Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) is back. Made available on Netflix Friday, 24 January 2020, the third part of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina presents fans with a more sinister narrative than that seen in the first two instalments. The first part was a charming introduction to the lead characters. Released in 2019, inclusive of a Christmas special episode, the second part addressed the numerous inconsistencies seen with the previous year’s offering.
With this latest offering, the third part of the title character’s tantalising adventures, the Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa created series has found a new bolder footing. The third part of the story has a sinister tone to it which surpasses the previous two parts. Even though there is much that can be said for the first two parts, during this third set of episodes, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has reached a level fans require of the adaptation.
Lilith (Michelle Gomez), still wearing Mary Wardwell’s appearance, desperately wants to rule over Hell. Even though Lilith doesn’t have the same kind of power Lucifer Morningstar (Luke Cook) possesses, when Sabrina claims the throne, Lilith is made Regent.
Michelle Gomez, previously seen playing Missy in the long-running BBC science fiction series Doctor Who, brings to her personification of Lilith completeness. There is a remarkable similarity between Missy, the female version of The Master, and Lilith which speaks to the Scottish actress’s ability to embody sinister characters.
Zelda Spellman (Miranda Otto), having taken over leadership of the coven, has accomplished much since the last time we saw her. Despite her rise to power, even though it’s much deserved, darker times are install for everyone. Lucifer’s fall from unholy grace hasn’t gone completely unnoticed. With Pagan witches rising, it looks like the old gods and goddesses will be making a return. Humanity, if the witches have their way, is surely doomed. A new tenth circle of Hell will be established.
The human world, not that there is any escaping it, doesn’t seem to care about anything. Even though Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch), Rosalind “Roz” Walker (Jaz Sinclair), and Theo Putnam (Lachlan Watson) present us with a mortal perspective, nothing that occurs at the very human Baxter High School reaches the same intensity seen in other aspects of the series. Whilst Baxter High School provides us with a modicum of entertainment, the Academy of Unseen Arts and the Church of Night is far more entertaining. The deliciously devious antics seen at these establishments have our attention.
As the third part unfolds, we see the romantic arc between Harvey and Roz get stronger. Their fledgeling romance, as seen in the previous part, is gradually blossoming. Robin (Jonathan Whitesell) having come to town with the carnival, and Theo is an interesting pairing. Theo is more comfortable with his own identity. There is much that can be said for how this character has developed. Then there is, of course, Hilda Spellman (Lucy Davis). Whilst we don’t see as much of her in this current season, quality makes up for quantity as the character comes into her own.
Elsewhere, the secretly excommunicated Father Faustus Blackwood (Richard Coyle). He has his own ideas of how to raise Hell. Lucifer is more than a tad anguished he has been dethroned. Both Prudence Night (Tati Gabrielle) and Ambrose Spellman (Chance Perdomo), in a uniquely self-defining characteristic manner, set a high bar for ass-kicking.
Further to Gomez playing Lilith, we see her in the role of Baxter High School teacher Mary Wardwell. This is a character Gomez was seen briefly playing in the 2018 series premiere. The period when Lilith had taken over the teacher’s body, Wardwell seems to possess Hellish memories but nothing concrete. Similarly, with Nick having personally experienced Hell, it would be interesting if the got together and compared notes.
Nick’s experiences, coupled with the fallout from having been possessed, is possibly one of the series’ most compelling subplots. In various episodes, we see scenes exploring the character’s trauma. The torment is apparent.
Sabrina is challenged by Caliban (Sam Corlett) to locate three unholy “Infernal Artefacts” which could see the throne could change. Hell is in crisis and the potential for calamity is higher than it’s ever been before. If Caliban locates at least two of the three artefacts, he could take the throne from Sabrina. His plan to make Earth the tenth circle of Hell would shortly follow.
Sabina and Ambrose journeying to the outskirts of Riverdale present fans with strong hints of a potential future crossover between Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and The CW’s Riverdale. It is in Riverdale that Sabina and Ambrose find King Herod’s crown. King Herod’s crown, the first of the three artefacts, is extremely powerful. If either Sabina or Ambrose had bothered to hang around in Riverdale a little longer, they would have seen King Herod emerge from the same tree that hid the crown. Obviously, with King Herod having slumbered for centuries, the long-dead monarch’s appearance is a tad ghoulish. The blood dripping down his face adds a certain dynamic.
Whilst this third part spans fewer episodes, the quality of the series isn’t impacted. If anything, with fewer episodes, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina presents a fully realised narrative with zero inconsistencies. Embrace the darkness that is the third part. It is the perfect setup for the coming fourth part.