Saturday, January 25, 2020

REVIEW: 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' - The Coven Comes Under Attack by Pagans in 'Chapter Twenty-Four: The Hare Moon'

Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - Episode 2.04 "Chapter Twenty-Four: The Hare Moon"

The coven celebrates a festive tradition - and crosses paths with unexpected guests. Nick struggles to strike a balance between pleasure and pain.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Twenty-Four: The Hare Moon" was written by Donna Thorland and directed by Viet Nguyen

On the one hand, there is simply a lot going on in this episode. It is overwhelming in a way that stories are usually told in this series. However, it feels like everyone is in their own separate plots which carry a ton of urgency in the moment but don't always translate when they are suddenly interacting with other people in completely different plots. On the other hand though, this hour does a significantly better job in defining the threat that comes from the Pagans who worship the old gods. It's a fascinating story about one form of witchcraft growing weaker while a new one comes to prominence in the region. It's thematically similar to Sabrina's struggles in Hell. Sure, the competition between her and Caliban is stopped for the moment. That isn't really mentioned here whatsoever beyond Zelda and Hilda becoming aware that their niece has become Queen of Hell. That is a surprise to them. But the urgency is much more prominent when it comes to the Spellmans trying to figure out a way to regain their powers without having to rely on the mercy of the Dark Lord once more. Sure, it's potentially foolish for him to be chained in the dungeon at the Academy where anyone could realistically access him. Nick does that on numerous occasions here in order to let out some of his rage and frustration. That doesn't particularly help in the long run. It feels like a creative decision made so that the Spellmans believe they can rely on the devil they know in order to eliminate this new threat to their way of life. They look to the Dark Lord for salvation when the pagans surround the Academy hoping to force the witches into submission because they are vastly more powerful. He is no longer in the dungeon though. Lucifer was able to manipulate Nick into letting him free because of the trauma he endured while in Hell. Sabrina has the willingness to help her boyfriend cope with this trauma. He simply doesn't see her love as genuine or worthwhile any longer. It was comforting once upon a time. However, he has grown incredibly cynical about the world. He views Sabrina as incredibly selfish. He's not entirely wrong to feel that way. His lashing out at her is played to a massive degree mostly to showcase just how much he is spiraling at the moment and that he probably doesn't mean what he's saying. It has power because it's rooted in a fact that the audience can see plainly. She does her best to protect her coven. She and Hilda aren't abandoning Zelda in her time of need. They just have complicated relationships with the world because they have lives outside of the Academy. That makes it perilous when the witches and warlocks are confined to this location by the end of the hour. It's a personal space that has already been invaded by the pagans as well. These outsiders make their presence known and flex their powers in order to prove immediately that the coven is no match for them. That extends to the humans as well. Harvey, Roz and Theo search the carnival for clues about the snake charmer because Harvey is unnerved to see her in his house the following morning. But that just pulls Roz into a trap where she is turned into stone. That may be the fate that everyone is doomed to embrace in the scope of this story. Of course, there's the reasonable expectation that it can be reversed. Roz was targeted because of her cunning. Harvey and Theo are devastated by what has happened to her. But once more, Sabrina is seemingly more concerned with bigger problems. It's one that could dramatically change her sense of identity and community while also revealing that nothing in this world is entirely safe or perfect. Sabrina is always fighting for the best that Earth has to offer. The demons don't understand that love. It may be complicated for others to feel that as well because the humans are incapable of embracing a sense of normalcy. But that remains the ideal because these characters are just trying their best to maintain a sense of dignity and pride while also confronting these monstrous threats over and over again. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Dark Lord deals with the pagans now that he has been released from his prison. That too may be a dangerous and sinister threat targeting Sabrina and the coven at the moment.