It’s no secret Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is not the Sabrina the Teenage Witch you grew up watching. Sure, she might still be blonde, but Salem can no longer talk and the magic is more demonic than mystical.
While the first two seasons of Sabrina have some unique storylines and created a devoted fan base, Part 3 is overwhelmingly disappointing due to its complete disconnection from earlier seasons and excessive, complicated storylines.
When part of the promo campaign for Part 3 included a music video, I was skeptical. Then I watched the video, and it was still unavoidably cringeworthy, but I refused to let it dampen my excitement. Part 2 ended on such a cliffhanger, and the previous history of the show suggests Part 3 was only going to lead to better content.
Somehow, that wasn't the case. The music video carried onto the show, and random music sequences pop up at the most inopportune moments.
The music angle doesn't jive with the previous seasons, and leaves the viewer with questions: Harvey, Roz, and Theo are now in a band? Why are we being forced to watch them play in the basement? And now Sabrina is a cheerleader? This might be a show about teenage angst, but there has to be a limit.
Sabrina has become more compliant with her identity as the daughter of Satan. One of the best plotlines of the series was Sabrina's desire to protect her Spellman name, but Part 3 showcases a Sabrina Morningstar that has drifted away from the family that defined her in previous seasons.
Part 3’s quick blow–off of the Part 2 finale is unsatisfying. The Dark Lord has barely been imprisoned in human flesh, and now Sabrina is already prepared to let him out in order to be with her boyfriend. While Nicholas Scratch’s story arc was a compelling reason to carry on watching, the show’s handling of it resulted in over–the–top monologues, as well as way too many incubus scenes.
The Dark Lord was forgotten as quickly as he was released. Somehow, he didn’t turn into the season’s primary antagonist, which, considering that his own daughter trapped him in a mortal body then took over his kingdom, you would think that there would be literal hell to pay. Yet, things progressed quite easily after his release.
Sabrina took her place as Queen of Hell beside her father, despite that the point of Part 2 was to avoid that situation. Is this the Sabrina we have come to champion for, or has all the power gone to her head?
Sabrina time–travels to Riverdale, and other hints to the show are made, yet none of the Archie characters appear in the series. This may be a hint for a future crossover, or maybe the producers are just preparing us for the more Riverdale–based direction the show seems to be headed in.
For eight episodes, Part 3 manages to squeeze in as much as it can, and then some. It is hard to keep track of the main plot. Between the excessive subplots and the finale's time-traveling scheme, Part 3 is a blur, but above all, a disappointment.