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Recap: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 1

January 11, 2020
6 min read

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ is set in the unassuming town of Greendale where Sabrina Spellman lives with her two aunts, Zelda and Hilda, and cousin Ambrose. She goes to Baxter High; has a boyfriend, named Harvey, whom she adores; and two best friends, Rosalind and Susie. Life is great for Sabrina, but there is a secret she is hiding from her friends. She is a witch, half-witch to be precise. The show follows her journey as she tries to strike a balance between the two worlds, but things spill over from one to another and Sabrina has to face the consequences.

The first season of the show takes place over the course of ten episodes that chart the first phase in the journey of the teenage witch who has, unbeknownst to her, a great conspiracy working against her and the family secrets that will decide her fate. If you want to brush your memory over all that happened in Part 1 of the show, here’s a quick recap for you.

Book of the Beast

On her 16th birthday, Sabrina has to make a choice. Either embrace her witch side in all its glory or give it up altogether in favour of mortal life. It is not really a big deal in the witch community as every witch has to go through this procedure. Sabrina, however, is not every other witch. Finding out more about the ceremony, she discovers that she has to sign her name in the Book of the Beast, a ledger of sorts that has the name of every witch and warlock who has pledged their undying allegiance to the Dark Lord.

It is not just the loyalty, but also their body and soul that they trade for the power that Satan would bestow on them. This means they have to be at his beck and call and do whatever he demands of them, no questions asked. Sabrina doesn’t understand why she should have to trade her freedom to someone else and, in the nick of time, decides to back out from the trade.

Family Secrets

Sabrina’s choice might be daring but it is not without consequences. Father Blackwood holds her accountable for backing out on her promise and she is forced to stand trial in front of Satan. During this, it is revealed that her father and Zelda had signed her name in the Book of the Beast when she was little, promising her to the Dark Lord. This was a trade he had made to marry Diana, a mortal. This would mean that Sabrina should sign the Book of the Beast and pledge herself to Satan, but then Hilda comes out with a secret of her own.

Turns out, before this, she and Diana had baptised Sabrina, which nullifies that promise made to Satan. This leads to an agreement between Sabrina and Father Blackwood. She can continue to live her mortal life, but she also has to attend The Academy of the Unseen Arts. Meanwhile, another witch enters Sabrina’s life. Back in the first episode, high-school teacher Ms Wardwell had been possessed by a witch, who turns out to be Satan’s foot-soldier, hell-bent on steering Sabrina towards him.

The Mortals

While Sabrina fights for her right to freedom, her friends go through a turmoil of their own. Harvey has a hard time at home, with his father pushing him to put in more effort and work in the mines. He tells Sabrina that when he was eight, he saw a terrifying thing in the mines (which turns out to be the Dark Lord) and has been afraid of going there ever since. Rosalind is depressed because she is losing her eyesight and will soon go blind. However, she discovers that it is because of a curse that was put on the Walker women by the witches. In return for losing one sense, she will develop another, which her grandmother calls the “cunning”, which is more or less the psychic power which opens unimaginable doors for Roz.

Susie has been going through a revelation of her own. She is bullied at school for dressing like a boy but receives comfort in an ancestor, Dorothea, whom she relates to greatly. She begins to appear to Susie and educates her about the history of Greendale, the secret of the Spellmans and what role the Putnams played in all of this. Also, another discovery is made when it comes to light that Harvey comes from the family of witch-hunters. This leads Prudence, Agatha and Dorcus- Sabrina’s frenemies at the witch school- to hold a grudge against him. Agatha and Dorcus retaliate by collapsing the mines while a lot of people are still in there. Harvey survives but his brother doesn’t.

The Truth Comes to Light

With Harvey in pieces on his brother’s death, Sabrina decides to resurrect Tommy. She is warned that it will have consequences, but she doesn’t pay heed. She sacrifices Agatha to complete the spell but then brings her back with the help of the Cain soil in her backyard. This breaks the core principle of the spell and Tommy comes back, but soulless.

In another attempt to save him, Sabrina enters the limbo to get his soul out. There she comes face to face with her distraught mother and fails to save Tommy. With no hope for him, she comes out to Harvey, telling him everything about her witch life and how she brought Tommy back from the dead. This leads to a crack in their relationship and they break up. Meanwhile, through her cunning, Roz too figures out Sabrina’s secret, and she and Susie wonder if Sabrina’s friendship is safe for them.

Crossing Over

After patiently waiting for so long, Ms Wardwell finally comes up with a perfect plan to make Sabrina sign herself over to the Dark Lord. She conjures the Greendale Thirteen, the witches who were betrayed by their own kind and butchered by the mortals. With vengeance against the entire town, the Thirteen call upon the Red Angel of Death who takes away every firstborn, once the door is opened for him. Having exhausted all their resources, Sabrina sees no other way but to follow Ms Wardwell’s instructions, who makes her sign her name in the Book of the Beast. With the new power, Sabrina unleashes hellfire on the Thirteen and the Red Angel is called off, and the town is saved. But this means the Sabrina has opened up herself to the dark side now.

Meanwhile, Zelda delivers Lady Blackwood’s twins, the elder one being a girl. Knowing Father Blackwood’s desire for a son as his heir (who’d otherwise be Prudence, his illegitimate child), Zelda knows that the girl would be killed off. To save her from this fate, she keeps the baby girl and lies to Blackwood that the boy took over his other twin and there is only one child.

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