Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 1 premiere recap: October Country


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina introduces a dark new world for the teenage witch.

While “October Country” is a little long, it does a good job of introducing us to Greendale. There’s a lot to unpack in the premiere, especially considering it has a one hour run time. Like RiverdaleChilling Adventures of Sabrina seems to keep the time period vague in order to incorporate both vintage and modern elements. No complaints here, because the show is aesthetically gorgeous. From the outfits to the town, Greendale really does have an old-fashioned spookiness to it.

In an opening narration, Sabrina Spellman (Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka) tells the viewer the dilemma she faces. On her sixteenth birthday, she’ll need to make a decision between her human side and witch side. However, in “October Country” she still gets to spend her time going to the movies with her friends. Her group includes dreamy boyfriend Harvey Kinkle (My Friend Dahmer‘s Ross Lynch), Rosalind Walker (Jaz Sinclair), and Susie Putnam (Lachlan Watson).

After a black and white zombie film, the friends prepare to dissect the movie at Dr. Cerebrus, a local restaurant. On their way out, they run into Mary Wardwell (Michelle Gomez), Sabrina’s favorite but introverted teacher. She invites Mrs. Wardwell to join, however, the teacher declines in favor of some time to grade papers. Rosalind is confused as to why Sabrina would do something as uncool as inviting a teacher to hang out, but she reveals that she feels bad for the lonesome Mrs. Wardwell.

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Little does she know, but this is the worst decision she could possibly make. On Mrs. Wardwell’s ride home, she almost runs over a woman in the street. She ends up taking the woman home to offer her some tea and shelter. However, there’s something a little weird about the way Wardwell treats the girl. She calls her a “poor creature” which hints that she could be in tune with the supernatural. Not enough to realize the woman is actually a dark force who murders Wardwell and steals her body. This imposter needs to get to Sabrina Spellman, and who better to influence the young witch than her favorite teacher?

Meanwhile, Sabrina and her friends have a fun time breaking down the film. Rosalind and Susie have an academic take on the movie and a metaphorical interpretation. Poor Harvey is completely lost, but Sabrina only finds it charming that he had his eyes closed during the film. Taking her home, the two share a cute “scare” with Harvey pretending to be a zombie. He gives her a necklace and swap “I love you’s” for the first time. Anyone else completely adore these two already?

Her fun times are cut short by the ticking clock as her sixteenth birthday gets closer. A bat comes flying through her window at night and Sabrina tells the omen to “begone”. The next morning her Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) want to know if she’s picked a dark baptism name. While they both follow the Church of the Night, Hilda has a much more joyful and empathetic nature to her. Zelda is a little more austere and sits at the breakfast table smoking a cigarette with a holder. However, both are happy she chooses Edwina Diana as her baptism name, in honor of her parents.

Sabrina’s cousin, Ambrose (Chance Perdomo), sees right through her excitement for the dark baptism. He senses her anxiety and unwillingness to say goodbye to her human life. Nevertheless, he encourages her to tell her friends she’s moving away because she’s almost out of time. Although, being a witch doesn’t seem super ideal on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The Weird Sisters, interrupt Sabrina during her spell meant to call out to the spirits for a familiar. Comprised of Prudence (Tati Gabrielle), Agatha (Adeline Rudolph), and Dorcas (Abigail Cowen), put a curse on her since they don’t want a half-breed at their Academy of the Unseen Arts.

Now cursed, Sabrina rushes to school so she can literally bathe it away. Satisfied she’s safe, Sabrina leaves the shower to find Susie crying in the locker room. Some of the jocks pulled up her shirt to see if she was actually a girl. Sabrina quickly goes to the principal and demands action be taken. He doesn’t really care, and if Susie won’t name them then it doesn’t matter anyway. In fact, he encourages Susie to find a new school. She quickly recruits Harvey to help her hunt down the culprits, and the faux Mrs. Wardwell offers her help too.

The new teacher tells Sabrina if she could scare Principal Hawthorne to miss school for a few days than the vice principal would probably let a club for female empowerment be created. Sabrina quickly recruits Rosalind, who is completely on board with toppling the patriarchy. Harvey is also supportive, even if he’s not totally sure what’s happening. Thanks to Mrs. Wardwell, Sabrina knows spiders will get Principal Hawthorne out of school. Rosalind and Harvey make another attempt to celebrate her birthday, but she shuts them down.

Harvey knows something else is going on that she isn’t telling him. Especially when Sabrina drops the bombshell of moving to an elite boarding school. When he questions the name of the school and the location, she caves. Taking him into the woods, she reveals that she’s actually a witch and on her birthday, she’ll be committing herself to that path. Understandably, he’s a bit shell-shocked, so Sabrina erases his memories and the two continue walking home.

At her house, things get even worse on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Hilda reveals the Weird Sisters’ blood curse is still on Sabrina so she’ll need to handle that. However, when she takes a bath to reverse the curse, she hallucinates a pretty terrifying event. She’s in the woods where she was born and sees her parents. However, there are two babies there, Sabrina, and someone else with cloven feet. Not exactly the best image to have in one’s mind before bedtime.

Ambrose does agree to help Sabrina with some magic to scare her principal. He’s covered in spiders, another horrifying image. Needless to say, he isn’t coming back to school anytime soon. He most likely is stocking up on as much bug spray as possible.

Sabrina also finds a familiar that night. A spirit of some kind rushes into her house, claiming he heard her call. The shadowy figure shrinks down into a cat and we get our first look at the infamous Salem! Aunt Zelda is horrified her niece would rather a “feral” familiar compared to one the council had picked out. But she’s even more terrified when Sabrina wants to move her dark baptism back. She doesn’t feel comfortable leaving her body to the dark lord without learning more about the choice. Sabrina asks to speak with someone, but Zelda angrily shoots down the idea.

Luckily, Ambrose has an idea which might help her make a choice. A malum malus is an apple which holds an all-seeing knowledge. He encourages Sabrina to find the oldest tree and take an apple from it but to make sure no worms are in it. She quickly makes Harvey bring her apple picking but Sabrina heads straight to the corn maze. Salem travels with her, which ends up being a lifesaver. Mrs. Wardwell has her familiar spying on Sabrina and learns of her plan early on.

At school, Sabrina gets her club passed which helps protect Susie and Baxter. Now one part of her human life feels resolved since her friends will be protected. However, as Sabrina pointed out earlier in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, she’s having trouble saying goodbye to Harvey. Mrs. Wardwell offers to continue speaking with her/manipulating, but when she’s shot down new plans have to be created.

When Harvey gets distracted apple picking, Sabrina heads into the old maze to find a very old tree. She’s attacked by a zombie monster Mrs. Wardwell has reanimated to dissuade her from getting the malum malus. Salem manages to protect his new partner, and the two make it to the tree. However, Sabrina doesn’t heed his warning when the cat hisses as she reaches for a pristine apple. Appearances are deceiving since the apple is actually full of worms. It brings her to a nightmare realm, as Satan emerges from the tree to come after Sabrina. When she spits the apple out though, she’s transported back and Harvey is ready to go.

Next. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina NYCC: Spoiler free pilot review. dark

Back at the Spellman Mortuary, Ambrose has found something to worry the witches on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The dead body of a teenage boy is their latest project but he has a witches mark. This leads them to believe a witch hunter might be in town, and Zelda is worried Sabrina will be a victim as a witch not in a coven. Hilda suggests they have her speak with the High Priest of the Church of Night, Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle). He’s not only extremely creepy but also threatening. Looks like more trouble is headed her way this season.

What did you think of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premiere? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!