‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Part 4 Premiere: Darkness Arrives in Greendale (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Chapter 29, “The Eldritch Dark.”]
While it’s sad that this is the final season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, we take solace in the fact the show is even getting a farewell. Unlike the many Netflix series cut short midway through their runs, at least Sabrina is wrapping things up somewhat on its own terms.
This episode picks up a few weeks removed from the events of Part 3, where, to save the day, Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) caused a time paradox, resulting in two Sabrinas, one ruling over Hell, the other returning to Greendale to live a “normal” life. By all accounts, things have been pretty chill ever since. Life in Greendale is the most normal it’s been in quite some time. School is back in session, the aunts have the Academy back up and running, and there are no signs of monsters or ghouls or murderous demons. Everyone is just moving on with their lives — well, everyone except Sabrina, who’s beginning to feel left out and left behind.
Sabrina is all alone. Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Zelda (Miranda Otto) are busy at the Academy. Her ex-boyfriend, Nick (Gavin Leatherwood), is dating Prudence (Tati Gabrielle). Harvey (Ross Lynch) and Roz (Jaz Sinclair) are still loved-up, as are Theo (Lachlan Watson) and Robin (Jonathan Whitesell). And with no monster shenanigans, Fright Club is essentially defunct. Sabrina has always thrived on being a protector for others, and it’s not just because of her selflessness: She needs to help others because that’s what gives her purpose.
So, Sabrina chooses to abuse her magical powers by creating a “fake” monster, with Salem posing as the ghost Bloody Mary. Before you know it, Sabrina has the Fright Club back together, drinking milkshakes and plotting ways to save Greendale. Except, Roz sees through Sabrina’s tricks. Sabrina explains to Roz that she did it because she feels like everyone else moved on while she was away saving Hell. Roz, however, sees it the other way around; it’s Sabrina who’s changed and moved on, ever since her 16th birthday when she was sworn into the Church of Night. Roz tells Sabrina that all she has to do is ask when she wants to hang out, but it’s clear Sabrina feels differently, realizing that she has indeed changed.
Sabrina has another plan to cure her loneliness, and that’s to visit her other self in Hell. Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) is dead set against this idea. It’s bad enough there are two Sabrinas running around, but if the pair of them come into contact for too long, it could completely rip apart the fabric of space and time. But Sabrina always finds a way to get what she wants. And when Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle) unleashes the first Eldritch terror on Greendale, Sabrina not only gets Fright Club back together for real, but also has an excuse to visit her doppelgänger in the underworld.
The first Eldritch terror — released from Blackwood’s magical egg thingy he retrieved last season — sees a group of mind-reading, gas mask-wearing zombie miners emerge from the caves and begin cutting out the power across Greendale. If anyone has seen the Doctor Who episode “Empty Child,” there are huge similarities here with the spooky gas mask zombies. It turns out these spectral miners died in a mining accident in 1949 and are back to wreak havoc. Their aim is to bring total darkness to Greendale, thereby letting the Eldritch terrors take full control. The only way to stop them? To generate enough light to combat the darkness.
The gang jumps into action. Zelda and Hilda perform an incantation to protect the Academy, while the Fright Club leads the miners into the lights of the carnival, where Nick and Prudence await to recite a spell of their own. Meanwhile, Sabrina heads to Hell to join forces with her other self and create enough light to trap the darkness. The meeting of the two Sabrinas is interesting as both clearly are lying to one another about their situations. Hell Sabrina seems comfortable in her role as ruler of the Underworld, spending her days dancing with Caliban (Sam Corlett) and ruling over her minions. Not wanting to appear downtrodden, Mortal Sabrina claims that she, too, is living her best life.
However, both Sabrinas’ true feelings come to light when the Eldritch terror gets into their heads and begins voicing their fears aloud. “You’re alone in the world, no one loves you, all you do is put your friends and family in danger,” says the specter. “Alone, unloved, forgotten.” That’s how both Sabrinas feel despite their different circumstances. Things might seem like a blast in Hades, but Hell Sabrina is without real friends and family. Mortal Sabrina has physical access to her loved ones, but feels there’s an emotional distance between them. As these dark thoughts consume them, the Sabrinas find out they are loved, as Zelda and company refocus their incantation energy on Sabrina, helping create enough light.
This is only the beginning of the Eldritch terrors; as Father Blackwood tells Agatha (Adeline Rudolph), there are eight terrors in total, “each more terrifying than the last.” So one should expect each episode of the season to revolve around these increasingly frightening events. However, it appears the biggest danger of the season is Sabrina herself. Despite Ambrose’s warnings to keep their interactions brief, the two Sabrinas have become bonded in their shared loneliness. Mortal Sabrina takes Hell Sabrina home to the Spellman house, hiding her in the closet when her Aunts come knocking. I imagine this is going to have drastic consequences.
- Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) is still struggling following her memory wipe last season and finds herself drawn to Father Blackwood’s Pilgrim of the Night Church.
- Sabrina accepts the date offers from Baxter High jock Carl and the Academy’s resident nerd Melvin.
- Roz begins petitioning for Sex Education classes to be taught at Greendale High, leading to the funny line, “They have condom machines in the bathroom at Riverdale.”
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Part 4, Streaming Now, Netflix