'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' Chapter 33 & 34: The Art of Letting Go (RECAP)

Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Chapter 33
Spoiler Alert
Netflix

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Chapter 33 & 34, "Deus Ex Machina" and "The Returned."]

Chapter 33: "Deus Ex Machina"

The Eldritch terrors take a backseat in this episode as there are more pressing matters to deal with, like the fabric of reality itself combusting. The paradox caused by the two Sabrinas (Kiernan Shipka) finally catches up as the three realms — Mortal, Infernal, and even Celestial — begin to crash into one another. According to the Archangel Metatron (Pollyanna McIntosh), there are only two ways to restore order: either one of the Sabrinas must die or both must be merged into one entity. Whatever happens, Sabrina will be letting go a part of herself.

It's decided that the merging process is the better of the two options, but before it happens, the Sabrinas ask for one last day to themselves. Metatron grants them six hours. Hell Sabrina spends it with her mortal friends, Roz (Jaz Sinclair), Harvey (Ross Lynch), and Theo (Lachlan Watson), reforming Fright Club for an afternoon jam session. Mortal Sabrina patches things up with Nick (Gavin Leatherwood), who transfers to Baxter High to show Sabrina that he's serious about making it work with her. Sabrina admits she misses him, and the two hook up.

Sabrina isn't the only one coming to terms with letting go, though. Theo finds his relationship strained when Robin (Jonathan Whitesell) is visited by his old hobgoblin friend, Moth (Natalie Grace). Moth encourages Robin to return to the Faery realm and later guilt trips Theo for being selfish. Apparently, the longer Robin spends in the Mortal realm, the weaker his powers will become. A heartbroken Theo has no choice but to push Robin away, telling him to leave and not come back. "Keep your window open," Robin says, promising he will always be there should Theo need him.

Lilith (Michelle Gomez), meanwhile, refuses to let go of baby Adam, resorting to desperate measures to keep him away from Lucifer (Luke Cook). In a dark twist, Lilith ends up killing and eating her own child, much like Lucifer himself did to her lover Adam. "Better he die than grow up with you as a father," Lilith snaps at Satan, hoping that he will react by killing her too. Instead, he punishes her by stripping her of her witch powers; everything but her immortality. She will never die, but she will grow old and suffer.

Gavin Leatherwood and Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Chapter 33

Netflix

Later, as the Sabrinas prepare for the merging ceremony, Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) makes a shocking discovery: The Sabrina paradox has allowed an entry point for the next Eldritch terror, The Cosmic, which has created duplicates of the three realms. Rather than merging the Sabrinas, Ambrose suggests sending one of them to the duplicate realm as a way to stop the chaos. Hell Sabrina is chosen (via a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, because what better way to make a world-altering decision?), and after some teary goodbyes, she steps through a mirror portal to her new world.

Hell Sabrina arrives in the duplicate Spellman home and is greeted by her Aunts Hilda and Zelda, but it's not quite how she remembers them. This isn't Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto; it's Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick, the original Aunts from '90s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, complete with studio audience laughter track! It's a brief but brilliant cameo that makes this whole two Sabrinas storyline worth it. The only thing that would have made it better would have been Salem the talking puppet cat... maybe later?

Chapter 34: "The Returned"

While the threat of The Cosmic still lingers, there is an even bigger problem in the form of the undead and a hellish Battle of the Bands. The sixth Eldritch terror, nicknamed The Returned, sees the dead rising from the ground and resuming their lives in Greendale as if nothing happened. This leads to some heartwarming reunions and some ugly truths. And, following on from the Rock, Paper, Scissors conclusion of the previous episode, here, Mambo Marie (Skye P. Marshall) has to defeat Lazarus in a game of Senet to restore order.

It's ironic timing that the dead should return following an episode that just saw characters learning to let go. There are returning family members, such as Edward Spellman (Georgie Daburas), resuming his role as High Priest, unaware of his own fate or the fact Sabrina is his grown-up daughter. Zelda warns Sabrina not to tell Edward the truth about his death or who she is, but this is Sabrina we're talking about...she can't resist. However, there is no touching father-daughter reunion here. Edward denounces Sabrina and curses her mother for making a deal with the Devil and spawning a hell-child.

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Meanwhile, Hilda deals with the return of Dr. Cerberus's (Alessandro Juliani) deceased mother, an overly protective witch killer who can't stand to see her son with another woman. Dorcas (Abigail Cowen) is back to play with her former sisters Agatha (Adeline Rudolph) and Prudence (Tati Gabrielle), unaware that it was Agatha who killed her. And Lilith is tormented by the cries of her dead baby, leading her to asks Caliban (Sam Corlett) to retrieve the blade used to pierce the flesh of "the Nazarene" — the only thing that can break Lucifer's curse and allow her to die. Thankfully, Zelda stops Lilith before she can gut herself and lets her know that Lazarus himself is in Greendale.

The most entertaining part of the episode, though, comes when a punk rock band, known as Satanic Panic, returns from Hell to wreak havoc and challenge the Fright Club to a Battle of the Bands. It turns out, Harvey's dad (Chris Rosamond) was once a member of this punk outfit and had a run-in with Lucifer, who promised the band fame and riches if they sacrificed a virgin. While Harvey's dad refused, the rest of the band killed prom queen Peggy Lou Simcox (Quinn Greysen). When Mr. Kinkle later told Peggy's father what happened, the distraught dad tracked Satanic Panic down and burned them alive inside a woodshed.

Kiernan Shipka, Chance Perdomo, Skye P Marshall in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Chapter 33

Netflix

Now, the punks are back and have Mr. Kinkle kidnapped. The only way to free him is to defeat Satanic Panic at the Battle of the Bands. Sabrina asks Lucifer to stop this, but he too denounces her as his daughter and instead offers Satanic Panic more power should they win. It's up to Fright Club to save the day, and so, Theo plucks up the courage to ask Robin to come back to Greendale and help (and later asks him to stay for good, to which he agrees). Sabrina also forms her own band, The Dark Mothers, with Prudence, Nick, and Ambrose, and they summon Peggy Lou to come take her fiery revenge on the punks that killed her, all while Sabrina sings "Sweet Child O'Mine." Just another day in Greendale.

The Returned is ultimately defeated when Lilith impales Lazarus with the Nazarene blade, ending his reign and allowing Mambo Marie to lead the dead back to their graves. Before Marie leaves, however, she has a revelation of her own. She tells Zelda that she isn't exactly who she said she is; she is, in fact, Baron Samedi, loa of the dead, and now that the living and dead are put right, her job in the Mortal realm is done. She does leave a parting gift, though, allowing Zelda to keep her old familiar, Vinegar Tom, the sweet puppy dog. So, it's not all bad!

Additional Notes

  • Dorcas learns what Agatha did and forgives her, which seemingly breaks the curse and returns Agatha back to her old self.
  • Roz absolutely kills it in the Fright Club performance of "Time Warp" at the Battle of the Bands. 
  • After Lilith kills Lazarus, Mambo Marie promises Lilith "a boon," and judging by the end of the episode, it seems the spirit of baby Adam has been transferred to Lilith's voodoo doll...?

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Part 4, Streaming Now, Netflix