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Sabrina goes to sleep and finds a whole lot of terrifying adventures

Illustration for article titled iSabrina/i goes to sleep and finds a whole lot of terrifying adventures
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Given the plethora of TV options available out there in the world, either you’re the type of person who wants to watch a show with a character named Batibat, or you aren’t. And if you’re here reading this, you’re presumably in the first category.

Batibat is revealed as the demon Sabrina accidentally freed in the prior episode after solving her father’s puzzle. Which had been in Father Blackwood’s hands, so it’s hard not to wonder if her father left it to kill him. But instead, his daughter finds it, and it is real mad. The demon gets trapped in the Spellman house, which is actually what it wants, since it’s trying to get revenge on Spellmans.


The various residents prove fairly easy prey, with the exception of Hilda, who seems unusually able to resist losing hope. The dreams are offered up as some degree of psychological nuance for the characters, though some of them are more successful than others. The aunts, who hate and love each other in equal measure, are fairly straightforward. But Sabrina’s dream, at least in the early, happy part, involves marrying Harvey. We know she’s retaining her ties to the mortal world in part because of how much she loves Harvey, but we haven’t otherwise had reason to think that was the extent of her ambitions in the world. Everyone else’s nightmares start with them doing something a little more adventurous. And it’s just a little weird for a 16 year old to imagine getting married…at 16. Don’t teenagers who daydream about marrying their boyfriends imagine doing it slightly older than that?

The conclusion to Sabrina’s dream makes more sense—that she’d fear Harvey’s betrayal, and that he’d turn out to be just as evil as every other mortal who fears witches. Ambrose’s nightmare is a little more confusing, but more because he’s a fairly mysterious character so far. We’re all too aware that he yearns to be free, but since that one desire is so all-consuming, the possibility of what else might haunt him is harder to pinpoint. Is there more to his nightmare than getting trapped in the house again? Some kind of fear of getting in his own way? It’s possible there wasn’t much more than body horror at work here, but given how often Chance Perdomo manages to suggest something a lot more interesting is happening with Ambrose, it takes a little away from the dream sequence not to be able to discern what it means for him.

But by far the best development of the episode is Sabrina figuring out what Ms. Wardwell is doing. Or at least, that she’s concealing something. Props to Ms. Wardwell for trying to bring the glasses back in one last desperate acting effort. The fact that she was awake and answering her door in the middle of the night was a bit of a giveaway, though. The show could have dragged out that reveal indefinitely, but having Sabrina finally piece it together means giving Wardwell something more to do than vamp around Father Blackwood’s office. So far, her actions have suggested she means nothing but ill to Sabrina. Does this discovery mean she’ll stop trying to torture Sabrina’s friends?

This episode generally involved a lot more of Sabrina actually being the hero. Her relatives might have provided a little help here and there, but for the most part, she comes up with a plan and then executes it. And then she solves a mystery on her own. That seems a lot more like the kind of person who might be able to defeat the Dark Lord someday.


Stray observations

  • A real highlight of the dream sequences was Wardwell wandering into them, realizing she was in the wrong one, and then moving on.
  • The Zelda dream sequence wasn’t terrible surprising in terms of its plot twists, but it did include the revelation that the Dark Lord does not like onions. Or at least, Zelda’s version of him does not.
  • Maybe Wardwell can put in a good word for Hilda with Hawthorne now that she knows she’s into him?
  • It’s nice that Sabrina’s aunts are part of the magical team. So often, the “adults” on genre shows like this are kept out of the action, but they’re always in the thick of it with her.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Lisa is a writer and editor based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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