blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018) s02e13 – Deus Ex Machina

Four episodes until the finish and “Chilling Adventures” is still bringing in new worlds—in this case, the Parliament of Worlds in Celestial Realm, where Metatron (Pollyanna McIntosh is fine but would you really recast Hans Gruber) is witnessing a crisis unfolding. Hell and Earth are having dimension-quakes because of Kiernan Shipka splitting into two, one for Hell, one for Earth. Also somehow involved is the latest Eldritch Terror, the Cosmic, which is creating duplicate realities on a collision course for the already on a collision course Earth and Hell (and Heaven).

It’s such a big bad event, Shipka’s willing to tell aunts Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto how she created a time duplicate of herself and they’ve been coexisting all season. Some solid Parent Trap jokes, some not so solid Parent Trap jokes. But everything’s incredibly dramatic because McIntosh seems Heaven-bent on killing one of the Sabrinas to save reality even though it might not really save reality.

Meanwhile, Lachlan Watson gets a really bad subplot—undercooked and wrong ingredients and so on—with boyfriend Jonathan Whitesell. Whitesell’s fellow hobgoblin, Natalie Grace, has come to Earth to bring Whitesell back into the Fairie Realm in order to save him from the ends of the worlds except… it’s unclear why the Fairie Realm would survive.

Far more effective and harrowing is Michelle Gomez’s subplot about baby daddy Lucifer (Luke Cook) tracking her down in order to figure out what’s going on with his newborn son. Gomez earlier told Davis she was planning on hiding in the witch academy until the kid turned sixteen—Gomez and Davis are so good together—but it doesn’t seem like Cook’s going to agree.

The episode’s got one good arc for two Sabrinas, which adds up to Shipka’s best acting in a while on the show… alongside some of her more rote acting as her Earthy variation finds herself rekindling a romance with Gavin Leatherwood with only a few hours before the ends of the worlds. Shipka has a lot more fun as the Hell variant and that Sabrina gets a far better arc throughout.

But it’s a strong episode. Good performances from Cook–he’s a lot better this season, with the show treating him as a somewhat docile sardonic relief—Otto, Chance Perdomo obviously.

And the cliffhanger’s excellent.

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