Welcome one and all to Multiversity’s very own ‘Witching Hour,’ in which we take a look at Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Join me every Wednesday for a recap of the first season. “Chapter Four” ended with a pretty intense cliffhanger. Sabrina just solved her father’s puzzle only to release a horrendous looking demon, remincisnt of a Deadite fromThe Evil Dead. So lets dive in.
1. Dream a Little Dream
This episode is probably my favorite thus far, as we are now fully immersed in Sabrina’s world. We get the gist of the show, and have a sense of the overall direction the show is going in. Sabrina laid it out pretty clearly last week, vowing to conjure, bind, and banish the Dark Lord himself. Now that we’ve been firmly placed in this world and know more about it, the fun begins.
This demon that Sabrina unwillingly released is named Battibat as we later find out from Ms. Wardwell. She is a sleep demon and boy, does she have a grudge against the Spellmans. Basically, Battibat can put her victims to sleep and torment and kill them in their dreams, much like Freddy Kreuger.
The Spellmans. the clever witches and warlock, that they are, cast an entrapment charm that will forever keep Battibat from escaping without gaining the spell to get out. So, the majority of this episode takes place in the Spellman residence. Whereas the last few episodes have been world building Chapter Five shifts its focus strictly on the Spellmans. Through their dreams-turned-nightmares, we see some fascinating character insights and development. We’re reminded that this group of people are family and no matter how they try to hurt each other (See Zelda and Hilda), they draw strength from one another.
Once again, I’m impressed with the show’s music. As each Spellman’s dream devolves into a nightmare, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong’s “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” is played in the background, creating and maintaining its eerie tone throughout the rest of the episode.
2. Zelda and Hilda’s Nightmares
I like how the show juxtaposes both Zelda’s nightmare, that she’ll permanently kill Hilda, and Hilda’s, which shows their bodies sewn together permanently.
Zelda dreams that The Dark Lord as played by Father Blackwood, has accepted an invitation to dinner at the Spellman residence. Zelda decides to cook a plump little kid whom she tutors in the dark arts, as The Dark Lord loves his red meat, and Hilda bakes a vegetable pie. Dark Lord Blackwood asks Zelda if the child was Christian or a “Child of Night.” When Zelda tells him where she got the boy, Dark Lord Blackwood chooses Hilda’s dish. Zelda stews in bitter hatred and once again, bonks her sister on the head with the shovel. Only this time, Hilda can’t come back. Zelda is completely devastated. Given all the shit-talking I’ve done about Zelda, it’s nice to see that her greatest fear is a life without her sister.
Quite oppositely, Hilda dreams of breaking free from living in Zelda’s shadow when Principal Hawthorne asks her out for dinner. Zelda throws insult after insult at Hilda, trying to bring her down, only this time she won’t allow it. Hilda has a lovely evening with Principal Hawthorne until he reveals that he absorbed his twin brother in the womb. He lifts up his shirt to show a deformity on his body as his twin. Hilda turns to her side to find that Zelda has been sewn into her body and she is stuck with her forever.
These two nightmares have perfectly explained the Spellman sister’s relationship.
3. Ambrose’s Nightmare.
Ambrose’s dream truly starts out wonderful. He us freed from his house arrest. He’ll once more be able to live among people and actually do things. He won’t be eternally confined to his house with his two old aunts. However, Ambrose is stabbed to death and he awakens on an operating table in the Spellman’s mortuary. As his lifeless body stares up, we see another Ambrose perform an autopsy on himself. Over and over again. Batibat uses Ambrose’s fear and loneliness against him in this dream. She later underestimates him When Sabrina saves the day. Spoiler: Sabrina saves the day.Continued below
4. Sabrina Spellman, Lucid Dreamer.
Sabrina’s dream sees Harvey asking for her hand in marriage. Didn’t Sabrina just turn 16? Sabrina is compelled to tell Harvey the truth about her dark origins. He seems cool with it at first and they continue on with their ceremony until a mob led by Harvey’s dad and together they put Sabrina in a coffin resembling the chokey from Matilda.
This is when Ms. Wardwell arrives. It takes some time, but the demoness manages to convince Sabrina that she’s only dreaming and she divulges all of the information she knows about Batibat. Wardwell tells Sabrina to bounce as soon as she wakes up. She tells her that she only has one shot at this, and she needs to get out of the house or she’ll be killed.
When Sabrina wakes up she doesn’t even think twice about ignoring Wardwell’s advice. She sets out to save her family. Our favorite familiar, Salem, gets another chance to shine here. As soon as Batibat discovers Sabrina is no longer asleep she goes on the prowl. Shape-shifting into a glamour of Sabrina, Salem leads the sleep demon on a wild goose chase through the house, while Sabrina concocts a sleeping potion.
Using the power of lucid dreaming and, magic most likely, Sabrina is able to walk through the nightmares of her aunts and cousin. Zelda is too distraught to wake up, while Hilda is able to tell Sabrina that her spider familiars could be useful in capturing Batibat. Sabrina is able to convince Ambrose to create a diversion in order to give her time to catch the sleep demon.
Once captured the Spellman family eats an uncomfortable breakfast, as they all know Sabrina has seen their worst nightmares. To avoid this shame, Sabrina tells them she barely remembers anything. It’s a simple but kind act, giving our heroine a moment to show off her love for her family. Then she remembers how she woke up.
So how did Sabrina actually wake up? Using the mirrors she set up in “Chapter Four,” Ms. Wardwell sees the Spellman family under Batibat’s influence. Using her powers, Wardwell is able to walk through the Spellmans’ nightmares like Sabrina does later. There are some funny moments, Wardwell interrupts Hilda and Principal Hawthorne and walks into Ambrose’s dream before making her way to Sabrina’s nightmare.
After she tells Sabrina to skedaddle when she awakens, Wardwell uses a voodoo doll she made with Sabrina’s hair and pricks her finger. Sabrina wakes up with a bleeding finger. Wardwell makes dream walking look easy just like Michelle Gomez makes being a sadistic man eating demon look easy. We glimpse Wardwell hovering above the ground before she returns from the dreams. This lady’s got some power. In “Chapter Four,” Hilda tells Ambrose how dangerous it is to use astral projection. Here, she does this seamlessly. It’s a gentle reminder that Sabrina will always be out of her league in terms of power.
At the end of the episode, Sabrina confronts Wardwell and after a brief charade, Wardwell asks Sabrina in. What a cliffhanger! The jig is up Ms. Wardwell. Next week we’ll take a look at the consequences of this episode, which overall was a fun one off that showcased some magical fun with some scares thrown in. Til next time, folks.