A Very Chilling Sabrina Roundtable: Season 2, Episode 5

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. And also: welcome to A Very Special Wedding CAOS!!! On one hand, Zelda joins Father Longnails in ~~*~*~ UNholy matrimony ~*~*~~. On the other, this episode is full of Quality Witch #looks, Hilda screentime, and malevolent crones just getting a chance to Have It All. Plus: murder??? What in literal tarnation will this show think of next.

CC: so who could have predicted that this was going to be the most Middlemarch episode of Sabrina?
dudes need to just stop trying to get you to finish their manifesto after their death
i mean, it’s a good manifesto; it’s no Key To All Mythologies
but w/e idk I’m not a dark theologian

Rachel: lol
ok so much happened in this episode
let’s start with a recap?

Rachel: the dark pope arrives to marry Blackwood and Zelda — he’s a creep but he’s not totally sold on Blackwood’s warlock patriarchy
Sabrina gets visited by the ghost of her dad who tells her he has a manifesto she’s gotta finish, and Luke takes his shirt of to go swimming in the bottom of the ocean to find it
turns out the manifesto is all about making witches the head honchos of the satanic church, and also it’s their “sacred imperative” or w/e to bone mortals
sabrina decides she’s gotta take on her father’s work and show it to the dark pope
she does, the pope says “ok cool cool i’ll think about it”
but then he gets murdered by ambrose and 2 other of Blackwood’s lackeys, who are apparently under a spell to do so (presumably cast by blackwood)
oh also, Blackwood’s dead wife is haunting Zelda!
but Hilda takes care of it and figures out that Shirley Jackson was behind riling the ghost up
so she poisons her with arsenic in my favorite hilda scene ever

CC: i mean, the real assassination in this episode was the continued character assassination of actual real life human author, shirley jackson

Jenny: so much intrigue!

CC: hilda destroyed every scene in this episode

Jenny: she was so good!
i love her!

Jenny: she’s an absolute Killer
the character of real life shirley jackson AND the character playing her on tv were just casualties of our girl hilds finally showing us that yes all witches will kill w/o remorse
she does such a good job
such a good job killing
proud of her

CC: “that’s gonna leave a bruise”

Rachel: i 100% expected them to bring her back with the cain pit and be like “lesson learned, eh Shirley??”
but they did not!!!
i guess she’s just dead!!!

CC: nobody learns anything from the cain pit tho honestly
hilda didn’t need to learn anything from it and dorcas sure as he[AVEN LOLOLOL] didn’t

Jenny: LOL ugh
that’s one thing from this ep
the christian reversals are getting v old

CC: it’s too much

Jenny: like
it’s a witch wedding
couldn’t think of anything clever for this one
just a wedding but witches so witch wedding

CC: it’s a nice day for a
[guitar riffs]

Jenny: lolol always

CC: oh dang yeah, getting back to the recap

Jenny: so much happened

CC: -witch wedding
-evil pope assassination
-ambrose obvz framed for murder by blackwood
-zelda marries him anyway
-between blackwood and the dark lord, all these ladies’ devotion to these terrible men was sure a super duper totally 100% subtle metaphor for internalized misogyny amirite ladieeezzz

Jenny: it sure was something

CC: oh and somewhere in there, prudence tries to murder blackwood and he’s so impressed he lets her take the family name after negging her all episode/season

Jenny: lol that part was so frustrating
i love prudence and i really wish she had just killed him

Rachel: prudence you are better than thisssss

Jenny: watching her scramble after any power she can get her hands on in this fucked-up blackwood system is exhausting. like, the look on her face when she stopped ambrose from killing blackwood
ambrose is cool! she likes him!
this is all so dumb
on the subject of prudence
even though this ep was really about her setting herself apart from her sisters
i kind of loved the opening scene when we see them really go full Wyrd

Jenny: like — holding hands; speaking in unison; the Prophecy

CC: but ugh, for such a terrible cause
i wanted it BUT NOT LIKE THIS

Rachel: ok but i did not believe them at first
like, i totally thought they were just fucking around!
being their chaotic neutral selves!

Jenny: that would have been so good!

CC: i was hoping they were!!!

Rachel: honestly i don’t trust anybody anymore
i totally thought that sabrina’s ghost dad was going to end up being wardwell

Jenny: he was!
the ghost dad totally 100% was wardwell
that’s why i was so surprised when she turned out to have been telling the truth
about like, the murder and the manuscript and the purpose of the meeting

Rachel: oh wait did i just forget that??

CC: did wardwell write that manifesto? bc like, lol
was it a plant??????

Jenny: OH MAN
i didn’t even think of wardwell’s having written the manifesto
i kind of hope she did tbh

CC: she’s playing underwater 3D witch chess, jenny!

Jenny: lol that would make nick’s actually finding it WAY more believable
but also that scene

Rachel: ok yes, like, i see that you want to show off how hot this dude is, RAS
but like it was extremely gratuitous

Jenny: this part esp
p funny; p great

Rachel: i’m sure nick says a lot of things ????

Jenny: look fair enough
i don’t like it but i am on board w him
maybe just bc there are no other good options?

Rachel: i mean i’m still on the nick train
he loves sabrina and is supporting her through this nonsense
he’s a good prop for her emotional development

CC: yeah for real

Jenny: oh yes
that’s a great way to put it

CC: diving to the bottom of the sea for a book that is somehow not dissolved after 16 years
being a gratuitous muscle boy

Jenny: lol fighting a squid

CC: nobody has ever fought a squid for me
i mean look: i would never ask them to
i don’t even know if I’d want it, honestly
but for people who like that kind of thing
i’m sure it’s an important gesture

Jenny: lol just hand me a squid that you’ve embarrassed in the ring
to hell w two turtle dove hearts
that’s the only proposal i’ll accept

CC: so, do yall wanna circle back on some of these plot points
bc one thing i’ve been dying to talk about is
how the church of satan pope is basically just

Jenny: oh god

CC: it’s almost as subtle as that time veronica was framed by a creepy statue of the virgin mary

Jenny: lolololol

Rachel: i mean on thing i thought was interesting is that they’ve always shown Zelda as being Extremely Into The Satanic Church
and it was telling that even she was like “errmmmmMMMM”

Jenny: yeah i liked that she was expressing some apprehension

CC: i’m sure that goat head smells all sorts of funky

Jenny: and i liked that dorcas stopped anything from happening

CC: is dorcas the ethel of sabrina?????
the character who probably was going to have dimension but mostly just exists to do a terrible but inconsistent thing???

Rachel: omg SHE IS

Jenny: ????
she exists to be whatever the writers need her to be
which, like — ☹️
bad writing
that’s why she doesn’t get a slide in the title sequence
prudence and agatha both do, but not dorcas
rude, frankly

CC: yeah like what does agatha even do??
sometimes i forget she goes here, honestly
dorcas was robbed

Jenny: justice for dorcas
free her from these writers
hire us

Rachel: i’m hoping they do something really great with her
this might be giving them too much credit

CC: i’ll keep hoping but i am preparing myself for disappointment
so, in other Women Used To Disappointment
I am so surprised but delighted Wardwell is keeping Adam around

Jenny: same!!

CC: I mean, like
he was designed in a lab to be a perfectly Good Boy and just like

Jenny: LOLOLOLOL truly
when he’s like
if someone hurt you — before or while i was gone —
i will never hurt you
a good man

CC: he’s never going to tell a lie
never going to desert you

Jenny: NEVER

Rachel: lol CC don’t you dare



he started it!!!!

Rachel: lol sure sure

Jenny: mostly i love that he’s really having an effect on her
she deserves love and i’m so glad that someone is out here showing her love

CC: v edifying to see that
even if you’re an evil queen
you still deserve the kind of love that lets you be vulnerable

Jenny: it’s TRUE

CC: and who better than adam
i read adam as a good man who probably wears socks and sandals to the beach and goes downtown

Jenny: i feel like this ep was all about wardwell having it all
like, she can do all her evil machinations
she can
stir the cauldron
as it were
— dressing up like sabrina’s dad
bringing down the temple
and then she can come HOME
to a loving and supportive environment where she is treated with respect!
i love her and she deserves to have it all

CC: meanwhile, also owning a closet that probably looks like this tbh

CC: i am LIVING for these wardwell disguises

Jenny: hell yes

CC: but def not for the actor who plays papa spellman

Jenny: oh yeah
that beard
not great

CC: this actor

Jenny: LOL

CC: only you know, a little more sleepily
but maybe bc he’s a
idk, constance was Acting so I don’t think it has anything to do with being a ghost

Jenny: oh yeah she was great
i honestly really loved that whole sequence
maybe just bc it was a hilda scene
but also bc it actually felt v witchy

Jenny: like, the talking to the ghost while someone else sneaks around to blow out the candles

Rachel: it was getting into the Rules of Magic and i love that shit

Jenny: the tin box of sanctified graveyard dirt
it’s all good

CC: hilda is so powerful

Jenny: good good stuff
she’s really the only one of these characters who truly feels like A Witch

CC: oh man i just realized
constance blackwell
prudence blackwell
did old long nails really name his out-of-wedlock daughter in a theming name with his wife???? is this just a witch thing in general????
is dorcas a virtue i’ve just never heard of????

Jenny: LOL
i mean — did he name her, though?
prudence feels like the kind of name you’d get at an orphanage

CC: yeah true

Jenny: it does seem weird to me – the names
like, agatha and dorcas i kind of get bc they’re old-timey and that’s like, the vibe
but constance and prudence are, like, virtues
as you said
wouldn’t the church of night have different virtues they’d want to name people for?
like, more mallorys and liliths, lilians, that kind of thing?

CC: there’s gotta be a warlock named like “sanguine daggersson” or something

Jenny: LOL
ambrose makes sense for that

CC: Mortification Kuttes
Adultery McShame

Jenny: LOL YES
come on netflix — hire us
we actually think through our worldbuilding
we know that the baphomet statue is copywrited so we wouldn’t’ve gotten you in this dumb lawsuit

well, i didn’t
until said controversy

Jenny: fair enough — i think it got copywrited when they were doing that demonstration in arkansas about freedom of religion

CC: so speaking of statues


Rachel: omg i didn’t even NOTICE them

Jenny: lol same
now i’m kind of mad that they’re not symmetrical

Rachel: +1

Jenny: like — they’re really trying so hard w this framing
the set dept is usually so much better than this

Rachel: but it does make sense they would be there in Dorian’s bar

CC: i loved it
it’s terrible and i loved it
this prometheus-ass nonsense

Jenny: oh def makes sense
but! dorian was really good this ep
he’s often Too Much
but he was just enough

Jenny: this line — i unironically really enjoyed

Rachel: i hope they do better by Dorian than they did by Shirley
i really want to like him

Jenny: same
and this scene was great bc it’s when we learn
that the familiar blackwood gave ambrose last season!!
had crawled into his body and puppeteered him into killing the anti-pope as part of blackwood’s evil plan

CC: didn’t that mouse
belong to the boy who died
early in the first season????

Jenny: OH GOD

Rachel: oh no that was the lizard!

CC: whoops

Rachel: blackwood gave him a mouse when he lifted his house arrest

CC: dang
oh well ????

Jenny: lol that was close
i was nearly impressed w these writers

CC: you know
there was one thing i was super impressed with
which was all the great lounging-with-a-drink #looks this ep

Rachel: lol i’m glad this is a thing they are leaning into

CC: (still counts lol)
yeah same!!!

Jenny: something they know they can do well

Rachel: for sure
well, are y’all ready for final thoughts?

Jenny: ????

CC: ya!

Jenny: my final thought
is about these dumb mortal/magic prejudices get all mixed up w the dumb gender roles and it’s all just dumb dumb dumb

Jenny: like
come on
a) shirley jackson would never
but b)
this is so dumb

Rachel: ugh why did everybody want to bone Edward Spellman
he honestly doesn’t seem that great

CC: he wasn’t even a babe tbh

Jenny: a man prefers someone else over you and so you take that resentment out on his sister when she starts to do well for herself in this god awful system
it’s all bad
you turn around and you take a look at the next generation

Jenny: and there’s some hope, actually
when their glamour is dispelled
it turns out that nick, the warlock, had been playing Diana, the mortal woman
and, like
of course he was!
he is here to support sabrina!
he’ll do or be whatever she needs him to be!
i like that
it’s good stuff

Rachel: a very good point!

CC: god this show is really tryin to make us trust him

Jenny: it’s trying so hard

this hot take has convinced me, jenny
i’m all in

Jenny: NICE

Rachel: ok this leads well into my final thought
which is that, I hope that Sabrina stops using Luke as that emotional prop
he’s really putting himself on the line for her and I don’t think she realizes!!
she’s just taking it for granted!
he literally dove to the bottom of the sea, fought a squid, challenged the head of their church on his wedding day — all for her!

Jenny: got kicked out of school
watched her murder the only family he has
i really and truly do not see what he’s getting out of this

Rachel: like he seems all in and I don’t think Sabrina is on the same level as he is about this relationship

Jenny: yeah!
i def see where that read is coming from
and like — season 1 sabrina was p great; she cared about her friends; she tried hard to be a good person
but season 2 sabrina is kind of an asshole? like. she doesn’t hang out w roz and theo any more, really. that sucks! i think she needs to take some time to not date anyone for a while
she needs to just focus on her friendships and on self-care that doesn’t take the form of avenging someone’s death

CC: a lesson for us all, really
my final thought is


Jenny: LOL

Rachel: lol omggg

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’.

CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.

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