Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season 1/ Episode 4 “Chapter 4: Witch Academy” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Sabrina looking at the Academy of the Unseen Arts
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Sabrina finally steps into the Academy of the Unseen Arts and it goes as bad for her as you’d expect it to.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Rob Seidenglanz
Writer(s) Donna Thorland
Air Date 10/26/2018
Introduced This Episode
Quentin Liam Hughes
Uncle Jesse Jason Beaudoin
Nick Gavin Leatherwood
Candace Alvina August

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The Ghost of Uncle Jesse: Uncle Jesse, Harvey, Susie, Roz

Surprise! Harvey’s dad owns the mine and, unrelated, he owns a cell phone. So, on top of this definitely being modern times, Harvey also got money. What isn’t known is whether Mr. Kinkel sold his soul to the devil for the mine and the money he makes from it. But that is a whole separate thing, what matters is that Roz and Susie were having a sleepover, getting cozy, in a platonic way, and then there is a bell. We learn it was Uncle Jesse. Someone who formerly worked in the mines until he saw something.

Now, upon hearing he saw something, Harvey wants to ask questions but the only thing that is learned is that Uncle Jesse is full on deranged. I’m talking to the point he tries to choke Harvey to death. Leading to him getting roped up in bed since, seemingly, Susie doesn’t know where her uncle’s usual sedatives are.

Commentary

Uncle Jesse (Jason Beaudoin) making rasping grunts.
Uncle Jesse (Jason Beaudoin)

Question: Why was he ringing the bell? That was never answered. Was it just Ms. Wardwell messing with the kids or did he actually want something but, when his brother didn’t show up, he forgot and lost his mind? Because this show doesn’t do subtle that much so you’d think if it was Ms. Wardwell, she’d show up, her raven, some sign it was her. Not to say it couldn’t have been the dark lord but I think this show isn’t trying to overexpose him. Just so he maintains some kind of formidable villain factor. For him messing with a bunch of teenaged mortals would be silly.

A Virtual Date: Ambrose, Hilda, Zelda, Ms. Wardwell, Luke, Father Blackwood, Candace Blackwood

Ambrose got needs, okay. So being trapped in his aunt’s mortuary, seeing and hearing Sabrina talk about her boyfriend, you know is getting on his nerves. Much less, I’m sure he doesn’t want to end up alone like his aunts – no offense to them. So, being that Zelda has been asked by Father Blackwood to be his midwife, for his wife Candace, this gives Ambrose some time to do astral projection. He even gets Hilda to help thanks to Zelda, low-key, pissing her off.

Problem is, while Ambrose has projected himself, these things called psychopomps, which look like grey little birds, are watching. Unsure if Ambrose is a lost soul of the dead or not. On top of that, Ms. Wardwell comes over, seeming like she needs funeral arrangements, when really all she wants is to collect DNA and clothes. For what? It isn’t made clear. However, she does put a spell on Sabrina’s mirror to see inside.

No sooner though then she gets downstairs, perhaps to see more than the bedrooms, Zelda pops up and so Ambrose has to leave his date with Luke. Unfortunately for him, and Hilda, Zelda catches them in the act.

Commentary

During the date, Ambrose said he tried to blow up the Vatican. Is that why he is housebound? Did he take the liberty of harming humans just a little too far? Though, perhaps the better question is, why would he try to bomb the Vatican? He doesn’t seem all that religious so I can’t see it as being for the Dark Lord so was it an ex that convinced him and he took the fall? Also, how was he going to do it? Considering he isn’t in a mortal jail, was it with magic? If so, what kind of magic was it?

Oh and, was that before or after his uncle was on his way there? Just had to ask. For with all the secrets in Zelda and Hilda’s past, I feel like there might be more to this one.

Ambrose’s acts of terrorism aside, I hope we get to learn more about psychopomps and things of that nature. Not just if that is a witch thing but I must admit I’m really getting into the lore and culture of witches. Granted, I don’t know if Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is following any rules from older media or not, but it definitely has me taking mental notes.

Welcome To The Academy of the Unseen Arts: Father Blackwood, Quentin, Nick, Sabrina, Zelda, Hilda, Prudence, Salem

While the Dark Lord may want Sabrina at the Academy of the Unseen Arts, this doesn’t mean Father blackwood has any intention of making her stay pleasant. Hence why he has Prudence handle Sabrina’s harrowing. Thing is, between Salem, Zelda, and Hilda, Sabrina comes out of it just fine. Though perhaps the one to really thank is Quentin. He is a ghost, who has magic, that interferes with Sabrina’s third test and stops Prudence and her gang from trying to hang Sabrina. This was thought up by Hilda who still is reeling from what Zelda did to her – which she apologizes for in modern times.

But, despite a few hellacious nights, a young man named Nick makes the days more pleasant. Granted, it could very well be because he has feelings for Sabrina. Yet, with him reading her father’s journals, even sneaking one out so she can pass Father Blackwood’s test, to get into a conjuring class, he becomes one of the few friends she makes.

Also, thanks to that book, she solves the puzzle. One which only has a red powder but with it being solved comes some mini-Dark Lord looking figure.

Commentary

Candace (Alvina August), Father Blackwood's wife.
Candace (Alvina August)

Anyone else thought, before Father Blackwood said his wife Candace had two miscarriages, Prudence might have been their kid? She is the star of Candace’s choir and, with the way the episode ends for her, you would think she was his daughter. Then again, it could be Candace had a child before meeting Father Blackwood, you never know?

That thought aside, shouldn’t it have taken Sabrina maybe an episode or two longer to solve that puzzle? Nick couldn’t in three years and Father Blackwood in 20. Yet, Sabrina does it within a day? My issue is that it really does undermine any sense that Father Blackwood, and all others, are as tough or powerful as they appear when stuff like this happens. Not that Sabrina may not be a prodigy of sorts, though Nick getting that book helped greatly, but I’m just saying.

Quentin (Liam Hughes) and other kids who died during the Harrowing trials.
Quentin (Liam Hughes)

One last thing: considering how psychopomps and the other world is talked about, shouldn’t Quentin and the rest of the kids have been discovered and brought to the hereafter? Much less, with them dead, why do they still have powers? Before going to the academy you’d have to sign your name into the Book of the Beast and I’d assume, with the number of lies we’ve heard thus far, they should be burning in hell at this point. So, what’s going on here? Inconsistency or something else?

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Why did Zelda, assumingly Hilda too, stop acting as midwives? Was it painful to see others have children while they did not?
  2. Also, Zelda makes it seem she had a good time at the Academy of the Unseen Arts, made friends and everything. So, where are said friends now because she doesn’t seem to interact with anyone who isn’t blood-related beyond Father Blackwood?
  3. How many kids have Quentin helped through the trials? Also, as Sabrina noted, why would they make trials that repeat what witch hunters did to them?

Highlights

  1. We learned a few handy things from the focus on Harvey. Not just his family likely has money but, with him owning a cell phone, despite how old-timey the show may seem, it is within modern times.
  2. On top of learning about Astral Projection, and how that works, we learned one of, if not the reason, Ambrose is on house arrest.

On The Fence

  1. Nick presents himself as such a potential red flag.
  2. With every victory Sabrina gets, it makes it harder to consider anyone who threatens her formidable in any possible way. She has yet to experience loss, beyond losing her parents, and it may make the show a bit dull in time.

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Season 1 - Recap/ Review

Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode Information
Season 1/ Episode 11 "Chapter 11: A Midwinter's Tale"Though a solstice episode, which features Sabrina conjuring up Diana, this also affects what we’ll see in part 2 (or season 2).
Director(s) Jeff Woolnough
Writer(s) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Donna Thorland
Air Date 12/14/2018
Introduced This Episode
Leticia ?
Mr. Bartel Brian Markinson
Gryla Heather Doerksen

Season 1/ Episode 10 “Chapter 10: The Witching Hour”

And so season 1 comes to an end and we finally learn what “Ms. Wardwell’s” plans really are. As well as Father Blackwood’s.

Director(s) Rob Seidenglanz
Writer(s) Ross Maxwell, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Air Date 10/26/2018

Featuring: Ms. Wardwell (Lillith), Sabrina, Harvey, Susie, Dorothea, Roz, Father Blackwood, Zelda, Hilda, Ambrose, Roz, Nana Ruth, Nick, Dr. Cerebrus, Constance, Luke, 

Season 1/ Episode 9 “Chapter 9: The Returned Man”

As it becomes clear why witches are supposed to separate themselves from mortals, Sabrina learns this the hard way.

Director(s) Craig William Macneill
Writer(s) Axelle Carolyn, Christina Ham
Air Date 10/26/2018

Characters Noted: Agatha, Nick, Tommy, Harvey, Sabrina, Roz, Susie, Hilda, Dorothea, Ms. Wardwell, Zelda, Prudence, Dorcas, Father Blackwood, Diana

Season 1/ Episode 8 “Chapter 8: The Burial”

Ambrose and Zelda are given joy by Father Blackwood as Sabrina finds herself doing the unthinkable in the name of love.

Director(s) Maggie Kiley
Writer(s) Lindsay Calhoon Bring, Christianne Hedtke
Air Date 10/26/2018
Introduced This Episode
Dorothea Anastasia Bandey

Season 1/ Episode 7 “Chapter 7: Feasts of Feast”

With it being around Thanksgiving, Ms. Wardwell decides people should know their history better. Which, for Sabrina and Harvey, is a history of much bloodshed.

Director(s) Viet Nguyen
Writer(s) Oanh Ly
Air Date 10/26/2018
Introduced This Episode
Nana Ruth L. Scott Caldwell
Dezmelda Brenda McDonald

Season 1/ Episode 6 “Chapter Six: An Exorcism in Greendale”

As Ms. Wardwell wiggles her way into Sabrina’s confidence, Hilda gets her wish, as does Father Blackwood. But, Ambrose remains miserable.

Director(s) Rachel Talalay
Writer(s) Joshua Conkel, MJ Kaufman
Air Date 10/26/2018
Introduced This Episode
Dr. Cerberus Alessandro Juliani

Season 1/ Episode 5 “Chapter Five: Dreams In A Witch House”

Everyone’s greatest fear is revealed and, in order to assist Sabrina, Ms. Wardwell might have blown her cover.

Director(s) Maggie Kiley
Writer(s) Matthew Barry
Air Date 10/26/2018
Introduced This Episode
Batibat Megan Leitch

Season 1/ Episode 3 “Chapter 3: The Trial of Sabrina Spellman”

Sabrina and The Dark Lord have their first face-off and someone surprises all in the defense of Sabrina.

Director(s) Rob Seidenglanz
Writer(s) Ross Maxwell
Air Date 10/26/2018
Introduced This Episode
Tommy Justin Dobies
Mr. Kinkle Christopher Rosamond
Daniel Webster John Rubinstein
Luke Darren Mann

Season 1/ Episode 4 “Chapter 4: Witch Academy”

Sabrina finally steps into the Academy of the Unseen Arts and it goes as bad for her as you’d expect it to.

Director(s) Rob Seidenglanz
Writer(s) Donna Thorland
Air Date 10/26/2018
Introduced This Episode
Quentin Liam Hughes
Uncle Jesse Jason Beaudoin
Nick Gavin Leatherwood
Candace Alvina August

Season 1/ Episode 2 “Chapter 2: The Dark Baptism”

It’s the night of the baptism and Sabrina’s decision. One that, whether she likes it or not, it seems many will do whatever it takes for her to sign the book.

Director(s) Lee Toland Krieger
Writer(s) Robert Aguirre-Sacasa
Air Date 10/26/2018
Introduced This Episode
Principal Hawthorne Bronson Pinchot
Father Blackwood Richard Coyle
Edward Georgie Daburas
Diana Annette Reilly

Season 1/ Episode 1 “Chapter 1: October Country”

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to the 90s version is like comparing The Dark Knight to Adam West’s Batman - in the best way possible.

Network
Netflix
Creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Director(s) Lee Toland Krieger
Writer(s) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Air Date 10/26/2018
Genre(s) Drama, Supernatural
Good If You Like Dark Versions of Shows Which Were Light and Fluffy When You Were Growing Up.

Teen Angst.

The Idea Of Watching A Show With A #WokeWitch.

Your Witches To Praise Satan, Act Badly And Have Dry Sarcasm.

Noted This Recap
Sabrina Kiernan Shipka
Harvey Ross Lynch
Zelda Miranda Otto
Hilda Lucy Davis
Ms. Wardell Michelle Gomez
Prudence Tati Gabrielle
Dorcas Abigail Cowen
Agatha Adeline Rudolph
Roz Jaz Sinclair
Susie Lachlan Watson
Ambrose Chance Perdomo

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