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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Chapter Sixteen: Blackwood Recap

It’s time for Faustus Blackwood (yes, I have finally learned his first name) and Zelda Spellman to get married. A focal point of such importance that I was expecting to be a season finale is in fact placed squarely within the middle of Part 2. The wedding is of such import that we do not even see the Baxter High cast for the entirety of the episode.

It is less the wedding that is the important thing within this episode as the politics that comes along with it due to the attendance of the Anti-Pope to conduct the nuptials. The ghost of Edward Spellman appears to Sabrina and warns her that Zelda must not marry Faustus. Edward’s ghost claims that Faustus is the one responsible for the plane crash that killed both Edward and Diana and rendered Sabrina an orphan. He beseeches Sabrina to stop Zelda, else Faustus will dispose of her too. He also mentions something about a manifesto, but disappears before Sabrina can ask any further questions. Sabrina mentions this concerning discovery to her family, but only Ambrose supports her and informs her about the secret meeting that Faustus is holding of the Judas Society that night. Sabrina heads off to Ms. Wardwell who reveals that Edward and Diana were flying to Rome to give the Anti-Pope a manifest that sought to reform the Church of the Night. Sabrina is eager to learn where the plane went missing and learns it was in the Devil’s Triangle. Meanwhile, it appears that Faustus is planning for the Anti-Pope to see his own manifesto, one that seeks to reform the Church of the Night by reverting to more backward times.

The Five Facets of Judas:
1:
The Sons of Satan are the heirs of the Earth.
Take what thou wilt, as is your right, by fire, blood or deceit.

2:
Mortals are the swine of the Earth. We must not lay with them.

3:
The Sons of Satan are the swine-herds of man.

4:
As Lilith served Satan, so must witches serve warlocks.

5:
Warlocks shall claim dominion in the Church of Night just as their Father rules over Hell.

Charming, eh? Meanwhile, Sabrina enlists the help of Nick to retrieve her father’s manifesto from the bottom of the ocean. Edward’s manifesto is drastically different to Faustus’s, showing an ideology much closer to Sabrina’s and demonstrating that the proverbial apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – regardless of if that tree is owned by Satan.

Edward’s Five Basic Laws:
1: As mortals are the God spawn of the Earth, so witches are the Hell spawn. They share a common home and destiny.
2: Not only may witch-kind lay with, love with, and live amongst the mortals, it is their sacred prerogative.
3: As Lilith was the Mother of Demons, so all witches must be revered as the Matriarchs of the Church of Night.
4: Magic is the Dark Lord’s gift to witches, it can and should be used for pleasure, for gain, and to satiate the senses.
5: Only the true union of mortals and their witch brethren will bring the Era of the Morning Star.

In short, Edward’s ideology leans towards unity between mortals and witch kind, as well as respecting witches. Faustus, in contrast, seeks to subjugate both witches and mortals underneath warlock rule. It’s irritatingly applicable to real life politics. Both of these manifestos are put to the Anti-Pope to make his decision, much to Faustus’s outrage.

Before the Anti-Pope has a chance to make a decision and enact reform upon the Church of the Night, however, he is found butchered in his bedchamber. Ambrose and the two other guards who were sworn to protect the Anti-Pope from harm are discovered covered in blood. Father Blackwood kills the two guards, but Ambrose manages to escape using a spell. Ambrose finds Sabrina and attests that he did not hurt the Anti-Pope. Ambrose remembers the stomach aches he was having prior to the Anti-Pope’s murder and believes they have something to do with it.

Despite the murder of the Anti-Pope, the wedding continues regardless – just in concert with a funeral. Ambrose uses Dorian Gray to help him stay unnoticed, by glamouring himself to look like Gray while the actual Gray hides within his painting. Gray reveals to Ambrose that he has observed warlocks who are close to Father Blackwood being disposed of in the past. Ambrose is driven to desperate measures, as are Sabrina and Nick who disguise themselves as Edward and Diana Spellman to accuse him of murder Shakespeare-style. Faustus sees through the disguise immediately, revealing them as Nick and Sabrina in front of the congregation. Sabrina demands to be heard, but at that moment Ambrose appears behind Blackwood with a stake. He is rendered motionless by Prudence.

The marriage goes ahead, Ambrose is locked up and Sabrina and Nick are expelled from the Academy. Zelda and Faustus leave on their honeymoon, with Faustus reminding Zelda that she must walk a step behind her husband.

Elsewhere:

  • The ghost of Lady Blackwood appeared to Zelda. Hilda confronted the ghost and discovered that it had been sent by Shirley Jackson, who fed her lies that Zelda was responsible for her death. Hilda then meets with Shirley Jackson, who she tricks into eating cyanide and kills her. As Hilda notes, people often underestimate her, and I have to agree. I secretly hope that this is how Ms Wardwell may slip up later in the storyline.
  • Zelda was visited by the Dark Lord during the night, and despite her devotion, was clearly terrified.
  • Prudence finally earns her father’s respect and recognition in this episode. At the beginning of the episode, he once again refuses to grant her his name, and even introduces her to the Anti-Pope as from the gutter. However, attempting to stab him in his sleep is apparently enough to make him give her the Blackwood name. Brava, Prudence.
  • The Dark Lord spends this episode trying to persuade Ms Wardwell to rid herself of Adam. Even though she was initially irritated by his presence, Lilith does not obey The Dark Lord. She seems to be enjoying what a non-toxic relationship feels like. Good on her.

What a brilliant episode! I wouldn’t have been surprised were this to have been a series finale. It has completely flipped the rest of the season on its head and left us at a point of wondering what the storyline will be from this point. One thing is for sure: if we weren’t certain before that Father Blackwood was a villain, we certainly are now. He needs to go.

Musings

  • I’m unsure how much of Edward Spellman’s story can be trusted. Was he actually a ghostly apparition or was it once again manipulation by Ms Wardwell? And if so, what is she planning? How does this serve to benefit her? Was it her goal to have Sabrina removed from the Academy? Or was the Edward Spellman manifesto legitimate? She’s a tricky one, that Madam Satan.
  • This was such a strong episode, I feel so bad that it didn’t contain half of my favourite characters! It was so beneficial to just focus upon one event, however. Highly unpredictable and a huge boost of energy as we rocket towards the second half of Part 2.

Rating:

Chapter Sixteen: Blackwood
Directed by:

Alex Pillai
Written by:
Matthew Barry
Starring:
Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman
Lucy Davis as Hilda Spellman
Chance Perdomo as Ambrose Spellman
Michelle Gomez as Ms. Wardwell / Madam Satan
Tati Gabrielle as Prudence
Adeline Rudolph as Agatha
Richard Coyle as Father Blackwood
Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman
Guest starring:
Alvina August as Lady Constance Blackwood
Abigail Cowen as Dorcas
Alex Denisof as Adam Marsters
Jedidiah Goodacre as Dorian Gray
Rochelle Greenwood as Shirley Jackson
Gavin Leatherwood as Nick
Ray Wise as Enoch, The Anti-Pope
Georgie Daburas as Edward Spellman
Annette Reilly as Diana Spellman

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