blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018) s01e15 – Doctor Cerberus’ House of Horror

I was ready to love this episode. I wanted to love this episode. Ross Maxwell’s one of the names I like seeing on the writing credit. But this episode is a big whiff.

Alex Garcia Lopez’s direction not being good is one of the problems. The other one is concept really not paying off. It plays like a “recap” episode but “Sabrina” is a streaming show so you wouldn’t need a recap episode after a break.

The episode opens, charmingly, with Lucy Davis and Alessandro Juliani rained in at his shop. Veronica Cartwright appears out of nowhere to interrupt them from canoodling; she reads tarot, can she set up, stay out of the rain. Of course she can. And wouldn’t you know… a bunch of the cast is going to come into the shop during this rainstorm.

Even though they never run into each other at the shop. People appear in each other’s breakout stories—each tarot reading is some ominous future prediction, which usually has something terrible happening to everyone involved. Kiernan Shipka’s involves a talent show where the Weird Sisters (Tati Gabrielle, Adeline Rudolph, and Abigail Cowen) have hold over beau Gavin Leatherwood and it blinds him to their sinister plans for Sabrina (Shipka). Leatherwood escapes a reading, but then it turns out Lachlan Watson is roaming the store looking for something to steal.

Cartwright gives him a terrifying tarot read, followed by Jaz Sinclair, Miranda Otto, Ross Lynch, and Chance Perdomo. All of the readings are terrifying, most of them are disgusting, and some of them are witty; it’s an effective show. It’s just somewhat pointless treading water episode—especially when you get to the reveal at the end—like is it a drawer episode? Why does a Netflix streaming show have a drawer episode?

Shipka talking to Cartwright at the beginning reminded me the show used to rise and fall on Shipka’s performance and narration. When’s the last time she narrated? When’s the last time she didn’t just bicker and actually got to talk.

Also the show cold disses Tati Gabrielle again; her two episode romance with Perdomo is forgotten because part of his reading involves his missing boyfriend, which then figures into Perdomo joining High Priest Richard Coyle’s He-Man Girl-Haters Club. And the resolution to the stuff with Leatherwood and Shipka doesn’t play. I’m getting sick of them dating. Leatherwood’s not paying off.

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