A New Threat Emerges in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' Chapter 24 (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Chapter 24, "The Hare Moon."]
As we reach the halfway point of the season, the major plot points are now coming into focus. The stage was set — and the players assembled — across the first three episodes, with all the talk of "old-ones" and the slow reveal of Professor Carcosa's (Will Swenson) creepy carnival. Now, "The Hare Moon" (written by Donna Thorland) cements the carnies as the season's big bad and sees them set their plans into motion, causing secrets to be exposed and relationships to be ripped apart.
The coven is preparing for the Hare Moon — a traditional lunar festival that Zelda (Miranda Otto) hopes will provide a distraction from the Church of Night's waning powers. But while the witches get to organizing the festivities, the carnies — and Lucifer (Luke Cook) — begin plotting their next move. For the Dark Lord, the first step of his plan is to weaken the coven. Yes, it is revealed that Satan himself is the one who has been draining the witches' powers, even while trapped within Father Blackwood's (Richard Coyle) flesh prison. The Spellman's confront the Devil over his pettiness, but he tells them he will only grant them their power back if they set him free.
When the Spellman's refuse to release Lucifer, he stirs the cauldron by revealing that Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) is the Queen of Hell. Auntie Zee is obviously furious — I mean, she's used to Sabrina keeping secrets by now, but this one takes the proverbial cake. "You're 16, it's not a summer job," says a flabbergasted Zelda. As always, Sabrina tries to reason with her Aunt, claiming she only took the throne to save the realms. "You did it because you wanted to... you like the power," Zelda snaps back. She's not wrong. There's no doubt that Sabrina had moral reasons for doing what she did, but there is a part of her that relishes the power and control. After all, she is a Morningstar.
It's because she's a Morningstar that Sabrina thinks she can restore power to the coven. Surely the poisoned apple doesn't fall too far from the tree? If Lucifer has access to Hell's power source, then shouldn't Sabrina have those same rights? Unfortunately for the young enchantress, that's not quite the case, at least according to Madame Satan (Michelle Gomez), who says that Lucifer's powers come from him being an angel born of Heaven. And any angel blood that Sabrina might have had was diluted by her mortal mother.
With no power forthcoming, the coven begins to crumble to pieces. Not only are they losing their magic, but they're drifting apart. Sabrina has her obligations in the underworld, and Hilda (Lucy Davis) is now engaged to Dr. C (Alessandro Juliani), an announcement that doesn't go down too well when she tells Zelda. "Are you mad?" Hilda cautiously asks. "Mad?" Zelda replies. "No, I'm not mad that both you and Sabrina are deserting me, this family, this coven, in our greatest time of need." You can understand Zelda's hurt, especially with all the drama that happened with Faustus and the twins, but she is harsh on Hilda, who she knows has never been about the coven life.
However, the Spellmans always have a Plan B. Knowing that they need angel blood, Sabrina remembers that Dorian Gray (Jedidiah Goodacre) still has one of those insane witch hunters (who were angels) tied up at his club. She thinks if they can extract some of his blood, the coven can drink it and absorb the power. Unfortunately, pimple-faced Dorian is a selfish prick and guzzles most of the angel juice for himself, providing just a small tube of blood for Sabrina and the coven. And to make matters worse, at the same time, Sabrina catches her boyfriend Nick (Gavin Leatherwood) engaged in a masochistic romp with sex demons.
Nick's descent into oblivion is an interesting wrinkle to the season. He is still traumatized from rooming with the Devil. He's tried drinking away the pain, inflicting punishment on himself, and even tries beating the crap out of Lucifer himself. Nothing works. In fact, the Dark Lord continues to taunt him. "There will always be a piece of me inside you," Lucifer snarls. Nick can't let go of what happened, and it's what leads to him essentially breaking up with Sabrina. He blames her for what happened, for the suffering and torment he went through. "You let me sacrifice myself for you, and you weren't worth it," he says. Brutal!
But with the coven in danger, Sabrina doesn't have time for relationship drama. Sabrina handles the situation maturely, Thorland's script doesn't have her pining and pouting over Nick, she just moves on with the mission at hand. That's the sign of a strong protagonist. With their limited amount of angel blood, Hilda has an idea inspired by an ancient tradition of mixing the blood with oils, then slathering their bodies and bathing in moonlight until their skin absorbs the energy. "It's lunacy," Zelda says. "Lunar-cy," Hilda replies, on top of her pun game. Despite her apprehension, it's clear that Zelda is touched by Hilda and Sabrina doing what they can to save the coven. She even thanks them — Sabrina should check if Hell has frozen over.
The Hare Moon ceremony is a little bit Midsommar; I'm talking white dresses and flower headbands — no suicidal cliff jumping, though. And we also get Shipka and her fellow cast members performing another song. I swear that soundtrack must be happening! But there is another festival happening across the woods at the exact same time. The carnies are celebrating Ostara, an Easter-type celebration named after the Germanic goddess Eostre and associated with Paganism. While the two groups meet in a tension-filled stand-off, Hilda breaks the ice by inviting the animal-masked gathering to join them for food.
The party doesn't stay genial for long, as the carnies question the coven about their way of life, teasing and insulting the guests. And when a snake bites Dorcas (Abigail Cowen) on the leg, an argument breaks out about, well, I guess, animal welfare? These pagan witches seem to have some sort of primal connection to wildlife. Remember, when Roz (Jaz Sinclair) saw Carcosa's true face, he looked kind of cat-like (not CATS-like, thankfully), but here we get a closer look. He's not a cat, he's a goat-man, and given the fact he's seen playing the Pan Flute, that would suggest he is the Greek god Pan?
In the aftermath of the argument, Zelda sends Dorcas and Agatha (Adeline Rudolph) to deliver a forgive-us pie to the carnies, while the rest of the coven prepare to bathe in the moonlight. At first, Hilda's lunar suggestion seems to be working, as the coven soaks up the twilight energy. But the pagans soon put a stop to that. They perform a strange ritual with the cake, eclipsing the moon. With the moonlight blacked out, Zelda realizes the coven is in grave danger out in the woods without their powers. She orders everyone back to the Academy, leaving behind Dorcas and Agatha, who are put under a carny spell. But it turns out the Academy has been breached too.
The pagan carnies gather outside the school, warning that the old ways are coming back and demanding that the coven bow and pray to their gods. "Or your blood will be used to water the Earth," threatens Carcosa. They are given three days to decide.
It's not just the coven the carnies are causing havoc with, either. Harvey's (Ross Lynch) breakfast is interrupted by the snake charmer lady (Vanessa Rubio), who apparently spent the night with his dad. Harvey is suspicious and takes Roz and Theo (Lachlan Watson) to the carnival to investigate. While there, Roz is cursed by the snake charmer and is left cold and shivering. Sabrina isn't around to help, and Hilda doesn't provide much assistance either (other than a blanket), so Harvey returns to the carnival for answers. That's when he finds the human statues, and yep, when he gets home, Roz has transformed into a stone monument too (the same also happens to Dorcas).
Greendale is under serious threat, and the coven is in no position to fight back. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Zelda begrudgingly admits they need to free the Dark Lord. "He will crush the pagans under his hoof," she says. It's a risk, but as Hilda says, "better the Devil you know." And so, Sabrina goes to talk to her father, but it's too late. Lucifer has already enacted the second part of his plan and escaped. He manipulated Nick into setting him free in exchange for drug potions — concoctions powerful enough to numb his pain. When Sabrina enters the cell, she finds her boyfriend chained up and foaming at the mouth. S**t just got real!
- Just a brief Ms. Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) scene this episode. The mother of the missing girl (who Lilith returned home) visits Wardwell to deliver flowers and thank her for saving her daughter. Wardwell obviously has no idea what she's talking about, and I suspect this will kickstart her investigation into what really happened to her these past few weeks.
- Who knew that witches could send text messages via writing on their palms?
- The carnies are messy eaters. Did you see how they devoured that cake?
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Part 3, Streaming, Netflix