Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ‘The Dark Baptism’ Review

The second episode of the Netflix Sabrina reboot picks up right where the pilot left off. Sabrina Spellman is slowly coming to terms with the upcoming details of her dark baptism where she’ll pledge herself to Satan by signing the book of the beast.

Naturally nervous, one of the grand-high priest Father Blackwood visits Sabrina to discuss the concept of consent within their religion and how she won’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to.

Quelling Sabrina’s worries about the next stage in her life, Sabrina realises she needs to sort out what’s left of her life in Greendale and Baxter High before she moves onto the next phase of being. Namely, the high school jocks bullying her friend Susie and for that, she needs some help

They did the mash

What I enjoyed about this episode more than the first one was that it seemed to have settled into itself. While I did enjoy the aesthetic choices of the first this episode was primarily more about Sabrina’s balance with her magic and her high school life.

I would define this episode primarily as a horror comedy with the elements of magic helping sort out her high school life. Also, moments were playing better in this episode, and I feel like I know these characters a little better now.

With the breadth of the storytelling and characterisation along with pacing, I believe this series will sail through the ‘Part One’ of its season.

They did the monster mash

Regarding horror comedy two moments stood out to me this episode which perfectly embodied everything I hoped this series would be.

After Aunt Hilda admits to some trepidation in regards to her own baptism Aunt Zelda literally murders her and buries her. When she rises from the dead, it’s a perfect comic moment that feels campy and fun at the same time.

Another element that feels like a uniquely Sabrina takes on the high school landscape is the revenge against the bullies who have been terrorising Sabrina’s friend Susie. Joining together with her witch enemies to use magic to trick them into comprising positions.

It’s vaguely reminiscent of the revenge scene from Riverdale with the girls taking things too far, but it was enjoyable all the same.

It was the graveyard smash.

However, the main body of the episode consisted of Sabrina’s baptism. With all the amp to Halloween, I feel like there was only a short amount of time dedicated to the actual mechanics of Halloween regarding how mortals react to it and what it means to witches. There could have been some nice duality there that sadly never got to happen.

Screen Shot 2018-10-26 at 11.46.16.png

I’ll leave the baptism for now in a quest to not spoil everything, but I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. This episode was textured, funny and exciting, I still feel like I don’t know enough about the lore of this universe but I appreciate how unafriad they are to delve into the darker elements.

Special shoutout to Ambrose Spellman, I think in terms of translating characters you could define him as the actual Salem of this series, he’s locked in the house because of something he did wrong. He’s also always on hand with a witty comment. Furthermore, he’s leading the B plot of the witch hunters quite nicely.

Just a thought: Initially I assumed Chilling Adventures of Sabrina took place is an ambiguous modern-day Greendale but something about the choices of this episode makes me believe we could be seeing Sabrina in the 1960s.


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