Netflix Drops Fourth Season of Sabrina in Time for New Year

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina returns to Netflix for a fourth -- and possibly fatal -- season. Following the events of the third season, where Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) faced the dilemma of either becoming Queen of Hell or remaining with her friends, the viewers get to bounce back and forth between two Sabrinas -- Sabrina Spellman and Sabrina Morningstar -- as the teenage witch solved the problem by splitting herself into two bodies. But this throws the cosmos into imbalance, and leads to the return of the Eldritch Terrors as the showrunners deliver up a love letter to Lovecraft.

Richard Coyle resumes his role as Father Faustus Blackwood, now running a church dedicated to the gospel of Lovecraft and finely focused on eliminating Sabrina Spellman from existence. His plan to do so involves the arrival, one by one, of various terrors, each more powerful than the last. And as Sabrina begins dispatching them, with the help of her friends in Fright Club -- Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch), Rosalind Walker (Jaz Sinclair), and Theo Putnam (Lachlan Watson) -- as well as her aunts Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Hilda (Wonder Woman's Lucy Davis), the terrors begin to attack her with greater ferocity.

This season sees the wedding of Hilda to Doctor Cerberus (Alessandro Juliani), the tragic pregnancy of Lilith (Michelle Gomez) by Lucifer Morningstar (Luke Cook), a life-or-death battle of the bands, an outbreak of resurrections to be handled by Mambo Marie (Skye P. Marshall), and a passel of other crises packed into these eight episodes. The fifth episode ends with what could have been a simple nod to the prior incarnation of Sabrina's live-action adventures, when Sabrina Morningstar makes her way to a parallel universe to encounter Aunt Zelda and Aunt Hilda -- played by Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea, who assumed the roles during the 1990s sitcam, Sabrina the Teen-Age Witch. However, this is no throw-away cameo, as they return in episode seven with far more sinister intent.

Of course, the series still clings to its upside-down linguistics, with phrases such as "Like Heaven I will" when an ordinary mortal would say "Like Hell." And the plots are heavily laden with political rebellion "against the patriarchy," which are mildly eye-roll inducing at their worst. It all leads up to an ending with Sabrina's boyfriend, Nick Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood), that is simply too pat, too final to truly be the end of the series, as has been officially declared by the network.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0