Saturday, October 27, 2018

REVIEW: 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' - Harvey, Roz and Susie See More Evil in 'Chapter Six: An Exorcism in Greendale

Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - Episode 1.06 "Chapter Six: An Exorcism in Greendale"

Harvey, Roz and Susie explore a mysterious force of evil. Sabrina digs deeper into Ms. Wardwell's intentions. Hilda pursues a new beginning.

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 Six: An Exorcism in Greendale" was written by Joshua Conkel & MJ Kaufman and directed by Rachel Talalay

This show has such an interesting take on religion. The coven basically functions as an organized religion. This show suggests that people have to have complete devotion to their God all of the time or will suffer the consequences. That extends to Christianity as well. Roz has been brought up to believe that if she doesn't have faith she will go blind. Her father always said that about his mother. Of course, it seems much more likely that this is just a hereditary issue passed down that has absolutely nothing to do with faith. Meanwhile, the Church of Night requires complete praise and adoration for the Dark Lord. If anyone does anything against him or his rules, then they will be excommunicated. Hilda still has her powers but she is no longer welcomed on any sacred grounds of the church. That's because of one action she took many years ago. Of course, it eventually led to the Dark Lord being embarrassed in front of the entire coven and not being able to get Sabrina to sign his book. Moreover, the coven has such contempt for the false God. They see him as spinning this conflict as one of good versus evil. To them though, witches aren't the villains of the world. Sure, plenty of them love to torture mortals. The rules of the church keep them from interacting with those without any powers. But they have also been led to believe that all of this is a blessing and one that fulfills their lives. Sure, it seems like a horrible trade off to have power and immortality but have to be pregnant for 13 months. That's such a drag and puts even more control by men over women's bodies. That's horrifying. And yet, it hasn't been questioned because these are the traditions. As soon as someone speaks out, there are severe consequences. Here, the show presents its take on an exorcism. It is a classic horror genre trope. It operates if the characters have the basic understanding that it's possible for a demon to possess someone. Harvey, Roz and Susie jumping to that conclusion means that they are aware on some level that there are supernatural things happening in their town. They may not know the extent but dangerous things are destroying their lives. They don't have the tools to understand what's going on either because the coven is very secretive about every aspect of their lives. Sabrina would love to tell her friends that she's a witch and has the powers to possibly help Susie's uncle. And yet, she can't because she fears of how they'll react. They are being pulled into this traumatic story no matter what though. And so, it will remain a massive problem that Sabrina is lying to the friends she loves the most. However, she is able to save Uncle Jesse at least for a little while. She puts in the research to learn the demon's name and how to vanquish him. It just means that she has to put her trust in Ms. Wardwell. Now, it's ridiculous that everyone just completely accepts her cover story of also being a witch tasked by Edward to look over Sabrina. But she presents herself as a key ally. One who actually encourages Sabrina to perform this exorcism. Sabrina does. She succeeds too. But it's bittersweet because Jesse also dies later on in the night. That exorcism is powerful because the witches aren't calling on their Dark Lord for strength. Instead, they are relying on the strength of their ancestors. These powerful witches can help them call this demon out of a mortal. And yet, it's still clear that Wardwell is playing a much bigger game. One that is still shrouded in too much secrecy - especially now that there may be a prophecy involved with Sabrina being at the center of it all.