In an era of sequels, reboots, and remakes, Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina proved not to be soulless like so many are. It was vastly different enough from the 90’s sitcom that its existence was never unjustified.
Now that Netflix has canceled the series, and its run its course, we can look back on it as a whole and reflect. It was a series that had many highs, but also many lows. So we thought it would be fun to look at the 5 Best and Worst episodes of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!
5. Chapter 4 – Witch Academy
Following Sabrina’s trial, it was admittedly fascinating to get to delve deeper into the world of the coven. That said, this entire episode felt like it lost a bit of the mystery and intrigue the first three episodes built.
At times, it felt like it was trying too hard to be Harry Potter, with a little of CW teen drama. It’s not necessary a bad episode, or even a bad setting. But after spending so much time with Sabrina torn between the worlds, it was a little underwhelming when the Academy of Unseen Arts was pretty much the same dynamic as Baxter High, but with magic.
4. Chapter 9 – Mephisto Waltz
The second season finale had its share of twist and turns and did provide a cool and satisfying ending to the season. That said, it suffers greatly from a misused villain who’s far less threatening or intimidating.
At this point. Lucifer had been built up for two seasons, and when we finally meet him, he seems like a whiny male model who doesn’t inspire an ounce of fear. Blackwood was far more threatening and formidable than Lucifer ever was on this series. And this season finale suffered from his lackluster introduction.
3. Chapter 5 – Dreams in a Witch House
Sometimes, character-driven bottle episodes can be really enlightening and can foster great development. And while this episode gets creative at delving into the Spellmans’ deepest fears, the plotline didn’t really justify an entire episode.
It drags at times, and kind of ruins the momentum that had been building for the previous four episodes. Had it just been a subplot in a larger episode, it might have worked. But to spend the entire runtime slowly moving between each dream just inspired viewers to keep checking how many minutes were left until it was over.
2. Chapter 21 – The Hellbound Heart
Prior to the Season 3 premiere, fans were treated to an incredibly catchy music video titled “Straight to Hell” which promised to do exactly what this episode did. It was a huge opportunity for the series to flex its visual creativity, and it was kind of a huge letdown. Aside from a beach and the “throne room” set in Pandemonium (because Hell apparently has a capital), we don’t see any of the great horrors and suffering that hell contains.
How amazing would it have been to see the city of Pandemonium itself, witch damned souls being punished and tortured? Had this episode even scratched the surface of description that Dante’s Inferno had, it would have infinitely more interesting than the Hell we did get.
1. Chapter 28 – Sabrina is Legend
To say that ending of the third season is ambitious would be to put it extremely lightly. Essentially, there’s an entire season’s worth of material crammed into this one hour of television. After spending decades trapped in stone, Sabrina bears witness to the havoc that was wreaked upon the Earth by the pagans who unleased their ancient deity, even defeating the hordes of Hell led by Caliban.
It dumps a whole lot of story and plot, and even goes down the X-Men Days of Future Past method of time travel to solve problems. It’s just all over the place, and had it been spaced out over a few episodes, or maybe a whole season, it wouldn’t have felt so hurried and rushed.
5. Chapter 11 – A Midwinter’s Tale
This unofficial Christmas special served as something of a palette cleanser between the first and second seasons. It showed some of the fallout of Zelda’s deception involving Blackwood’s children.
While the Gryla subplot is a bit contrived, the Bartel one is like something out of a great horror film. Much like Tourist Trap, and the House of Wax remake, his trapping of people (children even) into wax figures is legitimately terrifying and he’s a one off villain that deserved more screen time.
4. Chapter 22 – Drag Me to Hell
In a season dominated by Sabrina competing for the crown of Hell, this is the only episode that actually shows her carrying out those duties. The whole idea of her having to bring souls down below is fascinating and it’s kind of criminal that we never got to see any more of it in the rest of the series. Plus the murderous ice cream man made for a great one off villain.
3. Chapter 2 – The Dark Baptism
While only the second episode of the entire series, this one perfectly demonstrated how this version was completely different from the 90’s sitcom. It oozes with creatively vibrant visuals and it first introduces Sabrina’s series-long conflict between her two paths.
The first episode did a great job of introducing the characters, but this one set up the world that these characters would live in for the next 34 episodes!
2. Chapter 35 – The Endless
In what remains the most meta and cleverly written episode of the entire show. Bringing back Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea as the alternate universe Zelda and Hilda was both brilliant and hilarious.
They even brought back talking Salem and made reference to it being one of the reasons the sitcom was a hit. Honestly, the only thing missing was bringing back Nick Bakay to do the voice. For fans of the 90’s series, this episode was the perfect reconciliation and blend of both TV shows. And while it does all this, it also successfully sets up the series finale.
1. Chapter 17 – The Missionaries
There was a lot going on in Season 2, however this episode stands out as both a great conflict between the witch-hunters and the coven, as well as Sabrina realizing her full potential and power as the daughter of Lucifer.
We got some great tension and displays of power by the Weird Sisters, and those witch-hunters were just so gleefully creepy and almost felt like Mormon missionaries, but with crossbows. It didn’t have as much going on as other episodes, but it’s definitely the most exciting of them!
Which episodes do you like most/least? Let us know in the comments!
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is streaming exclusively on Netflix