There’s a moment this episode when Ambrose calls Sabrina “cocky.” It’s when Sabrina brings up that the exorcism on Susie’s uncle (Jason Beaudoin) will be good practice for when she takes down the Dark Lord. Sabrina brushes the critique aside (as she does a lot of people this episode, when they try to talk about something that’s important to them), but it’s worth noting, because while the exorcism is the main event, meant to show Sabrina off, helping save her friends, she’s starting to grow out of touch with the people she cares about most.
Take Harvey, Roz, and Susie coming to her after the demon inside Jesse’s body issues a psychological attack. Yes, Sabrina takes care of the demon (a fact they don’t realize) and doesn’t want them to invite more danger into their lives, but her dismissal of Harvey’s concerns feels hypocritical after everything he’s taken her on her word for lately. The baptism, the mole, the farm expo. He could’ve thrown that in her face, too, and complained about how secretive she’s been, but he doesn’t give her a hard time, other than to be disappointed. Slowly, Sabrina retracts her dismissal but continues to push the likelihood that he imagined the Dark Lord. Since she knows he probably didn’t, it’s especially cruel, since she doesn’t have to tell him she’s a witch to be supportive.
Part of Sabrina’s unwillingness to play with others comes from being burned lately by the people she loves (her parents, her aunts, etc.). We see how that’s affected her with her treatment of Miss Wardell, who tries to play nice after being found out by Batibat. It would’ve been better had Sabrina stayed firm since apparently, in all that spying, Miss Wardell never caught wind of Sabrina’s plan to go after the Dark Lord. She could be pretending but now the word “prophecy’s” been dropped into the mix, and we’re left with the comfort, or discomfort, that the Dark Lord does have a plan and it goes back a long ways.
Far enough back that his meeting with an 8-year old Harvey in the mines was planned, so he’d rue the day he’d date a half-witch in the future? I wouldn’t put it past him. The Dark Lord’s stepping out and it’s exactly when Sabrina’s developed a big head.
Other thoughts on “An Exorcism in Greendale”:
- Could Father Blackwood’s twins be the twins Sabrina saw in her malum malice vision?
- What’s the verdict on whether any part of Miss Wardell’s story about Edward is true? We know she’s working for the Dark Lord and that Sabrina’s threats to tell the High Priest are empty, since he already knows what she’s up to, but in the comics Miss Wardell and Edward did have a past so is the show making a nod to that or planning to take it further?
- With all the talk of imprisoned demons, I love that the show isn’t brushing over Ambrose’s nightmare and that he is speaking up for himself (not that Sabrina’s listening).
- In the comics, Sabrina used magic to catch Harvey’s eye. Here Hilda throws love drops into Luke’s beverage without asking Ambrose (or Luke) if that’s alright.
- I’m still not sure what Sabrina’s schedule is, between Baxter High and the Academy, but how convenient for the show to change scenes before Sabrina gets to tell Nick off for suggesting that she two-time Harvey (and no, I’m not confident she told him off, because Sabrina’s been Witch-ified).
- Religion, especially the bigotry and homophobia found in some corners, takes prominence this episode. The exorcism, itself, is a Catholic rite. We meet Roz’s dad (Reese Alexander), who’s a reverend. Roz thinks her blindness might have something to do with her faith (which, if Roz decides to embrace religion could be another source of division between her and Sabrina when she finds out she’s a witch), and we see the intolerance Susie is up against in her home, when her father makes comments about Jesse’s sexuality.
Season 1 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is streaming on Netflix.