Thursday, December 31, 2020

REVIEW: 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' - Sabrina's Loneliness Disrupts Hilda's Wedding in 'Chapter Thirty: The Uninvited'

Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - Episode 2.10 "Chapter Thirty: The Uninvited"

A grim visitor sends Roz and Harvey into a panic. Elsewhere, Sabrina reconnects with an enemy from her past, and Aunt Hilda's wedding day arrives.

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 Thirty: The Uninvited" was written by Katie Avery and directed by Alex Pillai

It's not healthy for someone to judge their personal success and happiness based on how someone else is doing. Sabrina feels the need to make that comparison constantly. The narrative reinforces that idea as well. Sabrina Spellman is the main protagonist. Yes, she split herself into two distinct beings. However, one of them is largely driving the narrative forward. Sabrina Morningstar is in Hell having a life that the audience only sees in a few fleeting moments. It's dangerous for the two of them to constantly be interacting. That support may allow them to defeat The Uninvited here. However, it leads to Sabrina being banished from Hell as well because of the danger she brings to the realm. Sabrina Morningstar presents as being happy because she has fully embraced her power on the throne. Sabrina Spellman feels unfulfilled in her life because she no longer has a boyfriend. She feels lonely and her aunt happens to be getting married. It's a wonderful time of celebration for Hilda as well. Everyone should be joyous about this ceremony. The show does produce that personal moment of happiness in the end as well. Hilda doesn't want the ceremony that Zelda has planned out for her in accordance to the new church teachings. Hilda just wants a simple ceremony at home that celebrates the monsters that they all love from classic movies. She gets that moment eventually. It is beautiful. But it's still a significant plot point that Sabrina makes so much about her and her struggle. She feels unlucky in love because her dates with Melvin and Carl are lackluster. She has set such a high standard for herself because of Nick and Harvey. Meanwhile, her counterpart in Hell is getting married to Caliban. That should absolutely be a concerning action. But it's also a story taking place in another version of her life. That comparison is important. However, Sabrina has been lamenting her decision without wanting to change it at all. She made her choice. She wanted to remain a part of the life she has always known. And now, she is unhappy and miserable. That may just be a natural extension of her having expectations of this life. In Hell, everything is new and she is the one with power. As such, it presents as the more exhilarating option. The previous episode proved that Sabrina Morningstar's life isn't as great and perfect as she wants to make it be in front of her counterpart. The two maintain a desire to be best friends. Everything of serious consequence is happening on Earth though. That's where her family resides. That's where her friends are who still need her help. They are only beginning to understand the scope of the threat coming from the Eldritch Terrors. The show has basically established the structure that this final stretch of episodes will focus on one distinct threat in each hour. That's an understandable impulse. It also sets the template for the show to be even more creative with each solution of how to defeat them. Father Blackwood is not undeterred in his quest to bring about the end of days. Two of the terrors have been defeated by Sabrina and her family. Darkness fell because of the strength that came from all of them uniting. The Uninvited is captured because Sabrina understood how to manipulate the pain and grief that she also identifies with. None of these actions may ultimately be healthy. And yet, that's the life that has always been presented to Sabrina. She makes these extreme choices. Things always work out for her. She has the freedom to imagine creating a boyfriend that combines the perfect qualities of Nick and Harvey. That's where her mind is at right now. She has to create her own happiness. That's her priority. It's not in mourning Dorian after he is killed. It's not in preparing for the next threats. It's about her personal happiness. She makes that a priority. That too can be seen as an empowering stance on her part. She is determined to take hold of her narrative. She won't allow anyone to knock her down. But again, her erratic actions create just as many dangers. Sometimes the show is aware of all of this. Other times, it's simply too amused by itself and pleased with the idea of Sabrina interacting with herself all the time. That's often the burden of burning through plot quickly. The narrative feels the need to go fast all the time. It never feels the urgency to slow things down and reflect on how the characters are dealing with their recent circumstances. Ms. Wardwell happens to be a new member of Blackwood's church seemingly because it's convenient for the plot. At times, she questions and fears the world around her. And then, she confronts the darkness head on and helps Blackwood further his agenda. The narrative promises that things are about to get weird. That's mostly just Blackwood screaming and random images popping up on the screen though. It's not really a visceral and entertaining experience yet.