Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has been a breakout hit, and since the Christmas episode, fans have been waiting for their next dose of witchy fun. But don’t fret! New episodes land on the streaming site this month, so we decided to give you a recap of what went down in Season 1, Part 1:
The action begins just a few days before Sabrina Spellman’s (Kiernan Shipka) 16th birthday, where she is stuck between the ultimatum of signing her name in the Book of the Beast — a.k.a. agreeing to become a full-time witch and leave her human life behind — or leaving her witch life behind forever.
Torn between her life with her boyfriend Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch) and best friends Rosalind (Jaz Sinclair) and Susie (Lachlan Watson) and a life of spells and potions, the only people willing to listen to her complaints are her cousin, Ambrose (Chance Perdomo), and her lying teacher, Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez).
Book of the Beast
Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), also known as the High Priest, and Miss Wardwell are secretly following the Dark Lord’s orders, which is to get Sabrina to sign her name in the Book of the Beast. Miss Wardwell, who was previously Sabrina’s kind and dear teacher, has been murdered and is actually possessed by Madame Satan, who will do anything the Dark Lord wishes.
On the night of Sabrina’s Dark Baptism — when she is expected to wear a white gown in the middle of the woods and sell her soul to the Dark Lord — Sabrina realizes that the free will she thought she would have was just a lie, and that her relationship with Harvey and her friends will have to end once she signs her name. As Sabrina is about to sign her name, she panics and runs away, leaving the book unsigned and making the Dark Lord very angry.
Sabrina’s aunts, Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Zelda (Miranda Otto), are disappointed that she chose not to sign her name in the book, but Zelda becomes furious over the life Sabrina chose. It turns out that Zelda and Hilda are both hiding a secret of their own.
Aunt Hilda and Zelda’s Secret
Before Sabrina was born, her father made a deal with the Dark Lord in order to marry Sabrina’s mortal mother. The deal was that his child’s soul would belong to the Dark Lord. After she was born, Zelda helped her brother in signing baby Sabrina’s name in the book. Meanwhile, Hilda and Sabrina’s mother had baby Sabrina baptized in a Christian church. Both sisters kept this secret from one another for the last 16 years.
Zelda’s plan had been to persuade Sabrina into willfully choosing to sign her name in the Book of the Beast, which would protect Zelda’s secret, but after the Dark Lord grows frantic, Father Blackwood decides to order Sabrina to a trial in court, where Zelda’s secret is exposed.
Sabrina finds herself a lawyer who can help her, and the court orders a search to prove that Sabrina has a witch’s mark. Sabrina and Harvey have an intimate ‘birthmark check’ and they don’t find a mark, so Sabrina agrees to be examined by the court. The verdict is that Sabrina is allowed to continue her mortal life, as long as she also attends the Academy of Unseen Arts.
Meanwhile, Ros and Susie have their own battles to fight, and Harvey’s life is a downward spiral after his borderline abusive father forces him to work in the mines with his brother, Tommy (Justin Dobies). Harvey confides in Sabrina about seeing a creature in the mines when he was younger, and how working in the mines now terrifies him more than ever.
Sabrina enrolls in the Academy of Unseen Arts, where she is constantly hazed, or Harrowed, by witches Prudence, Agatha and Dorcus. She meets Nicholas Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood), who is a warlock with an unusual obsession over Sabrina’s father.
On Sabrina’s first night at the Academy (night one of her Harrowing), Prudence, Agatha and Dorcus lock Sabrina in a cell overnight, where she is tortured until Salem, her cat, comes to her rescue. The next morning, the trio of witches steal Sabrina’s pajamas and kidnap Salem. Sabrina becomes angry and fights with Prudence, getting herself sent to Father Blackwood’s office.
Once in Blackwood’s office, Sabrina and Zelda argue that Sabrina is not being challenged in her classes at the Academy, and Father Blackwood agrees to put Sabrina in a conjuring class if she can solve an almost-impossible configuration that Sabrina’s father left behind.
Meanwhile, Father Blackwood convinces Zelda to be a midwife to Blackwood’s pregnant wife, who has suffered numerous miscarriages. Zelda reluctantly agrees, though she knows it might be a bad idea. Eventually we discover that Father Blackwood’s wife is expecting twins.
The End of Harrowings
Come night two of Sabrina’s Harrowing, she is required to stand outside and stare at a tree for the entire night, not allowed to turn around. Throughout the night, she is exposed to horrible sounds behind her, including Harvey’s cries and her mother’s voice, but she must not turn around. The next morning, Quentin (Liam Hughes), a little boy from the woods, rescues her.
Sabrina realizes that Quentin and all the other children living in the woods are actually ghosts who died from the Harrowings at the Academy.
Outraged, Sabrina tells her aunts about this, and they decide to get revenge on Prudence, Agatha and Dorcus. The trio is choked and hanged from invisible ropes until they agree to stop Harrowing children at the Academy.
Demonic Uncle Jesse
Sabrina convinces Nicholas to share her father’s journals, and once she gets her hands on the journals, she figures out the configuration Blackwood gave her — the Acheron Configuration, which releases a demon inside the Spellman home. The demon possesses the Spellman family in their sleep, but the family is strong enough to defeat her.
Back at Baxter High, Ros and Susie are dealing with Susie’s demonic Uncle Jesse. He was possessed by a demon while working in the mines for Harvey’s dad, but Susie and Ros are under the impression that he is just extremely sick. Harvey is curious about what Uncle Jesse saw in the mines, so he tries to talk to him, but Jesse attacks Harvey and tries to kill him.
Even though she knows the risks, Sabrina decides to perform an exorcism on Susie’s Uncle Jesse. Hilda and Miss Wardwell decide to help Sabrina, but the demon is a lot stronger than they expected. Sabrina struggles with the exorcism, so she calls forth all Spellman ancestors for help. Once Zelda steps in, the demon is defeated, and Uncle Jesse dies.
Feast of Feasts
When Thanksgiving arrives, the Feast of Feasts ceremony begins, where 14 nominated witches must stand by while one of them is chosen as the sacrificial woman — Thanksgiving dinner for the rest of the coven. Prudence, excited and eager, is chosen as the sacrifice, and Sabrina is in charge of making sure Prudence is bathed and fed in preparation of her death.
While Prudence is enthusiastic about being the sacrifice, Sabrina brings her to Baxter High in an effort to change her mind about dying. Prudence meets Harvey for the first time, and she grows suspicious of the meaning behind the last name “Kinkle.” The Kinkle family was known to murder witches, and Prudence insists on killing Harvey. Sabrina, of course, steps in.
Back at the Spellman home, Father Blackwood and his wife are dinner guests. Hilda decides to make her Truth Cake, an enchanted cake that forces you to spill the truth once you eat it. Father Blackwood’s wife takes a bite and reveals that she cast a spell for Prudence to get picked at the Feast of Feast ceremony because she fears Prudence — secretly Father Blackwood’s child — will get in the way of the babies’ lives. At the Feast, Father Blackwood’s secret is revealed, and it seems as if no one will be sacrificed that year. … until a devoted member of the coven steps up and sacrifices herself.
Hilda receives news of a fatal accident in the mines, and Harvey’s brother Tommy was among the fallen. Sabrina makes an effort to help Harvey after he grieves his brother, and she asks Miss Wardwell for help with a resurrection of Tommy. However, resurrection comes with one rule: an eye for an eye.
Sabrina decides she’s willing to sacrifice a life in order to bring Tommy back, and she has a trick up her sleeve. She kills Agatha and brings Tommy back to life. Tommy returns, but not quite the same, and Agatha is brought back to life as well.
Meanwhile, Rosalind, who is going blind, discovers a sixth sense, which her family calls “the cunning.” When she touches Tommy, she is taken to a foggy world, or “limbo,” where Tommy’s soul is trapped, and she hears a baby crying.
Back at the Academy, Agatha grows sicker and sicker after she returned from the dead. Ambrose decides to tell Hilda about the resurrection, and they realize the Earth is expecting a dead body.
Sabrina convinces Miss Wardwell to help her go to limbo to save Tommy. Once Sabrina enters limbo, she unexpectedly runs into her mother, who is distraught, and hears that the Soul-Eater is coming. Sabrina finds Tommy before the Soul-Eater can, but on their way out Tommy is captured.
When Sabrina exits limbo, Tommy’s soul is gone forever, and Harvey is so distressed he can’t forgive Sabrina. Eventually he tells Sabrina to leave, and Harvey shoots his brother.
Truth Be Told
Rosalind and Susie tell Sabrina that they suspect she might be a witch, and Sabrina tells them everything. Miss Wardell, who was expecting Rosalind and Susie to betray Sabrina, is close to failing the Dark Lord, so she sacrifices a mortal, virgin teen boy to summon the Greendale Thirteen, the thirteen witches who were hanged during the Witch Hunts.
Now that the Greendale Thirteen are back in town, they seek revenge – and nothing will stand in their way. Ambrose finds the Greendale Thirteen in the middle of a summoning spell, where they summon the Red Angel of Death.
The Angel of Death is on its way and will kill all firstborns — mortal or witch. While the witches seek safety at the academy, Hilda hides the mortals in a safe zone and is left to protect them while Father Blackwood’s wife goes into labor.
Lady Blackwood dies in childbirth, and Zelda tells Father Blackwood that one of the twins absorbed the other one in the womb, leaving him with only one male heir. Instead, she secretly kidnaps the other twin, a girl, and brings her to the Spellman house to raise as her own.
After the Greendale Thirteen are struck from the town, Harvey tries to make up with Sabrina, but though they try to move forward, Sabrina has caused too much damage to the mortals in her life. She doesn’t want to hurt the people she cares about anymore, so she kisses Harvey goodbye, and disappears.
To bridge the gap between Parts 1 and 2, Netflix also released a Christmas episode of Sabrina, full of holiday horrors. Click here for our recap of the festivities.
And for more in-depth takes on each of the episodes from Part 1, check out our Chilling Adventures of Sabrina recaps.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Part 2, Friday, April 5, Netflix