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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina takes a turn for the direst of circumstances

Illustration for article titled iChilling Adventures of Sabrina/i takes a turn for the direst of circumstances
Image: Diyah Pera/Netflix
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Well, that has to be the highest death count in an episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina yet. By the end of the episode, Hilda’s still dead, all three Weird Sisters are goners, Zelda has been re-killed, Robin and Nick are dead, Roz and Theo are in the midst of dying, Harvey’s dead, and Sabrina, Lucifer, and Lilith have all been frozen in carbonite. Even Mambo Marie gets taken out! 

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Which can only mean one thing. It’s time for Ambrose to save the day, along with his new comrades in arms, the hedge witches. At last count, he’s the sole surviving Spellman, the final girl* (*boy) of the episode. 

But we’ll leave prognosticating for another day. In the meantime, “The Judas Kiss” lives up to its name, offering a variety of betrayals. Sabrina chooses helping Lucifer over helping her aunts, Caliban (obviously) betrays her, Faustus betrays Lucifer, Agatha betrays her sisters, Robin betrays his family, and on, and on. It’s a lot of betrayals! The only betrayal that doesn’t happen is that Sabrina thinks twice about kissing Harvey and hurting him and Roz. The show hasn’t really had the chance to dive into the repercussions of her candle wick cutting ritual, but either way, Roz is still her best friend, so regardless of the current status of her feelings for Harvey, that’s still a person she loves whose life she’s considering flipping over.

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All told, the deaths that follow are knit together very well. The gang is facing terrible odds, so the show walks through exactly what could happen with those odds. Robin can save the mortals once, but not a second time. And once Sabrina is removed from the equation, Ambrose and Prudence are left to defend the Spellman household on their own, which is a lot for just two people, particularly when facing off against Faustus, who’s had a lot more life to come up with tricks to take them out. If there is a worst death here, it might be Prudence, who has to hear Agatha say she’s killed Dorcas before killing Agatha herself, and who is then killed by the man she’s been trying to kill for a long time. Zelda goes on a journey of spiritual discovery only to die again instantly, because no one is around to stop Faustus.

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Illustration for article titled iChilling Adventures of Sabrina/i takes a turn for the direst of circumstances
Image: Diyah Pera/Netflix

Really, the only part that doesn’t track is that Sabrina goes back to Judas instead of straight to Pandemonium to hand in her prize. She already lost a previous challenge doing this exact thing. Why would she go back to wave Judas’ money in front of his face? And beyond that, why would she hand over the money for even a second? The concept that Caliban would resort to trickery to ensure he emerges victorious in this competition isn’t strange at all—we’ve already seen him do this, so of course he was going to try something this time through. But it seems like there could have been other ways to get him and Sabrina to the same place that didn’t involve her being oddly reckless with the spoils of her victory. Everything is at stake here! She ignored her family to get here. Why wouldn’t she go straight to court?

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One of the crueler betrayals may be Lilith opting to create an heir to unseat Sabrina. It’s not like Lilith has much choice at that point—she’s desperate to come up with a way to survive, and she’s a consummate survivor. Plus, she’s at least forthcoming with Sabrina about what she did, and the terms of her alliance with Lucifer. By the end of the episode, when all three of them are encased in carbonite (yes obviously the show is calling this something different, but you can’t make me), they look an awful lot like a family, with Lilith as Sabrina’s new stepmother.

All told, things are looking pretty grim for the group here. Almost like someone would need to use a significant amount of magic to undo what’s been done here, don’t you think?

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Stray observations

  • Unholy regalia? More like unholy mess, if you ask me! Sorry sorry. 
  • I’m assuming a lot of this will get undone in the finale? I was on the fence about parts of it holding up until the pagans just went ahead and won. That said, as she’s a non-Spellman the death I am most concerned about seeing overturned is Prudence, who also went out in such a tragic way. #justiceforPrudence
  • Time is obviously not infinite, even on Netflix, but I do wish the show hadn’t prioritized Zelda’s journey quite so much in Limbo. They even sort of lampshade it by having Hilda nudge Zelda into talking about why “we’re” here instead of just herself. 
  • That said, I’m pretty sure “Hilda, it’s the Nether Realm.” “Didn’t know I’d have to walk. Thought there’d be perks” might be my favorite joke of the season. Would love if Hilda could continue commentary on the proceedings going forward.
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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Lisa is a writer and editor based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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