Friday, October 26, 2018

REVIEW: 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' - Sabrina Makes a Decision About Her Fate in 'Chapter Two: The Dark Baptism'

Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - Episode 1.02 "Chapter Two: The Dark Baptism"

A legendary guest visits Spellman Mortuary. Ambrose explores a grim revelation. Sabrina stuns the coven with a shocking announcement.

In 2018, it makes no sense to provide full-length reviews of each individual episode for shows released all at once on the streaming services. Sure, there are some shows out there that value the power of the episode. They do make a point in differentiating each episode to ensure it's not just one big slog to the finish. However, the ability to watch the entire season at one's own viewing pace has largely changed the way we consume and discuss these shows. So, some brief summary thoughts are really all that's actually necessary with these seasons. As such, here are my latest thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

"Chapter Two: The Dark Baptism" was written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by Lee Toland Krieger

The show is still mostly just establishing its premise in its second episode. That's strange considering how long these episodes have run. It may be another example of Netflix bloat where creatives feel the desire to tell stories as long as possible even though some editing could be very beneficial. The gay panic stuff with the high school jocks seems pretty unnecessary here. It mostly highlights the combative nature between Sabrina and the Weird Sisters. Their presence has mostly been as other witches who don't want Sabrina at their school. They are willing to do whatever it takes to get her to refuse her Dark Baptism. But here, they are mostly just defined as taking pleasure out of the torment of mortals. That may be a simplistic view of the world especially one in which certain individuals have these incredible powers. Ambrose is able to articulate that even though Sabrina may want to keep her connections with her friends alive she will soon find their concerns very trivial in a world where magical things can occur. Ambrose, Zelda and Hilda don't have meaningful relationships with mortals. It may be forbidden by their coven. But it's also just easier to be a part of a community where everyone has the same understanding of the world. That's true and common across so many cultures throughout the universe. Sabrina is challenging that. She wants to find a way to bridge her two worlds as only she can. She exists as a half-witch, half-mortal. Her father broke the rules and died tragically - with the show heavily implying that there is more to that particular story. Sabrina is trying to honor her parents. But right now, they seem to be telling her to run far away from the Dark Lord during her Dark Baptism. It may ultimately be nothing but an embarrassment to Hilda and Zelda. They were preparing her for her Dark Baptism all her life. They were very accommodating to her questions and concerns. And yet, Sabrina still rightfully sees Father Blackwood as yet another man who will say absolutely anything to her in order to get what he wants. He serves the Dark Lord. The devil wants Sabrina to be his servant. It's currently unclear what's so special about Sabrina other than who her parents were. But the Dark Lord is willing to send many threats to Sabrina in order to get her to sign the Book of the Beasts. Blackwood is a high priest in the coven while Wardwell is another beast who is pushing Sabrina to this conclusion. Sabrina still asserts her independence though. She was able to establish this club at school that will empower women. More importantly, she is able to stay at Baxter High. She has potentially just delayed the inevitable of having to pick a side in this conflict. It appears as if she has made one powerful enemy in the Dark Lord. She was expecting to go to the principal's office to be condemned for starting this club while he was taking a few days away from the school. Instead, she comes face-to-face with the Dark Lord himself. He may be the bringer of the death and confusion that was laid out in Sabrina's vision in the premiere. But right now, he is trying to intimidate Sabrina into servitude simply by turning the mortal half of her identity against her until she's begging to have all of the powers that he can bestow upon her. That's a very intriguing tease for the future.