Sabrina Spreads the Gospel in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' Chapter 18 (RECAP)
After a somewhat slow start to the season, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has really grabbed hold of the broomstick and risen to new heights these past couple of episodes. The show has tapped into a higher power and looks set to deliver a thrilling home-stretch.
“The Miracles of Sabrina Spellman,” written by Christianne Hedtke and Lindsay Calhoon Bring, sees Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) trying to figure s**t out after her violently shocking showdown with the Witch Hunters. The young sorceress explores her newfound abilities while trying to understand what it means about who she is and what her larger purpose is on earth. To paraphrase Monty Python: the episode asks us to decide whether Sabrina is the messiah or just a very naughty girl.
The religious overtones here are obvious; Sabrina becomes a Christ-like figure, amassing a crowd of devotees with her mind-boggling miracles. Not only does she rise from the dead, but she also heals Ambrose’s (Chance Perdomo) wounds, cures Roz’s (Jaz Sinclair) blindness, and changes the weather without even having to break out a spell. This is something beyond mere witchcraft; more confounding and intangible than magic potions and ancient incantations. As one astonished Academy student puts it: “Sabrina was like unto a God.” Or, if you’re Harvey (Ross Lynch), “like Dark Phoenix from the X-Men.”
Sabrina puts her new God-like powers down to the fact she is half-mortal. “Maybe being half-mortal allows me to tap into these other energies,” she ponders to her boyfriend Nick Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood), prophesying that the reason her father wanted witch-kind and mortal-kind to come together is because he was aware of these gifts. She sees her superhero-style skills as a blessing; a sign that she is meant to help others and spread her father’s gospel. And it doesn’t take long for her to gain her first disciples.
Hilda (Lucy Davis) has different ideas about Sabrina’s new talents. If this is a Bible parable, then Hilda is the Doubting Thomas, she isn’t convinced it’s a positive sign and is steadfastly against Sabrina’s plan to reveal her witch nature to other mortals. "Bad things happen when witches reveal themselves to mortals," the cautious aunt tells her defiant niece. Witch-kind can’t just go around saving people with unexplainable magic without serious consequences. That’s not the way it works. “Everything has a price... And you’re racking up a cosmic size of debt,” Hilda warns.
Meanwhile, Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle) and Zelda (Miranda Otto) return early from their honeymoon to deal with the recent troubles at the Academy. Sabrina receives a half-hearted thanks for her efforts in fending off the Witch Hunters, but the High Priest (and now Interim Anti-Pope) is far more concerned about the rumors of her miraculous abilities. He is baffled how a first-year, half-mortal student is able to perform feats of levitation and resurrection. “Do you really wanna open the lid and find out?” Sabrina cautions, comparing the situation to Pandora’s box.
Even though Sabrina and Nick's expulsion is lifted, Father Blackwood does not take kindly to threats and alerts the Witch’s Council that if the rumors of Sabrina's powers are true, then she poses a tremendous threat to their control over the Church of Night. And so, on the advice of his daughter Prudence (Tati Gabrielle), the High Priest comes up with a strategy to test the magical witch and her newfound talents. If she uses her abilities to interfere with Ambrose’s impending execution, it will prove she is a dangerous meddler that needs to be stopped... permanently.
Sure of Ambrose’s innocence, Sabrina and Nick recover the corpse of his familiar, Leviathan, the pet mouse. Sabrina brings Leviathan back to life so that he can provide witness testimony that he was used to control Ambrose the night he murdered the Anti-Pope. That idea is scuppered though when a tattling Dorian Gray (Jedidiah Goodacre) calls Father Blackwood to let him know what Sabrina is planning.
Speaking of being controlled, Zelda is an entirely different person since coming back from her honeymoon. Adorned in an uncharacteristically gaudy dress, the once no-nonsense Aunt has become a subservient tea lady. Father Blackwood has essentially transformed her into a Stepford Wife via an old warlock spell that is used to turn spouses into sleepwalkers. The High Priest has her sneak into the Spellman home and "eviscerate" Leviathan - Zelda mashes the poor creature to death in a meat grinder!
After Sabrina and Hilda break Blackwood's spell and bring Zelda back to the land of the living, the three witches come up with a plan to combine their powers and save Ambrose from having his head lobbed off. At the execution, it all comes tumbling down for the High Priest; he is humiliated when Sabrina conjures an imitation of the Dark Lord, who reprieves Ambrose of his death sentence and scolds Faustus for being a lousy, egomaniacal leader putting his own desires ahead of the Church. Unable to prove it was Sabrina's doing, Blackwood is stripped of his title of Interim Anti-Pope.
At this point, Sabrina feels untouchable; she believes she has divine intervention on her side. To celebrate, she throws a party at her house where she invites both witches and mortals. Her idea is to come out as a witch in front of all of her guests; Sabrina climbs to the roof with a broomstick in hand and addresses the crowd below. But before she can reveal her true nature, a panicked Harvey and Theo (Lachlan Watson) arrive at the party with a warning for her to stop. There is something she needs to see.
Harvey and Theo spent this episode searching in the mines after Harvey found old log reports referring to a mysterious "woman in white" residing in one of the tunnels. This freaky skeletal-like figure, who is described as a "guardian," attacks them in the darkness. A badass Theo manages to kill her by planting a pickaxe in her back. But what Harvey and Theo find beyond the woman in white is even scarier: an ancient mural depicting zombie-eyed Sabrina in the thorny crown.
In this moment, Sabrina realizes everything she previously thought was wrong. There is no divine intervention. Her powers were not gifted to her because she's half-mortal. She isn't some savior sent to spread the message of togetherness. "I'm the Herald of Hell..." she says in a state of disbelief, "...I am evil." Demonic forces have manipulated everything that has happened to Sabrina, and now that she's finally aware, it sets the stage for what promises to be another epic showdown with the Dark Lord.
- The Biblical overtones weren't just present in Sabrina's story, while all that was going on, Ms. Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) was having a Genesis moment. The heartbroken Madame Satan also has an axe to grind with the Dark Lord after he killed her fiance Adam... and so she Frankenstein's a new Adam from one of her ribs. "Time to a birth a monster," she says as she brings this scarecrow-looking zombie-man to life.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Streaming, Netflix