‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ follows the story of a 16-year-old girl who is torn between her identity as a witch and her half-human nature. The first season of the Netflix series introduces us to various characters in the small town of Greendale, presenting a murkier and bloodier version of the story. With the tone tilting in the favour of horror and occult, this version of Sabrina’s story really is chilling, and the ending makes it all the spookier. If you haven’t yet seen the show, head over to Netflix.
Like any other witch, Sabrina was supposed to sign her name in the Book of the Beast. She had to make a deal with the devil in exchange for the power that comes with being a witch. However, due to her human side, Sabrina clung to her freedom. It would have been fine by Satan had it been someone else. Half-witch, half-human, Sabrina is a special case. Why exactly, she doesn’t know it yet. But behind her back, Ms Wardwell has been brewing plans to nudge her towards the Path of the Night. In the final episode of Part 1, her efforts come to fruition.
The Greendale Thirteen
By now, Ms Wardwell knows that nothing springs Sabrina into action other than the need to save everyone around her. The only way to get her to embrace her dark side is to call upon her hero complex. To create such a condition, she digs into the history of Greendale. Turns out, there is a horrific act in the past of the people of this small town, witches and mortals alike.
During the Salem witch trials, the witches in Greendale had been suffering too. Humans had been rounding them up, attacking anyone that aroused suspicion. With the thirteen witches in their captivity, the rest of the coven made a cruel decision. They knew that there was no going back for the thirteen who were already caught, but the rest of them could still be saved. They allowed the mortals to execute the Thirteen and used the distraction to save their own skin. The humans satiated their bloodlust and the rest of the witches cleaned up themselves in the meantime.
The Thirteen were tortured and hung from the tree. No one, not even other witches, bothered getting them down. It was only Dorothea Putnam, who had previously helped them enter the country, that cut them down and gave them a proper burial. However, because they were witches, they needed to be buried with their own customs by their own people. Due to this, their souls were restless and they held a grudge against the people of Greendale, humans and witches.
The Red Angel of Death
Aware of the vengeful spirits of the Greendale Thirteen, Ms Wardwell summons them to wreak havoc on the place. For two nights, they would be free to roam the streets, scouting the town for their victims. The next night, they would call upon the Red Angel of Death and open up the doors of every house for him so he can take away all the firstborns.
When Ambrose and Luke chance upon the Thirteen on the first night, the witches send a message through them. Heeding the warning, Father Blackwood asks every witch in the town to assemble at the church where they will wait out the danger together. When Sabrina expresses concern for the mortals, he makes it clear that he doesn’t care about them. With the help of her aunts and Ambrose, Sabrina creates a tornado warning which gets everyone in town to the shelter in Baxter High. They, too, plan to wait out the danger.
They encounter the first problem when Harvey and his father, as well as Roz and her grandmother, don’t show up at the shelter. To help Harvey, Sabrina asks Nicholas to stay with them. Susie tries to get Roz to safety, but when the Walkers refuse to budge, she decides to stay with them. The next glitch surfaces when Zelda is teleported away by Father Blackwood. Lady Blackwood has gone into labour and Zelda’s duties are called upon. Ambrose, too, is teleported away by Luke who confesses that he is in love with him.
With only Sabrina and Hilda holding the fort, Ms Wardwell proposes a new plan. This requires Sabrina to sign her name in the Book of the Beast. Though reluctant, Sabrina agrees to it because her pissing contest with the Dark Lord isn’t above the safety of entire Greendale. The submission washes over Sabrina with a new wave of power and she discovers what she has to do in order to get rid of the Thirteen. She conjures them back to the tree where she demands them to call off the Red Angel. When they refuse, she unleashes hellfire on them, which burns their souls and sends them to hell. With the ones to summon him gone, the Red Angel goes away too.
While this means a great thing for Greendale, Sabrina’s signing herself off to the Dark Lord changes the entire game. It is revealed that Ms Wardwell is actually Lilith, Satan’s foot soldier, whose goal was to get Sabrina on the Path of the Night. The Dark Lord has plans for her. What does this mean for Sabrina? Now that she has completely embraced her witch side, will she let go of her human friends? She bids goodbye to Harvey, who confesses to Roz and Susie that something was very different about her. Sabrina herself tells him that she tapped into something dark inside of her, and there is no going back from that.
Even though she is inherently a good person, we can expect Sabrina to become darker by the day. She had intended to defeat Satan when she joined the Academy, but she doesn’t know that a completely different path has been laid out for her now. Her new way of life will also put her in contention with her friends. Moreover, Harvey comes from a family of witch hunters and Luke’s ex had already been killed by one. This was just a passing mention in this season, but in the next, we expect things to escalate, with an all-out war brewing between witches and hunters.