Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 Review: A Devilishly Fun Ride

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 aka the first half of Chilling Adventures Season 2 premieres on Friday, January 24.

Beginning one month after the events of the previous season, nobody is safe with Nick trapped in hell, Lucifer trapped in his body, and Faustus on the run.

But Sabrina Spellman is an incredibly resourceful witch and daughter of the devil himself, so don't count her family and friends down and out.

The Carnival Is In Town - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Before launching into the review proper, I need to take a moment to lament the advent of streaming and how detrimental it is to the conversation surrounding series television.

Every episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 is like a little movie, and each deserves our full attention.

They're lovingly filmed and acted with smart dialogue that elicits emotional investment in the characters while providing a fair share of macabre chills.

Sabrina and Nick in Hell - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

But the amount of work that goes into a streaming show often gets lost because it gets dropped by the season, and the window of opportunity to get on board and chat on social media dries up abnormally fast.

The plot structure of Chilling Adventures is detailed and smooth, and the costumes and CGI deserve to be savored. Alas, we'll likely see all conversation about the latest season gone in a matter of three weeks tops. What a shame.

Character growth is tantamount in Part 3 as Sabrina both embraces and rebels against her heritage as a witch and the spawn of satan.

Sabrina is always in a state of chaos when it comes to her relationships with her friends and family, but Part 3 finds her closer and more trusting of those around her than ever. That doesn't mean she can share her every move with them, though.

The Gang Hits the Carnival - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Nick's sacrifice to keep everyone safe has Sabrina on edge and determined to free him the bonds of hell and Lucifer's possession.

She has the support of her friends more than her aunties, and the "Fright Club" joins Sabrina on Operation Handbasket aka the trip to hell to set things right.

It is there, in a whacked out homage to The Wizard of Oz (that gets referenced tirelessly throughout Part 3), that Sabrina meets her latest competition to the crown for Queen of Hell.

Prince Caliban antagonizes Sabrina's quest while also smitten with her, offering a new dynamic to the quadrangle between Sabrina and Harvey and Rosalind and Nick.

Prince Caliban of Hell - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

It was never going to be a question whether or not Sabrina released Nick from hell, but whether he's truly freed from his bondage is another question altogether.

Traveling through hell comes with surprises, so a lengthy stay comes with a lot more tribulations. Suffice it to say that Caliban's affections aren't the only obstacle Sabrina encounters with Nick.

It's also worth noting that given the nature of their comics history, we'll likely never be straight on whether Harvey and Sabrina will find their way back to each other even at the expense of their beloved Rosalind.

Life is littered with temptation, and when dealing with the devil, it never dissipates.

Rosalind and Harvey - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

With regard to their normalcy, yes, Harvey, Rosalind, and Theo have a band, but they don't spend a lot of time making music. Rosalind and Sabrina also join the cheerleading squad, which comes in pretty handy when trying to throw demons off of their scent.

Theo finds a new friend with whom he gets romantically linked when a carnival of pagans parks in Greendale.

The pagans are quite terrifying. They're in the vein of the carnivals from Carnivale or American Horror Story with all of the costumes and magical concerns you'd expect from such a clan.

I'd venture to say they're overtly more powerful and disruptive than life with Lucifer, especially since Lilith has an affinity for Sabrina even though she also considers her competition.

Prudence and Ambrose on the Hunt - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Ambrose and Prudence are the characters to beat as they circle the globe in search of her father to put an end to him and to ensure his reign of terror never regains purpose. They're closer than ever, and their partnership really puts the adventure into Chilling Adventures.

In the wake of Blackwood's absence, Zelda has taken the students of the Academy of Unseen Arts under her wing (and under her roof). She's a far more worthy caretaker than Blackwood ever was, but nothing will be easy for her.

She's called upon to lead the charge to defeat the pagans which becomes increasingly difficult as Sabrina is busy elsewhere and others rise to stop Zelda in her tracks.

Hilda's story is particularly hairy, but it's nigh on impossible to stop that bright light from shining no matter what she encounters.

The Sisters Spellman - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

While the Weird Sisters don't play a large role in Part 3, Dorcas and Agatha are not forgotten and play pivotal parts even if their screen time is limited.

And rest assured that Lilith aka Madam Satan is never far from the action, and we even get Mrs. Wardwell back at the school which allows Michelle Gomez a lot of tasty scenes to chew her way through.

The cast is now very comfortable with their roles, quite comfortably becoming the characters they portray. There aren't a lot of surprises from them, which means that we understand them.

That's not to say that the characters don't get to do a lot of new and exciting things, but rather that we know them so well that our expectations are met and exceeded through their actions.

Madam Satan in Hell - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

A plot that offers the unexpected is more than enough. Characters shouldn't be so enigmatic across the board that their decisions make our heads spin.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 has the perfect mix of sensational storytelling and rewarding character arcs with a few swings that will shock you.

There are some fun guest appearances from characters like Judas Iscariot and Vlad the Impaler, too. With a vast history of horror-minded stories and characters who have crossed through into hell, the cast of characters is endless, and the possibilities are worth exploring.

All of this adds up to a devilishly fun ride through the infernal fires of hell, and the diabolic and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina should continue for a very long time, Satan willing.

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Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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