How dark will Sabrina go? It’s an uneasy balance the show has to manage, since she’s the moral center of the show, but also, the magic she’s trying is very heavy stuff. She’s willing to perform horrible magic to rescue Harvey’s brother, but it might be Ambrose’s warning to her that’s the surest sign of her wavering good standing.

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It was very easy to sympathize with Sabrina’s dilemma over joining the witch world in the first place, but his point, that she thinks she should get special privileges from the universe all the time, is a fair one. How many times should she get to bend the rules for her own benefit?

The bigger problem that the show might be facing is that the mortal world plot lines struggle to compete with the witch world ones. Even the drama of a mine collapse still works less well as a storyline than Prudence going to frankly bonkers levels to reassert her control over her minions. There’s an inherent problem in the way the two worlds are designed—Sabrina’s mortal connections are pure and good, even if the world around them isn’t, while her witch world connections are deeply flawed. Roz, Susie, and Harvey are all…nice. They’re nice people who want nice things to happen in the world. But none of their plots ever manage to become as compelling as the others, even as magical things start to happen around them.

A show about Ambrose grappling with his need to protect someone who clearly still holds a great deal of power over him, on the other hand, would be pretty fascinating stuff. Chance Perdomo is undoubtedly this show’s breakout star. Some of his co-stars might have bigger names, but he’s managing to make a shut-in fascinating. Ambrose is also the closest thing Sabrina has for a model of adult witch-hood. The Weird Sisters are way too sinister, and her aunts are true believers. Ambrose may be trapped in the house, but his version of magic feels far more true to the type of adult Sabrina could become.

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He’s also proving to be a good method for getting Father Blackwood back in the Spellman house. Father Blackwood’s visits are always so eventful! He’s clearly going to break Zelda’s heart, but it’s hard not to root for those two weirdos to make it work. There’s a funny way in which the utter lack of dignity he’s had in various moments makes him sympathetic despite the fact that he doesn’t actually do anything sympathetic. We’ve seen him vulnerable. On the other hand, he’s completely abusing his position of power within the church, and taking advantage of an upset woman, so let’s come down on the side that she can do better.

Finally seeing Zelda break down is one of the episode’s stronger threads. She’s been doing her best to roll with whatever her niece throws at her, but as the family’s most devout member, this all must have been weighing on her for reasons greater than the embarrassment it’s causing. She reaches out to the wrong person with those concerns, but it’s not like there’s someone else in her life who would make a good confidante. The Spellman sisters are fairly isolated from both of their worlds at this point. Though Hilda is making real strides towards building herself a life after being excommunicated. She is possibly the most well-adjusted person on the show.

The person who’s the least? Probably Tommy, whose return from the dead is likely to be very spooooky, at least going by his inability to knock on the front door in a normal way.

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Stray observations

  • Best guesses for what Dorothea’s deal is? Benevolent or malevolent?
  • Wait, Ambrose is Zelda’s nephew? Who’s this other sibling? Is his dead father another brother?
  • Anyone else disappointed that Hilda didn’t explain what happens when witches die?
  • Dorcas is a shitty friend.
  • Wardwell’s version of subterfuge boils down to, “I HOPE NO ONE STEALS MY DIAMONDS THAT I STORE IN THE THIRD DRAWER FROM THE BOTTOM IN MY KITCHEN ON THE LEFT. NO, NOT THAT DRAWER, THE OTHER ONE. OK, YOU GOT IT.”

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