Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
February 17, 2020
Thoughts re: Sabrina and her Satanic witches
Category: Linkage … TV, Film, & DVDs

Sabrina may be a terrible friend, but damn does our girl get the swankest threads! More on that in this Popsugar article. It's an amusing read.

Anyway: I've finished watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina S3. While I found it generally pretty satisfying -- the weirdly anticlimactic finale notwithstanding -- I don't think it's nearly as interesting or baffling as S2. Actually, I'd been meaning to write more about S2, but hadn't for fear of spoilers. Has enough time passed that I can spoil developments in S2? Imma spoil some developments in S2.

So one of the stranger things about the show is that witches in this canon straight-up worship Satan -- we're talking traditional Christian Satan, fallen angel, Prince of Hell, Father of Lies and all kinds of other evil shit. Most of the witchy holiday rites involve some manner of sacrifice and cannibalism; one reason the Spellmans run a mortuary is that closed-casket events for clients make for fine dining opportunities. Angels are agents of God and yet are clearly treated as villains when they appear -- Sabrina herself has killed two. And while initially the emphasis on Satanism felt like a move intended to make the show edgier and potentially offend uptight Christian audiences for no apparent reason beyond bad press, I ultimately got used to it? And then I found it weirdly entertaining.

So in S2 Satan breaks entirely free of Hell and reveals his plan to unleash the infernal hordes on Earth and enslave all mortals and witchkind alike. And here's the thing equal parts perplexing and intriguing: the witches of Greendale, who have been praying and sacrificing to Satan for generations, are totally not down with that. At last the Dark Lord walks among them in his original form (he was capable of walking among them for limited stretches before, but he appeared as this horrifying goat monster thing) -- this great prophesied event has finally come to pass! -- and the witches abandon their centuries-old devotion and instead tell the Devil to fuck right off. Like, all of them do it. The Satanic high priest doesn't join the fight to drive Lucifer Morningstar from this plane, but even he abandons the Dark Lord in favor of skipping town. I actually felt a little sorry for Satan as those events unfolded; I imagine it would be a crushing blow to believe oneself so highly valued and then be forced to reckon with the fantastic fickleness of one's formerly faithful flock. I found it interesting to ponder how a deity might respond to that kind of rejection.

Moreover: I don't imagine that's how actual Christians would roll under similar circumstances. Consider that most Christians have close ties and meaningful relationships with non-Christians. Yet the standard divine agenda generally culminates with all non-Christians spending eternity roasting in agony, and most devout Christians seem totally on board with that. Whereas when Satan arrives on Earth with intent to subjugate the loved ones of witches -- remember that Sabrina's witches are generally super segregated from mortals; Sabrina Spellman is the rare breed who actually interacts with mortals on friendly terms -- they rally their forces to oppose and ultimately imprison their own savior. Does that make them better than our own pious worshippers, or are they more selfish for not willfully subjugating their desires to the whims of the divine? These days I'm generally not a fan of those "Media Property and Philosophy" titles, but I think I'd be curious to hear what scholars have to say about ethics and religiosity as depicted on Sabrina.

Also: I seriously need Chilling Adventures of Sabrina action figures. I can customize an acceptable Sabrina myself (here's hoping those Walgreens exclusive Stepford Cuckoo figures don't end up being impossible to find; I've got a viable recipe already in mind), but I feel like I might also need at least Auntie Zee. I might actually have an Eowyn head among my fodder. Hmmm.

Anyway: that's my Sabrina digression. Back to your regularly scheduled program. 😛

-posted by Wes | 9:48 pm | Comments (0)
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