by Alia Arafeh
On Dec. 31, Netflix released the fourth and final season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and I could not be more disappointed about the way it transpired. While initially an entertaining, mildly creepy coming-of-age story, the show slowly descended into a poorly written, distasteful series. As a preface, there will be spoilers in this article, as I will be recounting the problematic aspects of the ending.
Starring Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina, CAOS depicts the teenage witch as she deals with relationship troubles, growing into an adult, and the occasional monster. Season four focuses on the eldritch terrors, eight individual entities that will eventually lead to the downfall of the world. Of course, it’s up to 16-year-old Sabrina to save the day.
One of the smaller issues I have with the show is that Sabrina is always focused on, if not obsessed with, being in a relationship. She cannot stand being lonely and even creates a wax boyfriend. Sabrina eventually realizes she needs to spend time working on herself; yet, she gets into a relationship almost immediately after. Sabrina is supposed to be a strong, independent witch, but can’t go a month without having a boyfriend. In addition, season three ends by revealing that there are now two Sabrinas, one who serves as queen of hell and one who lives a normal life as a teenager. In the newest season, the queen of Hell version gets married at the age of 16. No one seems to have a problem with it.
Among other things, the writing for season four takes a severe downturn. It feels like a show previously targeted toward young adults became one targeted toward ten year olds.
All these issues aside, the worst thing about the show is the ending. Essentially, Sabrina has to give up her life to save the world, which is an ending filled with plot holes in and of itself. Still, that is not the worst part. In the very last couple minutes, Nick, Sabrina’s boyfriend, commits suicide so he can be with her in the afterlife. Sabrina is super casual about this development, as is Nick, and they “live happily ever after.” This is an incredibly offensive depiction of suicide, which is something Netflix has struggled with in the past. It shows suicide as not just an option, but a good option. Considering the show is targeted towards young, impressionable kids, that is absolutely not acceptable. While I truly enjoyed the show at first, CAOS disappointed and shocked me with its fourth season.