TV REVIEW: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Part 4

Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) is back and this time she’s dealing with the fact that Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle) has decided to release the Eldritch Terrors into the world. The Terrors are series of powerful forces, each worse than the next who want to do nothing but consume whatever they come across. If that wasn’t enough the fact that there are now two Sabrinas coexisting is throwing the realms out of whack and there’s a raft of standard teenage problems forever lurking in the background.

I have a really mixed relationship with CAOS. I loved the first season a lot… like a lot a lot. And then the second and third season didn’t quite live up. I think in part because I am probably not the exact target audience and in part because there was too much going on. I went into part 4 a bit apprehensive. I was worried it would continue to slide down the slope and I knew that the series hadn’t been renewed.

This season brought another mixed bag. I loved the continuing character growth of Sabrina and watching her teeter on the balance between growing up and having the weight of the world on her shoulders and still wanting to be a teenage girl. The relationship between the two Sabrinas is fascinating and I enjoyed the theme of being your own best friend and that the love you have for yourself being a guiding light in your life.

The Eldritch terrors are pretty interesting “big bads” and it’s nice to get into a bit of classic mythology, but new to CAOS. I did think the earlier Terrors were a bit too easily overcome. They’re supposed to be world ending and Sabrina and her friends and family seemed to come up with ways to stop them a bit too quickly for my liking. It took away from their impact. It got better as we got into the bigger, badder Terrors and for the first time we saw the celestial realm (angels and the “other god”) needing to get involved because of the potential fall out. The way the celestial realm is portrayed makes you understand Lucifer Morningstar’s (Luke Cook) attitude a bit more and seeing him interact with the angels was a good laugh.

Without question the best episode is The Endless where Sabrina Morningstar ends up in an alternate universe that features the Aunts and Cousin Ambrose from the original Sabrina The Teenage Witch series. It’s a weird, creepy episode that gets under your skin. It’s psychologically dark more than gory-scary which CAOS usually is and I liked the change in pace.

Overall my biggest issue with CAOS is that the mythology isn’t consistent. It jumps the shark all over the place and things are not always logical. If that really matters to you then you might struggle. If you can say “fuck it! (as I eventually did) and just enjoy the performances, character interactions, sneaky attacks on the patriarchy and conservative intolerance and visual spectacle then it’s a great horror show. I found the ending a bit sudden and brutal. There were so many unanswered questions and so much more I wanted to see explored in future seasons and I am a bit gutted that this series has been cancelled before its story was completely told.

Not perfect, but a fitting end if it had to end.

4/5

1 Comment

  1. I still remember the original series of ‘The Teenage Witch’. Hard to beat in a sequel, I reckon. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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