With its fourth season, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comes to an end, leaving throngs of fans dumbfounded in the wake of the decision of ending one of the most innovative and well-received TV shows in recent years. At least when it comes to its genre.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Season Four – Plot
Sabrina Spellman is enjoying her teenage life after saving Greendale and bringing back balance between the human world and hell and yet, in some ways, she feels completely out of place. Her hellish counterpart, Sabrina Morningstar, on the other hand, is perfectly at home with her duties as the Queen of Hell. But something far older and more terrifying than anything they’ve faced so far is coming to disrupt their lives once again.
The ending of the third season didn’t leave much room for interpretation. The new and bigger evil looking to put itself in the way of The Fright Club is none other than the Eldritch Terrors. After all, previous seasons and episodes had already hinted at the possibility of the Lovecraftian stories to barge into Sabrina Spellman‘s world, bringing with them all sorts of consequences.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina still remains, as already mentioned before, even if aimed at an adolescent audience, true horror. Few others have dared push as far when it comes to the genre. If we consider other works that present monsters and vampires, for example, it’s noticeable than none had the courage to go as far as Sabrina did, especially when considering the target audience.
Sabrina was well crafted. It managed to balance all its elements even if some criticized it for being too violent. But, hey! That’s exactly what made it work for me and reading about its cancellation left me far from happy. Right from its first episodes, this specific side of the show had been displayed openly and there wasn’t really any room for surprise when it came to what it was going to do with it. Sabrina never hid that tendency and never tried to be something different from what instantly came across.
The Eldritch Terrors
The Terrors have been long-awaited on the show. Even when taking the third season out of the conversation, there have been references to Lovecraft as far back as season two when, in one episode, the was a reference specifically to Lovecraft‘s The Dreams in the Witch House. We already knew, then, that the Eldritch Horrors – or, in CAoS‘s case, Terrors – would eventually come knocking. It’s a shame, however, that they were treated so cheaply by the show, that almost seemed to want to end things as fast as possible.
As if we got tired of Sabrina.
Which… we didn’t.
A homage to an author such as Lovecraft should have deserved a lot more screentime, especially considering that his Horrors are the entire core of the season. That wasn’t what happened; on the contrary, they were dealt with superficially and hurriedly. Dedicating more than one single episode to each of the Terrors would have made for better storytelling rather than treating them as a background thought. By all means, Sabrina touches on a variety of subjects and it is entirely right for her to do so, but the focus of the show was sidetracked and at times a little distracted, rendering both threads of the plot forgettable and with very little of note left behind.
A wasted opportunity. What a pity.
A tribute to the 90s
There is one very pleasant surprise in the last season, however. A tribute to the old show from the 90s gifts us a cameo by none others than Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick who used to play the characters of Hilda and Zelda in the original show Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. We won’t discuss their specific roles in the new Sabrina in this review as it would be a big spoiler for all those who haven’t caught up yet. Nevertheless, seeing the two actresses again in the new show was a huge pleasure, especially for those of us who grew up watching the adventures of Melissa Joan Hart‘s Sabrina.
Their presence served as probably the biggest demonstration of the fact that one can make references to an old TV show even while radically revolutionizing it without destroying what was created at the time, and still successfully making both the old and new generations of fans happy.