Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Was Season 3 Able To Outshine Season 2?

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 3, episode 5

Elijah Perez, Opinion Editor

Last year, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s season 2 ended on a very climactic note with Sabrina turning out to be basically witch Jesus. She discovered she is actually not a Spellman at all, but in fact Lucifer’s daughter. Not willing to leave her home life nor succumb to the devil, she rejected Hell’s throne and trapped Lucifer inside of her boyfriend Nick. With the show leaving on such a big note, it was hard to see just exactly where they were going with the next installment and if the show’s writers would be able to live up to the intensity of the previous season, essentially, could they top themselves?

The first episode of season 3 throws you right in, they waste no time slowly building the plot. Almost immediately, Sabrina ruffles the feathers of Hell’s council and, despite her resentment last season, takes her place as Queen of Hell and appoints Lilith as her regent. This decision is somewhat puzzling because, although she took the throne to save her boyfriend and to restore balance to the realms, in the previous season she rejected the throne at all costs, barely even entertaining the thought. Soon after she takes the throne however, she is challenged by Prince Caliban to take the throne and we see this play out through the season. Even though this is slightly out of character for Sabrina, it does push the plot further and expands into something bigger, so it’s a forgivable plot hole.

Besides Caliban threatening to overthrow the House of Morningstar and take the throne, there is another threat introduced to plot, but this one is directed at the majority of the show’s characters vs just Sabrina. A carnival rolls into town, but secretly the carney people are actually ancient pagan worshipers. They seek to bring back the “old Gods” which threatens not only Greendale and the Church of Night, but the entire human realm. Lucifer explains to Sabrina before their arrival that their sudden appearance is a direct result of the realms being disbalanced from Sabrina’s rejection of the throne. In other words, everything is kinda Sabrina’s fault which is pointed out later in the season by Lilith in front of the entire Church of Night. It’s very interesting that the writers were willing to make the main protagonist at fault for all the impending troubles, but as the season comes towards its end it’s very apparent that the writers are unafraid to do terrible things to their characters because, even if resurrected by the season finale’s events, most of the characters die or suffer some terrible fate momentarily.

In the season finale, most of the characters die because Sabrina originally fails to beat Caliban. Sabrina is left in stone in the 9th circle of Hell for decades as her entire coven, human friends, and even Caliban are killed by the pagans. This brings forth another slight plot hole, or at least something that is kinda confusing. During the season, seemingly all of Hell was rooting for Caliban to defeat Sabrina, but in events that came before Sabrina’s enslavement, Sabrina punches Caliban and Hell begins cheering her name. So, that instant switch up of teams was very odd, but then it gets weirder because when she loses they go right back to team Caliban like it never happened and follow his command in which he is ultimately defeated by the pagans.

Caliban’s defeat by the pagans though is thankfully not all that random. We come to realize that he was always set up to fail because it’s Sabrina’s destiny to fix time where she wins the battle for the throne, nobody dies, the pagans are defeated, and Sabrina takes her place as Queen of Hell. However there is a catch, in order to fix time Sabrina must time travel creating two versions of herself and the two agree that one will rule Hell and the other will live normally on Earth. This is a very fitting end because it sets up anticipation for the next installment, leaving viewers curious as to what repercussions lie ahead of there being two Sabrinas and, as Ambrose mentions, creating a time paradox.

Aside from the central plot of the race for the throne and threat of the pagans, a few other interesting things did take place. The most interesting developments being the introduction of Robin as a love interest for Theo, Sabrina using a spell to remove her feelings of both Harvey and Nick, Sabrina and Nick’s dramatic breakup, and, most randomly, the kiss shared between Aunt Zelda and Mambo Marie. All of these things were quite compelling and more than interesting, all of the episodes ending with you wanting more. It’s safe to say this was Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s most bingeable season yet.

Considering the fact that this season ended in the development of two Sabrinas in existance and time travel, the writers more than topped themselves from the last season. They managed to create an interesting plot that was a natural progression from the previous without feeling repetitive. The season did suffer from a few plot holes as mentioned before, but they are easy to look over as they aren’t humongous and do eventually redeem themselves. Now though, since the writers created a bigger and better season from the last, will they be able to continue topping themselves in season 4? With two Sabrinas to work with, that shouldn’t be too difficult a task, but we shall see.