Over the course of seven episodes Chilling Adventures has introduced a ton of different storylines. “Feast of Feasts” is an episode that reintroduces some of the more out of left field ones to the point where they suddenly click and show they have more to say and develop.
Roz’s storyline is a prime example. When we learned Roz was going blind in episode three, it felt like a leap for a B-story. That there aren’t that many shows tackling blindness on TV made it important, because everyone’s story should be represented, but would it really be best served on a show featuring witches?
Learning blindness runs in Roz’s family (at least the female Walkers), thanks to a lovely guest turn by L. Scott Caldwell, immediately expands her story and, from everything we’ve heard about the cunning so far, she’s going to become a major player. Whether it’s for or against Sabrina is yet to be determined but Miss Wardell’s little school assignment, meant to uncover Harvey’s Von Kunkle roots (it’s unclear whether her motives extended to Roz and Susie), blows up in spectacular fashion.
She couldn’t have predicted that Prudence would be the Feast of Feasts’ Queen and that Sabrina, in her not so infinite wisdom, would bring her to Baxter High for the day, but now Harvey has another target on his back and (lest there be any question of the pace picking up) we have a cliffhanger orchestrated by two-thirds of the Weird sisters, gone rogue, without consulting their front-sister, Prudence.
This is the other highlight of “Feast of Feasts.” It takes characters that seemed doomed to remain in the shadows (the pregnant wife, the other two sisters) and gives them key roles in what transpires. That’s not something every show bothers to do but Chilling Adventures is richer for expanding their roles. Even if Lady Blackwood, Agatha (Adeline Rudolph) and Dorcas (Abigail F. Cowen) never get another episode to rival this one, we’ve seen their agency and know they’re not just standing idly by in the background, even if we don’t hear their voices much on-screen.
Other thoughts on “Feast of Feasts:”
- Harvey and Tommy’s lives are on the line in the Kinkle mine, and while Harvey may be protected by whatever spell Sabrina mumbled, when she gave him a hug earlier, Tommy seems primed for injury, if not worse, when we find out his condition in episode eight.
- What’s been great about the Weird Sisters is they’re not just formidable (and sometimes evil) foes. Prudence challenges Sabrina. From the moment Sabrina learns of Prudence’s desire to be sacrificed she tries to change her mind, and she’s never swayed from that course, but Prudence has a point when she compares her faith in the Dark Lord to Sabrina’s faith in Harvey.
- Viet Nguyen directed this episode and both the misdirect with the colored paper (the lack of notice about a handmaiden position before pulling the ballots) and the camera pan to Father Blackwood’s empty plate, letting us know Lady Blackwood wouldn’t be the only witch interrogated with Hilda’s truth cake, are wonderful directorial choices.
- Cool FX Makeup: Dezmelda (Brenda McDonald), the witch in the woods who refused to be queen during her Feast of Feasts.
- Maybe it’s always been there but the more we learn about Harvey’s family’s history with witches, the more Harvey and Sabrina’s relationship sounds like Romeo and Juliet.
- Sabrina bears witness to two scenes of primal witch behavior this episode: the orgy and, in direct contrast with Prudence’s formal supper, the mob to get a piece of Mildred’s body (Carmel Amit). After seeing the latter especially, you have to wonder whether it’s possible to be a witch halfway or if eventually you cross the line.
Season 1 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is streaming on Netflix.