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By Lina Romero
Editor's Note: This piece contains spoilers. Do not read if you haven't seen the finale of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and still intend to. Also, trigger warning: mention of suicide.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was released in 2018. Although I was skeptical at first, given that I grew up watching Sabrina: The Teenaged Witch, the series exceeded my expectations. It's different, but not in a tacky Riverdale way like I’d feared. The gothic makeover gives the show a darkly delicious feel. The plot is compelling and original. The show also delivers strong representation of women, people of color, and queer people.
Unfortunately, the fourth and final season of the show is a letdown. The first few episodes, in which the characters begin battling foes called the Eldritch Terrors, are the same quality fans have come to expect. However, a shift occurs midway through when the meta-universe where everything is a TV show is introduced. Sabrina’s other self, aka Sabrina Morningstar, gets stuck in this universe and has to find her way out.
In the finale, Sabrina Morningstar manages to escape the meta-universe only to die in Sabrina Spellman’s arms. Her last words warn that the eighth Eldritch Terror, The Void, is coming. Spellman tries to defeat The Void by opening Pandora’s Box to trap it. However, her body begins to get sucked in, too; so her aunts and friends transfer her soul into the corpse of Sabrina Morningstar.
While this is happening, in Hell, Lilith delivers the news of Morningstar’s death and Lucifer decides to launch an attack on the Spellman’s, recruiting Morningstar’s widower, Prince Caliban. When they return, defeated, Lilith decides to commit revenge on the Dark Lord by stabbing him with a sacred blade and banishing him from Hell. Now that’s girl power.
The shows moves on to Sabrina, who survived the soul transference, celebrating her seventeenth birthday. At the party, Prudence and the others discover a piece of The Void is still inside Sabrina. Prudence, Nick, and some other witches devise a risky plan to remove it. Sadly, Sabrina doesn’t survive the ritual. Her aunts throw a funeral for both Sabrinas.
In the afterlife, Sabrina (now a combination her two selves) encounters her beau, Nick. He tells her that he went for a swim and drowned, but is happy to see her. Although the writers gloss over this plot, it reeks of suicide and is alarmingly played off as a positive thing because he can spend eternity with Sabrina.
And as for the minor characters, most of them don’t get proper resolutions apart from being shown alive at the funeral. Hilda and her husband move back in with Zelda. Prudence finally manages to murder her villainous father. But other than that, there are no satisfying conclusions. Even Zelda loses her female love interest for no good reason.
Sabrina’s death is gratuitous and feels like an effort to have some kind of emotional climax for the show. Nick joining her in the afterlife is concerning because the characters are both so young. And the minor characters, especially Roz, Theo, and the Weird Sisters, don't get the endings they deserve for playing their roles perfectly for four seasons. Overall, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Season 4, is a disappointment to fans who expected better.
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