Welcome to A Very Chilling Sabrina Roundtable: a recap series where we chat about the chills, thrills, and top shelf witchery in Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Get on, because the the Madam Satan Evil Matriarch Train is leaving the station! In these episodes: Is Batibat actually a therapist? How are Ms. Wardwell’s cheekbones even real?? Will CC ever stop forcing pictures of John Stamos into these roundtables? Join us to get answers to at least most of these questions.
Jenny: so the two episodes we’re discussing tonight are the sleep demon episode and the exorcism episode – right?
Jenny: so def get A LOAD of this buffy-ass-looking monster
Jenny: like this ep feels so much like a departure from the rest of the show
CC: yeah that episode felt buffy af
but that monster in particular looked straight out of the buffy costume warehouse
Jenny: i’ll grant that the costuming on the goat devil also feels kind of cheap, like this, but on the whole, this really felt like a loss on the part of the costuming dept
i was a little disappointed
just bc also the ~ vibe ~ of this ep is kind of off too imo
like, the narrative framing, maybe? jumping around between people
i mean, don’t get me wrong: i think it’s effective, and it achieved the ends it was going for, but this ep really felt standalone to me in a way that the other eps have not
and maybe that is really my critique here — as much as i recognize that things happen in this ep that move the plot forward, it didn’t feel cohesive w the rest of the series
but also, y’know, just one crone’s opinion
CC: I think
like a lot that these writers come up with
it felt like there was supposed to be a Point underneath all that camp but the camp was just so much that it gets lost under all the bad wig monsters and fake gore
the bizarre stuff was bizarre in a way that felt kinda pointless, imo?
shoutout to hilda’s dream sequence about the principal
Jenny: omg for real
like THIS GUY???
Rachel: oh man i actually really liked the dream sequences
like it felt like we were getting some real insight into characters that weren’t sabrina
CC: that is true!
I mean, idk; I appreciated getting to see into these characters’ heads; I appreciated ms wardwell saving the day (more or less); I appreciated seeing zelda finally sorta recognize what a dang treasure her sister is
that one in particular
CC: but, it was going a little harder than I could keep up with lol
like: I want those things! but maybe if they could achieve that end with like, 15% more sincerity and a tiny bit less doubling down on going weird
esp i think w ambrose
like, i love ambrose and i feel for him
but that yorick speech was Too Much
Jenny: i mean: g r o s s
CC: I thought the gore was too much! it stresses me out!!!
i hate gore! i’m afraid of EVERYTHING so this episode made me get up to make tea several times
and y’all know me, I’m not a tea person!
i just get so stressed about gore
Rachel: normally that’s something that really turns me off
but i think this show has a pretty prevalent gore factor
so to me it felt apt?? like the weird chillness all the witches have with death and satan and typically evil stuff, it felt like this was a warped mirror of that
of course folks that embrace that lifestyle are gonna have dreams like this
CC: me reacting to gore in CAOS
and i will say
that aside from the gore, this ep def had PLENTY of nightmare fuel
Jenny: like, harvey is a good boy but come on
so this, for me, made sense
because i think a lot of teen girls who are very in love of their boyfriends think about getting married to them, even though they know they’re too young
(points at self)
and like, that really emphasized the dreamlike state of things, that Sabrina reacted totally fine to it
not even pretending it’s reality
CC: i also think that harvey is the “proposing in high school” type lololol
he just strikes me as a total Dean (gilmore girls), except like, if Dean were an actually good dude and not a time bomb into trash
Jenny: lol yes
and also def i think sabrina’s reaction to the dream made sense
i think the line was always between dream/nightmare, not so much between dream/reality
Rachel: true true
Jenny: but i loved how hogwild these lighting guys got
like, if the blur effect wasn’t enough for you
and ANOTHER THING i loved
Jenny: while i stand by the fact that these dream departures into side characters didn’t super mesh w the rest of the show stylistically, they were def interesting and important
and hilda’s dream was SO MUCH
get it girl
Rachel: lol even if that principle is so gross
Jenny: this guy absolutely blows but her dream version of him is alright!
Rachel: ugh his twin brother thing!!!!
i had wiped that from my memory until just now
Jenny: yeah that was gross
i took a screenshot but i don’t think we need to see it
(go on patreon if you want it, but it’s gross)
Rachel: ambrose’s whole dream really got to me though
being trapped in a gorey loop
Jenny: yeah it was maybe too real
Rachel: his was the worse nightmare imo
i would have immediately given up and given Batibat the spell
CC: yeah I mean, same
but again: total wimp; can’t handle gore
i’d give batibat my social security number
Jenny: lol yeah
i’m kind of surprised that zelda didn’t
like, kind of surprised she held it together as long as she did
def everything about her nightmare was soul crushing for a brown-nosing overachiever
(points at self)
Jenny: like def hated her more in this ep for the extent to which i identified w that tryhard failure feel
esp when this is the judge
Jenny: like, for real?? this guy??
i wish validation from shitty people didn’t still feel good like validation does
CC: never trust a man with long fingernails, I always say; even when he’s literally your dark lord
the real life lessons
CC: so are y’all ready to talk about the WITCH EXORCISM episode yet because I am so dang ready
Jenny: oh 1 more thing
Zelda: she came around and i appreciate that
and she didn’t just come around to hilda
she was also kinder and better to sabrina!
Rachel: a real good turnaround!
CC: batibat is a hell of a therapist
Jenny: that’s the new yoga retreat
the new silence retreat
california: hire me
Rachel: hire jenny!!
Jenny: now i’m done and i’m all set to move on to the most important part of the witch exorcism ep
Jenny: harvey kinkle’s crop top
Rachel: praise satan
CC: ok but also
W I T C H E X O R C I S M
i loved it
it’s the “well are there any RULES that say a dog can’t play basketball” of witchin’
Rachel: that’s the best kind of witchin’
CC: god it really is
I am GOOFED UP about ms wardwell
Jenny: god don’t i know it
CC: i love her and i hate myself a little bit for loving her as much as i do
i’d be fooled
Jenny: i was going to save this for my final thought but good lord in heaven
Jenny: how Does she do it?
CC: how is her hair always so goddamned good
what does she use????
newborn baby seal eyes???
marinated in tears and unholy water??
Jenny: how do her boobs stay up like that?? bathing in the blood of virgins??
CC: i mean, she definitely is; no question about it
Jenny: oh yeah, canonically
CC: this actress just looks like a video game character with the cheekbone slider maxed out
it’s amazing and i love it
Jenny: the dream!
the highest compliment a cheekbone could receive!
Rachel: her whole face is just a good, expressive, witchy face
always looks classy, always looks like it could lead a man to his end
CC: such an inspiration
SO, as yall know
I have not finished Sabrina; I had to take a break 2 eps from the end for reasons I’ll unpack next week bc spoilers
so I don’t know how things shake out
by the end of this episode, I just really wanted to believe that ms wardwell would turn out to have sabrina’s back in the end
because i just want 2 believe in those cheekbones
break from evil patriarchy and start up the heckin evil matriarchy
i want to believe
Jenny: i mean, no spoilers or anything: but there is a contractually guaranteed additional season coming out, at least
so the end of this is def not the end
but also yeah i’m fully on the madam satan evil matriarch train
CC: I was honestly just full of positive vibes seeing all four of these badass ladies witchin’ together
DID NOT SEE THE END COMING even though it was so obvious
blinded by my love of ms wardwell and her goddamned cheekbones
Rachel: RIP jesse
CC: poor uncle jessie
he spent his last days in long johns, which is the real tragedy
CC: what a way to go
Rachel: i don’t care how warm they are, long johns are not a good look for anybody
CC: do people actually wear them irl??
in the year of our dark lord 2018???
Rachel: i think north of the mason dixie they do
i’ve heard tales
callin soda “pop”
wearing long johns
no thank you
Jenny: if we have any northern readers out there
CC: @ us with a picture of you in your longjohns
we need Evidence
there was some stuff that happened in this ep that was not witch exorcism-related
Jenny: we learned something important about witch science
Rachel: yes!!! 4 trimesters!
Jenny: too many months!
Rachel: sounds awful
Jenny: still called trimesters for some reason!
like in hockey how there are only 3 quarters
but yeah def has me rethinking the pros and cons of bloodline witchery
CC: like all other things in CAOS witchcraft, it was probably invented by a terrible dude with long nails who has no business naming gynecological things
the whole four trimesters thing, I mean
Jenny: i mean, probably also the hockey thing, tbh
Rachel: i guess it has to be 13 months, since it’s an auspicious number
i wonder how long sabrina’s gestation was
Jenny: yeah, but, like, could’ve been 7
yeah that’s an interesting thought
like, 11? for half human, half witch? too many, in any case
CC: all 7 seasons of mad men at the very least
something else from this ep that i didn’t like
Jenny: sabrina being all “i mean, demons aren’t real, you guys” hyuck hyuck hyuck
these are your friends!
treat their experiences w respect!
i mean, i get that you’re trying to protect yourself and your family but you don’t have to be a dick about it
CC: what a level of gaslighting
i don’t care if I get kicked out of the evil patriarchy witchcraft community
i’ll always tell you if demons are real
CC: there will never be a day where I know demons are real that I don’t tell yall about it
Rachel: lol i believe that for sure
Jenny: for sure
that is a pact i think we can agree to
Rachel: god those visitations by Uncle Jesse were the worst though
I did not like them
especially what it did to Susie
Jenny: yeah! horrible!
i mean, i made it through most of the gore from last ep fine, but the maggot milk at roz’s house was borderline
def susie’s storyline is ROUGH rn
CC: dang it, I was too slow; this is a topic way too serious for my backup john stamos gifs
but yes I def agree
I hope that Susie’s whole arc gets some real payoff
because at this point, especially given our experiences with riverdale, imo it could go either way
i will say that as much as i felt like the focus on side characters was distractingly off in the batibat ep, i think this ep did a good job of juggling everything
like, i felt deeply for roz and susie and harvey while still being invested in the witch exorcism
i think i def even wanted more background into roz, esp
Rachel: yeah for sure!! i was real scared for them, they do not have the magical knowhow to be dealing with a possessed dude
Rachel: oh this was rough
Jenny: like, her relationship w her dad seem F R A U G H T
like, don’t tell your kid that her grandmother’s blindness was her own fault??
esp not when your kid is going blind herself!!
CC: roz’s dad is
what a thing to tell your kid
what a thing to say aloud to your child, about your mother
Jenny: what kind of correlations you do you expect her to draw!?!
i mean, could be his mother-in-law
it’s a shitty position to be in
and i think i’d be interested in exploring that more w/in the text of the show
Rachel: yeah they barely touch on the fact that her father is a pastor
and the effect that has on her relationship to sabrina and on her relationship to her grandmother
Jenny: it’s v much an ‘in passing’ kind of thing
which, i mean — subtle exposition is not really what these writers are good at, so i guess in that sense it’s progress?
but yeah, still
i think it’s a fine line and these writers are never quite on it
everything about nick scratch is always on one side or the other of right/sympathetic/good
like, on the one hand:
Jenny: fuck off???
but on the other hand:
Jenny: ok guy
from the second this guy entered the screen
he just gives off “guy who thinks he’s cool enough to convince a monogamous girl to go poly despite almost definitely having a bunch of novelty suspenders or similar weird collection” vibes
Rachel: i never trusted him and i still don’t
CC: he is very clean cut and handsome but emotionally very oily
idk how else to put it!! idk!!!
Jenny: LOL yes
esp when you have this good, sweet boy to compare him to
Jenny: he’s the bravest!
bc he was scared but he went anyway!
for friendship and for love!
Rachel: poor harvey
he didn’t ask for any of this spooky stuff
well, do y’all wanna do final thoughts?
i just want to wrap up that this part
where sabrina stops gaslighting her friends and loved ones
and decides to actually help
it good and important
Jenny: and i think it’s good to see representations of what a good apology looks like
like a solid – this is what i did and it was wrong and your feelings are valuable
we get so many bad examples on tv and in real life
this was nice to see
Jenny: makes sabrina a really good hero/protag, i think
to see her value the relationships in her life outside of the context of romance, necessarily
or like, folding in basic respect to the concept of romance
nice to see
Rachel: yeah 100%
Jenny: (now i’m ready)
mine is mostly a joke so i’m down to go first?
my final thought is that as much as i GET that this is a television show with a narrative, i kind of wish we could take like a feature film-length amount of time just, like, in the town
like a public access documentary-style about charming small towns; like, part tourism plugs for small businesses, part local history?
with your host
and his charming co-host, Hilda!!
i love him
CC: can’t wait for him and hilda to inevitably smooch
the Madchen and FP Boning On A Car of this show, imo
Jenny: same same same
but it’s just tender and kind
Rachel: the first man on this show that I didn’t immediately distrust
CC: just two sweet kind dweebs falling in love
LOL RACHEL SAME
sorry harvey but I did not expect the best from u at first
Rachel: this guy’s in in a CAPE
he is an adult who wears a CAPE IN A NON CREEPY AND ENDEARING WAY
that takes so much to pull off
CC: when you put it that way, yeah
i can’t think of another dude who could pull that off
not even channing tatum
Rachel: like blackwood would try and it would be not good
CC: oh yeah definitely
i mean that dude definitely owns capes but probably wears them all wrong somehow
my final thought is:
CC: zelda irl
CC: i told y’all I am Prepared with these
Jenny: no doubt
Rachel: i don’t have any real final thought and really i just want to end on that image of Salem
but i will say that in a thanksgiving haze i finished the whole show
and i can’t wait to talk about the final episode with y’all
we’re a ways off and I will do my best to avoid spoilers
but I am so, so stoked
Jenny: it’s a good show!
and also fair enough!
CC: you know that feeling when you are at the very top of a roller coaster
but you hate roller coasters and have avoided them your whole life but here you are on a god damned roller coaster
and you have no idea how your body will react to the fall?
Jenny: get ready, my dudes
CC: that is how i feel about reaching the final episode of this show LOL BON VOYAGE & BOMBS AWAY, praise satan
In the mood for even more Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Hot Takes? Head on over to our Patreon and check out some extra content we couldn’t fit into this post. See y’all back here next week for even more Sabrina-themed hexin’, cursin’, and cussin’.