Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has returned! To celebrate, Netflix invited fans to a special sneak preview of Season 2's premiere episode, followed by a Q&A with the cast — and SYFY FANGRRLS was there to report on all the witchy fun.
Arriving at the Roxy Hotel in downtown Manhattan, this reporter knew she was in the right place thanks to the long line that snaked around the block, and the cosplayer who looked so much like the platinum-haired, red-sweatered Sabrina Spellman that I did a double-take to be sure it wasn't Kiernan Shipka! Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's leading lady joined us inside the hotel's posh theater after "Chapter Twelve: The Epiphany" played to a giddy audience. She was joined by castmates Ross Lynch, Jaz Sinclair, Gavin Leatherwood, and Michelle Gomez. All were smartly dressed and ready to tease what horrors Season 2 has in store!
"[Sabrina] gets up to some really fun stuff," Shipka began. "The season in a lot of ways is fueled by Sabrina exploring her power. She signed her name in the book of the beast at the end of the first part. And the second part is really exploring exactly what that means for her and the people around her. It ups the stakes quite a bit, and she's testing her limits in a lot of ways. She goes very, very, very far in a lot of ways. And a lot of crazy things happen because of it. This season is really about Sabrina's power and what that means to Greendale."
It'll also be about romance. And if you thought the love triangle between Sabrina (Shipka), Harvey Kinkle (Lynch), and Nicholas Scratch (Leatherwood) was exhilarating, you'll squeal at the season opener when a second love triangle is introduced: this one between Sabrina, Harvey, and Roz Walker (Sinclair)!
"I'm in both love triangles," Lynch cheered. "Score!"
"Sabrina has a deep love for Harvey," Shipka said of the first love triangle. "That will never go away. It's the first love kind of situation, and he is her tie to the mortal world. He really sums up her experience as a half-mortal. On the flip side, Nick is a constant champion of Sabrina's abilities and her power. So I think for Season 2, Nick is it. I mean, Nick works for Sabrina." (Lynch interjected with a playful "Ouch.")
"But at the same time," Shipka continued, "I think that the tension — the triangle — is always going to exist on some sort of level just because — I mean — she likes them both. Can you blame her?" (The audience concurred by whooping in approval.)
Season 2 will see Sabrina spending more time at the Academy of Unseen Arts, which means more time with Nick.
"We got to see just the rough surface of Nick Scratch," Leatherwood said of Season 1. "He's bright and intelligent and assists Sabrina in the ways that he can. And now that she's moving into a darker direction, that's where Nick's gifts and strengths really come to life. And in doing that, Sabrina explores a bit of who Nick is. She gets to see a bit of how he was brought up and who his familiar is, which is one of my favorite episodes."
As for Roz, "Chapter 12" reveals a steamy vision involving her and Harvey, her BFF's ex-bf. But when asked about Season 2, Sinclair focused on how her character's abilities are evolving. "Roz's powers are definitely getting stronger," she said. "She gets some really intense visions and also unlocks parts of the cunning that she didn't know were there. Which is really cool, because then there's no limit to what it can do, which I really liked."
But Roz and Sabrina aren't the only women exploring their power this season. Mary Wardwell (aka Madame Satan) is now the principal of Baxter High. And making smug jocks swallow their gum and a cocky coach confront his sexist standards isn't the only way she'll be flexing. By the end of the season opener, Madame Satan isn't best pleased, realizing her Dark Lord has been keeping things from her.
"It's going to kick off," Gomez said with a smirking bravado. "There's a saying you know, about a woman scorned." Oh. The audience knew. Cries rang out through the theater: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! "Thank you," she said. "Thank you for that. [Madame Satan] is a little miffed, and she's a powerful witch. So, beware."
This season, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will dig more deeply into the "topple the patriarchy" themes begun in Season 1. Speaking of the series' feminist core, Sinclair said, "For me, that was one of the reasons I wanted to be a part of the show. One of the things that I really love is like how we subtly — and not-so-subtly — touch on feminist issues throughout the show."
Shipka agreed, saying, "I'm really excited that young people growing up are going to get to see a powerful young woman like Sabrina doing her thing." She also noted that the show's feminist messaging is "just sort of inherent in portraying these multidimensional women. That is the statement sometimes. It lets the complexities of womanhood just work itself out on its own."
"The show is celebrating a lot of very powerful women," Gomez offered. "None of us are sitting in the corner with a cardigan or eating a packet of biscuits. We're out here raging into the darkness! It's fabulous."
The ladies of the panel also took a moment to tease which episode they're most excited for fans to see. "I'm excited about the Lupercalia one," Sinclair said. "Which Valentine's Day kind of situation. It's just a really sexy episode. And the story's really good. I'm excited for people to see that one. I think people are going like it."
"I had a lot of fun with the second-to-last episode," Shipka shared. "It's much different for my character in that episode in a lot of ways. It was a lot of work. Double the work, actually." Does she just mean playing a very different kind of Sabrina was double the work? Or will the penultimate ep have Sabrina facing off against an evil double!? Feel free to speculate wildly as you burn your way through your Netflix binge.
And here's one last mysterious bit to chew on. This one's about Madame Satan and a big finale shocker.
"There's a big surprise," Gomez said with a wide smile. "And it's really exciting. And I can't tell you anything about it — other than when I read the last episode of the season, I actually screamed out loud!"
Will you scream too? Find out by watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2 on Netflix starting April 5.