Final Thoughts: “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (Part Four)

Following the events of the previous series, there are now two Sabrinas – Sabrina Spellman, who lives in the mortal realm, and Sabrina Morningstar, who is now Queen of Hell – and it soon becomes clear that both of them will have to work together to defeat the Eldritch Terrors – eight deadly beings, released into the world by Faustus Blackwood, who will bring about complete annihilation if left unopposed.

A series I’ve clearly stuck with since the beginning, Sabrina started off as a flawed but fun series which introduced viewers to the town of Greendale and to a certain teenage witch who lives there but while its initial outing was an entertaining little diversion, giving us a show that balanced dark drama, supernatural goings on and YA friendship and romance reasonably well, the series has been getting progressively weaker since its early days and although the fourth part has its moments and is certainly not the worst thing on TV, it is also particularly messy and awkward and it’s definitely for the best that the show has now come to an end.

To its credit, part four is perhaps a little better than its immediate predecessor as it starts off with a promise that each episode will be dedicated to a different Eldritch Terror, which initially puts the series on a clear path and a little structure is surely no bad thing, plus we’ve got the addition of two Sabrinas, which could have resulted in some fun and intriguing developments, but while the series starts off surely enough, it gradually loses its footing and the writing becomes increasingly uncertain and frankly quite poor, resulting in a damp squib of a finale that closes the series on a dud note.

The last couple of episodes, in particular, let the series down as there appear to be several plot holes and inconsistencies (is Agatha crazy or not? What happened to The Endless and The Cosmic? Why did Theo and Robin go through that big “breakup” only to reunite soon afterwards?) and events just become too silly and cheesy, not helped by the inconsistent writing, which very often appears to be uninspired and perhaps even lazy and a little clueless, and in the end, many characters receive unceremonious exits as their character arcs, much like the show itself, end on a whimper. There was also potential for great interest in the “two Sabrinas” plot thread but this part of the series is only okay and I, for one, would’ve liked to have seen more of Sabrina Morningstar’s journey as she took on the queendom of Hell – there could indeed have been some dramatic and intriguing developments there, had that particular plot thread have been given a chance. Though I guess that we already had that in part three . . .

It also doesn’t help that the overall acting quality is inconsistent and although certain leads try their best with what they’re given, most cannot summon up enough energy and passion (which is understandable, given the material, which could have been greatly improved) and, if I may single out one or two notoriously detrimental performances, Luke Cook is just plain bad in his role of Lucifer, as he chews the scenery far too much and is constantly over-the-top and ridiculously melodramatic (not exactly an intimidating prince of darkness!) and Sam Corlett is just a bit too unpleasant and wooden as the antagonistic Caliban. Elsewhere, performers like Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Michelle Gomez, Jaz Sinclair and Lachlan Watson do try hard but they’re ultimately let down by the material that they have to work with.

On a technical level, the series is decent but little things do look a little cheap and the series isn’t exact the sleekest one you’ll ever see.

Though it starts off with a promising premise, the concluding chapter of this supernatural series ultimately disappoints and ends things with a whimper, owing to its muddled storytelling, weak writing, and one or two detrimental performances.

★ ★ ★

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