Saturday, April 6, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' - Everyone Experiences Lust in Surprising Ways in 'Chapter Fourteen: Lupercalia'

Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - Episode 1.14 "Chapter Fourteen: Lupercalia"

Love and lust sweep through Greendale as Harvey surprises Roz with a sweet gift, and Sabrina explores a romantic ritual... and her feelings for Nick.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

"Chapter Fourteen: Lupercalia" was written by Oanh Ly and directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield

This hour is about sex and lust. All of the main characters get caught up in those emotions during the Valentine's Day/Lupercalia celebration. That means there are a million stories happening here. It's a lengthy episode. And yet, that also makes it seem as if some of the big plots don't hit as strongly as they should have. Father Blackwood proposes to Zelda and she intends on saying yes. Hilda learns that Dr. Cerberus is actually an incubus who transforms whenever he is attracted to someone. Theo comes out to his father as transgender. Those are all crucial stories that help advance several of the storylines moving forward this season. Theo's conversation is especially important. It highlights the difficulties of coming out while also exploring how rewarding it can be as well - even though Billy's later apology feels a little forced just to make everything suddenly seem better for Theo in this world. With Zelda and Hilda though, it's mostly just putting the pieces together to ensure that they are active characters outside of being Sabrina's guardians who care for her and offer wildly different advice. It's much more meaningful to watch as Sabrina tries to figure out if she is ready to lose her virginity. She feels the pressure to do so because this is a ritual about sex and welcoming a year of fertility. She even has a partner in Nick she actually likes. She believes she could be ready for this experience. She wants to feel sure though. She experiences both the mortal and supernatural worlds with him. They attend the ritual in the woods as well as the sweethearts dance at Baxter High. Both are invigorating experiences that cement just how much Sabrina likes him. But the hour also points out just how difficult it can be dating someone who has a more experienced romantic history. Nick has always been a sexual conquest at the Academy. The Weird Sisters all pride themselves on having sex with him. Dorcas sees it as her turn to have him as a partner during Lupercalia. It's just much more damaging when Nick's familiar arrives. It's actually a werewolf who is incredibly territorial with him. He has such affection for her because she protected him after his parents were killed. She is the only family that he has outside of the coven. He has to kill her though because she could harm the people he cares about the most in the world. He doesn't want anything to break up the connection he has with Sabrina. But in the end, Sabrina is forced to kill the familiar because Nick couldn't. That is a significant lie that he tells her that may compromise their relationship. It means they don't have sex even though the intimacy and connection continues to develop between them. There is also the uncertainty of whether Nick did something with Dorcus when she cornered him in the woods. It's all very mysterious. But it's also incredibly relatable for Sabrina as she tries to figure all of this out. Sure, it's an incredibly heightened conflict that also revolves around death. But she can still reach out to Roz in order to get a better understanding of if she's ready to have sex. Roz has her own insecurities at the moment because she and Harvey are growing closer. It's nice even though it seems to punctuate her vision loss. And finally, Wardwell is given her own romantic companion in Adam, who she has been engaged to for a long time. He is finally back after months away. Sure, it's absolutely suspect why he doesn't seem to notice that his fiancé is acting like a completely different person now. But it also shakes up Wardwell's world in a significant way. She is used to being the loyal servant to the Dark Lord. And now, she has someone who may fill that same role for her even though he gets in the way of her plans at the dance.