state — his soul trapped in limbo and at the mercy of the demonic Soul-Eater. Meanwhile, Agatha (Adeline Rudolph) is coughing up dirt and turnips after her return-trip from beyond the grave. The earth is owed a soul and will not rest until balance is restored.
Ambrose worries when he hears that Tommy isn’t speaking or eating, but Sabrina makes him promise not to tell their aunts. She wants to fix her mistakes before anyone else finds out. Sabrina has berated her family throughout the season for keeping secrets, but the blond sorceress is not so squeaky clean herself. She is constantly spinning lies and keeping secrets from her closest friends and family.
Sabrina’s cloak and dagger lifestyle is uncovered in this episode as her walls of her defense begin to collapse around her. Ambrose, who is trying to make a good first impression on his first day at the Academy of Unseen Arts, is forced to tell Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) the truth when he asks her to come and check on the ailing Agatha. Hilda explains that the Weird Sister must have come back to life too soon and that’s the reason she’s sick — similar to how a scuba diver might get the bends after coming up from the water too quickly.
Hilda has always been the one to comfort and care for Sabrina, even during her acts of rebellion, but even she is frustrated. She expresses her disappointment that Sabrina lied to her and did the one thing she expressly told her not to do. And when Sabrina reveals she’s thinking about crossing the threshold into limbo to rescue Tommy’s soul, Hilda is only more upset with her stubborn niece. “There’s no fixing it Sabrina,” says Hilda. “You’ve opened Pandora’s box.”
While Hilda expresses disappointment, Zelda’s reaction to Sabrina’s latest act of anarchy is one of wrath. Aunt Zee had just started to put things right with Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), who had made her the new Directress of the Satanic Choir at the Academy, as well as the Unholy Godmother to his unborn twins. But when Agatha comes stumbling into choir practice looking like Carrie on prom night, it’s not long before Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) and Dorcas (Abigail Cowen) expose what Sabrina did.
Zelda, who promises Blackwood she will put things right, chastizes Sabrina for her careless actions, calling her stupid and selfish. Otto and Shipka are on absolute fire in this scene. Sabrina says she doesn’t care about the High Priest; she cares about what’s right and is determined to travel into limbo. “You are a 16-year-old child, not some grand magus,” Zelda snaps. “And you’re not my mother Zelda, so stop acting like you are!” Sabrina fires back.
“Oy! You do not speak to your Aunt Zelda like that,” interrupts Hilda, raising her voice at her niece for the first time, and uncharacteristically defending her sister, which shows the damage Sabrina has done to the Spellman family unit. “Try to save this mortal even if it rips the membrane to pieces,” Zelda tells Sabrina. “But don’t pretend it’s not for selfish reasons. And don’t come crying to me when it all blows up in your face.”
Unfortunately, it does all blow up in Sabrina’s face. The only person left willing to help her is Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez), who Sabrina doesn’t even realize is manipulating her. Wardwell takes Sabrina to a portal between worlds buried deep in the woods (very Twin Peaks) and helps her cross through into the limbo realm. In this foggy dimension of lost and trapped souls, Sabrina finds Tommy, but he is devoured by the Soul-Eater before she can return him to the real world. Her only choice now is to tell Harvey the truth. “If your love is true, he’ll understand,” says Wardwell.
At the same time Sabrina is about to his Harvey with a dose of honesty, her friends Roz (Jaz Sinclair) and Susie (Lachlan Watson) come to the same revelation about Sabrina’s true nature. Through a combination of prescient visions and Aunt Dorothea (Anastasia Bandey) discussions, Roz and Susie come to the conclusion that their best friend is a witch, and they’re not sure what that means. “Is Sabrina evil? Or dangerous?” Roz wonders.
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Harvey reacts to the news with the same mixture of frustration and confusion he did the first time he found out; before Sabrina put a spell on him to make him forget. Sabrina admits everything — the potions and spells, the demon in the mines, what she did to Tommy and how she now has to put him back in the ground. Harvey, now faced with having to put a bullet in his brother’s head, tells Sabrina she should have just left Tommy where he was. “I can’t talk to you again… for a while,” he tells Sabrina.
In trying to do what’s right, in attempting to juggle her dual life, Sabrina has caused potentially irreparable damage to her relationships in both the mortal and supernatural world. The Church of Night will certainly never trust her again. Roz and Susie are now cautious and scared of her. And Harvey can’t bear to be in the same room as her. All Sabrina ever wanted was to protect the ones she loves and yet she never protected them from herself.
-Despite telling Sabrina not to come crying to her, Aunt Zelda is the one to comfort her niece when everything blows up. We see that Zelda does care for Sabrina, more than she lets on. She punishes herself for her failures as a guardian (flagellating herself) and tells Hilda she was foolish to think she could raise and guide and that she’d have been better off staying with Diana’s family.
-Speaking of Diana (Annette Reilly), Sabrina meets her mother in the limbo realm, though she does not recognize Sabrina as her daughter. She reveals that Sabrina was taken from her when she was just a baby.
-Nick Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood) is certainly trying his hardest to charm Sabrina, although astral projecting into her bedroom in the middle of the night gives off major creep vibes. But he does stop the Weird Sisters from killing Tommy by placing a catching spell on them.
-Susie is caught stealing a copy of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Biography for Dr. Cerberus’ Bookstore. The classic novel features a protagonist who changes sex part way through the book. It’s in this scene where Hilda shows off her powers when she confronts the bullies who were harassing Susie.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Streaming, Netflix