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A witchy family’s dismantling the patriarchy

The Spellman family is officially back with a vengeance after the premiere of part two of the Netflix series on April 5.

Comprised of nine episodes, the second installment of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” has taken a turn away from its teen drama tendencies and fully embraced the path of night. This season sees the quirky main character Sabrina go from walking a fine line between good and evil to having finally written her name in the Book of the Beast, officially relinquishing her soul to the Dark Lord. This new direction in her life moves the series beyond the dramas of mortal high school and allows the show to begin to really tackle issues it only touched the surface of previously.

Sabrina attending The Academy for Unseen Arts as a full-time student throughout most of this season means viewers are fully immersed in the magic of her world. While this brings about new spells and creatures to marvel at, it also presents a new set of problems the show tackles masterfully.

With the wonder of being a witch comes the harsh reality of a society that has yet to progress into the 21st century. Father Blackwood, both the head of the church and headmaster of The Academy, takes his role as patriarch to a new level this season. Each episode dives deeper into his master plan to “return to the old ways.”

Blackwood and his followers set about implementing a new set of rules that would strip women of the little privilege and power they had in the eyes of their world and secure his select group’s ascent to a place of deity-level worship and control.

The misogynistic ways of the Church of Night allow the female characters to shine as beacons of equality. Part one saw the rise of WICCA, the Women’s Intersectional Cultural and Creative Association, which was a club Sabrina founded at her mortal high school, Baxter High. The goal of said organization was to fight sexism in school and allowed “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” a base to build upon. Sabrina is no longer merely fighting toxic masculinity in the locker room, she’s taking on a hierarchal system that has long withstood the tests of time.

The Spellman family must band together more than ever as they push for followers of the path of night to recognize the injustices being done. The inequality of men and women and the lack of transparency between those in charge and the congregation of the church intertwines with the coming-of-age tale of teenagers who are fighting their own battles.

On the mortal side of things, this season sees the introduction of Theo, a transgender boy who was born as Susie Putnam. Theo grows into his identity throughout the nine episodes as the viewers experience his hardships and triumphs with him. His storyline is yet another real world issue the series takes on and does justice.

The twists and turns of part two of this series pulls audiences deeper into the darker side of things. “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” took risks with this latest installment, and the character development and commentary that result are spellbinding.

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