Okay, now that I’ve finished The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part III, I have some thoughts.
(WARNING: MILD SPOILERS)
A word often used in television reviews that I never really liked is the word “uneven.” There were a couple of reasons. One, I didn’t share the opinion. If I liked something, overall, I liked it, and it was fine. If I didn’t like something, overall, then it wasn’t fine. Like with any television series, there are hits and misses, ups and downs, but I do get an overarching feeling about something which then makes it good or bad. Two, it just seemed wishy-washy. When it comes to politics, the human condition, psychology, communication, and critique, I am all about nuance. However, that all seems to jump out the window when it comes to television shows. I don’t know. I’ll have to analyze myself about that (among other things). I could pinpoint hits and misses but I always went with my overall impression. What does “uneven” mean? Well, all of that is in the past tense. I now understand completely because CAOS Part III is the epitome of “uneven.”
This season was all over the place. The world of the show expanded in a big way. There were deep dives into some interpersonal relationships, and an aspect of Sabrina’s character got a spotlight in a big way. All of these things are good. I enjoyed the conflict between the Satanic and Pagan witches and how it expanded the story-world and storytelling possibilities exponentially. I am enjoying the character development of Ambrose. He came into his own this season. Theo continues to be a badass. I like how his brave core is the engine of his development, and I like his relationship with Robin. I’m also intrigued by the development of (the real) Mary Wardwell. How she is dealing with coming back to her life in the middle of it. These things, among others, really made my heart pound with anticipation as I watched.
However, these great things were weighted down by others. I mentioned the singing in my previous post. There is no need for me to get into it again except to ask, WHY???? (Again) Prudence’s character development seemed to have taken a back seat, as did Hilda’s. A friend of mine mentioned he found Zelda to be a bit one-note. I didn’t agree, but I see his point this season. I honestly think this season is a turning point. It’s a set-up for bigger storylines coming down the pike. This season was also shorter than the previous two seasons. A shorter season plus multiple unnecessary musical numbers equal “uneven” to me.
Some quick hot-takes:
- The expansion of the Worldbuilding: highlighting the different types of witches and how they derive their powers. Witchcraft isn’t the exclusive realm of “the Devil.”
- On that same note: The introduction of Maiden, Mother, Crone to Witch Lore, and the power therein. It makes sense, given the commentary on misogyny the show makes.
- The Theo-Robin relationship. Representation is very important, and it was heartwarming to see a trans relationship on screen.
- Theo-type bravery: He’s always going for it, and it doesn’t surprise me that Theo is the first of the “Fright Club” to lose his virginity on the show. Yes, Roz lost hers at Bible camp, but that is before the story opens.
- Zelda and Mambo Marie
- The introduction of the Triple Goddess
- As previously mentioned, the singing. Again Why????
- The loosey-goosey rules of magic. Members of the Church of Night were losing their powers and couldn’t do certain things until they had to do them to advance the plot. There were a few points where the coven did things to boost their waning abilities, but we never knew if it was a one-time thing or how long the effects would last. Because of this, the magic just seemed like sloppy writing.
- The shorter season leaving less time to explore these big changes and what little time there is being taken up with the first bullet point.
I know I have a lot of complaints about this season. However, I still enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to Part IV.