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Sabrina grapples with loneliness in an uneven Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Illustration for article titled Sabrina grapples with loneliness in an uneven iChilling Adventures of Sabrina/i
Image: Diyah Pera/Netflix
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Is it possible that the greatest danger faced by people in Sabrina’s life is Sabrina herself? Sure, they’ve got six more eldritch terrors to face down, and Ambrose says he can hear some apocalyptic drums beating… but Sabrina risked the collapse of reality because she was kind of bored and lonely. And now instead of, say, meeting some new people, she’s ready to wreak havoc again by Frankensteining together a new boyfriend out of her exes.

She’s also a very inconsiderate wedding guest, which is just rude, but the centerpiece wedding event of the episode suffers from unevenness generally. After a scene earlier in the episode where Hilda says Zelda is forcing her to have a wedding she doesn’t want, we don’t actually get to see it. Who are all those wedding guests? Did Zelda design the service herself? Why would Sabrina, a teenager, be a flower girl instead of Hilda’s maid of honor? We’re told there’s a conflict over this event, but then there’s no event. There’s a suggestion that the wedding is ostentatious and more than Hilda wants, but it’s an odd thing to shove entirely offstage. There is a cheesy looking reception, which serves the sole purpose of killing off a minor character to prove how dangerous the bad guy is.

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That bad guy is the latest eldritch terror, whose title, “The Uninvited,” somehow leads to ZERO references to the Alanis Morissette song. Because he’s just one man, he ends up interacting with more people than the disembodied Dark did, which makes him seem a lot less menacing than a group of silent miners. It’s hard to be really spooky after we’ve seen you get a bath. And that bath would seem to counteract the entire point of his ritual—people don’t want to invite him in because of what he looks like. If he looks like a normal guy, then he’s just a rando showing up at a wedding, not a person who’s clearly down on his luck and in need of charity. But even that version of him is simplistic. It’s hard to blame a woman alone with a small child for not inviting a large, strange man into her home. Are these terrors all meant to be moralistic? The Dark was much more amorphous, a monster going bump in the night, but the Uninvited is penalizing people for their perceived lack of charity. Plus, the miners were targeting people experiencing homelessness, which would seem to put them at contrary aims to the Uninvited. And the upcoming Weird (getting strong Lovecraft vibes there) seems like a standard monster again. If these are just monsters of the week, then it doesn’t really matter what their vibe is. But these are all supposed to be united in one cause! Is their deal going after undeserving humans, or menacing all humans, deserving or otherwise?

Illustration for article titled Sabrina grapples with loneliness in an uneven iChilling Adventures of Sabrina/i
Image: Netflix

The upside to this episode’s hijinks is that we get to spend a little time with Lilith again, whose tendency to roll her eyes at whatever nonsense Sabrina has gotten herself into always provides the show with a needed jolt of levity. Her allegiance with the Morningstars means she’s far less likely to be scheming, but she’s still one of the show’s funniest characters. If everyone actually listens to Lucifer and there’s no more back and forth with Hell, it would be a real shame. Sabrina responds to his verdict with much more seriousness than when Ambrose told her to stop hanging out with Sabrina Morningstar, but let’s hope that’s not the last of Lilith. Besides, Sabrina Morningstar is the queen of Hell now. It sure seems like she should be the one making rules about who can visit it and who can’t.

But alas, she doesn’t object, and after a fond farewell with Sabrina Spellman, the new best friends are split apart. Thus sending Spellman back to the drawing board for someone new to hang out with, or in this case, the candle board.

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Stray observations

  • I have mixed feelings about so much of Sabrina’s bad behavior coming from being single. For one thing, it sounds silly when a teenager calls herself a spinster. And it’s not exactly great strides for Sabrina as a character that she’s this mad because she briefly doesn’t have a boyfriend. But also…it is hard to be single as a teenager when all your friends are in relationships.
  • Why are Sabrina and her friends all seated at different tables at the wedding? If you were inviting a bunch of mortal teens to your wedding, you’d seat them all together, wouldn’t you?
  • Speaking of the mortals, Roz is spending the night at Harvey’s house?? Is this a thing that teenagers do now? It makes them seem like they’re 25.
  • Hoping to see Prudence get a little more to do in the rest of the season. It’s a shame to see her sidelined as Nick’s girlfriend.
  • I really thought they were doing a “what’s in the box??” thing with Caliban but then uhhh they showed us.
  • The ultimate vanquishing of the Uninvited was kind of cruel! And also, is Sabrina still technically married?
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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Lisa is a writer and editor based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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