The Endless is the best episode of the season so far and one of the best showcases for Kiernan Shipka as an actor ever. She’s trapped in another alternate universe, only this one is where she’s an actor on a television show, seemingly “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” She quickly discovers this alternate universe doesn’t have any magic, which is going to make things a lot more difficult, and none of her new costars believe her.
Shipka’s playing the Hell version of Sabrina—Morningstar—which doesn’t matter once she’s in this alternate universe because Hell doesn’t exist since it’s television. Albeit a television show where everyone lives on set and then wakes up to a new script on their nightstand and act all day long. It’s a follow-up to the cliffhanger a couple episodes ago, where Shipka finds herself in a world where Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea play her aunts. Broderick and Rhea played on the previous “Sabrina” show, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” The now Christian Nationalist star of that show, Melissa Joan Hart, does not cameo.
The episode gives the entire cast—save maybe Gavin Leatherwood, Jaz Sinclair, definitely Lachlan Watson, oh, and Michelle Gomez—well… okay. It gives Shipka, Ross Lynch, Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Chance Perdomo, and especially Sam Corlett some great scenes. Turns out they’d just given Corlett more comedy, he might’ve done better in the show in general and Shipka’s Hellish variation’s affection for him would make sense.
So Shipka has various mysteries to solve—what’s the green room (where you go after being fired), how’s the head writer on the show, and why are her new aunties Broderick and Rhea so low-key creepy at times—only she doesn’t feel capable because she’s not the regular Sabrina. There’s character development and gravitas and drama and action and lots of comedy. The show manages to maintain the combination of fun and ominous until the last act of the episode, when the reveals come very fast. It’s not so much a rush as an escape, but Shipka’s acting keeps it going. She’s absolutely fantastic this episode.
Great episode. More than makes up for the previous one’s messiness.