Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 Review: A Bittersweet Finale For The End Of TimesJustin Carreiro at .
The witching hour is upon us! After four parts, it's time to say goodbye to our favorite witch and her ragtag group of allies fighting against evil.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 (specifically the last half of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2) ends Sabrina Spellman's journey with her biggest battle yet.
Demonic foes, relationship troubles, and a looming threat that plans to end everything, Greendale wasn't prepared for this wickedly nefarious end. The final eight chapters complete the story on a bittersweet note.
As compared to the previous stories, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 frames its narrative in a very structured way.
Each of the eight episodes speaks to one of the Eldritch terrors (a horror set forth by Faustus Blackwood) coming to Greendale to bring the end of days. The main story and characters are affected by the evil unleashed in town.
The episode typically follows suit of the group working together to stop the evil and save the day, for the time being.
Plus, there is still loads of witchy teen drama! Like, relationship troubles, lighthearted dancing, and battling against a supernatural creature or two.
All in a day for Sabrina Spellman's life.
The decision to frame the story in this way helped to make the progression easier to follow.
Each new chapter came with a new foe that needed to be vanquished. The villains grew stronger, tougher, and each one had a mission to end the world. While the villains changed the tone of the story, they were connected by the same Eldritch thread.
It's time. It's time! Can you feel that electricity in the air? That's The Void! The Void is coming here! [Manical laughter]Faustus
This method removed the uncertainty of the story's core theme. Viewers could easily understand what both sides were trying to achieve, whether it was Sabrina saving the world or Faustus/The Void ending it.
I enjoyed this structure at times because it foreshadowed the enemies that were coming. When one got defeated, you knew a scarier unknown enemy was right around the corner.
That anticipation added some excitement to see who (or what) was coming next!
Though, that excitement wasn't strong enough to sustain throughout the entire story. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 is missing a bit of magic from previous seasons.
Be it the formalized episode structure or knowing the end was coming, the journey stayed at the same energy level throughout. Almost as if the show was content with hitting the beats they needed to hit but not wanting to go out with a bang.
And with the chapters needing to complete their self-contained battles, there wasn't much wiggle room to have fun and explore other adventures. Sure, there was the occasional B or C plot, but they had to be wrapped up quickly to focus on other areas.
For instance, in the case of Zelda's romance with Marie.
Why didn't they get more screentime?
It's great they seemed happy, and it felt smooth, but their relationship was barely shown.
The other more established couples got the scenes needed to deal with their couple drama. If there were more footage shown of their relationship, their breakup would've had a stronger emotional pull.
The same goes for Nick's relationship with Sabrina.
The "Nabrina" shippers cheered for their endgame status, but does anyone else think their reunion seemed abrupt?
Nick made a huge point during Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 that he and Sabrina weren't a fit. After everything Sabrina went through to save him, he still ended things. And, his story during the first half of Part 4 was only about having fun with Prudence.
Granted, his love for Sabrina was always there, but the push for endgame status seemed more about having that ship-worthy moment. There needed to be more build-up to earn this satisfying feeling.
Either the couple should've stayed together after their adventures in hell or stayed apart. The time in between is filler now.
Speaking of Sabrina, her journey is the strongest out of the cast. This includes both sides of her: Sabrina Spellman and Sabrina Morningstar.
I liked that both characters developed a close sisterly bond. They're the only ones throughout the three dimensions who understood their mindsets and what they've gone through.
It's a shame we didn't get more friendship and dancing moments between them.
Sabrina Spellman's existential crisis about feeling complete in the human world was an interesting problem for her to face.
For the last two seasons, we as viewers witnessed her fight to hold onto her human connections. However, when faced with a life of her choosing, she felt disconnected from the human world.
Now, compare that to Sabrina Morningstar's life in Hell: Sabrina was happy, fulfilled, and thriving as the future Queen of Hell. She had Caliban, a supportive father, and responsibilities in her new role. It's a vastly different mindset to the other Sabrina.
Roz: He's a dreamboat.
Sabrina: I don't want to be dating a different guy every night.
Roz: Isn't that the fun of being single?
Sabrina: I just want to meet someone who I can connect with on a deep meaningful level. Mr. Right.
Could this be Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's way of saying that her true destiny was to rule Hell?
Sabrina Spellman eventually acclimated back into her normal life, but it required some magic and games to get her connections to focus on her. There's a reason part of her wanted to rule Hell.
We can't ignore the possibility that a different path was the right move for her.
On the other hand, the other characters had some developments throughout Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4. But, it paled in comparison to previous seasons.
Roz discovering her witchy heritage was an interesting choice for her character.
The "Cunning" seemed like a separate entity from witchcraft, which positively opened up the world of having humans experience magical powers. But for her to be a witch all along, it took away some of the magic and confined it to the expected.
Theo, Harvey, Robin, Zelda, and Hilda only had plots that focused on their relationships. Once those hurdles were conquered, they went back to playing their parts to stop the Eldritch terrors.
As for Prudence, did she even have a solo plot focused on her?
She played her part as a Sentinel, but there was nothing more to the story. Getting revenge on Faustus was a carryover from previous chapters.
Though, Agatha and Lilith grew the most in their character developments.
Lilith's pursuit of power blew-up in her face in ways that no one would've expected. She fought so hard to get a position in Hell, but it all came crashing down around her. It's a shame we won't get to see more of her redemption against Lucifer.
Agatha, on the other hand, prospered against her affliction.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 is the first time where it seemed like Agatha had a standalone plot as viewers got a good sense about the character and a deeper insight into her mind, especially one that wasn't simply Prudence's minion.
Agatha needed more development in the past. I liked this more noble and assertive Agatha.
The biggest issue with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 comes from its ending. Specifically, the endings for the show as a whole involving Sabrina and Nick's solo ending.
Firstly, Sabrina Spellman shouldn't have died.
After Sabrina Morningstar and Sabrina Spellman died to stop the villains, the ending didn't feel like a satisfying conclusion. So much had happened with our main character (and her doppelganger) that losing both took away from the happy ending the show was trying to achieve.
Lucifer: Tell me, False Daughter. Is it true?
Sabrina: Is what true?
Lucifer: That my daughter Sabrina Morningstar is dead and that your soul occupies her body?
Sabrina: Yes, it's true.
Lucifer: The gall of you! You send my daughter to her death, you claim her body for herself, and you don't even bother to tell me ... her father! Well, False Daughter, I want it back! Her body.
[Caliban arms the minions]
Lucifer: Deliver yourself willingly or I will take her body by force. Either way, Sabrina Morning will have a queen's burial in Hell!
Sure, maybe Sabrina Morningstar had to disappear to solve the paradox, but Sabrina Spellman should've been rewarded with a full life. Her death in the crossfire of stopping The Void, when most other main characters lived, was too high of a price for the story.
Both Sabrinas deserved happiness after saving the world multiple times.
In Nick's case, his ending sends the wrong message.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina played a bit with ambiguity to explain his death, but let's call it what it was: Nick killed himself to be with Sabrina in the afterlife. The show pushed the endgame status right to the bitter end, not caring about how it got there.
This ending shouldn't have happened because it enforces the idea that 'ships/relationships are a life or death mentality.
Nick: I got you something. An early birthday present.
[Nick hands her a locket and opens it up]
Nick: One for me, and one for you. So that I'll always be able to find you.
Sabrina: Nick, I love it and you.
Nick could've lived a long life and found more happy moments to fulfill his journey. His "story" doesn't end because Sabrina's not in it. As romantic as the plot tried to make it, the development is pretty toxic.
Sabrina and Nick should've both been alive by the end of the series, especially if they wanted to keep their endgame status.
And it definitely wouldn't have been balanced; Sabrina wouldn't have ended things if the roles were reversed. She had too many family members and loved ones still alive she cared about.
Last Thoughts From The Spellman Mortuary:
Dorian's death was shocking but also confusing. Isn't the only way to kill him is by destroying the painting?
Melissa Joan Hart should've made a surprise cameo too. I was waiting for the twist, but it never came. (Wasted opportunity!)
- What is the fascination with musical numbers? Riverdale is filled with them, and they popped up too much here. The songs felt too much like filler at times.
Now, over to you, Sabrina fans!
What did you think of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4?
Did the finale live up to your expectations? Which familiar face did you want to see return? Who's happy ending did you like the best?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 is available to stream now on Netflix.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.