After such a game-changing previous episode, I would have expected a more frenetic pace to begin with as Sabrina rushes to save Ambrose from his predicament. However, the episode begins relatively slowly. We see a flashback to two weeks previously, in which we see some Mormon-esque figure torturing poor Luke to reveal what he knows about the witches in Greendale. Once he has the information he needs, he kills Luke. Poor Luke.
We then flash to the present, where Sabrina is eager to see Ambrose. She is forbidden by Prudence, who now that she is suddenly a Blackwood takes her job very seriously, and also reminds Sabrina that they’ve never been friends, which is very charming.
Sabrina goes back to Baxter High, while Nick drinks his problems away. There she finds out that Roz has turned blind and she immediately tries to magic a solution. Roz opposes this notion, and even accuses Sabrina of having cursed her personally, especially since we went blind right after kissing Harvey. Harvey, with his own trust issues surrounding Sabrina, agrees with Roz that it could have been Sabrina who took Roz’s eyesight. Thankfully, Theo remembers what it’s like to be a good friend and tells them they are being ridiculous for thinking Sabrina could do such a thing, reminding them of how Sabrina’s magic had helped him to join the basketball team.
Meanwhile, Hilda beseeches Prudence to let her see Ambrose, even trying to bribe her with a roast chicken so that she can torture Ambrose further and break his spirit. Both Hilda and Ambrose meet with false versions of the other, with the Hilda glamour telling Ambrose to confess, while fake Ambrose confesses to Hilda. Fortunately, both of them are too savvy to fall for such a tired plot device, and call out Agatha and Dorcas on their treachery respectively.
A missionary appears at Sabrina’s front door, and though Sabrina initially turns him away, she then lets him inside when he asks for a glass of water. At this moment, Roz has a vision and urgently phones Sabrina, telling her that she needs to leave her house immediately because the missionary intends to kill her. Sabrina flees, while another missionary appears Dr. Cee’s with a crossbow. Hilda unleashes Dr. Cee’s incubus and similarly escapes.
The missionaries attack at the Academy and are initially fought off by the Weird Sisters. As it transpires, however, these are no ordinary missionaries, but are rather angels, and pretty soon the tables turn with the Weird Sisters being defeated. Ambrose, who escaped from his cell using a key fashioned from chicken bones, is seriously injured in the crossfire.
Along with Harvey, Nick and Hilda, Sabrina arrives at the Academy and learns that the missionaries have taken the members of the Academy hostage in the Church which witches cannot enter. Sabrina can, however, as she has had a Christian baptism. The missionaries murder two witches by slitting their throats, as Sabrina appears. She commands the missionaries to let the others go, but she gets shot three times by arrows and collapses, complete with a crown on her head.
As the missionaries prepare to destroy the other members of the Church of the Night, Sabrina rises from the ground and flies, her eyes completely white. The missionaries renounce their faith and pledge allegiance to the Dark Lord, but Sabrina – not satisfied – is disappointed at how quickly they have turned on their False God. Summoning fire from her hands, she burns the two missionaries alive, while proclaiming that she is the Devil’s Sword. Following this, she resurrects the two slain witches, and stays floating just long enough for Harvey to see her.
What an episode! It started off quite slowly and I was fast thinking it would be a filler episode, but it was great to see the Church of the Night combat a credible outside threat. Just like last week, it felt almost like it could have been a season finale, considering the high stakes and the revelations throughout. We’ve never seen a side like this to Sabrina, or a hint that her magic is anything other than ordinary. Her brush with death appears to have unlocked a huge amount of potential within her.
- Poor Ms Wardwell was warming to Adam, and was even considering moving to Tibet with him and straying from the Dark Lord. Clearly determined to keep her in his clutches, the Dark Lord masquerades as Adam and then serves Ms Wardwell his own dead body. Charming. Ms Wardwell then kills Stolas (again) for betraying her to the Dark Lord. It’s clear that Ms Wardwell is done with following the Dark Lord’s instructions. I’m not sure where that puts her with Sabrina, but it doesn’t look good, that’s for sure!
- Call me crazy, though: instead of having this random flashback at the beginning of the episode that clearly signposts that we’re about to be attacked by some bible thumping dickwads, why not plonk that scene in an episode where is was chronologically relevant, keeping us guessing? I’m going to assume it’s probably so that they only had to pay the actors for one episode instead of two, but still people.
- On that note, why do enemies never attack in the same episode? Isn’t it fortunate that the missionaries waited until after the Anti-Pope and the wedding fiasco? It’s like these enemies have a shared Google Calendar or something.
- So Sabrina is showing crazy God-like powers, which can only mean bad things for Father Blackwood when he returns, considering the entire of the Church have seen Sabrina floating and claiming to be the Devil’s Sword. Maybe her talk of being High Priestess wasn’t for nothing?
- Why did Harvey come to the Academy with them? Like literally he would be more of a hindrance than a help. It would be more concerning as to what could happen to him than it would be great to have him there.
- Speaking of which, how can he say that he “rushed” over to Sabrina? The attack happened during daylight, and she cycled away, got Nick and reconvened at the house before he even appeared? Unless he literally walked at a snail’s pace, I do not understand how he moved with any urgency whatsoever.
Chapter Seventeen: The Missionaries
Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman
Ross Lynch as Harvey Kinkle
Lucy Davis as Hilda Spellman
Chance Perdomo as Ambrose Spellman
Michelle Gomez as Ms. Wardwell / Madam Satan
Jaz Sinclair as Roz Walker
Tati Gabrielle as Prudence
Adeline Rudolph as Agatha
Spencer Treat Clark as Jerathmiel
Bayley Corman as Mehitable
Abigail Cowen as Dorcas
Alex Denisof as Adam Marsters
Jedidiah Goodacre as Dorian Gray
Alessandro Juliani as Dr. Cee
Gavin Leatherwood as Nick
Darren Mann as Luke Chalfant
Lachlan Watson as Theo Putnam