Review: ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Season 2 Illuminates Darkness in Sabrina, Dims the Dark Lord’s Fire

*Some minor spoilers!*

Released to Netflix April 5, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” was a long-awaited release after the first season came out in October 2018 and the holiday special on Dec. 14. Sabrina Spellman has come to terms with her dark side, and it has subsequently weakened the Dark Lord’s power.

Sabrina, played by Kiernan Shipka, has more depth in season 2; her fate and past prove haunting and inescapable. Though she is, for the most part, the same high school student, she explores more of the darkness that summons her after signing her name in the Book of the Beast.

Sabrina’s bleached white hair and sudden (definitely smart) decision to wear black and return to the Academy of Unseen Arts as a full-time student is the first proof she has changed. After her breakup with Harvey, she is able to pursue a relationship with warlock Nick Scratch, making it that much easier to walk the path of darkness.

She is granted more direct communication with and servitude of the Dark Lord as well, which drags him further out of the darkness he seemed to hide in during season 1. It seems as though allowing him to be more seen—vulnerable in his desires to be closer to Sabrina—lessens the fear of being faced with him throughout the season. When he comes back to earth in his “true form,” he becomes even more vulnerable, and his power seems to dwindle in the face of Sabrina. The thought of whether it is intentional remains. Was Satan just as pathetic last season?

While this reality somewhat causes the show to feel less dark, the lack of darkness is met in the heightened levels of sexism. Father Blackwood brings the majority of it. He even, for a moment, strips the power from one of the strongest women in the show which notably places him as the secondary antagonist.

In order to combat this, Sabrina opens the season by challenging Nick for the spot as Top Boy, the position that eventually leads to High Priest of the Church of Night, which is currently (and then formerly) held by Father Blackwood. Considering it has historically always been a man’s position, Sabrina challenges that in order to pave the way for a High Priestess. One of many attempts to change a deeply engraved-patriarchal tradition, Sabrina is progressive and empowering. We love that for her.

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” season 2 is dark and disturbing in many ways, but it is overall more about Sabrina discovering herself and her place in darkness, fighting inequality and injustices on the side. Compared to the first season, Satan is a sad, useless addition to The Chronicles of Sabrina Spellman’s Half Witch Half Mortal Life, while Shipka proves nothing less than perfect, once again, which will always triumph in the end.