Riverdale:  Sabrina and the Witching Hour (12/7/2021)

Riverdale fans are wondering just what will happen.  Not only have we lost Archie (ancient sacrifice), Toni (to the water spirit), and Reggie (to the devil), but Kevin and Veronica are now in various stages of “selling their souls” and who knows what else is coming (the End of Times maybe).  The only safe spot is Pop Tate’s (can I live there?).  And tonight, as if Cheryl hasn’t done enough, Sabrina from “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch” comes for a visit.  My question is:  Didn’t she die on that show’s finale?  And there’s a possibility (or so the whispers go) that she could appear again after the break.”

Tonight, we have Rod “Jughead” Sterling at the Blossom’s ancestral home which is haunted but he’s not sure by what.  All of Rivervale wakes up but with a twist.  As Cheryl awakens in present day, her ancestresses Poppy and Abigail awaken in their era.  Tonight will be how the three are intertwined in tonight’s Jughead’s story.  Madeline (Cheryl) will surely get a tour de force tonight.

Each Blossom prepares for the day (using the appropriate beauty aids, no less).    Cheryl prepares the classroom in the present but the other two women are greeting their friends or other women looking for help.  In the Abigail age Toni returns as Thomasina, Abigail’s love.  Nana is sick but Chery still plans to enact witchcraft when Bailey’s Comet comes that night.  While not be able to join, Nana is looking forward to the results.  It will bring a great risk along with some reward for the Blossoms.

Poppy Blossom

Okay, I’m not catching the present characters new names so I’ll use the name we are use to using.  The only one with their time period name will be Cheryl .  In the Poppy’s era, Tabitha has asked Poppy for help.  She thinks she can run Pop’s better than her husband.  Poppy gives her a potion that will allow her to run Pop’s diner, and she eventually becomes cashier.  In the case of Betty, her husband, Jughead (Jack), wants another child but Betty doesn’t want one (and we get a relationship between Poppy and Betty).  Somehow Jughead finds out what Betty’s done and threatens Poppy.  Later Veronica talks to her about her husband and their sex lives.  Betty and Veronica also each gets a gift from Poppy to help them (Betty, herb; Veronica, Kama Sutra and a purse).  The husbands find out and Reggie with Kevin Keller shows up to issue an ultimatum.  They know what she’s doing, they’re not happy.  If Poppy doesn’t stop, they’ll take matters into their own hands.  That never broods good for the story

After the men have threatened Poppy, she goes into town where she doesn’t feel welcome.  At the diner, Tabitha suggests take out while Jughead and Betty leave.  She returns to the Blossom mausoleum – I mean home – to find the men of the town there saying that she’s a Communist.  They don’t like the books or herbs she has and arrest her.  The Keller ancestor is sheriff.  He tells Poppy that if she signs a document saying she is a Communist (which would blacklist her and probably put her in Federal jail), she will go free.  Otherwise, it is jail which Poppy chooses.  Betty comes to talk to her and Poppy finds out she is pregnant.  Betty wants her to sign the document but Poppy tells her that she’s doing it for all women.  Betty denies their feelings, asks her to sign and leaves. By the way, the women in this storyline could play the role of any of the Stepford Wives.  They dress perfectly and follow their husband’s wishes.

It’s time for Betty’s baby to come but she needs Poppy.  Jughead goes and promises her that if Poppy helps Betty, she won’t return to jail.  Poppy goes and delivers the baby, which is a perfect girl, while Bailey’s Comet flies over.  Poppy gives Betty a potion to use when the time is right.  When Poppy steps outside, she is handcuffed but returned to Thornhill instead of jail.  Here, she’ll live alone until the end of her days.  Betty uses the potion about a year later and Jughead dies.  There is no trace of poison in his body during the autopsy.  Oh, and the baby girl, will find the freedom that Poppy wanted for the women of her time.

Abigail

Abigail, it turns out, is the real focus of the story.  A woman, Thomasina (Toni), comes to Abigail looking for a job teaching in Abigail’s finishing school (making proper subdue women), Abigail asks about her training and also if she has a husband.  It seems Tabitha husband has died.  Thomasina is from Glendale (and we get the Sabrina reference for the first time this episode).  During one class, Thomasina arrives and wants to talk about Bailey’s Comet.  She thinks the girls should go and observe it.  Later Abigail tells Thomasina she has made a decision about the school’s curriculum.  They will teach half truth/half knowledge from now on. 

Thomasina and Abigail are in love and sleep together.  One night, a man from town comes looking for Thomasina who is a murderess.  Abigail lies and says they have the plague at the school and the man runs away.  Thomasina was in an arranged marriage with an abusive husband who slapped her.  One night, she chose her vision of life and well, yes, her husband dies.  Abigail tells her to stay forever.

Trouble doesn’t end there.  Later, another visitor arrives.  It’s Fangs Fogarty, a friend of Abigail’s twin brother, James.  James has died in battle and his last request was for Fangs to marry Abigail.  Thomasina smells a rat and when Fangs goes to chop wood, they find death portraits, a ritual knife, and other magical implements.  Abigail realizes he is a warlock as he finds they over his trunk.  Thomasina tries to kill him with his knife, but Fangs grabs her and forces Cheryl to marry him that night and sends her to  town for a minister. 

Abigail marries Fangs in a red dress.  As the night progresses, he demands she perform her wifely duties.  Abigail comes in with the axe and Lizzy Borden style (supposedly) kills Fangs.  She goes to find Thomasina who has killed herself.  As she pleads with Thomasina to return, Fangs staggers down the hall with the promise he will kill her.  She tells him to “burn in hell” and the comet starts its passage.  He is dying but first he curses Abigail with a solitary life and remaining unloved and alone for all her miserable days.

Cheryl

With Nana sick, Cheryl has sent the girls to watch the comet while she sits by Nana’s bed.  She is planning a spell and is expecting a guest.  Cheryl has one smart student though who realizes that Cheryl is up to something.  Nana tells Cheryl to let the student stay and learn the story.  The student also wants to help.  

As the stories are coming to a conclusion, the doorbell rings and Cheryl smiles as she goes to the door.  She has called an old friend, Sabrina Spellman, to help with whatever she has planned for Nana.  Cheryl’s comment on Sabrina’s arrival is classic:  “Look at what the black cat dragged in.”  They hug and Cheryl thanks her for coming.  Sabrina tells her that she’ll do anything to help.

Sabrina and Cheryl are old friends.  It was Sabrina who told Cheryl about a transformance spell that only can be performed during a celestial event like Bailey’s Comet.  After sending the student away, Sabrina and Cheryl grabs hands over Nana and recite the spell.  The wind blows, the comet flashes and the room lights up and shakes.   Basically, the transformation spell finally ends Fang’s curse to end.  The curse was that Abigail would live on in her descendants (Poppy and Cheryl).  Now all the women are reunited in Cheryl and Nana has become Abigail so she can reunite with Thomasina.  In fact, Cheryl tells Nana Abigail, to let it go and to pass and reunite with Thomasina.  Cheryl has reunited the two. 

Sabrina explains everything to the student.  Sabrina transformed Nana’s soul with a body swap.  Cheryl now has Nana’s soul in her.  Abigail was cursed with immortality.  Abigail wanted to be reunited with Thomasina.  Her soul and body were not meant to be in this world.  Abigail’s soul has moved on to a peaceful eternity.  Cheryl, Poppy, and Abigail are not dead.  There is no death for witches (like Sabrina and Cheryl) only transformation.  Sabrina said she died and came back.  Abigail and Thomasina were witches and are together.  Sabrina suggests that they go to Pop’s to discuss this further with the student. 

In the graveyard, we see Thomasina (Toni) looking at Abigail’s (I think) grave and Abigail appears.  They are reunited forever and go to wherever witches go in the afterlife.  Jughead comes in to offer his opinion and enough is said.  New Rivervale sign has appeared and includes Bailey’s Comet. 

Next Week:

Be sure to watch as they are doing their 100th episode as a throw back including classic Archie (Archie’s hair slicked back) but with memories of what we have seen on Riverdale for the past five years.  Yes, we have the classic but we also have the black hood murderer. 

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