Sabrina is caught in a wicked game of push-and-pull between the Dark Lord and Madame Satan in Chapter 13 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2.
"The Passion of Sabrina Spellman," written by Christina Ham and MJ Kaufman, is a fitting companion piece to the series opener which saw Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) cut ties with her mortal life and commit herself to the Path of Night. Here she struggles with the repercussions of that decision and begins to have second thoughts. Yet no matter how hard she tries to recapture those simpler times, by the end of the episode, she realizes there is no going back. Right or wrong, she must stick by her choice or else suffer the consequences.
To understand Sabrina's predicament we need to learn more about Lucifer and Lilith, the two mythic figures who take center-stage this episode. The age-old fable tells the story of Lilith, first wife of Adam, who was cast out of the Garden of Eden for refusing to be subservient. Lucifer would later offer the wandering outcast a seat beside his throne, crowning her Madame Satan, and calling on her to do his bidding. This story serves as inspiration for Father Blackwood's (Richard Coyle) stage adaptation of The Passion of Lucifer Morningstar - rewritten to portray Lilith in a more submissive light.
The play itself acts as a meta-commentary for the narrative between Sabrina, the Dark Lord and Ms. Wardwell (Michelle Gomez). The demonic Baxter High principal is the Dark Lord's current "Lilith," but her position as his favorite hell-angel is under serious threat. The horned-devil makes his intentions clear that he wants Sabrina to be his new "Herald," his prophet on earth, and eventually, his queen. Wardwell says it's impossible; that Sabrina's true nature tends towards the light. And so the bickering beasts make a wager. Is Sabrina's soul good or evil?
Sabrina, who ironically is understudying the role of Lilith for the Academy's production, remains unaware of the Dark Lord's motives. She doesn't realize she's a pawn in a devilish power struggle and, at first, the Dark Lord's requests seem bafflingly pathetic. Whether it's stealing a pack of gum or knocking over a milkshake in a jealous fit of rage, these are hardly the sins becoming of a malevolent soul. Even so, Sabrina rejects the Dark Lord's demands, partly due to her own sense of morality, but also because of the influence of the interfering Ms. Wardwell.
However, the more Sabrina dismisses her dark devotion, the deeper the Dark Lord burrows into her psyche. Also, you certainly get the sense that Sabrina wants to do some of these things. She wants to replace Dorcas (Abigail Cowen) as the lead in the play opposite Nick Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood). She wants to pry Harvey (Ross Lynch) away from Roz (Jaz Sinclair). But she doesn't want to lose her sense of self. So, in an attempt to loosen the Dark Lord's grip, Sabrina takes the advice of her Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) and returns to Baxter High to surround herself with her mortal friends.
Going back to her old high school though comes with its own set of problems, supernatural and otherwise. Life has gone on without Sabrina. Susie (Lachlan Watson) is adjusting to life as Theo and all the issues and discrimination that come with that. Meanwhile, Harvey and Roz continue to grow closer, pairing up as scene buddies for their own school play (the more traditional Romeo & Juliet). Sabrina's presence does not suddenly revert things back to the good ol' days; it disrupts and threatens to destroy the emotional growth of her friends.
Sabrina wanted to return home to rid herself of the Dark Lord. Instead, she spreads his influence on those she loves the most. Theo is driven to violent, bone-snapping revenge on bully Billy Marlin (Ty Wood). While Roz comes down with a sudden case of the chickenpox, allowing Sabrina to take her place as Harvey's scene partner. It isn't until she's smooching with her ex-beau and notices the Devil's Claw mark on his chest that Sabrina realizes she's made a terrible mistake.
"If I don't pull away, you'll get poisoned," Sabrina tells an utterly confused Harvey. "If you go, you can't keep coming back," he responds. Harvey may be somewhat of a sap at times, but his head is understandably a wreck. His brother died and then was resurrected and then killed again. He doesn't know whether his girlfriend is coming or going. Not to mention his dad is (or at least was) a raging alcoholic. And yet, ultimately, Sabrina is trying to protect him, even if he is "done with her protection."
The Dark Lord has rendered Sabrina helpless - he even temporarily kills her pet familiar Salem (not a good episode for familiars, as Zelda also has a run in with a frog during her war with the Academy staff). Sabrina has no choice but to succumb to his demands. It's the only way to protect the ones she loves. And so she agrees to break into Baxter High and burn it to the ground. Of course, the Dark Lord eventually stops her from igniting the flame, but her willingness to go through with it is proof enough.
Little does she know it, but Sabrina just became the real-life understudy for Lilith, which is ironic after she earlier told Nick, "I'm not sure I could handle playing such a subservient character." In fact, when Sabrina inevitably replaces Dorcas on the night of the play, she performs the role of Lilith so well that she receives a standing ovation. A tearful Ms. Wardwell, who watches from the sidelines as Sabrina acts out her life on stage, sees her existence being reassigned in front of her very eyes.
However, Sabrina isn't a subordinate to anyone, we know that, and it's difficult to say her decisions so far were her own. She refused the Dark Lord at every turn until she was backed into a corner. But as Dorian Gray (Jedidiah Goodacre) tells her, the Dark Lord now has a grip on her soul. And judging by the final scene of the episode, he might be right. Sabrina seemingly makes the conscious decision to steal that pack of gum. A small misdeed but a potential gateway that takes her a little further down the Path of Night.
-For those keeping track of the love-square: Sabrina kisses both Harvey and Nick this episode (though the Nick smooch is in character as Lilith and Lucifer). Roz failed to get her Romeo & Juliet kiss with Harvey but she is obviously developing feelings.
-Speaking of potential romance plots, did we see the beginning of an Ambrose and Prudence relationship?
-It's always fun when Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Hilda (Lucy Davis) are on the same page and this episode the Aunts put their witchy heads together to cast a spell on Academy faculty member Shirley. Basically, don't F with the Spellman sisters.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Streaming, Netflix