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

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 Images and text in this post…


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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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