Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, Chapter Nine Review: The Returned Man

by Rachel Bellwoar

And in one foul swoop, all of Sabrina’s mortal friends know that she’s a witch.

Dorothea (Anastasia Bandey) told Susie the Spellmans were witches (and coming after Hilda’s rescue, it’s not a hard sell). I’m not sure exactly what tipped Roz off to the truth. The fog made it hard to discern the woman she saw in her limbo vision, but she might have been Sabrina’s mother (not that Roz should know what Diana Spellman looks like).
Harvey is the only person Sabrina tells personally (twice, since he remembers that she told him once before) but since she’s telling him because she brought his brother back from the dead, it doesn’t go over well. Harvey has every reason to be mad at Sabrina but from the information she gives him (there’s a whole lot more she doesn’t get to) I don’t know that he should be as mad at her as he is. As a consequence of her actions he’s put in a position where he has to kill his brother, and that’s something you don’t get over (Tommy’s body may have been soulless but a gun, while quick and on hand, is a traumatic choice for a murder weapon) but he doesn’t even know about the Soul-Eater, or that the resurrection spell required Sabrina to take a life.
As for Agatha, I’m surprised, in Sabrina’s desperation, she doesn’t bring up killing her, instead of restoring the balance with Tommy’s life. Then again, she did what she had to do first – retrieve Tommy’s soul. Until then, there wasn’t much use upsetting the Weird sisters, and once she failed, there wasn’t much use bringing it up at all.
Roz’s role in the show continues to be an interesting one. Unlike Sabrina, she’s been on the level with her friends about her cunning from the start and it creates an interesting dynamic where Sabrina gets to play second fiddle to Roz. A newcomer to the show could easily mistake her for the lead in those scenes and that means the show’s not letting Roz down. Sabrina may be the one with her name in the title, but Roz is no less formidable. She could carry her own show and maybe, someday, she will.
For now, though, you can tell this season is coming to an end from the resurgence of characters who bring up Sabrina’s parents this episode. If I was a betting mortal, I’d say we’re finally going to learn what happened to Edward and Diana Spellman in the finale (and what Diana meant when she told Sabrina, in limbo, that her baby was taken from her). For Sabrina, though, the bigger question might not be ‘what happened to her parents’ but ‘are she and Harvey broken up?’
Other thoughts on “The Returned Man:”

Diyah Pera/Netflix

  • Would the resurrection spell have worked if Sabrina hadn’t tried to find a loophole to save Agatha’s life, or is Aunt Zelda right when she says magic always comes with a price (especially when that magic is necromancy)?
  • Shoplifting is out of character for Susie, but they might not have wanted people to know they were reading Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, where the main character changes from a man to a woman.
  • If Dorothea is who says she is, there’s no reason to think she’ll hurt Susie, but there’s something ominous about Susie taking orders from a ghost.
  • ~ COMICS SPOILER ~ In the comics, Harvey is the one who’s killed and resurrected, not his brother. He’s also killed at Sabrina’s Dark Baptism, not weeks later. While it marks a major change from the comics, Tommy dying is neither better or worse than the source material, just very different.
  • I forgot to mention how cool Miss. Wardell’s yarn was last episode. This episode we see the yarn make a reappearance but also Nick put a stake in a witches’ footprint, which might have the yarn beat.

Season 1 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is streaming on Netflix.

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