Sunday, October 28, 2018

REVIEW: 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' - Sabrina Pushes the Limits of Her Powers in 'Chapter Eight: The Burial'

Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - Episode 1.08 "Chapter Eight: The Burial"

A disaster rattles the Greendale community. Desperate to help, Sabrina attempts a new kind of dark magic - with the assistance of an unusual ally.

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 Eight: The Burial" was written by Lindsay Calhoon & Christianne Hedtke and directed by Maggie Kiley

Tommy hasn't been a hugely important character this season. However, he has been present enough that it still holds resonance when he is involved in a mining accident thanks to the Weird Sisters. In fact, he dies in the mines. That's so absolutely tragic. That is apparently the only source of legitimate work in Greendale. Tommy was only working there because he wanted to stay in town to protect Harvey from their father. He was always loving and nurturing. And now, he saved Harvey's life. Of course, Sabrina's protection spell also helped. But that also means Harvey is in a dark headspace. He doesn't know how he's going to survive without his brother. It's because of that sorrow that Sabrina feels the need to meddle. She believes she must intervene because she has these powerful abilities. She doesn't see the point of being a witch if she can't use it to help the people she loves the most. Zelda and Ambrose are able to give her clarity in saying that no one survived this accident in the mines. Harvey has been holding out hope that his brother could still be alive down there. It also makes it convenient should Sabrina succeed in being able to resurrect him. That's so completely dangerous. It also highlights how she is potentially falling down a dark path. This entire season Wardwell has been encouraging her to practice more and more of the dark arts. Sabrina doesn't see herself as an evil person. And yet, she slits the throat of a fellow witch in this hour. That's so brutal and gruesome to see. Of course, there is no risk of Agatha staying dead for very long. Sabrina has Hilda explain how she is able to come back to life every time that Zelda kills her. It's all because of the soil out in the Spellman garden. That can bring any witch back to life. When it comes to raising a mortal from the dead, the afterlife demands a sacrifice though. That's why this kind of necromancy is so dangerous. Sabrina believes she has taken every precaution. And yet, she is pushing the limits of what she can get away with in this world. She has been very lucky over the course of the season. She has managed to keep her life the same as it has always been. She hasn't really had to deal with too many difficult and compromising repercussions. She has been propped up to the point that she thinks she can prevail in a battle with the Dark Lord. That may not be true at all because she is still susceptible to Wardwell's deceptions. She doesn't question this new influence in her life. Instead, she just takes the resurrection spell with the confidence that she is doing a great service to the man that she loves. But if that final moment is any indication, it's clear that Tommy may not be the same person he was prior to his death. Harvey may be looking at the front door with hope. But there may only be a monster waiting on the other side. That's the same reaction the audience should have towards Ambrose and Zelda's new dynamics with Blackwood as well. He is still able to give them so much of the support they crave in the world. Ambrose wants to leave the house. Blackwood can offer a path towards his house arrest being overturned. Zelda wants to believe that her faith will still be rewarded despite her missteps. And now, Blackwood is abusing that vulnerable state in order to appease his own sexual desires. That's despicable and will probably leave them devastated as a result.