All I can say regarding season four and the final season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series is what a long strange trip it’s been. Some TV shows end terribly and leave a dark stain on the show’s memory, How I Met Your Mother and the new Battlestar Gallactica come to mind. Other shows go brilliantly, at a high point that gives the fans something to hold on to with fondness. For me, I think some of the greatest endings of all time are Six Feet Under and The Good Place. The finale of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina falls somewhere in an unmemorable middle.
Sabrina Spellman (actress Kiernan Shipka) is a character that has always had a foot in many worlds. In the first seasons of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Sabrina, half-witch and half-mortal teenager, contradicted. Her mortal half reveled in cheerleading, high school, her best friends, and most importantly, her love interest Harvey Kinkle. In this, she was a stereotypical 16-year-old girl slowly learning about her coming adulthood’s joys and pains. However, the witch and much darker half of Sabrina always had an edge. She worshipped Satan as a witch of a coven. She celebrated dark rituals, had no problem maiming, and participating in acts that the brighter mortal half of Sabrina could not stomach. This dichotomy was always what made Sabrina a compelling character.
For the series to work and for Sabrina to grow and change as a character, one side of her had to fall away. The bright side of Sabrina fell away. Slowly at first, and as the series came to a close with season 4, very quickly. With the rapidity of the season-closing, the last season of the show was sporadic and jumbled together. It didn’t do justice to any of the characters and give them a fitting au revoir. Each of the show’s episodes is based on one of the Lovecraftian Eldritch characters.
The Darkness, the first terror, came in the guise of masked minors. They consume the physical light and the light and sanity of the mind. The Darkness can also kill with a touch.
The second terror is The Uninvited. It takes the form of a beggar man that rips your heart out if he is not shown kindness from strangers. It is a lonely creature that gives off wanting to be included and loved. It is a terror and therefore needs to be dispatched, but its presence seemed less potent than the others, and I found myself pitying it more than fearing it.
The third terror was strange and probably the most Lovecraftian, and that is of The Weird. It took the form of a sea creature that snuck into Spellman’s Mortuary as a trojan horse to infect Sabrina.
The fourth terror was The Perverse is a terror that warps reality and turned Greendale into Father Blackwood’s dream authoritarian society.
The fifth terror is The Cosmic, which is set to smash all known dimensions and realities together. Heaven, Hell, nor anything between is not safe from its effect.
The Sixth terror is The Returned. A confusing terror that returns the dead loved ones to you, sort of.
The Seventh terror is The Endless. It is the manifestation of something that never ends.
And the final terror is The Void, the antithesis of The Endless. It is not just nothingness because the lack of something is still a space. The Void is nothing in the sense of an absolute lack of anything—no time, no space, no history… no nothing.
Each one of these manifestations was a mini-story arc of an episode. But with the gravitas of the terrors, day to day concerns such as who wins “The Battle of the Bands” seem paltry and somewhat goofy even if the storyline has been shoehorned into having something to do with a Terror. Sabrina and Roz run for co-president in another episode and run as Witches. I love the solidarity and feminism the show was imparting, but I couldn’t help but want to scream and point at the impending doom that would swallow all life as we know it. As the series progressed, this problem of me jumping up and down got a bit more energetic, especially after the episode about The Endless that had great cameos from the aunts and Samson from the original saccharine Sabrina The Teenage Witch TV show. The ending of this episode seems bloated and confusing.
Season four of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was a midgrade season that ends an otherwise fantastic series. It had way too many side plots that felt too quick, too forced, and a bit convenient. Roz’s plotline, although fun, came out of the left field. Similarly to Sabrina’s love life, the ending seemed very sweet and cute until you look under the surface of it and see that it is dark and twisted in a very uncomfortable way.
Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and author of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina graphic novels had a lot to do, and not a lot to do it in. They were trying to have it all, and it did not payout in the long run, as there was not enough substance to these episodes. For me, the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will go down as a tv show that I enjoyed, but more so in seasons one and two.