blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018) s02e12 – The Imp of the Perverse

The strange thing about “Sabrina” doing an alternate universe episode is its taken them so long to get around to it. Unless I’m forgetting one. It’s also strange it’s strange, like alternate universe episodes are just the norm of most things I watch these days.

Anyway, this episode’s an alternate universe because Richard Coyle strong-arms guest star James Urbaniak and steals the latest Eldritch Terror, a little gold imp statue, which grants a wish. Coyle wishes for the universe to be recreated with him as emperor.

Coyle makes his wish just as Ross Lynch angrily teases girlfriend Jaz Sinclair for being a witch, which she’s recently learned and shared with him. Sinclair and Kiernan Shipka are running for student council co-presidents; the episode opens with Shipka giving a tepid practice speech and aunt Miranda Otto complaining about her taking on new responsibilities when when they’re still waiting for the rest of the Eldritch Terrors to show up.

It isn’t a problem after Coyle’s wish comes true because everyone has forgotten Shipka except Coyle, who has branded her public enemy number one. Only Shipka and Sinclair—and Coyle—are able to remember the past because they’ve all touched Eldritch Terrors over the season. Eventually other people come over to their side, starting with Chance Perdomo but not because he’s hanging out with them, quite the opposite.

Everyone in the alternate universe gets a new personality while staying in their general locations. Like, Lachlan Watson is still dating Jonathan Whitesell, Otto is still running the academy (they’ll all just forgotten they have witch powers so it’s a very weird private school); Perdomo has an alternate universe character but not, you know, character. Shipka and Sinclair go to him first and he’s packing all his things and getting out of town. He doesn’t remember Shipka—or seemingly Otto and Lucy Davis—but he eventually gets a lot to do.

Meanwhile, the other big story arc is Sinclair and Lynch. Lynch, like all the straight boys in high school apparently, is in Coyle’s teen police force. They’re out to burn witches and it breaks Sinclair’s heart but she thinks she can get through to him.

The episode also gives Tati Gabrielle some good material and, even with a lot of logic problems, it’s a really entertaining episode. Alternate universe episodes, used sparingly enough, are a fairly reliable device, after all.

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